Subsystems for Blower Installations

Subsystems for custom blower and fan installations:
Modifications and integration options for OEM designs

Blowers and fans are key to an array of industries, and their installations are as disparate as their uses. Because engineers integrating blowers into designs are increasingly busy and pressed for specialized expertise in air-moving technologies, blower manufacturers (as a lot of suppliers) have come to offer increased engineering support and upfront integration. In this white paper, we detail just a sampling of modifications and subsystems to serve several specific industries — to give specifics on what’s common and to spur new ideas on what’s possible for custom blower and air-moving designs.

Combustion applications: Custom HVAC blowers and specialty water-heater subsystems

HVAC manufacturers looking to expand their boiler product lines benefit most from tailored blower subsystems. These blowers can:

• Boost efficiency for end users

• Accept various inputs without the use of stepdown transformers

• Maximize controllability (with advanced blower motors and electronics)

• Include premix solutions and tightly integrate valves and other subcomponents

Other customizable HVAC blower options include specialty bearings, coatings, housings, and mounting; inlet tubes; filters, mufflers, and finger guards; tachometer outputs; and sealing. AMETEK Dynamic Fluid Systems (DFS) Nautilair blowers are available with these options ... which in turn impart adaptability and robustness in commercial and industrial boilers and water heaters. In fact, even standard offerings offer high turndown ratios; compact footprints; and customized performance — in the form of tailorable acceleration capabilities and speed profiles. Some Nautilair blowers deliver flow and pressure from 10 to 40 in.H2O and 20 to 1,000 SCFM (50 to 1,750 m3 per hour). They can server boilers from 25 to 1,200 kW (85 to 4 million BTU) in size. AMETEK DFS also offers specialized subsystems for another combustion applications — that of pellet-transfer designs. Visit for more on this.

Blower and fan subsystems for aerospace and military applications

Exacting regulations and application requirements mean that pre-engineered blower subsystems dominate military and aerospace blower and fan design. These include a full complement of air-moving products — including axial-flow fans; custom air movers for cooling; and centrifugal blowers that accept various input voltages. Typically, the blower manufacturer works with project engineers to analyze airflow performance points (and define design speeds, size, weight restrictions, and aerodynamic parameters) for optimizing final setups to run at the highest possible efficiencies.

Services of AMETEK DFS Rotron, which manufactures blowers and fans of all sizes from drawings, include value-added supplier support with build-to-print capabilities — including the adoption of customer-specified design processes and even the customer’s supply base. That frees project engineers to focus on core competencies and high-level integration tasks. Specifying custom blower and fan assemblies (as single-purchase orders instead of many components) also and trims costs of procurement, inspection, and inventory management. Custom blower and fan capabilities for military designs are numerous:

• Bespoke cooling fans can integrate with heat exchangers, controls, and subassemblies to maximize functionality in tight spaces.

• Application-specific fan trays and rack blowers can incorporate electronics for easy mounting and turnkey setup.

• Specialty unit under test (UUT) rack blowers for avionic test equipment can optimize rack-mounted distributed airflow in submarines.

• Blowers and fans can be designed to meet MIL-STD-810 and other regulatory specifications.

• Spot-cooling air movers can integrate all cabling and hardware — and undergo final inspections and testing before shipping for installation into demanding platform locations.

Semiconductor applications (with custom features)

Crossover exists between the design challenges of military and aerospace and semiconductor manufacture. That’s why there’s significant adoption by the latter of high-reliability fan concepts originally designed for missions, including AMETEK DFS Rotron SemiCool custom subsystems for reliable cooling in semiconductor manufacture.

One example is the Rotron MAXIAX axial vane fan series. Complete SemiCool systems include these fans, optimized heat exchangers, and custom ductwork … or design engineers can integrate quick-response MAXIAX fans into existing cooling subsystems. The 6-to-8-in. fans deliver airflows to 900 CFM at 10 IWG with efficiencies to 60% which is far better than larger blowers common in semiconductor production facilities. Set to operate off 400-Hz power converters, the fans allow infinite speed control to ensure consistent temperatures. AMETEK DFS Rotron builds the fan subsystems to comply with semiconductor traceability and control requirements; where needed, the air movers can also bear TÜV certification.

Other subsystems for curing, sampling, and medical applications

Blowers based on brushless (permanent-magnet) motors have come to lead many industries that need air movers. That’s in part due to the efficiency, low noise, and compactness of brushless motors — as well as the increasingly cost-effective electronics to control such motors. Applications for brushless blowers include medical sterilization and medical airbeds; fume evacuation, general ventilation, UV curing, and atomization; chest vests; industrial applications and material handling (covered in more detail in other AMETEK DFS literature); paper-separation and hold-down applications; fuel cells; cooling applications; and air sampling.

AMETEK DFS brushless-motor Windjammer blowers and fans satisfy such applications. Customizable hardware on these blowers reduces interface requirements and speed time to market. Additions can include silicone-coated printed circuit boards withstand humid environments; upfront testing, balancing, and performance tuning; nonloading fans for areas filed with copious particulate; and shaft bearings (and accompanying grease) designed to withstand temperatures to 260° C. In addition, an array of possible wiring harnesses minimizes electrical interfaces.

