Propane for Dummies: FAQ for Homeowners

by Powerblanket

If you’re like me, you didn’t care about the chemistry behind propane, you just wanted to grill some burgers. That was until your tank started freezing up and sucking your wallet dry. We’re here to help unveil your mysterious propane tank and put money back in your pocket.

What is Propane?

Propane, a clean-burning fuel, is an economical source of energy. Also called liquefied petroleum gas (LP or LPG), propane is a part of the hydrocarbon gas family, along with others like butane and methane (“wasn’t me!”). This means propane occurs as a natural gas and can be bottled, making it convenient to transfer with the right safety precautions. Many homes, cabins, RVs, and even tiny houses use propane as their primary source of energy.

Are Propane Heaters Safe?

The answer is yes! When used correctly, propane is one of the safest sources of energy out there. Understanding the nature of propane, the necessary safety precautions, and the different functions of the valves on your tank will help you feel more comfortable using it (See figure below).

Like your ex, propane is so cold, it acts hot. Since propane functions at temperatures much lower than most natural environments, it can cause freeze burns on your skin if it makes sustained contact. For this reason you should always wear protective gloves if you are dealing with your tank or valves, and wear protective eyewear if possible. Propane is flammable, so never have an open flame around your tank. If you are interested in heating your tank, there are certified propane tank heaters that can help.

One thing to be aware of is that manufacturers add a rotten egg or skunk smell to propane–which is naturally odorless–in order to alert users if there is a leak. Since it is possible to have a leak so small you can’t smell it, you should definitely install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Many fire alarms have CO detectors already built into them.

If you do start to smell something ripe and it’s not your dog or spouse, extinguish all flames, turn off the supply valve on your tank (if it’s safe), and leave the premises as soon as possible. Contact your supplier or a professional for assistance. If they are unavailable, call the police. Don’t try to handle propane on your own if you haven’t been trained professionally. Grab lunch and check out the new Marvel movie while things get cleared up!

Can Propane Freeze in Cold Weather? Propane Liquid Temperature

Just like how water boils into steam, liquid propane also boils into a gas. However, compared to water, the point where propane boils is much lower: it boils at -44 degrees Fahrenheit! When temperatures are below -44°F, propane gas condenses back into a liquid. Additionally, temperature change is tied to pressure change inside a propane tank: as temperatures increase, pressure inside propane tanks also increases. Thus the liquid propane expands as a gas. Decreased pressure also causes propane to condense back into a liquid. The colder the weather and lower the temperatures, the more dense and liquified propane becomes. This liquid state is inefficient: propane needs to be vaporized to pass through your supply lines!


Why is My Propane Tank Frosting Over? Can Propane Freeze in Cold Weather?

Many people are confused by the freezing point of propane because tanks will stop functioning in cold temperatures or start frosting over. Propane’s melting point is -306.4°F (-188 °C): below this point and propane will freeze into a solid. That is pretty bleeping cold. This means that, unless you’re in a research laboratory, liquid propane won’t freeze in any natural environment. It is, however, important to be aware that as propane vaporizes into a usable gas form, the temperature of the liquid left in the tank drops. If the heat of the weather outside is high, this will keep the pressure in your tank high and you’ll be good to go. But if temperatures outside are too low to keep pace with the cooling that is occurring inside the tank, frost will begin to form on the outside of the tank. This isn’t because the propane itself is freezing, but because its temperature is dropping below the temperature at which the water vapor outside freezes. This frost acts as insulation and resists any further heat from helping the situation. Frost can also form if there is a leak around your valves or lines, or if it is a particularly humid day.

How to Keep a Propane Tank from Freezing Up

Propane has a boiling point of -44°F, which means that in most normal climates propane is in a gaseous form. Like we mentioned before, this is important for the gas to be able to pass through the supply lines. As temperatures get colder and approach -44°F, propane gets denser and is less likely to perform at its maximum capacity. This, and the aforementioned frost that can develop on tanks, require some sort of insulation or heating. Without this, the life of the propane tank will shorten significantly, leading to pricy refills, exchanges, or even emergency visits from your propane distributor (accompanied by steep fees).

Gas Cylinder Blankets

No matter your tank size, Powerblanket® industrial-grade electric blankets provide you with a uniform barrier of heat across your entire tank. This heating solution lowers costs by optimizing temperatures and increasing your tank’s efficiency.

Powerblanket’s new residential product, Powerblanket lite, was released last year. With a few studies already in progress, we will have really powerful data in the near future on how these blankets help homeowners save big in the long run. Tune into this article toward the end of this season for an update on what we find. Powerblanket lite is an excellent and affordable option for homeowners who use propane. Stay tuned on how you can save money and increase the life of your propane!

For more information on your propane tank, download the free E-Book for homeowners and businesses!

Resin Curing Temperature

by Powerblanket

Resin curing + heat. This is something that isn’t discussed too much because, let’s be honest, it’s not a great selling point. The quicker and easier you can get your epoxy to cure the better, right? Resin curing temperature and curing time will vary depending on the mixture and manufacturer. While some systems are designed to ‘cure’ at room temperature, heat must be added for epoxies to reach optimal performance properties. Heat can be added via composite curing ovens, radiant heat, or epoxy curing blankets.

Types of Epoxy Resin Systems

There are probably several ways to categorize resin systems, but we’ll be focusing on two:

  1. One-part systems vs. two part systems
  2. Systems that cure at room temperature vs. those that require heat.

One-part systems vs. two part systems

While some systems are one part, most resin mixtures require two components. In one-part systems, heat is required to “kick-start” and maintain the curing process. More specifically, temperatures must be maintained around 250°F-350°F for a few hours (specific requirements vary).

Two part systems require the following elements: resin and a curing agent. Mixing the two initiates the chemical reactions necessary for curing.

Resin Curing Temperature: Room Temperature vs. Added Heat

As we’ve briefly touched on, heat requirements for epoxy curing vary from system to system. Quite often, all that’s required of two-part systems is mixing the resin and curing agent; the epoxy or composite is them able to finish curing at room temperature. However, some systems require additional heat. Again, the specific requirements of each system vary and can be obtained from the manufacturer.

Why Add Heat?

Knowing that room-temperature curing is an option, you might ask yourself “why would I want to go to the effort of adding heat during curing?” The key phrase here is “trade-off”. Adding heat usually means additional equipment and planning. However, epoxy mixtures that require heat boast the following properties:

  • Chemical resistance
  • Electrical insulation
  • Heat resistance

Hotter is Better!

It’s important to note that all epoxy mixtures (even those that ‘cure’ at room temperature) will technically not fully cure unless heat is added. Properly adding heat to systems designed to cure at room temperature will always boost the performance of the final product. However, curing at room temperature makes more sense when increased performance isn’t needed.

Let’s take a quick look at what this looks like in practice. Specifically, let’s look at how adding heat can increase the temperature resistance of a room-temperature cured system. Temperature resistance is measured by Glass Transition Temperature (Tg). Let’s say we have a room-temperature cured composite with a Tg of 100°C (212°F). When the composite is kept at 150°C (302°F), the Tg will increase by approximately 10-15°C (5-8°F). Keeping the product at the temperature for an additional 4 hours will increase the Tg by roughly an additional 5-8°C (1-4°F)


Many manufacturers use heat in a “post-cure” to achieve desired properties. This typically follows two simple steps:

    1. The epoxy is first left to cure at room temperature overnight. This allows the mixture to “gel” before heat is added. When heat is added to early, it can affect the viscosity. Drops in viscosity can cause the mixture to “run” and can lead to uneven texture in the final product.
    2. Heat is applied for a few hours. A good rule of thumb is to keep temperatures 50-100°C above the Tg of the epoxy. This “post-cure” boosts the epoxy’s performance without disrupting the texture or consistency.



Heat: What Are Your Options?

There are a few effective options for adding heat during the epoxy curing process. Knowing the pros and cons of each can help you determine which is best for your needs. 1

1. Curing Ovens

Composite curing ovens are a highly effective option that allow for precise and even temperature control. Additionally, ovens come in a variety of sizes; whatever needs to be cured, there’s an oven that can fit it. However, this option can be expensive to install and cannot be scaled up or down. Additionally, lack of mobility means projects must be transported to ovens for curing. 

2. Radiant Heaters

Radiant heaters are a more versatile and mobile option. They are notably less expensive than composite curing ovens and can be scaled up or down depending on the size of the project. Unfortunately, radiant heaters can cause uneven curing which leads to discoloration, bubbles, and brittle patches.

