Left well capitalized in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers across the U.S. have spent 2021 retooling, expanding and refitting their plants. Delayed capital expenditures, like improved HVAC systems to cool motor control centers, rose to the top of the to-do list – and HVAC servicers like Star Service in Baton Rouge answered the call.

Having in-house engineering and construction departments is paying off for the commercial and industrial HVAC service company. The group came up with a custom, eye-catching system for a manufacturer’s motor control center, and repeated the process on the other end of the building. The project lasted from Nov. 2020 to March 2021.

In this project, every department at Star Service collaborated, says sheet metal superintendent James Papizan. He says it serves as a prime example of the complex sheet metal design, fabrication and installation his shop is capable of delivering.

“The building housing the MCC is elevated, and like most plants, they don't like to give up a lot of real estate for more equipment. It was cooled by wallpacks, but the room is full of heat-sensitive equipment, they wanted more cooling,” Papizan says.

Star Service’s engineering team came up with the idea of using the cutouts for the wallpacks to instead duct air underneath the building, where they put a new air handler.

“It was a little tight, a bit of a head-scratcher. But with some creative thinking, the team got it done. We pride ourselves in being able to kind of think out of the box and come up with these solutions,” Papizan says, adding the skill is honed by customers who often don’t have the space to meet their goals.

“I've been doing this for quite a while. It's nice to run across these projects because it really keeps the juices flowing. It's nice to back up and look at it, because seldom do you see something like it,” Papizan concludes.