ACF Standby Systems Blog

Emergency Generator Maintenance

In the aftermath of Sandy one message resounded, “We need emergency power!”  For the first time in history the Stock Market closed two consecutive business days in a row.  On the third day in the midst of darken New York City streets, the red, white and blue banner lights shown bright and trading continued thanks to the rumble of emergency generators.    Backup power saved countless lives by providing the life blood of energy needed to power the country’s emergency services.

Emergency management officials and local leaders reported from the impacted areas how their emergency generators were providing power to hospitals, emergency shelters, nuclear power plants, cell towers, data centers and 911 response centers.  Can you imagine the relief on their faces after everything went dark and seconds later the power kicked-in?  When all was lost a ray of hope shined through, “We can beat this.”  When the power returned they got to work.

The crisis proved beyond a doubt that emergency power generators can and do saves lives during a large power outage.  There is a hidden message in this story of recovery; a message of preparedness.

It was not an accident that these Generator Sets roared to life providing the best hope of recovery.  Emergency Generator Sets must be regularly maintained to ensure they provide quality power throughout their service life. Owners of emergency generators may establish maintenance agreements with generator dealers/service centers in order to maintain their generator(s), automatic transfer switches, and other associated equipment. The life-cycle of power generators is then well established and documented making routine maintenance fairly straight-forward.

The long, outstanding use of generators over time has provided the necessary knowledge to predict when certain components will fail or be in need of service. A fairly reliable maintenance schedule can usually be acquired and can be employed by a local generator dealer/service center with experience in the power generation. Adhering to this schedule will ensure maximum service time for the generator and proper operation when it is called upon to provide power.

The main responsibility of the maintenance contractor would be to inspect systems, study the technical data provided by the generator manufacturer, maintain records, and take precautionary measures for safety.

Some of the steps to ensure smooth generator operation while carrying out scheduled maintenance include:

  • Timely removal of worn parts or upgrading the components
  • Checking fluid levels
  • Battery inspection and cleaning of connections
  • Load bank testing
  • Verifying control panel readings and indicators
  • Changing fuel and air filters

Small investments made in replacing components and maintaining generator systems on a regular basis can save expensive and unnecessary upgrades or even replacement of the entire generator in the future.

When performing routine maintenance, each action taken should be logged, and the readings and various parameters should be recorded along with the date of the inspection and hour meter readings of the generator. These set of readings are compared with the next set of data collected. Any absurd variation of readings indicates faulty performance of the unit.

Load testing of automatic transfer switches in regular intervals keeps track of the component’s electrical and mechanical integrity in the actual mechanical transfer operation. Other factors to be checked periodically are starting and time relays, start signal continuity, fuel, and oil sampling.

The importance of preventative maintenance / modernization hits home with one of stories of failure.  In New York, NYU backup generators failed and forced the evacuation of 300 patients. Perhaps the greatest devastation  will be the cells, tissues and embryos used for medical research that were left to die in failing refrigerators, freezers and incubators.  Six years of important research lost to Sandy’s fury and it might not have needed to happen.

Proper preventative maintenance ensures that you get back-up power when you need it. With the right service provider you can be confident of service on a priority basis in case of dire emergency and discounted service rates for additional work. Once a facility enters into a service agreement, the facility can relax on this aspect as the maintenance provider keeps track of when the next service inspection is due and makes the visits at regular intervals. They ensure that the products purchased through them receive consistent and reliable service.

Whether you use an expert outside contractor (preferred method) or choose to do the work yourself, it is important to adhere to your maintenance / testing schedule.  Equally important is to have highly trained and certified technicians maintaining your equipment.  Do not leave anything to chance unless you can afford to be without reliable power when you need it.

Proper maintenance and servicing is the key to reliability.  Remember the seven P’s of emergency power; Prior Proper Preventative Preparation Precludes Power Problems.  You never know when the ill winds of fate will blow a storm in your direction.

Call ACF Standby Generators today to start your preventative maintenance program.

(800) 282-5359

Experienced Generator Technician Needed!

Experienced Generator Technician needed for travel to customer sites to diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair generator systems, related engine failures, and utility transfer switches and switchgears. In addition, technician will perform scheduled maintenance agreement services and inspections, as well as start-up and new genset commissioning. EGSA certified technician preferred. Full Benefits/Competitive Pay! Experienced Generator Technician’s please contact our human resources today: careers@acfpower.com.

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50th Annual FHEA Meeting & Trade Show

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Let us help you with your emergency generator requirements.

  1. NFPA 70E Compliant
  2. Customer Service Inspection Programs designed to fit your requirements.
  3. Load Bank Testing
  4. Service all major brands of industrial generators.
  5. Service all makes and models of transfer switches.

Let us stop by your facility and gather generator information for our data base.
We can be there when others can’t.

Air Centers of Florida Announces our Compressed Natural Gas Product Line

Air Centers of Florida is the exclusive distributor for Ingersoll Rand’s complete lines of Compressed air equipment, Tools, ARO Pumps, and Material handling (Hoists and winches) announces our expansion into Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Refueling.  This is a natural integration for us and we have built upon our years of experience and expertise working with Ingersoll Rand’s products.