3. Heating Blankets

Heating blankets provide all the mobility and scalability of radiant heaters with significantly more precise and even temperature control. Unlike ovens, composite curing blankets allow the heat to be brought to the project (vs. transporting the project to a curing oven). This can save significant time and headache. For example, when repairs are done on wind turbine blades, rather than disassembling the turbine and transporting the blade to a curing oven, repairs can be done on the spot.


Powerblanket Epoxy Curing Blankets

Powerblanket Epoxy Curing Blankets utilize top-of-the-line heating technology to ensure even heat distribution throughout the curing process. Additionally, Powerblanket offers custom options; whatever your curing needs, we can help you develop a solution.

Pipeline Packaging: A Powerblanket® Partner

by Powerblanket

You’ll find heavy-hitting distributors like Pipeline Packaging are at the top of Powerblanket’s asset list. When it comes to getting our products to the people who really need them, companies like these are worth recognizing.

Pipeline Packaging: A Powerblanket Product Provider

A frontrunner in commercial and industrial packaging, Pipeline Packaging pushes everything from eye droppers to giant totes. Servicing an enormous range of industries, including HAZMAT, spill containment, health, beauty, food & beverage, paint, automotive, janitorial, pet and veterinarian, Pipeline has newly expanded their product line to Powerblanket heating and cooling solutions. (link to  “We’re thrilled to expand our offering to include Powerblanket products,” says Tim Winings, VP of Marketing and Sales at Pipeline. “Our footprint inside the industrial and food markets makes this arrangement exciting for both companies.” Powerblanket affirms the sentiment.


Founded in 1988, Pipeline has spread to 8 states and 10 offices, and over $100M in sales. With their people-centric vision they always consider “Customer First.” Servicing countless businesses in the United States, Powerblanket is excited to work in tandem with Pipeline Packaging. With its reputable history, reach, service, and variety, Pipeline Packaging is an invaluable partner for Powerblanket heating solutions to both of our customer bases throughout the country.

Powerblanket Heating Solutions at Pipeline Packaging Include:

  • Bucket Heaters
  • Tote Heaters
  • Barrel/Drum Heaters
  • Bulk Material Warmers
  • Cooling Solutions

Wind Damaged Shingles: What’s Really Wrong With My Asphalt Roof?

by Powerblanket

Asphalt shingles are the most used roof covering in the U.S. because of their affordability and versatility. However, there are many issues with asphalt roofing shingles that are misattributed to wind damage (Marshall, 2010). What some would call “wind damaged shingles,” are actually results of poor installation, natural aging and weathering, roofing in cold weather, contaminated glue, and expansion and contraction due to changes in climate. Read on to find what qualifies as wind damage and what doesn’t.

Wind Damage to Shingles

If you think you have a wind damaged roof, it could be helpful to know what actual wind damage to shingles look like and how it happens. For a shingle to be wind damaged, an uplift force from the wind has to occur. This causes a pressure dissimilar between the front and back faces of the shingle. The more the shingle lifts off the roof, the more surface area is exposed between the shingle and the roof, leading to a greater uplift force and faster degradation.

Wind Damaged Shingles

As wind blows, it will cause inward and outward pressures on the walls and roof of a building. Any force, including wind, will seek the path of least resistance. This means that when wind hits the side of a house it will move up and over the roof to continue flowing. As it passes the ledge it will create a suction force on the face of the roof, similar to what occurs with an aircraft wing. This is understandable since an aircraft is able to fly due to this uplift force; granted, with a smooth metal wing. On a roof, textured shingles begin to lift because of this turbulence and can cause issues over time. If any problems of faulty manufacturing, climate, or installation occur, this is especially true.

Wind Pressure on Asphalt Roof

A Note to Contractors

The highest uplift pressures on a roof are in areas of change, such as along corners, eaves, ridges, and rakes (Marshall, 2010). This means that it is particularly important to add additional anchoring in the areas of the most uplift.

Wind Damage Map of Roof

Climate Effects on Shingles

We can’t blame all roofing repair on the wind: some problems stem from environmental temperatures. When shingles start lifting in a uniform, diagonal stairway pattern, they are known as “racked.” When they lift in a straight-up line like a zipper, it is known as “zippering” (go figure!). These are usually a result of climatic expanding and contracting. This is self-evident, since wind blows in all directions, and wouldn’t lift shingles in a uniform fashion. In this case, the line where they lift typically follows the way the contractor installed them. If new roof installation happens in extreme conditions of cold or heat it won’t last as long either.

Other uniform roof anomalies include cupping and clawing, where shingles curl up around all edges of the tab (cupping), or suction downward on all edges (clawing). These most likely have to do with the uneven absorption of water and not with the wind.

Natural Wear On Shingles: How Long Does a Roof Last?

One study by the University of Florida revealed that lifted shingles were more likely due to “a systematic failure of the shingle’s sealant strip” than some other external factor (Dixon, 2013). This is because the sealant strip naturally loses adhesion over time. This natural occurrence leaves the shingle partially unsealed and susceptible to the uplift force of wind and rain. Dixon et al. (2014) observed that asphalt shingles typically stay sealed for 4 to 5 years, and then begin to naturally deteriorate. The average manufacturer’s estimate for an asphalt shingle roof lifespan is about 20 years. This number obviously fluctuates depending on location and weather conditions.

Wind Damaged Shingles

Faulty installation & Human Error

The study by Dixon et al. (2014) also found that unsealed shingles can occur from poor installation. 70% of roofs studied showed errors including debris in the sealant strip, under-driven nails, and release tape that was accidentally stuck to the sealant strip from packaging mistakes. These roofs all had a distinct pattern in their damage, meaning they didn’t result from wind (Dixon, 2013). Sealant for roofing needs to be handled properly to ensure an optimal seal when installing shingles. Contamination to a shingle’s sealant strip can also happen in industrial areas where exhaust or chemical residues are abundant. This can affect a roof even more than weather conditions (2014).

If you’re trying to verify your roofing warranty, it is important to know whether the weather, contractors, or manufacturing are the culprit behind your roofing damage. Don’t let lack of knowledge keep you from having a reliable, economical, and overall good roof!


Craig R. Dixon. “The Influence of Unsealing on the Wind Resistance of Asphalt Shingles.” Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics. Vol. 130. Elsevier. 2014. pp. 30-40.

“Procedure for an Evaluation of Wind Damage to Shingles.” Prugar Consulting, Inc. Accessed October 11, 2018.

RCI. “Misconceptions of Wind Damage to Asphalt Composition Shingles.” RCI, Inc. June 07, 2018. Accessed October 09, 2018.

T.P. Marshall, S. Morrison, R. Herzog, and J. Green. “Wind Effects on Asphalt Shingles.” 29th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology. American Meteorological Society. 2010. Hyannis, MA. p. 11.

“What Roof Lasts the Longest?” What Roof Lasts the Longest? – Roofing Southwest. Accessed October 12, 2018.

August 2018 Power Manufacturer: Grip6

by Powerblanket

August 2018 Power Manufacturer: Grip6

Out of Draper, Utah, Grip6 is making a name for themselves through revolutionary, minimalist, recyclable belts. After speaking with Founder BJ Minson, it’s clear to see why. Their ingenuity in the manufacturing process and inventive design makes them Powerblanket’s winner for August’s Power Manufacturers Award.

Origin Story

Grip6 began as BJ Minson’s desire to get design experience after completing his engineering degree. He started making products for himself, including a belt that shed typical notch and buckle conventions. After giving them as gifts to friends and family, word spread quickly. As a result, he created a kickstarter project and soon had over 10,000 orders.

Initially, Grip6 wanted to outsource domestically to US manufacturers, but high prices led Minson to continue producing the belts in-shop. This was even more possible due to his engineering background, which led him to design his own production machines. Swarmed with positive feedback, people began asking, “Where’s your website? I want more.” Minson decided to take things to the next level.

The Belt

Image result for grip6Without bulky buckles, pins, prongs, or screws, Grip6 belts redefine minimalism. They use a reinforced, anodized, aluminum buckle and a Nylon 6,6 strap. According to Grip6, “Nylon 6,6 is more rigid [than traditional Nylon 6], has better tensile strength, has superior abrasion resistance, and can withstand higher temperatures before melting.” With an almost indestructible product, Grip6 gives a lifetime guarantee (or “guaran-damn-tee”). Clearly, long-lasting quality is top priority for Grip6, along with style and function.

Unique Manufacturing

Economically-minded and future oriented, Grip6 feels strongly about local manufacturing. After four years of working with various manufacturers in the US, they were left wanting: from slower delivery, to lower product quality, they determined they could do better. With custom-created manufacturing equipment, they efficiently quadrupled their production using the same number of employees. They created better quality products at a lower cost than anyone else, producing close to what a Chinese company would turn out if they were to outsource. In addition, Chinese import tariffs don’t affect Grip6, giving them an edge on the competition.

