MiniTec Automation boasts a footprint of 21,000 square feet across several unassuming buildings outside Detroit. “People are blown away when they walk inside, because it’s not what they were expecting to see,” said Warehouse Manager Dylan Jenkins. What they find is a full-blown machine shop, where the company extrudes aluminum for industries including, of course, the Michigan staple of automotive.
But that wow factor has a downside: major heating and cooling challenges. Designed to be split among different tenants, the buildings have 12 thermostats controlling the temperature across the variety of spaces. Add to that energy-sucking features like garage doors for parts delivery and finished product shipments, and MiniTec Automation faced high utility bills and the headache of manual thermostat management
Employees took it upon themselves to choose setpoints, even occasionally breaking the protective boxes. Programming features would inevitably be deprogrammed. Batteries died. And forget about the headaches that daylight saving time caused, Jenkins said.
“Our energy bills were out of hand,” he said. “No one had time to run all around adjusting thermostats and switching them from heat to cool – it’s not practical. That’s why we needed something.”
Jenkins uses smart thermostats at home, but he needed something purpose-built for a warehouse setting. He started researching building control systems, but the prices gave him sticker shock. Then he learned about ENASTAT and thought it might work better in MiniTec Automation’s retrofitted space.
“We wanted something where people couldn’t make adjustments themselves,” he said. “ENASTAT is flat, has no screen and was perfect.
Jenkins is also able to easily adjust temperatures as needed from ENASTAT’s app – making it cooler in the fabrication department, for instance, where the machinists are constantly on the move. Beyond that, he compliments the customer service he’s received as he’s gotten his system up and running
“That’s been the best experience of all,” he said.