November 2021 Newsletter

A Word from our President

cody

by – Cody Hanna-Hanna Heating & Air

Fall is finally here, and heating season has finally begun. With that in mind, I’d like to remind everyone that the board is always looking for Heat for the Holidays candidates.  If you know of anyone who is without heat, and who may be unable to afford repairs or replacement of their heating system, please let us know. We are here to help.

I would like to thank the local 441 Union for hosting the October general meeting and showing us about their training program.

Our November general meeting will be Thursday November 18th hosted by BCS located at 1730 E Douglas Ave. They will be providing lunch and showing us about some of the innovative new products they carry. Don’t forget to bring your business card for a chance to win $100!

REMINDER: November 16th at 5:30 pm we have our FINAL  3-hour Code class at Ferguson. It’s almost filled up so please sign up asap if you want to attend.

Please feel free to email or call Cody at (316) 945-3481 or cody@hannainc.com with any concerns or questions.


xmas

KCCA Christmas Party!!

Wednesday December 15th, 2021 @ 6:15PMPrairie Pines Festivals
4055 N. Tyler Rd.
Maize, Ks 67101  

KCCA will be paying for a full member and their spouse

We will need you to RSVP by 
December 1st, 2021 
 
Please RSVP to our secretary, Judy Raaf at 722-8756 or email her at judykccaassn@gmail.com.


Education

We are back to in-person classes, classes will be held @ Ferguson.  Class dates are listed below.  Be on the look out for a seperate email with ALL the information about the classes and what the subjects will be.

The only class that isn’t full is November 16th, please get with Judy to get signed up and this will be the LAST class we offer this year.

Please note the changes:

Classes are back to in-person @ Ferguson

Payments for classes have to be made recieved by the Friday before class is being help (Example: class is on 9/14, payment has to be recieved by 9/10) this is to ensure we have a good head count for food.


KCCA $500 TOOL SCHOLARSHIP
The board revised the Tool Scholarship a little. KCCA wants the employee to be working for the KCCA member for 3 months before they are eligible for the $500 tool Scholarship. So in short the employee or employer need to submit application and proof of graduation from one of our local trade school after the employee has worked for them for 3 months.


October’s General Meeting

October’s general meeting was held at Union 441 and had 10 attend.  John Clark gave us a very interesting overview of the facility, what they offer, cost and a tour of the facility.  They will be moving to a bigger location soon, good luck.  Congratulations to Jeff Martinez from WTI was the BIG $100 winner @ October’s meeting.

Hope to see you @ future meetings!! All general meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of every month except August & December.


2021-2022 Meetings 

November       Tom Tallon @ BCS

December       Christmas Party

January           WTI @ WTI

February         Stoney w/MABCD 

March             Butler County Community College                       

@ BCCC in Rose Hill

April                Wichita City Mayor

May                WSU Tech @ WSU Tech

June               Tom Roberts

This list is subjust to change due to speakers not able to make the date we have selected for them.


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Lack of Microchips Creates Big Challenges for HVAC Industry

Higher end units hit the hardest by supply chain shortages

STRUGGLING WITH SUPPLY: Greg Fox, co-owner of Fox Family Heating and Cooling in Sacramento, California, searches everywhere for equipment, sometimes coming up empty.


Microchips are in computers, cars, phones, and air conditioners — even in shoes. They’re everywhere these days. Or they should be. Issues in the global supply chain left every industry scrambling to find the microchips they need for production. This creates challenges for HVAC contractors as they explain to customers why they have to wait longer and pay more for equipment.

Part of the shortage results from increased demand at the start of the pandemic. Many people added or upgraded electronics as they found themselves working and attending classes from home. Even exercise equipment bought to replace trips to the gym requires an array of microchips. Then people started buying cars. Even an economy automobile requires hundreds of microchips. Each of these items uses different types of chips, but they all come off the same assembly lines.

In normal times, a surge in demand would cause some temporary issues. It’s become a major and ongoing problem, in part because the factories that produce these chips face the same labor shortages as everyone else. So do the firms that supply the basic materials to make the chips, such as tungsten. Any additional mishap, such as a fire at a Japanese microchip plant or the winter storm in Texas, only creates more hurdles.

Chips Float Off The Coast

Even if factories meet demand, getting those chips shipped to the United States proves no easy task. Hundreds of ships float off the West Coast. The West Coast ports process about half of all the cargo imported into the U.S. via ships, with the Southern California Marine Exchange’s two ports seeing about a third of the nation’s seaborne shipments. The cargo containers on these ships hold everything from clothes to cars, and that includes microchips. A lack of dockworkers keeps those ships from getting unloaded, and a lack of truck drivers keeps the cargo from moving out once it’s off the ships. All this adds up to a difficult time finding equipment, especially units that require more microchips.

“The global microchip shortage is definitely impacting our industry, particularly with variable-speed motors and compressors, because they all have microchips as part of the controls standard,” said Mike Schwartz, CEO of Daikin Applied Americas, speaking at the company’s recent sales meeting.

