An interview with Rusty Herbst from Flex Air
Flex Air, a division of Miller Industries, LLC excels at highly customized, large air handling units and modular MEP systems. They regularly produce AHUs exceeding 100,000 CFM with integrated mechanical and electrical systems. Flex Air has the experience and expertise to construct large projects while incorporating complex systems to meet each customer’s need.
Partnering Closely with Clients to Customize Projects
With over 40 years in the manufacturing and integration business, Miller Industries has taken their workforce knowledge and developed Flex Air to manufacture design-build, custom air handlers. Rusty Herbst, the Director of Sales and Marketing for Flex Air, reports, “Most of the customers that we work with and we are successful with, have a specific want and need for their project. For instance, our clients may have stringent standards to maintain consistency across their institution. This often means they want specific fixtures, manufacturers, electrical, and mechanical details to meet their requirements. Flex Air follows their specifications to engineer and construct a product, giving them customized solutions over something cataloged by another manufacturer.”
Flex Air offers multiple cabinet designs for the commercial and industrial market including a standard two-inch product and a three-inch thermal break construction. “But from there, it’s really a blank sheet of paper,” Herbst states. “We are not bound to one specific fan manufacturer or one coil manufacturer, we can integrate any number of systems and different products. This company manufactures for everyone”
Flex Air Provides Turnkey Solutions
This manufacturer specializes in complete air handling systems. Herbst says, “There are a number of AHU manufacturers in the market that build a nice custom product, but Flex Air takes it beyond simple customization by packaging the mechanical equipment, piping, electrical, and temperature controls for a high-quality, turnkey unit.”
“We are one of the few companies that can do turnkey and do it well,” Herbst explains. “We have decades of experience in our skilled trades, both electrical and mechanical, to complement our sheet metal team. We don’t sub any of it out, and this all happens in our 160,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility. This structure allows for a multitude of large-scale projects, along with parallel activity building various subassemblies and to support all our customers.”
Modular Mechanical and Electrical Systems
In addition to offering custom air handling products, Flex Air also builds modular mechanical and electrical systems. Its various in-house mechanical and electrical experts work alongside skilled trades to shape a project from beginning to end. The application engineers support new project development, and the engineering operations team manages projects and ensures that the company is executing designs and systems to meet customers’ exact needs.
Flex Air Provides Complex Integrated Systems and Structure
Herbst remembers a sizeable modular project Flex Air built for Coward Environmental that integrated many different systems and features. The project included a building air handler, a lab-grade air handler, the lab exhaust system, three air-cooled chillers, a modular building that included hot water boilers, a steam generator, and a clean compressed air system. Additionally, they used their in-house steel design fabrication team to produce the 56’ x 48’ structural steel platform to sit on the roof to support the 200,000-pound modular mechanical system.
Herbst explains, “Flex Air shipped the structural steel out to the job site months in advance, it was installed within the existing building for the support of the modular mechanical system on the rooftop. The system was delivered on four massive skids and lifted onto the building to complete an entire mechanical infrastructure. We utilized trusses so we could run all the conduit and piping within, so when the owner got up to the roof it was a clean work surface. Flex Air extended its scope below the roof to supply the BMS and lab control valves as well. With the building management system, we provided complete mechanical infrastructure for this customer.
Family-Owned and Operated
Flex Air is one of the few family-owned manufacturers left in the air handling industry. “Being a family-owned and operated company, there’s a personal touch on everything we do and build,” Herbst emphasizes.
“Our ownership team is accessible. They’re down on the floor or making sales calls with the rest of us,” he adds. “The whole process and experience are a little bit different than what you might find with one of the big corporate companies.”
Want to Learn More About Flex Air?
Coward Environmental Systems, Inc. is proud to represent Flex Air in the Philadelphia region, Central PA, Delaware, and Maryland. Contact us today to discover how Flex Air can be a part of your next project.