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Formindable Fans

IAP’s powerful industrial fans move large volumes of air where it’s needed most

Deep underground, workers at the metropolitan water district in Southern California replace valves at the base of a reservoir. The underground station can be dank and stagnant, but an industrial fan at ground level sends down a fresh breeze through 76 meters (250 feet) of hose, improving both the environment and attitudes of those working in this confined space.

Industrial fans are more than an underground amenity; they are essential — especially for those in hostile environments. For example, Los Angeles County owns six John Deere–powered fans to ventilate underground sewer lines when crews perform maintenance. The fans are typically used in pairs — one fan supplies fresh air while the other exhausts gaseous fumes.

“The fans have many different uses and work in about every industry you can think of.”—  Scott Woldt, Industrial Air Products, Inc.

Industrial Air Products, Inc. (IAP) of Phillips, Wisconsin, sets the breeze in motion. Since 1974, the company has been building industrial blowers and fans customized for a wide range of applications around the globe. Built for harsh conditions, the heavy-duty fans can move corrosive airstreams containing dust or granules, making them well suited for industrial applications in mine shafts, glass plants, and steel mills. They are commonly found in ventilation and dairy plant applications. They supply air for blowing wood chips into furnaces and moving clothing through a hospital laundry. 

“The fans have many different uses and work in about every industry you can think of,” says Scott Woldt, IAP’s general manager. “A fan itself isn’t special, but the trailer package is special because it’s portable and can be used for many different applications.”

IAP offers a wide range of fans, and its trailer-mounted backward-incline fans and airfoil fans come powered with John Deere engines. Located only an hour away, Superior Diesel has been IAP’s John Deere engine distributor since 1988, supplying them with customized, skid-mounted power units, complete with a hardware kit for mounting the fan. 

Over the years, Superior Diesel has also offered engineering support during each new tier of emissions regulations. Woldt says the recent transition to Final Tier 4/Stage IV went smoothly, requiring only minimal engineering modifications. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is the first customer to specify an industrial fan with a Final Tier 4 engine. Superior Diesel recommended the John Deere PowerTech™ EWX 4.5L engine and supplied the power unit mounted on a skid with a built-in fuel cell that allows for eight hours of continuous operation. 

Industrial fans often operate for long hours at a time in factories and densely populated areas, and Woldt appreciates that the John Deere engines are quiet, smooth-running, and hassle-free. “As far as I know, we’ve never had a problem with a John Deere–powered fan that we’ve built. I≈anticipate that the Final Tier 4 engine will be as trouble-free as the previous John Deere engine models, which have been nothing but very reliable.” 

Distributor: Superior Diesel in Rhinelander, Wisconsin;

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