Powerblanket appreciates Grip6’s process and philosophy as they challenge the status quo. They have taken success into their own hands. Though BJ Minson wouldn’t say so; his humility surrounding the company’s success is heartfelt.

How Many Gallons of Propane in a 100 Pound Propane Tank?

by Powerblanket

It probably goes without saying, but a 100 lb propane tank is designed to hold 100 pounds of propane. Because propane is stored and delivered as a liquid, it can be helpful to know what this looks like in terms of gallons.  While there’s a fairly simple answer, there are a few different factors that can affect how many gallons are in a 100 pound propane tank.

The Simple Answer

To put it simply, there are 0.236 gallons per pound of propane (at 60°F).

So, 0.236 gallons x 100 pounds = 23.6 gallons

A 100 lb tanks contains 23.6 gallons

Other Factors

Additional factors don’t add a significant difference to the total volume of 100 pounds of propane, but are interesting to consider.

Water Capacity

Each gas cylinder will have a water capacity number stamped on the collar (it will be something like WC 240). This is the total mass of liquid, stated in pounds, that a cylinder could hold if filled entirely with water.

However, when filled with propane, gas cylinders can only be filled up to 42% of the water capacity (this is to accommodate for the fluctuations in tank pressure as temperatures change)

For this example, 240 (water capacity) x 0.42 (max. capacity)= 100.8 pounds

So our tank can actually hold a maximum of 100.8 lb.

As stated above, we know that each pound of propane is 0.236 gallons.

0.236 gallons x 100.8 pounds = 23.789 gallons

Again, this doesn’t make a huge difference, but is still a factor to consider.

How Temperature Affects Tank Pressure

The examples above assume an ambient temperature of 60°F. At this temp, a “full” tank would produce a reading of about 40% on a tank gauge. When temperatures drop, however, that reading will go down. This is not because there is less usable propane in the tank, the propane has just become more dense or compact and the volume has decreased. The reverse happens as temperatures rise; the tank gauge reading will go up, but it’s still the same weight of propane in the tank– the molecules have just become more spread out.

What Happens When Tanks Get Cold?

While there is still the same usable amount of propane in a cold tank, the lower pressure can cause tanks to stop working properly. Keeping tank pressure up may require more frequent refills; even when there is still “usable” propane in the tank, the volume is not high enough and additional propane must be added to bring tank pressure back up.

Heated propane tank wraps can keep you from having to make time consuming and expensive refills by raising your tank temperature and, consequently, your tank pressure. If you frequently use propane during cold weather months, they’re definitely worth checking out! (Give us a call at 888.316.6324 if you have any questions!)

How Does a Ground Heater Work?

by Powerblanket

If you participate in projects that require digging or pouring concrete during cold weather, you’ve probably used or considered using  ground heaters. Ground heaters can extend working seasons into the winter and make tasks otherwise complicated by low temps a bit easier. They can be used to thaw frozen ground, cure concrete, and even to warm up surrounding air temperatures. How ground heaters work depends on which type of ground heater you’re using; the most common are hydronic heaters and heated blankets. Hydronic heaters work by heating a propylene glycol mixture and pumping it through long loops of hose that are placed over the area to be heated. Heated blankets work via heating elements that run through the blanket and distribute heat over the surface of the blanket.

Why Use Ground Heaters?

As mentioned earlier, there are a few good reasons to look into using a ground heater.

1. Thaw Frozen Ground

Even with power tools, digging through frozen ground is unnecessarily time consuming and labor intensive (and without power tools, it’s pretty much impossible). Not to mention, most specifications prevent teams from placing concrete on frozen ground. Without ground heaters, that could mean pushing pause on all concrete projects for months at a time! Using a heater will make digging a (relative) breeze and keep operations running all winter long.

2. Cure Concrete

Concrete curing involves a chemical reaction that requires fairly specific temperatures. When temperatures aren’t high enough (above 40-50°F), the necessary chemical reactions will slow down and the concrete can essentially stop curing.

According to the American Concrete Institute (ACI), when concrete is poured at or below 42°F, there must be heat protection for an adequate cure.

Ground heaters can keep concrete at ideal temperatures during the entire curing process and help achieve max cure strength.

How do Ground Heaters Work?

Hydronic Heaters

Hydronic heaters are portable and can be rented out for projects or bought (a better option if you’ll be using a heater frequently). They use a propylene glycol mixture to heat large areas of ground. Here’s how they work:

  1. A boiler heats the propylene glycol mixture (this mixture effectively conducts heat).
  2. The heated mixture is pumped through a length of hose that is laid in loops over the area to be heated.
  3. A vapor barrier is used to cover the hoses and to keep moisture from escaping.
  4. Typically, Insulated blankets are also laid over the vapor barrier.

Heated Blankets

Heated blankets offer all the portability and convenience of hydronic heaters and then some — they take less time to install and remove and, because they take up less space, are easier to transport.

Instead of long loops of hose and a propylene glycol mix, heated blankets use electric heating elements that run through the blanket and heat the ground surface.

  1. The blanket is spread out over the area to be heated and plugged in.
  2. Electricity powers the heating elements that run through the blanket.
  3. Heated blankets typically include an insulating top layer that traps heat and keeps the blanket working even more efficiently.

Powerblanket provides ground heating blankets including ground thawing blankets and concrete curing blankets. If you’re interested in these heating options, please give us a call at 888.316.6324.  We’d be happy to answer any questions!

May 2018 Power Manufacturer: Black Rifle Coffee Company

by Powerblanket

May 2018 Power Manufacturer: Black Rifle Coffee Company

Black Rifle Coffee Company, from the heart of Salt Lake City, UT,  is May’s Powerblanket Power Manufacturer. We have featured companies in the past who manufacture taffy, rustic doors that double as art, composites and custom bikes. Now the spotlight shines on a company creating the bitter brilliance that most people rely on to get them out of bed every morning. Coffee.


Black Rifle Coffee Company is a veteran-owned coffee company that produces some of the highest quality coffee ever made. CEO and founder, Evan Hafer, started BRCC in order to provide a high-quality roast to the pro-2A and veteran communities. He worked between deployments to create the perfect roast and also improve his firearm skills. After over a decade of researching, refining and drinking coffee, he decided to combine his two passions. Thus, Black Rifle Coffee Company was born and coffee has never been the same.  “I take pride in the coffee we roast, the veterans we employ, and the causes we support,” said Evan Hafer, CEO.


Over the past three years, Black Rifle Coffee has grown from a basement-run business to a 30 million dollar company. How? BRCC not only takes special interest in the quality of the coffee they roast, but also to their customer base. THey have expanded their roasting and distribution operations in order to be closer to the customers. This way they ensure high quality, roasted-to-order coffee that is delivered as quickly as possible. BRCC customers enjoy the freshest brew possible. BRCC has every kind of roast, from light roast to extra dark and even cold brews.


Coffee is not this company’s only priority. At Black Rifle, they strongly focus on supporting veteran employment and helping veteran entrepreneurs succeed. Mohammad Wali Tasleem and Evan (CEO) met years ago in Afghanistan where they worked together for over a decade. When Wali moved to the United States, he went from being a dedicated Commando to a gas station cashier working very hard to support his family of seven. Not long after, Evan heard about Wali’s situation and that Wali was coming to Salt Lake City for a tour. Evan knew before Wali got there that he was going to offer him a job.  THey welcomed Wali with a steady income and a fully furnished house.


From shirts, hats, and hoodies to mugs, tumblers, and top-notch coffee makers, Black Rifle Coffee Company is going above and beyond to guarantee their customers have everything they need to enjoy the perfect brew. All of their shirts are printed in-house to maintain quality product outcome.


BRCC produces a publication called Coffee or Die Magazine where they post articles that are “rich with content”.  Marty Skuvland Jr., executive editor of Coffee or Die Magazine, guarantees that the stories in this magazine are “original, compelling and well-written”. When reading Black Rifle’s online magazine, the reader will enjoy interesting and honest stories.



BRCC is all about teamwork. When it comes to building a strong and driven environment, Black Rifle suggests, “Build a team of leaders in their specific expertise, and find mentors who are willing to help you succeed and charge forward without fear.”. So far, that seems to be working very well for them as they continue to grow as more than just a coffee roasting company. Not only does Black Rifle earn this award because of their manufacturing abilities, but also because of the amazing culture they have and continue to create.  



