The recent snowy, icy rain storms we had made many of us remember 2008 – the year the greater New England area was hit with a major ice-storm. Fallen trees and branches took down power lines, rendering 2,000,000 residents and companies without power for days and even weeks.
Not having power for multiple days wreaks havoc for any business, but for Appli-Tec, it would have been a catastrophe. We manufacture and store precision mixed and frozen (PMF) adhesives in cryogenic freezers for aerospace, defense, and medical device customers.
The power outage, however, wasn’t a problem for Appli-Tec’s 12 cryogenic freezers. Our proven liquid nitrogen backup system was put to the test for approximately 40 hours – and it worked like a champ!
The backup system, which maintains temperatures at specified set points for each freezer, responded automatically to the power interruption. The system is fully self-contained and doesn’t rely on generators or electricity.
One of the advantages of a system like this is when a freezer compressor fails for any reason, the backup system automatically turns on. In contrast, a generator won’t help when a compressor fails, unless the failure is due to a power outage.
Not only did we safeguard our inventory and meet all shipment deadlines in the weeks that followed, but we also replenished the ruined inventory of numerous customers who were not similarly prepared when they lost power.
While we were very happy with our backup power system, we continued to make updates to improve efficiencies – as well as reduce our carbon footprint. In July 2020, for example, we added our 12,000 liter liquid nitrogen tank to eliminate manual tank changes.
Today, I’m pleased to announce that additional system upgrades now allow us to “weather” a power outage for up to two weeks. This means we can:
Through the pandemic, we’ve continued to innovate. We’ve invested considerable time and energy improving the physical plant and our people.
Our teams have participated in cross-training. We continually talk through our processes to remove obstacles and to improve communication flow. We’ve updated our work centers.
These improvements – big and small – have helped us exceed our own internal benchmarks across many areas.
We invest in this work because our tagline, “On time, every time, defect-free,” isn’t something to which we aspire. All of us live it, work it, and breathe it, every single day.