Davis Standard: Super Blue® Extruder Turns Potential Crisis into Overnight Success

When FAFCO of Chico, California needed an extruder to help address an unexpected production capacity increase last spring, Davis-Standard’s Super Blue® came to the rescue. FAFCO, the world’s largest manufacturer of solar pool heating panels and polymeric heat exchangers, was under pressure from customer demands because of a successful new product introduction and consumer concerns over rising energy costs. This resulted in a significant increase in solar pool heating sales almost overnight. The company couldn’t keep up with manufacturing and needed a fast and cost-effective solution. FAFCO called on Davis-Standard to see what could be done. After a few conversations and a matter of days, a Davis-Standard Super Blue extruder was on the truck headed to California. FAFCO installed the extruder in only one week from the day it was ordered and avoided a production shortfall.
“We were at a critical stage in production and nervous about losing business if we couldn’t find a solution. I called Davis-Standard and told them we needed an extruder and we needed it now,” said Lupe Arim-Law, FAFCO’s purchasing manager.
“Davis-Standard was very professional about our situation and came through in a big way. When you ask someone to do something that’s never been done before and they do it, the satisfaction is unreal. It was one of the most pleasant, stimulating buys I’ve ever made as a purchasing manager.”
The success of the first Super Blue led to the purchase of another in May. Once again FAFCO received their extruder one week from the order date and in both cases, the machines were up and running in less than 48 hours. Within this timeframe,
Davis-Standard also made modifications to fit FAFCO’s production requirements and supplied feedscrews. The 2 1/2-inch (65mm) and 3 1/2-inch (90mm) extruders are
FAFCO’s first Super Blue machines. The company also operates two Davis-Standard Thermatic® extruders. The extruders are used to make 1/4-inch (6mm) tubes used in proprietary heat exchanger technology.
“It was nice to be able to tell our company president the extruder would be here in a matter of days and know that it would arrive on schedule. We are firm believers in Davis-Standard’s people and their products. In this case especially, they were absolutely awesome.”
Wendell Whipple of Davis-Standard added, “Our intent with the Super Blue was to provide customers with a high quality machine and a quick turnaround. The FAFCO project was just as exciting for us as it was for them. It was a great team effort and we’re pleased we were able to accommodate their request.”
FAFCO’s products include energy-efficient solar pool heating panels as well as the company’s innovative IceStor cooling storage system. The company’s solar panels are made up of several small tubes which help capture the sun’s warmth and transfer it to the pool water. The IceStor system uses a chiller to circulate a cold glycol/water solution through the IceStor tanks during off-peak hours. The solution flows through the tanks’ heat exchanger tubes (immersed in water), forming ice around each tube. Then, during peak hours, the cooled solution is circulated to the building load directly or through a plate-and-frame heat exchanger to provide cooling at a fraction of the cost.
For more information about FAFCO, visit www.fafco.com. For more information about Davis-Standard’s Super Blue extruder, contact Wendell Whipple at [email protected]

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