Schwartz said Daikin’s factories have little warning of when a microchip delivery will fail to appear. Instead, they often don’t arrive or come up short.

“That creates huge problems, because then we have to shift schedules based on what parts are available to produce and build,” Schwartz said. “I’ve never seen anything like it in the industry, and I’ve been here almost 40 years.”

‘A Depleting Feeling’

Greg Fox, co-owner of Fox Family Heating and Cooling in Sacramento, California, said he made it through 2020 and started to see equipment grow more available going into the winter. Then he started feeling the effects of the shortage in the spring. Fox sells a lot of two-stage air conditioners, the kind that require more microchips. These soon were hard to find. Fox moved to his secondary lines, but these soon ran out as well.

“It’s hard enough to be able to sell the equipment,” Fox said. “But to not know if it’s going to be there once you make the order was really leaving us in the dark. We got to the point where we wouldn’t send a contract to the customer unless we had the equipment in hand.”

Customers understood for the most part, he said. They were hearing the same from many other vendors. Fox expanded the number of suppliers he used trying to source equipment.

“All summer long, we’re bouncing around from supplier to supplier, trying to stay loyal to our main distributor, but at the same time customers were saying, ‘Hey, I’ll take whatever you’ve got,’” he said.

Ductless units were the one type of equipment Fox found fairly easily. Now he’s running out of those just when there’s a major promotion.

“That’s such a depleting feeling,” Fox said.

Supply Remains Challenging Going Forward

Fox’s suppliers told him to plan for inventory levels being low into 2022. Tony Drew, general manager for trades at HD Supply, said at Service World Expo that no one really knows when the situation will improve. It’s probably very far away, Drew said.

“This has been a very difficult time to get our hands on product,” he said.

Drew said HVAC contractors need to start thinking about 2022 now. He recommends working with suppliers so they can help contractors reach their priorities.

Eventually, the supply situation will work itself out. The demand for microchips will continue to grow, however, as the Internet of Things grows and everything gets smarter. An economy car uses hundreds of microchips. An electric vehicle uses thousands.

The coronavirus pandemic made clear how easily a limited supply chain like that becomes disrupted. There are only a handful of microchip factories operating in the United States. President Biden is pushing to spend billions to increase microchip production at home and signed an executive order to support that through a review of the supply chain.

Even if the money were available right now, it would take a while to see any results. It takes at least two years to complete construction of a microchip factory. That means HVAC contractors will just have to work through the problems with everyone else for the immediate future.

“You just have to go with the ebbs and flows of this situation we’re all in,” Fox said.


Funny Photos


risk management corner

Inclement Weather Awareness While on the Job

The weather can be an unpredictable force, and try as we might, it’s impossible to perfectly foresee what Mother Nature will throw at us next, or how severe it may be. One of the main things to keep an eye out for is inclement weather, which is classified as any severe or harsh weather condition that makes it unsafe or impractical to travel, commute, or work outdoors.1
Any abnormal or harshclimatic conditions, such as severe snow, sleet, frigid temperatures, heavy rain, hurricanes, high winds, tornadoes, drought, and wildfires, all fall into the category of inclement weather. 

During these events, normal work of a non-emergency nature should be carefully evaluated, as it may not be reasonable or safe to be exposed to any of these conditions, or possible to continue working in a safe manner during regular working hours. 

Forecast Alerts
Pay attention to the National Weather Service as they issue watches, warnings, and advisories across various media channels. Listen and watch for sirens or alerts that may dictate if you and your employees should avoid travel, seek shelter, or be prepared to weather a storm for a period of time.

A Dangerous Commute
Wherever you work, severe weather can impact any type of travel. Driving already comes with plenty of risks, but a daily commute can turn even more dangerous as harsh weather sets in. If you live in a climate that often has high chances of inclement weather, preparing well in advance before it strikes is a good idea. Keep emergency kits in your vehicle, let others know your destination, and be sure your cell phone is charged in case you need to call emergency services. Remember, what may not be considered inclement weather in some parts of the country could be devastating in others. For example, consider
the impact of snow in southern states, where they lack snowplows and de-icing equipment.

Weather Procedures
You should prepare emergency preparedness procedures in advance of inclement weather to provide clarity for all employees. Avoid ambiguity, and create clear guidelines to follow so that employees know how to act or react. Consider things such as:
 Conveying communication protocols before a weather event occurs.
 Offering temporary remote work, if possible.
 Sheltering or evacuation procedures.
 Worker safety for those on location or working in the field.

Inclement weather can occur at any time, and has been increasing in severity and frequency in recent years.2 The impacts of inclement weather can be dangerous, devastating, and long-lasting. Knowing the signs and signals of inclement weather could
help to save lives. Pay attention to the weather forecast and plan in advance before you or your workers step outside.

1. https://www.alertmedia.com/blog/inclement-weather-policy/ February 9, 2021. Accessed on 8/16/2021.
2. https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/weather-climate Accessed on 8/23/2021.

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