To provide the best products and services available, Air Centers of Florida has partnered with both Ingersoll Rand and P. C. McKenzie.   Since 1946, P. C. McKenzie Company has been actively involved in the Natural Gas Industry.  Ingersoll Rand is the leader for CNG equipment for the NGV market.  P.C. Mckenzie’s experience combined with Ingersoll Rand’s equipment make them the ideal partners for us.

The Future is Now

CNG is both the past and the future.  Some even believe that it will play a key role in achieving energy independence.   Several large cities / companies in the United States have made the switch to CNG for their bus and service fleets.  There are a lot more to come.  Everyone that switched has learned that CNG storage offers lower weight, higher energy storage and lower costs – as well as faster refueling.   They also learned that CNG is cleaner, safer and their fleets require less maintenance.

Cleaner

CNG burns clean.  In fact, it is the cleanest burning fuel today.  This translates into less vehicle maintenance and longer engine life.  Another added advantage is dedicated Natural Gas Vehicles have little or no emissions during refueling.   It is a little known fact, but the refueling process for standard gasoline vehicle accounts for over 50% its hydrocarbon emissions.

Less Maintenance

After converting their vehicles to CNG, fleet operators have reduced maintenance costs by as much as 40%. The conversion has increased the intervals between oil changes anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 additional miles.

More Safe

Several surveys have indicated that NGV’s are as safe if not safer than those powered by other fuels.  In 1992 AGA survey of more than 8,000 vehicles reported that NGV injury rates per vehicle mile traveled were significantly lower (34%) than the rate for gasoline vehicles.  There were no fatalities reported in over 1,800 collisions.

Let us help your business make the transition to Compressed Natural Gas

We are headquartered in Tampa with full service branches in Jacksonville and Orlando with satellite offices throughout Florida.  We promise to offer the most complete line of compressed natural gas products in the industry along with the best service.

==>  Visit our new website to find out more!  <==

Parts Expert Need Apply!

Question:  Are you a ‘Parts Expert’ that is tired of…a lack of appreciation?…working nights & weekends?…the same-old, same-old?

Answer: Then join our unique culture!  ACF is seeking a Parts Specialist with a can-do attitude to promote and sell our industrial aftermarket products.  The ideal candidate will have experience servicing customers by selling and processing parts orders and handling parts inventory control functions.  Our parts experts must be able to use company business systems for parts management as well as perform parts research, tracking, and vendor sourcing.

We offer a complete benefits package including medical, dental, vision, 401k and much more!  But the best benefit we offer is a ‘work-hard, play hard’ environment…it’s a culture that makes working at ACF enjoyable!

For more information or to apply today, visit our CareerBuilder job posting at http://tinyurl.com/bsga9wv. You may also fax your resume to Human Resources at 813-621-6980 or send via email to careers@acfpower.com.

Thank you,

Liliana Torres

Human Resources

Why ACF Standby Systems?

Many business planners look at the need for a generator as a form of insurance policy.  They consider it an optional choice.  Smart business planners know that a reliable Standby Generator is a critical element of the success of their business; especially during Florida’s turbulent summer storm season.

Whether it’s a hurricane, tropical storm, lightning strike, downed power lines or a scheduled utility outage, you can count on ACF Standby System’s products to keep your assembly line or business operation running.

Have you ever considered how much a power outage would / could affect your bottom line?  Whether it is lost production, lost sales, lost data or all three, power outages can and do happen.  The affects are costly and linger.

The rippling effect of the outage can last days / weeks beyond the outage.  The truth is that power outages cost thousands of dollars for every minute that a medium or large facility goes without power, and they are more common than most people tend to think.

The bottom line is that “odds are” at some point in time, your bottom line will depend on having a reliable standby system or a set of generators on hand that can handle your electricity demand.

Once you make the smart choice to take an insurance policy out against the loss of power, you might as well choose the best.  That is where ACF Standby Systems and Baldor Generators come into play.  The insurance we are talking about isn’t an intangible contract written on a piece of paper.

The type of insurance we are offering is a tangible piece of proven machinery.  Machinery we will set up correctly and can power parts of your business, if not your entire facility. We offer, hands down the best, toughest, most readily customizable industrial standby generators in the business.

We believe that our customers should be able to customize their gen sets, from custom enclosures to tanks and trailers.  We also offer the shortest lead time from “concept to delivery” in the industry.

The other benefit we offer is that our tangible “insurance policy” does not necessarily cost you more based on location. We serve the every square inch of Florida.  An identical standby system costs the same for a data center in Jacksonville as it does for a manufacturing plant in Orlando.

ACF Inc. is a company that supplies reliable Gen Set to maximize your profitability.  We do this through a total solutions approach and by developing solid customer relationships.  Let us help you keep your business running.  Call us today @ (800) 282-5359 to find out how we can serve you.

Thank you,
Bill Hogan, Marketing & Technology

Customer Service Means Something!