April 2018 Power Manufacturer:  Fezzari

by Powerblanket

April 2018 Power Manufacturer:  Fezzari Bicycles

Fezzari saw that buying a good bike at a good value was an ordeal. Chris Washburn, Fezzari founder, repeatedly saw that people were improperly fit for their bike, or simply riding a bike that was the wrong size altogether for years without even knowing it. The industry was in desperate need of change..  In April, Jordan Washburn, Fezzari Sales/Marketing Experience Engineer, shared some insight into how Fezzari addressed this issue within the bicycle industry and what qualities make this Utah bike manufacturer a power manufacturer.

Who is Fezzari?

Active, passionate people excited to help others experience and love cycling make up the Fezzari team. Based in the heart of some of the best biking in the world, from the Utah slickrock trails in Moab to the  pine-filled peaks in the Wasatch Mountains, the team actively rides the trails and roads. Fezzari supports biking, adventures, the outdoors, and healthy lifestyles. Making the world a healthier place through fitness, fun, socialization, healthy living, and getting back to nature is a major focus. They support individuals and people who push their limits and overcome obstacles to achieve their goals, and are an active supporter of grassroots biking clubs, like high school biking leagues.

How It Started

Fezzari wasn’t founded by a Tour de France champion or a massive company. Chris Washburn was a successful attorney and businessman, but was traveling non-stop. He missed his kids’ soccer games and family time. One day he said, “There’s got to be more to life than this.” He stopped everything and changed course, going back to one of his passions and with the desire to have a positive impact on the world. He started Fezzari in his garage with the vision that quality and experience come first. It has quietly grown to become one of the largest rider-direct bicycle brands.  

Fezzari Changed the Bike

Fezzari  made it personal. The rider comes first. With the Fezzari experience, every bike is custom built and personally fit to each rider’s body measurements and riding style. Fezzari also decided to sell rider-direct (consumer-direct) to ensure the best service, quality, and attention to detail, and then passing the savings on to the rider. 

A Better Biking Experience

“Once you own a Fezzari, you are part of the family.”  From choosing the right bike with the support of their expert team, to custom building the bike to each rider’s measurements, Fezzari makes satisfaction a number one priority.  They also provide post-sale support with the No Risk Just Ride Guarantee and Lifetime Warranty. 

Every Step Counts

Fezzari is proud of their engineering, design work and actual bike building. Every step, from birth to real riding, takes place within Fezzari:  

  • Bike idea
  • Rough sketches
  • Nailing the geometry numbers so that the bike rides well
  • 3D drawings
  • Alloy prototypes and 3D plastic printed frames
  • Real working prototypes,
  • Production and building and shipping


Fezzari is excited about wo new carbon bikes that will launch within the next couple of months that went through this exact process over the course of the last two years!

Get out and ride this spring


“With each new design and concept we don’t want to make it best bike we’ve ever made, but we shoot for building the best bikes in the industry.  We are proud of that and also the fact that we started selling bikes out of our garage, and now ship thousands of bikes around the world each year.  Ironically 68% of our business is repeat and referral business, which in this industry is insane. We focus on making amazing product and providing amazing service so that the customers are just as proud of Fezzari as we are and naturally spread the word.”

Staying Relevant

The key to maintaining and evolving in the industry is to make sure Fezzari products are always evolving. Luckily, Fezzari was ahead of the curve when it comes to selling consumer-direct, because many have followed their lead. But in an age where other companies are now jumping on board, they distinguish themselves by offering a complete experience that no other company can touch through programs such as:  best-in-class bikes, customer service, Love it or Return it Guarantee, and Lifetime Warranty on all frames. . Fezzari strives to make the buying experience as seamless as possible and provides bikes that riders will enjoy for life.

High Praise

Fezzari has received praise and great reviews from industry experts over the years, which has only fueled their growth and popularity. More importantly however, they pride themselves on the great reviews they get from customers, that’s what drives and motivates Fezzari.


Power Manufacturer AwardFezzari Bicycles is our fourth winner of the Power Manufacturer of the Month Award. Check out some of our other winners for great examples of the manufacturing culture and diversity we have here in the State of Utah. Have a small manufacturing company in mind that you think would qualify as a Power Manufacturer? Let us know in the comments!


March 2018 Power Manufacturer: Rock West Composites

by Powerblanket

Power Manufacturer AwardMarch 2018 Power Manufacturer: Rock West Composites

From taffy to custom barn doors, we now move on to the world of composites.  Manufacturing is a broad and diverse industry, and through the Power Manufacturing Award, we hope to represent the many different industries that demonstrate manufacturing excellence.

Rock West Composites

Rock West Composites, our Power Manufacturer of the Month for March,  operates from a 66,000 sq. ft. office/manufacturing facility located in West Jordan, Utah. Rock West fabricates stock and custom composite tubes, plates, rods, angles, shapes, and connectors in addition to offering a variety of complementary products. They are a full-service supplier for composite products. Rock West offers services from initial engineering and product development to prototyping to low and high volume production.

Rock West manufactures products made from advanced composite materials such as carbon fiber, fiberglass, and aramids and have expertise in every imaginable composite fabrication process, including but not limited to roll wrapping, filament winding, bladder molding, silicone expansion molding, and vacuum bagging.

Employee Owned

Their highly experienced and entrepreneurial team is growing fast, and yet is still small enough to be nimble and maintain streamlined cost structures. Rock West’s motto is “Aerospace expertise. Commercial pricing.” They are proud to deliver daily on that motto.

Rock West is employee-owned, is self-funded, and has been growing at over a 20% year-over-year compounded growth rate. They re-invest in the business each year by expanding, purchasing new equipment, and hiring new talent to make sure they stay on the growth curve.

Industry Leader

Rock West is an industry leader because of their custom work, and they also have a thriving Ecommerce business selling manufactured product and other complementary merchandise: tubes, plates, panels, materials and manufacturing supplies. Industries such as aerospace and defense, industrial, scientific, oil and gas, consumer products and sporting goods all benefit from Rock West products.  They are proud to be AS9100D / ISO 9001:2015 certified. 

Advice from Rock West

Rock West CEO, Jim Gormican said, “Make sure you have a product that is differentiated in the marketplace. Hire great people and reward them for their performance. Monitor orders, sales and profit monthly and adjust as needed. Focus on innovation and solving your customers’ problems.”  This is great advice for anyone looking to find success–products and people are what make manufacturing happen and solving problems makes customers happy.

In addition to Rock West Composites in Utah, they have a composites manufacturing facility in San Diego. Rock West Solutions in Santa Barbara, CA, develops high-fidelity sensor systems.


Our Company Culture

by Powerblanket

A company’s culture is the values, practices, and beliefs held by its team members. Culture is demonstrated in the words, actions, and decisions made by each member of an organization. Some companies may have a culture of teamwork and open communication while others have a culture of competition and hierarchy.

Manufacturing Company Culture

At Powerblanket, we’ve worked hard to analyze and clearly define our company’s values and beliefs. We’ve taken time to consider our business’ focus, the organization of our business, the “why” behind what we do, and, finally, we’ve determined what our most important values are. Doing so has brought out the creativity, critical thinking, and passion within each of our team members and fostered an environment of motivation and collaboration.


The Shingo Model

Shingo Model

The Shingo Model is a business organization method that keeps company culture at the center. It provides organizations with guiding principles to use as they fine-tune their current systems and tools to achieve desired results. This model recognizes that a business is made up of people and that a company should be organized with them in mind. We’ve utilized the Shingo Model at Powerblanket with great success.


Guiding Principles

Shingo Guiding Principles

The following are the guiding principles of the Shingo method that we’ve used to refine the systems and tools we have in place.


  • Cultural Enablers- Lead with humility, respect every individual
  • Continuous Improvement-Seek Perfection, Embrace Scientific Thinking, Focus on Process, Assure Quality at the Source, Flow & Pull Value
  • Enterprise alignment- Think Systemically Create Constancy of Purpose
  • Results- Create Value for the Customer


(You can get more info on the Shingo Model and Shingo Guiding Principles here)

Systems and Tools


At our company, we’ve established the following systems and tools that achieve our desired results while keeping our organization’s culture a top priority:

  • Pull System- our products are made as our customers need them
  • Standard Work- We have established best practices for each manufacturing process
  • Cross-training chart- we use skill charts to identify any areas of improvement for our staff
  • Problem solving/brainstorming tools- when an issue arises, we work together to refine our system
  • Value streams- we map out each step necessary to create our product so we can eliminate any wase and ensure the highest value
  • Quality programs- we utilize programs that help us monitor the quality of our work.


The results we’ve achieved by following guiding principles and utilizing our tools and systems are remarkable. Our sales have increased by 19% year over year. Our cost of goods sold as a percent of sales has decreased by 4.6, and our direct labor as a percent of sales has decreased by 0.7%. We reduced our OH by 9% and RMA from 0.75% down to 0.25%.Our success has earned us the Utah Manufacturer of the Year as well as the 2017 AME Manufacturing Excellence Award.