Other features exclusive to Windjammer blower products include digital Intelligen 2 controllers (for customizable acceleration and speed profiles) as well as universal drive capabilities to help OEMs and end users reduce inventory costs.

Blower and industrial-fan options to withstand corrosive environments

Blowers from AMETEK DFS Rotron to withstand harsh environments include motor variations (including TEFC, XP, and HiE designs) for corrosive gas, marine-duty, and sanitary service. These blower subsystems get a chemical process (CP) designation to indicate an ability to withstand corrosive gases and environments, washdown (in sanitary settings), or the inclusion of alternative sealing options (including face seal, nitrogen purge, or engineered sealing).

Options for CP blowers include NEMA approval (as well as shaft endplay, runout, and perpendicularity values that are better than NEMA requirements); UL and CSA approvals; C-face mounts and permanently sealed bearings; dual voltage and frequency inputs to allow worldwide use; single-shaft TEFC and explosion proof (XP) models; CE conformity (in non-XP models); double-shaft open drip-proof (ODP) models with internal fans for circulation; and at least a Class I Group D rating on all XP motors — with many Class I Group D and Class II F and G.

Rotron-exclusive options and blower subsystems for corrosive settings include Chem-Tough — a proprietary treatment that includes anodizing, hard-coat plating, and further engineering of blower surfaces. The aluminum-oxide ceramic and fluorocarbon surface treatment imparts chemical resistance and permanent dry lubricity to blower surfaces. It molecularly bonds with metal blower parts as a plastic-ceramic surface that’s harder than steel with more corrosion resistance than regular hard anodizing. For more information, visit this deep link to where there's also more related to blowers specifically designed for chemical processing.

Stll other subsystems and blower features specific to corrosive environments include Rotron Lo-Leak lip seals (to prevent gas leakage to the motor shaft mating surfaces); vacuum-impregnated castings; carbon seals with twin faces that sandwich a mating ring; and (among other offerings) hermetically sealed magnet drives for complete gas containment.

One last note: Though beyond the scope of this white paper, AMETEK DFS also offers custom blowers and industrial fans for material handling. Visit for technical information about what features these blowers typically require.

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Shown here is an AMETEK DFS Rotron blower with a brushless dc motor for long-life transportation applications. These include blowers for defroster, A/C evaporator, under-seat heater, and driver-booster functions. Integrated electronics allow for customization to various inputs and outputs, and ruggedized variations are custom options where blowers see exposure to harsh outdoor environments.

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AMETEK DFS Windjammer blowers pair with Intelligen II controllers running software to minimize the cost of operation and (among other things) noise. Full-wave commutating electronics impart versatility with adjustable performance-related parameters and safety settings. Ability to dial into specific operating points in realtime eliminates wasting energy with over-performing. Acceptance of discrete stepped speed levels means designers can tune performance to operating conditions. Such functionality is useful in business machines, hydraulic fluid power, outdoor power equipment, and medical applications.

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Programmable AMETEK blowers (as the Nautilair blowers shown here) free users from writing control schemes by serving as pre-engineered units accepting multi-wire input for closed-loop speed control, maximum speed setting, electric braking, current limit, locked rotor, over temperature, and other functions). Where variable-speed performance drives efficiency (whether operating linear, nonlinear, or step functions) onboard signal-level controllability allows speed setting from nearly 0 to 100% without input-power changes.

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Disparate applications for Rotron regenerative blowers demonstrate their adaptability.

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AMETEK DFS offers design services as well as subassembly pieces to simplify integration for design engineers. Shown here are complete AMETEK Rotron MIL-XTM Tubeaxial fan assemblies ruggedized for cooling electronics, ventilation, and environmental conditioning systems.

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Applications that use custom blowers and fans include those for high-volume low pressure (HVLP) paint sprayers, fume evacuation, air sampling, animal grooming, chemical processing, fuel cells, food and beverage processing and packaging, aquaculture, and spa bubblers and circulators. Shown here is an Earlex HV6900 HVLP paint sprayer that uses a 1,100-W AMETEK three-stage turbine rated at 5 psi to 71 CFM.

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Electronically controlled blowers run at maximal aerodynamic efficiencies to minimize operational costs (which is especially helpful in battery-powered designs). What’s more, some electronic blower controls accept continuously variable input — 83 to 264 Vac in contrast with fixed 120 or 240 V, for example — while maintaining relatively consistent performance. This is useful for blower designs that are sold globally.

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Floor-care applications for blowers and fans include backpack vacuum units, carwash vacuum installations, carpet extractors, central vacuum systems, consumer-grade vacuum cleaners, and utility vacuums. Shown here is an AMETEK DFS Rotron Tornado Drive System (TDS), which excels in commercial floor-scrubber applications. The build comes with a worm or planetary gearset, depending on the final design’s required torque.