Essential Business During COVID-19: When Safe & Reliable Products Are Critical

05/05/2020 | Update

The global pandemic has inevitably changed the daily routines of individuals and regular operations of businesses worldwide. Companies have realigned their manufacturing processes and distribution networks to provide support to frontline workers of the coronavirus outbreak. Hospitals and healthcare facilities have implemented new procedures that are crucial for slowing the rapid spread of this fatal virus. 

While essential businesses continue to run, it is important now more than ever that these organizations deliver products and services that are safe and reliable; doing their part to help tread through this public health crisis. So, what does it look like to deliver safe and reliable products during a global pandemic for the HVAC industry?

On Friday, March 20thDavid John, P.E. received a call from a local Florida hospital needing assistance with setting up an isolation area dedicated to diagnosing and treating COVID-19 patients. David is the Engineering Manager at Stan Weaver & Company, an exclusive manufacturer’s representative of Franklin Electric HVAC drives in central Florida. The hospital needed three Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) with bypass to be installed with the new HVAC fans for the area.

Due to the unusual circumstances proposed by COVID-19 in a hospital environment, there were two critical success factors of this project – securing the VFDs promptly and limiting the number of individuals on site for the installation. These factors were important so the hospital could get the new wing up and running as quickly as possible, while also minimizing the exposure of individuals to a potentially harmful environment.

Keeping this in mind, David supplied the hospital with three Franklin Electric Q-Link VFDs and recommended a digital training to prepare the hospital staff and contractors for the installation. Shortly after, Franklin Electric’s Field Service Engineer, Chad Haugen, facilitated a webinar that covered setting up the VFDs, including how to use the Q-Link mobile app that connects your smartphone via Bluetooth® technology to the Q-Link VFD and provides guided start-up and operation information. 

After the webinar, the contractors were comfortable with the material covered and confident that they could install and program the drives without any additional on-site support. David attributes this to the combination of Franklin Electric’s service and a user-friendly product.

“Because of the technical support provided, I did not have to be on site for the installation of the VFDs. This is a testimony to Franklin Electric drives being easy to set up and preventing additional people from going to a hospital that has coronavirus patients.”

Chad continued to provide support over the phone to the contractors, as needed, to program the drives and ensure they were running successfully. He also shared additional features of the Q-Link mobile app with the contractors that would save time spent on site for the installation.

Within the app, custom drive configurations can be saved as templates and applied to additional units when commissioning multiple drives. After setup is complete, remote monitoring and control make the Q-Link an easier, safer drive to maintain. Commissioning reports can be easily generated, signed and emailed through the app, vastly improving and shortening the reporting process. Remote operation also enhances safety by minimizing the need to physically interact with the drive while you are within connectivity range (approximately 15-20 ft).

The isolation area for COVID-19 patients was up and running 10 days after David received the initial call from the hospital. Overall, the contractors and hospital team were very satisfied with the Q-Link VFDs and have purchased additional units to use for other projects.

While the isolation area at this hospital is complete, there is still more work to be done at other hospitals. David continues to see demand for similar projects developing isolation areas and converting patient rooms to isolation rooms. He is confident that supplying Franklin Electric VFDs for these projects will provide a safe and reliable experience for everyone during these unusual times. 

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Franklin Electric is a global leader in the production and marketing of systems and components for the movement of water and energy. Recognized as a technical leader in its products and services, Franklin Electric serves customers around the world in residential, commercial, agricultural, industrial, municipal, and fueling applications. Franklin Electric is proud to be named in Newsweek’s lists of America’s Most Responsible Companies and Most Trustworthy Companies for 2024 and America’s Climate Leaders 2023 by USA Today.