Focusing On the Why

A powerful tool to help fuel a strong company culture is to focus on the “why.” At surface level, Powerblanket is a small company making heated blankets to keep things from freezing. Not too exciting, huh? It’s when we dig into the “why,” however, that we really give our employees something to get passionate about. At Powerblanket, we help save jobs! We help our people discover, develop, and share their strengths! When we focus on this and not just heated blankets, we give everyone at our operation a familiar idea to rally around.


Focusing on Culture

Company culture starts with leadership. An organization’s leader can talk the talk, but if he or she doesn’t walk the walk, others will follow suit.

Frequently, values define a company’s culture. At Powerblanket, our top three values, clarity, trust, and passion, drive each of our decisions and help us create goals and plans that move us forward.  


Powerblanket’s Top Three Values




“Clarity is power- the more clear you are about exactly what it is you want; the more your brain knows how to get it” (anonymous). We strive for clear communication among team members. We take time to define our goals and plans and to ensure that everyone is on the same page. By clearly communicating and reviewing our goals and expectations, we are better able to meet them and enjoy shred success.




At Powerblanket, we foster an environment of vulnerable trust. We want each of our team members to feel comfortable asking questions, admitting when they’ve made a mistake, and asking for help. Each person recognizes the value of help from others. We realize that we can accomplish much more together than we could individually.




We go out of our way to hire passionate people and believe that everyone can be a high performer. Everyone can be a creative, critical thinker. If one of our team members is struggling to find their passion, we encourage and help them.  


“We are changing from the year of customer service to the year of the employees. If you have happy employees, you then will have happier customers. “ Forbes

Powerblanket Today

Our values, “why,” and “True North”(desired destination) influence every decision we make at Powerblanket. They are apparent in the actions of each of our employees and move us in the right direction. By making strenuous and deliberate efforts, we’ve created a business culture that inspires greatness within each of our team members and allows us to enjoy shared success every day.

Lessons Learned

Working to develop a company culture that inspires passion and critical thinking is not an easy process. Here are just a few lessons we’ve learned along the way:

  • Everyone in the company needs to be incentivized; financially and with exciting activities.
  • It’s important to work out your performance problems immediately.
  • Management has two jobs: set the vision and remove obstacles (and then get out of the way!)
  • You have to “hire” your culture.


What is Shortening in Baking?

by Powerblanket

What is Shortening?

While technically shortening is any fat that is solid at room temperature, “shortening” typically refers specifically to hydrogenated vegetable oils. Shortening gets its name from the effect it has on gluten production; the fats shorten gluten strands, making baked goods tender and flaky.


How Shortening is Made

Vegetable shortening is made via a hydrogenation process. An extra hydrogen atom is added to vegetable oils which creates a solid fat.

Why Shortening is Great for Baking

Because shortening is 100% fat (butter is only 80% fat) it typically produces the most tender and crumbly results. Shortening can be melted or softened and creamed into a dough or batter (think cake or cookies). It can also be kept solid and cut into mixtures like pie crust for flaky results. It has a higher melting point than butter and doesn’t require refrigeration; this is great news for cake decorators who want frosting to hold up in warmer temperatures.

Shortening Substitutes

Vegetable shortening can be replaced by just about any other solid fat. Each option, however, will slightly affect the taste and texture of baked goods. Butter adds delicious flavor to pastries and other baked goods. However,  if mixtures become too warm the water in butter can toughen the gluten in your batter or dough. Lard is another great substitution option but may add unwanted flavor.


Shortening and Temperature

When baking pastries, it’s typically best to keep shortening at room temperature (68-72°F).  For home bakers, this often means finding ways to keep shortening cool; ovens can heat up a kitchen significantly during the baking process. For commercial bakers who use large, unheated storage rooms or who need to soften large amounts of shortening, a heating option might be required.


Powerblanket Hot Boxes

Powerblanket Hot Boxes can be a great addition to your commercial baking equipment. Whether you need to keep shortening from getting too cold in storage or soften a large quantity, hot boxes allow you to uniformly heat your bulk materials. They are installed quickly and effortlessly and are easy to remove and store. Call us today at 888.316.6324 for more info.



February 2018 Power Manufacturer:  Rustica Hardware

by Powerblanket

February 2018 Power Manufacturer:  Rustica Hardware

Power Manufacturer AwardRustica Hardware, of Springville, UT–the Art City, , is our featured Power Manufacturer for February. Rustica is the second manufacturer to win the Power Manufacturer of the Month Award by Powerblanket. Although they seem to have little in common with our first winner, Taffy Town, Rustica Hardware shows that manufacturing is not a stereotypical industry. We started this campaign to spread the word about the manufacturing industry and the businesses who are making an impact in it, regardless of the specific industry or business model. Rustica Hardware is definitely making an impact, and are doing some very exciting things to set them apart as a Power Manufacturer. 

Like many companies, Rustica Hardware began with a wish and a dream.  The founders, Kate and Paul Alan, loved cabins and rustic furniture and decor.  As they created and explored their options, they found that beautiful doors and hardware were the niche that fueled their fire.  Eleven years from it’s conception, Rustica Hardware is a thriving manufacturing business with a very bright future.  Ben Lewis, Chief Marketing Officer, spent some time helping us to become more familiar with Rustica Hardware and their specific vision.

It’s Not Just a Door

If you were to walk into any mill or metal shop typically they will tell you,  “We make doors, cabinets, hardware, etc.”  That is the product base at Rustica; however, if you were to ask what they do, they would say, “We make functional art that brings soul to people’s living spaces”. This one-liner puts into perspective how they are different and reminds them why they are successful. They envision, create, and manufacture functional art, not doors. So if the product prepared for shipping isn’t inspiring, it doesn’t ship. Rustica Hardware promises quality, speed, and an artistic aesthetic with every single product–that’s what makes them different. 

Mass Customization 

An idea that they have built their facility around is “mass customization”. Because they offer so many different options and to ensure the product will bring soul to the intended living space, they had to create a machine unlike any other in the market to accommodate totally custom requests with short lead times. “We will proudly turn around a totally custom door in two-three weeks, and a totally custom hardware set in just three-five business days,” said Lewis.  The facility’s layout accommodates huge quantities of this speedy customization every single day, which is something they are very proud of.

What Keeps Rustica Hardware on Top

Their approach to business, creation, and manufacturing really hasn’t changed much since they began. Their primary focus has always been to create products that move and inspire people.  The only difference now is that they have expanded to meet the huge demand for their products. They value their people and have scaled up with the most talented people in the industry to ensure they can create products quickly and of the highest quality imaginable.

Award Winner

Rustica Hardware has received numerous trade/home show awards.  They are a Utah “Best in State” company for the door and hardware industry. They have been honored as as Best of Houzz and many others. On top of that, their products have appeared on many home improvement shows featured on HGTV, DIY network, and FYI. Their products have also made the big screen as parts of sets for major motion pictures.

Advice from Rustica Hardware

Lewis said, “Find a lane and stick to it. There is always the temptation to try to be something to everyone, but when you do that you risk being nothing to no one. Avoid the call to offer your products below their value. It will be a longer road to success by maintaining your standards, but it will build your company on a firmer foundation to cultivate customers who are actual fans of your brand.”

In the Future

Rustica Hardware has recently been filmed to potentially get their own renovation TV show on the A&E network. According to Lewis, “Nothing is set in stone yet, but it’s looking very possible that millions of viewers, from all over the US, could be tuning into the Utah manufacturing scene weekly.”


Checklist for Winterizing Your RV

by Powerblanket

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or brand-new RV adventurer, you likely take time to make sure your mobile vacation home is in tip-top shape.  During winter months, this means properly winterizing your RV (including winterizing RV water lines) to prevent thousands of dollars in damages. Even if you’re opting out of season-long storage and taking your RV on cold-weather adventures, it’s important to keep your RV properly protected against freezing temperatures while it’s not hooked up. The following RV winterizing checklist will keep your RV stored safely or running smoothly through the winter so it will be ready for fun summer adventures!

Before you begin winterizing your RV, make sure you have the following items:

  • Non-toxic RV antifreeze. The amount will vary depending on the length of your plumbing lines, but 2-3 gallons will typically get the job done.
  • Wrench to remove drain plugs.

The following steps should apply to most RV makes and models; however, consult your user manual before winterizing to familiarize yourself with any specific requirements your RV has.

Click here for a printable version of this checklist!

