Case Study: NOAA – Fixing a Coatings Failure

April 25, 2016

NOAA - Fixing a Coatings Failure
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Client Needs

Raider commercial building painters were contacted by a HVAC Fan manufacturer Toro-Aire with a big problem. They were just days away from the opening of a new (NOAA ) high tech weather research facility in La Jolla CA that had been put on hold because because a necessary exhaust fans coating had failed and the rust forming on the machine was becoming airborne and threatening other high end machinery. With liquidated damages looming and their reputation on the line they needed help.

This project presented challenges that caused other coating contractors to pass on it. We knew it was not only within our capability, but that we could do it efficiently and deliver a quality product.

The Challenges

NOAA Fan During (14)Some of the difficulties associated with this project included:

  • Location. The fan was located in an open roof mechanical room and was less than .25 miles from the ocean. The area is know for a thick marine layer through much of the summer.
  • Unusual working conditions. Large fans of this type are normally coated prior to installation. Because this was a re-coating, we had other machines that needed to be safely contained so that air intake would not be effected.
  • Fan Balance and Clearance. Fan blades that had tight tolerances needed to be coating while taking special care to keep them in balance.
    Partial Dis-assembly. During the project it was discovered that the rusting was far more extensive then assumed, and was throughout the inside of the machine. A solution needed to include removal of access ports and repairs to interior components.
  • Tight timeline. The client had an extremely tight timeline to work within and failure was not an option.

Our Solution

  • We researched a DTM product and primer that was made for the climate and environmental challenges. The manufacture worked with us to quickly ship the product from the east coast and have a representative on hand to inspect and warranty the finish.
  • Our team created a containment area that stretched from the 40′ high ceiling to the ground keeping the fan segregated from other operating equipment. We also assembled special scaffolds and used specialized lifts to get into tight spaces.
  • Our professional painting crews took special care to apply uniform paint coats to all sensitive areas. The fans stayed in balance and did not require being re-balanced after startup. This saved both time and money for our client.
  • We took care to safe off the equipment, and worked with the manufacturer to educate out team on proper removal of access ports. Because of this we were able to complete the expanded scope and stay within the necessary timeline.
  • Knowing it was of absolute necessity to succeed, our project management and foreman pushed out teams to work efficiently and safely while meeting the clients needs. We mobilized a large crew on short notice and coordinated with onsite contractors, movers, and the future tenants to work around their schedules and keep them on schedule.

Project Outcome

The project was completed ahead of schedule, including the added scope. The client, contractor, and end user were all appreciative that we were able to hold them to their schedule. The specialty DTM product used created a great finish and with a a total of 3 coats the longevity of the finish will allow for years of operation.

Questions or comments?

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