Every business in the service industry will say they provide the best service possible. Most that have been in business several years can honestly make this claim.  The service industry is a rough and tumble place. It is not for the faint of heart.  Its where if you are not making an effort to provide the best service possible you simply do not survive.

The need to provide great customer service applies doubly in our niche (Air Compressors and Standby Generators).  If we at Air Centers of Florida or ACF Standby Systems get it wrong; production can be stopped cold.  We provide the products and services that keep a company’s production line running during normal operation and during times of emergency.

Assembly lines without reliable air flow will often fail. It is a little known fact that compress air is often called the forth utility because of its importance to manufacturing. Compressed air is a workhorse in today’s factories with several different job responsibilities.  Over 10% of industrial electricity is used to generate compressed air.

Speaking of industrial electricity, backup generators that do not start after a storm plays havoc with power lines will have a direct impact on production. Reliable backup power provides a company with peace of mind during Florida’s stormy summer weather.

We know that a small service mistake on our part can be magnified a thousand fold since the consequence of failure means something of value. That is why we go way above and beyond to meet our customer’s expectations.  Our factory trained technicians go through a detailed checklist and have an intuitive understanding of how your compressor and/or generator functions. They understand that failure is not an option.

We have survived this rough and tumble industry since 1987 by providing the best customer service possible.  We will continue to survive by maintaining our customer centric philosophy.

ACF Inc. is a company that supplies reliable Air and Gen systems to maximize your profitability.  We do this through a total solutions approach and by developing solid customer relationships.  Let us help you keep your business running.  Call us today @ (800) 282-5359 to find out how we can serve you.

Thank you,

Bill Hogan, Marketing & Technology

Life at ACF: It’s all about culture!

At ACF we have an excellent total compensation & benefits package, but the number one benefit is our culture!  ACF has a uniquely family-friendly, “work hard-play hard” environment.  Our team works hard to keep us profitable and maintain our competitive edge, and our company responds by providing a fun, open forum that positively impacts our team’s work-life balance.

Working hard maintains our…
Bonus plans, annual merit increases, holiday pay, paid time off, bereavement and jury duty pay, commissions, 401k company match & profit sharing, paid training, tuition reimbursement, employer premium contributions to medical/dental/vision insurance (health benefits eligible within 31 days!), ACF paid term life insurance, short & long term disability, and accidental death & dismemberment insurance.  Technicians are assigned vehicles and uniforms, fuel card, cell phone, and toll transponder.

Playing hard means keeping traditions alive…
Holiday parties, family summer events, department appreciation events, and various recognitions & rewards.  ACF also has an open-minded leadership that welcomes innovation, problem solving, and feedback. However, nothing speaks louder about the value of our culture than the loyalty of our long standing team and the high participation rate of our company events!

Interested in being part of our culture?  If you are an experienced Air Compressor and/or Generator Technician please contact our human resources today at careers@acfpower.com or dial 800-282-5359 ext 103.

Diesel Generator Set Preventive Maintenance

Diesel generator sets are remarkable.  They can start and assume a full-rated load in under 10 seconds and can run for months if needed without a major overhaul. They are renowned for their durability, reliability and performance. Where dependable backup power is required you will often see diesel generator sets leading the charge.

No matter how remarkable this all sounds there is one important factor to take into consideration.  Diesel generators may be mechanical marvels, but they are still mechanical.  Fueled mechanical devices by nature do not like to sit in a dormant state. Preventive Maintenance is critical to ensure that they start and run when needed.
While facility managers sometime use their in-house maintenance personnel to perform these tasks, it is better to contract the work to a dependable service provider like ACF Standby Systems–especially if you have generators in multiple locations.

Here at ACF Standby Systems we typically get unplanned maintenance and engine repair calls when it is too late. That is, after the power generator fails to start when needed and the preventive maintenance performed was not enough.  Preventive maintenance plays a crucial role in reliability and reducing your long term costs.

A good preventive maintenance consists of the following items:
•    Cooling System Service
•    Fuel System Service
•    General Inspection
•    Testing Batteries (preforming service if required)
•    Lubrication Service
•    Cooling System Service

Since it a good idea to establish and adhere to set schedule of service and preventive maintenance based on your equipment and environment an expert opinion would be useful.  Our expert technicians understand diesel maintenance procedures and follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for your machine. If you have any questions or want to start a preventive maintenance program with us, call (800) 282-5359 and ask to speak to one of our system engineers.  Let us help you keep your business running.

Thank you,

Bill Hogan, Marketing & Technology

Hurricane Season is Fast Approaching

As you know hurricane season is soon approaching. The possibility of a power outage is looming as the season approaches. Make sure your generator is in good running condition for when you need it most!

Rust on your generator unsightly? Let us stop by for FREE to give you a quote to remove all rust, replace hinges and screws and seal or paint your generator to make it look like new.

Did you know the fuel in your generator can accumulate bacteria and water in only a few months’ times? This can result in making your generator unusable when you need it in an emergency. Let the experts clean your fuel by “fuel polishing” it at a reasonable cost.