Step 1: Draining Your RV

  • Remove and bypass any inline water filters.
  • Drain fresh water, black and gray holding tanks.
  • Flush black and gray holding tanks with built in flushing system or use a cleaning wand. Lubricate termination valves with WD 40.
  • Drain water heater by removing the drain plug and opening the pressure relief valve. NEVER drain water heater when it’s hot or pressurized.
  • Open all hot and cold faucets (don’t forget outside shower and toilet valve!)
  • Open low point drain lines (there will be one for both  hot and cold water lines.) You can use a water pump to help move water out– turn it off as soon as the system is drained.
  • Close all faucets and recap all drains.

Step 2: Winterizing RV Water Lines with Antifreeze

  • Bypass the water heater. (If a bypass kit is not installed, the water heater will fill up with antifreeze before it goes through the water lines; this wastes 6 gallons of antifreeze!)
  • Install a water pump converter kit or disconnect the inlet side of the water pump (the line coming from the fresh water holding tank) . Connect tubing from the water pump inlet into a  1 gallon container of antifreeze.
  • Turn on the water pump and allow system to pressurize. Starting with the closest faucet, gradually open hot and then cold valves until antifreeze trickles out. Replace the antifreeze jug as required. Repeat this step on all faucets from the closest to the farthest away (including the outside shower, if applicable).
  • Flush the toilet until antifreeze appears in the bowl.
  • Turn off the water pump and open a faucet to depressurize.
  • Pour a cupful of antifreeze down each drain and a couple of cups in the toilet bowl and flush into the holding tank.

Step 3: Preparing for Storage

  • Make sure any electric heating elements are turned off. This will protect the heater if the unit is plugged in while being stored.
  • Double check that all faucets are closed.
  • If your unit contains a washing machine and/or ice maker, consult your user manual for winterizing specifics.

Click here for a printable version of this checklist!

Winter RVing

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to be familiar with proper winterization steps, even if you plan on using your RV through the winter. Longtime RVers recommend traveling with water lines winterized when temperatures will be below freezing and using jugs of water for cooking, drinking, and showering. If temperatures won’t be too extreme, you can bypass full-on winterizing and add about a quart of RV antifreeze to black and grey holding tanks.


Winter RVing with Propane

If your RV relies on propane tanks for heat, winter weather poses a special challenge. Cold temperatures will affect your tank pressure and cause you to go through propane fairly quickly. This means you should either camp close to a propane refill station or bring extra tanks with you. Alternatively, you can utilize a safe tank heating option such as PBL30 from Powerblanket. This saves significant time and resources by keeping your propane tank functioning at optimal pressure and minimizing refills.


Using Propane for Cabins

by Powerblanket

Propane for Cabins

For remote cabin dwellers, finding a dependable energy source can be tricky. Electric service can be unreliable and generators lack the necessary power to keep lights, heaters, ovens, etc. running at the same time.


Enter propane.


Using propane for cabins or remote homes is safe (for you and the environment)and convenient! While some folks choose to use propane as an energy backup, others have successfully used it to live 100% off the grid.



Some people may be wary about using propane due to safety concerns. However, as with any other power source, it’s perfectly safe so long as it’s used properly. For propane, this means propane tank storage should be outside and using propane appliances that ventilate to outside the cabin/home. Furthermore, it’s recommended that carbon monoxide detectors be installed in living spaces that use propane for power or heat.


A single propane tank can effectively power everything you need for comfortable living at the cabin. It can power any home appliance or other accessories as long as the appliance is designed for propane. Propane-powered appliances include ovens, stovetops, refrigerators, freezers, clothes dryers, central heating, water heaters, outdoor grills, room heaters,  generators, and more.

How Long Does a Propane Tank Last?

Figuring out how long a propane tank will last is pretty simple; you just need to know how many pounds or gallons of gas are in your full tank and the BTU/hr requirement of your appliance(s).


For example, 20 pounds of propane could keep a stovetop burner with a BTU of 7000/hr going on full blast for 62 hours. (20 x 21,810 BTUs=436,200 BTUs, 436,200 BTUs ÷ 7000 BTUs/hr= 62.3 hr)


It’s recommended that you use a commercial propane tank (100 lb or more) if you plan on heating and/or using multiple appliances powered by propane over an extended amount of time. Larger propane tanks will run more smoothly during temperature changes and will minimize propane tank refills, making things much easier for you.


Does propane have a freezing point?

If you’re planning on using propane as an energy source during cold winter months, this question may have crossed your mind.


Propane can freeze… at -306.4°F.


So, it’s not really something you need to worry about. You do, however, need to worry about propane’s boiling point, -43.6°F. Under this temperature, propane will stop evaporating, which means your propane tank will completely stop working. Even when cold temperatures aren’t quite that extreme, propane tanks might struggle to keep up (this is especially true with smaller tanks). Cold weather will affect the pressure of propane tanks, causing you to go through propane quickly or for your tank to become faulty. When it’s cold outside, it’s smart to keep the snow from accumulating on top of exposed propane tanks and allowing the sun to help warm them.

Propane Tank Heaters

When using propane for cabins, tank heaters are a reliable option for keeping your propane tank operating smoothly. Powerblanket offers top of the line, maintenance free gas cylinder heaters that will keep your tank running efficiently, even when ambient temperatures are less than ideal.

If you’re looking for an effective solution to warming your cabin’s propane tanks, we recommend you check out the PBL 420, PBL 500, or PBL1k 1000. These products from the Powerblanket Lite line feature a less expensive price tag without losing much performance. Call us today at 888.316.6324 for more info. We’d love to help answer any questions you have and help you find the perfect heating solution!

Taffy Town, January Power Manufacturer

by Powerblanket

Taffy Town, January Power Manufacturer

Introducing the first ever Power Manufacturing Award from Powerblanket. Here at Powerblanket, we are passionate about a lot of things, but the one thing we are most passionate about is manufacturing. We love it. And, it just so happens that we are very good at it. After years of hard work, failure, success, and industry recognition, we have learned just how important the manufacturing industry is to not only the economy at all levels, but the quality of everyday life.

With that, we believe that it is important to spread the word about the power of small business, manufacturing, and the dedication that drives this industry that makes the world go ’round. So each month, we will be spotlighting a manufacturer who is mastering the principles and processes that makes manufacturing so great. We encourage everyone to support these businesses that help create jobs, make everyday life just a little better, and inspire future generations to carry on the mantle small business and manufacturing. So for the inaugural Power Manufacturing Award, we’d like to introduce you to Taffy Town.

From Mining to Manufacturing

Taffy Town, formerly Glade Candy Company, started as a means to raise supplemental funds following the birth of  founder James Vernon Glade’s second child.  Just a few months from those first candies, James left mining and began delivering candy by bike to several accounts.  Little did he know, the pocket change used to buy the ingredients for some peppermint chews would blossom into a company that is now over 100 years old.

Four generations, two names, and many candies later, Taffy Town has established itself as a premier purveyor of taffy, offering over 70+ different flavors.  

In 2016 Taffy Town was awarded UMA’s Manufacturer of the Year award. In this same year the company moved into its new 43,000 square foot facility in West Jordan, UT.  There the company manages around 50 employees and produces over 20,000 pounds of taffy a day. Taffy Town distributes in all 50 states and internationally.  

Traditionally Un-traditional

Taffy Town does not use the traditional taffy-pulling process that some may remember seeing in store windows.  Instead, they use a whipping process and 24 hour-long batch conditioning process to produce a soft texture taffy that melts in your mouth. Their products contain no peanuts and no tree nuts, and they are gluten free and kosher dairy.

Powerblanket is excited to honor Taffy Town as the January 2018 Power Manufacturer.  They are a fantastic example of manufacturing excellence demonstrated throughout their four generations of ownership.


One Piece Flow and Making it Work for You

by Powerblanket

One Piece Flow and Making it Work for You

Lean Manufacturing

Every lean manufacturing goal is to achieve one piece flow. One piece flow allows for the most efficient production operations. It has taken Powerblanket many years to achieve one piece flow production. To maintain this production process requires overcoming challenges such as maintaining standards, level loaded schedules, continuous training, and waste reduction.

One Piece Flow

One piece flow is centered around balanced cycle times, takt time requirements, and a level loaded schedule. Takt time is the rate at which a finished product needs to be completed to meet customer demands. We have built our production lines to meet desired takt time calculations and expand production cells to lower takt times if needed. Takt times are met by achieving balanced cycle times from cell to cell. Cycle times are individual times per production cell that records process time and delay time. Powerblanket has also designed an internal scheduling software system to meet our unique application and processes. Our schedule is driven from takt times and available operators to output total units to be built and time requirements to follow.

Traditionally, like many manufacturing environments, Powerblanket had been producing product using the “batching” process. This process is obsolete here at Powerblanket as we have transitioned to the more beneficial “one piece flow” process.  One piece flow

Benefits of One Piece Flow

  • Inventory Reduction: Companies can maintain a small volume of safety stock reserved for standard products. The majority of volume is built from customer demands. This requires each operation to only build product needed by the next operation.
  • Floor Space Reduction: Each operation is built one piece at a time so removal of WIP (work in progress) areas allows for a more condensed layout. This opens up space for additional production lines. As a result for floor space reduction, there is a minimized needed for operators to oversee production areas.
  • Flexibility: Our production lines are very unique because we have the flexibility to alter models being produced daily. Our lead times are then decreased as well for we have very minimal changeover times and downtime when switching models.
  • Lead Times: Our production lines have lead times given to each model from understood takt times. This makes a very predictable value stream.
  • Quality Control:  We encounter much less wasted product and quality issues with the one piece flow process. Any quality issues or defective material are found on the first unit, and are then revised/resolved for the next unit. Since batch sizes in one piece flow are just one, there will not be mountains of inventory to count, move, store, and dispose of.

How to Create a One Piece Flow Production Line

  1. Calculate takt time for products and ensure all cycle times are either less than or equal to total desired takt time.
  2. Evaluate production cells and base process/equipment capability on takt time. Considerations include changeover times, load and unload times, downtime, and machine speeds.
  3. Develop a pull system that allows for reduced lead times, ultimately benefiting customers. Allow for the value stream to drive the pull system.
  4. Develop a lean layout that allows for highest efficiency possible within the smallest amount of space. Space between process and within process cells must be minimal to eliminate motion waste and prevent unwanted WIP (work in progress) waste. Layout shapes and directions are driven from process requirements and factory floor limitations.
  5. Create visible standard work processes with the use of standard operating procedures, jigs/fixtures, quality checks, and 5S workstations. Standard processes eliminate variability and inconsistencies to drive quality. Consider accommodations for the differences between standard and custom products.
  6. Determine number of operators required to meet takt times. Train operators from standard work and cross train to allow for maximum flexibility.  
  7. Allow a learning curve to develop and audit takt times and standard work over time to achieve maximum quality and efficiency.  

Learn More Here

Tips for Winter RVing

by Powerblanket

Winter RVing

When it comes to RV adventures, traveling during the winter time means a slightly different approach to RV maintenance. If you want to adventure smoothly and comfortably, it’s important to familiarize yourself with cold-weather traveling tips. We asked some of our favorite RV bloggers and have gathered some great tips for winter-weather journeys!


Winter RVing Must-Haves

Before embarking on your winter RV trip, make sure you have the right supplies! Robert and Jessica from “Exploring the Local Life” suggest the following:

  • A dehumidifier– Winter-time humidity can cause some serious mold problems in your RV. Utilizing a dehumidifier can keep the mold at bay and your RV air fresh and clean.
  • Tank heater– Frozen water tanks are no fun to deal with. No one wants to spend hours defrosting with a blow dryer. Use tank heaters to prevent this hassle and keep your tanks running smoothly.
  • Skirting– skirting keeps the important pipes and lines of your RV insulated during cold temperatures.
  • Heat tape and insulation– You can use this to insulate pipes. This is an important step to take to prevent leaks or burst pipes.
  • Heated hose- when temperatures get cold enough, there’s no keeping your hose from freezing. Investing in a heated hose is a necessity for hooking up to water during the winter.
  • Snow shovel- Keep the walkways around your mobile vacation sanctuary safe with a quality snow shovel.
  • Portable heater– heaters included in your RV are often not super effective. A lot of the heat escapes outside through the venting system. Using a small portable heater will use your resources much more effectively and keep you nice and warm.
  • Ice scraper- keep windows and other surfaces ice-free with a quality ice scraper.
  • Winter wiper fluid- This is an important supply to have on hand for safe wintertime driving.
  • Warm boots and clothes- this one may go without saying, but dressing warmly is an important part of staying safe and healthy during your cold weather travels.


Prepping your RV for Winter Travel

RV travel can happen year-round as long as you properly prepare your vehicle. Jason and Nikki Wynn from “Gone with the Wynns” follow these steps when preparing their RV for cold-weather adventures.

  • Insulate hatch vents- Your hatch vent is an often overlooked place where cold air can leak in.
  • Insulate windows at night– When you don’t need/want to let sunlight in, you can insulate your RV windows to trap in extra heat.
  • Have tire chains ready- In some areas, it’s a legal requirement to have tire chains available on board when traveling with an RV during the winter. Either way, having some handy will give you extra peace of mind during your winter travels.
  • Insulate pipes– As mentioned earlier, this will help prevent costly leaks and bursts. No one wants to deal with a faulty water system during an RV trip.
  • Add skirting- Again, as mentioned earlier, this will keep pipes and lines safe and working smoothly.
  • Use winterized diesel or diesel additive– Using this will help keep your engine running smoothly, no matter how cold it gets.
  • Keep a window cracked to prevent condensation– besides using a dehumidifier, you can also crack a window to keep humidity out and mold from growing in your RV.


Budget-Friendly Winter RVing

Jason and Nikki also provide an option for low-budget winter RVing. Instead of insulating and heating all your water lines, you can completely winterize your RV (shut off the water, flush with antifreeze) and travel with jugs of water to use for drinking and cooking. When it comes to using the restroom or showering, you can use campsite bathrooms.

Tips for Staying Extra Warm

Mark and Emily Fagan from “Roads Less Traveled” give the following ideas for keeping extra warm on cold days:

  • Exercise- Doing a few jumping jacks, push-ups, or sit-ups in your RV will get your blood pumping and help warm you up during cold weather.
  • Use your oven– Turning on your oven and baking will add some extra heat to your RV. This means you’ll get to enjoy some delicious baked goods as well as warmer temperatures!
  • Face doors and large windows towards the sun– Making a conscious effort to position your RV in a way that will let in the most sunlight is a small thing you can do that will make a big difference in your RV’s temperature.
  • Shrink wrap your screen door- You can buy window-wrapping kits to use on your screen door This will allow you to let in quite a bit of sunlight without the cold outdoor temperatures.


Warm Weather Winter-time Locations

Heath and Alyssa Padgett from “Heath and Alyssa” aren’t huge fans of RVing in cold weather. They recommend the following locations for wintertime camping if you want to avoid winter weather.

  • Slab City, California
  • Santa Cruz, California
  • Palm Springs, California
  • Quartzsite, Arizona
  • Fredericksburg, Texas
  • Florida Keys, Florida


Propane Tanks and Cold Weather

Because propane tanks are a popular fuel source among RV-ers, it’s important to consider how you’ll keep propane running smoothly when temperatures are cold. As temperatures go down, so does the pressure in your propane tank. This means you’ll have to fill your tank more frequently to keep the pressure up (read more about propane tank pressure and temperature here) Ron and Tabetha Berry from “Extreme RVing” recommend using Powerblanket Propane Tank Heaters to keep pressure up and to save significant money on tank refills.


When spending some time in Massachusetts during the dead of winter, the Berrys noticed that while they were using only one 30lb tank of propane each week with propane tank heaters, other campers were going through 100lb tanks in the same time period.


Additionally, Ron and Tabetha recommend using a dehumidifier when using propane tank in more humid environments. This is because propane creates a “wet” heat that will increase moisture in your RV.


What do you think of these winter RVing tips? Do you have any of your own to add? Let us know in the comments!


Check out our contributors’ blogs for more great RV tips:

Tips for Pouring Concrete in Winter

by Powerblanket

When it comes to pouring concrete, winter weather poses some significant challenges. Concrete sets best at 50-60°F; pouring concrete in winter means the ambient temperature will likely fall well below this range. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to effectively tackle cold weather concrete curing.

Concrete Pouring Temperature Limits

As mentioned above, concrete prefers a mild temperature between around 50 and 60°F to set. Below this, the exothermic reactions that cause wet cement to transform into strong concrete will slow significantly. This could mean long delays in work while you wait for concrete to set and strengthen before continuing with a project. Additionally, If concrete reaches freezing temperatures during the setting process, the water in the cement mix will freeze and expand. This will cause concrete to become weak, brittle and even flaky when it sets.


Successfully Pouring Concrete in Winter

Fortunately, strategies can be implemented to increase the temperature of cement mixtures. Here are some tricks you can use to keep the cement flowing all winter long:

  • Use heaters or heated blankets to thaw surfaces where concrete will be poured. Pouring concrete on frozen ground will quickly cool concrete well below ideal temperatures. Using a heater to prep surfaces will prevent too-quick cooling or freezing and help keep the necessary reactions going.
  • Mix cement using hot water to help increase the temperature of the concrete.
  • Store materials in a warm location.
  • Use quick-set cement; during cold weather. It may set more slowly than the instructions indicate, but will still harden more quickly than traditional cement mix.
  • Mix in additives that accelerate set time.
  • Use extra cement (typically 100 lb/ cubic yard) to make the reaction hotter and cause concrete to hydrate more rapidly.
  • Utilize squeegees or a vacuum to remove bleed water that has a difficult time evaporating during colder weather.

Cold Weather Concrete Curing

After the concrete has been poured, it needs to be kept at the correct temperature to cure. Most importantly, it needs to be kept from freezing. Ideal temperatures (50-60°F) should be maintained for about 48 hours for the concrete to reach optimal strength as it sets. This can be tricky during the winter; even if temperatures are optimal during the day, they can plummet at nighttime. Maintaining warmer temperature will require some sort of external heat source. One option is a heated enclosure. These are effective but can be time-consuming to install. If you choose to use an enclosure, be aware that excess carbon dioxide from the heater can cause bubbling in the surface of concrete. This can typically be avoided with proper ventilation.

Concrete Blankets

Another option for temperature maintenance during cold weather concrete setting is concrete blankets. Concrete blankets can be used to thaw ground before pouring concrete and again after finishing to keep concrete from freezing. They are easy to install and transport and require only an outlet to use. This means no time wasted setting up complex heating mechanisms. If you’re interested in minimizing downtime involved pouring concrete in winter, these blankets are an excellent heating option to look into.

Chemical Storage: How to Store Chemicals Safely

by Powerblanket

If you work with chemicals, you’re probably well aware of the hazards associated with their use. You’re likely familiar with how to safely work with chemicals, but how should chemicals be stored? Chemical storage is an important part of safe chemical handling. Knowing how to store chemicals safely will help protect the environment and employees who work in areas where chemicals are contained and used.

Safe Chemical Storage Begins With Building Safety

Ensuring your building is properly equipped against potential dangers can help prevent serious damage. The following are some guidelines to help protect against fires, fumes, and other risk associated with chemical storage:

  • Buildings should be constructed and furnished with non-combustible materials.
  • Ensure your building is constructed where there isn’t a high risk of flooding.
  • Allow only authorized personnel into chemical storage facilities.
  • Install and regularly check fire and smoke detectors.
  • Ensure your building has enough exits and clear escape routes in case of a fire or other disaster.
  • It should be easy for any emergency responders to access the building in case of an emergency.
  • Make sure the building is properly ventilated to prevent the build up of hazardous fumes.
  • Provide proper lighting in your building so all chemical labels can be clearly read.
  • Have adequate air conditioning and/or heating to prevent any temperature extremes that could damage containers or product and lead to leaks or fires. Correct storage temperatures for each chemical can be found on the SDS (safety data sheet) provided by the manufacturer.
  • Make sure your building provides enough space for safe chemical storage. There should be an area designated where chemicals can be stored and/or transferred from one container to another. This area should be separate and a safe distance from any other work areas.

Labeling Storage Containers

It’s crucial that personnel who handle or work near chemicals be familiar with the risks they pose. All chemical containers should clearly indicate any hazards with appropriate safety signs.



Protecting Against Leaks and Spills

Knowing how to prevent leaks and spills and how to properly deal with them can prevent more serious accidents from occurring.

  • Have proper absorbents on hand in case of spills or leaks.
  • Place drip pans under drum faucets and any leaks.
  • Make sure shelves are securely installed and do not exceed the maximum load on any storage racks or shelves.
  • Have larger containers available to contain damaged or leaking chemical packaging. Make sure your secondary storage has equal or greater structural integrity than the package being stored. Damaged packages should them be shipped for repackaging or disposal.


Chemical Temperature Control

As mentioned above, storing at proper temperatures is an important part of chemical safety. Correct temperatures will help prevent fires and container damage and leaks. Additionally, proper temperatures help chemicals perform correctly. Chemical Heating Systems provide temperature control for chemical storage without creating hot spots. They can be used in a wide range of environments and are UL/CSA certified. If you’re looking to increase the safety and efficiency of your chemical storage, Powerblanket products might be just what you need!







How to Melt Snow Without Salt: Snow Melt Alternatives

by Powerblanket

Harsh salts damage concrete and the environment. Fortunately, there are several all-natural snow melt alternatives you can use this winter.

Every winter, especially after a few good snow storms, we tend to ask ourselves those life changing questions: How do I melt the snow without shoveling? How do I melt the snow without salt? Are there any realistic alternatives to shoveling and that annoying salt? Well, here are your answers. While snow and ice melting salt is an easy way to eliminate dangerously slippery surfaces, it poses notable risks. First, snow melt can be significantly detrimental to concrete. The harsh salts break chemical bonds that keep concrete strong. This means damaged concrete surfaces that will require costly repair and replacement much earlier. Next, snow and ice melting salts can be dangerous to pets or young children. When ingested, the salts can cause painful stomach distress. Additionally, snow melt can dry out and crack your pets’ paws, putting them at risk for infection. Lastly, snow melt can cause serious damage to your yard and landscaping and the environment. As snow melts, the runoff containing harsh salts can kill grass and other plants. The salts are also likely to run off into your local water system, which can compromise water quality. 

Snow Melt Alternatives


A relatively simple way to eliminate ice is to shovel snow before it has a chance to ice over. Don’t let snow accumulate more than a couple of inches before shoveling and shovel while the snow is still light and fresh.

Organic, Salt-Free De-Icer

This option is a more expensive alternative to traditional snow melt. However, it offers all the same convenience without the damaging risks.


Urea is a natural substance traditionally used as fertilizer. It’s safer for pets and less corrosive than salt. However, it’s important to note that the high concentration of nitrogen in urea can damage plants and cause algae overgrowth in local ponds and lakes.

Alfalfa Meal

Like Urea, Alfalfa meal is commonly used as fertilizer. It contains nitrogen, but not enough to risk harm to plants or your local water system. Alfalfa meal has a dry, grainy texture that can provide traction while it goes to work melting snow and ice.

Beet Juice

Beet juice works by lowering the melting point of ice and snow. Because it’s a liquid, it requires no cleanup. It’s 100% natural and poses absolutely no risk to concrete, pets, or the environment. Additionally, Beet juice is one of few ice melting options that works even in sub-zero temperatures.


Sand is an inexpensive and safe option that provides excellent traction. It also absorbs heat from the sun which will help slowly melt icy surfaces.

Snow Melting Mats

How do you melt snow without shoveling? Snow melting mats are perhaps the most effective and easiest to use snow melt alternative. They eliminate the need for labor-intensive shoveling and provide peace of mind all winter long. All you have to do is plug them in! Summerstep Snow Melting Mats come in both residential and commercial options and can be linked together to fit any size or shape of steps or walkways.


IBC Tank Sizes and IBC Dimensions

IBC Tank Sizes

An ideal storage container, there are a variety of IBC tank sizes for your industrial needs. Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), totes and tanks are ideal for storing industrial products in large quantities

What Do You Put in Your IBC?


Which IBC Tank Size Do You Need?

IBC tote tanks are an essential container for many industrial operations.  Hazardous materials, chemicals, and dangerous goods are stored in IBCs.  The food industry stores liquid, granulated, and powdered food ingredients, along with syrups, corn syrup, and molasses within IBC tote tanks.  They are ideal for solvents, detergents, or adhesives.  IBC tote tanks are even used for rooftop rainwater collection.

Such a versatile storage tool, IBCs are manufactured in plastic, carbon steel, or stainless steel and IBC sizes range from 180 to 550 gallons.

IBC tank dimensions vary; however, Powerblanket manufactures heaters for IBCs.

Powerblanket IBC Tank Heater Dimensions:

250 Gallon / 950 Liter

48’L x 42”W x 35”H

122cmL x 107cmW x 89cmH

275 Gallon / 1040 Liter

48”L x 40”W x 46”H

122cmL x 106cmW x 117cmH

330 Gallon / 1250 Liter

48”L x 40”W x 53”H

122cmL x 107cmW x 89cmH

350 Gallon / 1325 Liter

48”L x 42”W x 47”H

122cmL x 107cmW x 120cmH

450 Gallon / 1703 Liter

48”L x 42”W x 59”H

122cmL x 107cmW x 150cmH

550 Gallon / 2082 Liter

48”L x 42”W x 71”H

122cmL x 107cmW x 180cmH


How do you keep a barrel or IBC tank that is full of product at an optimal temperature? Powerblanket has the solution. Powerblanket heaters emit safe, consistent heat to ensure your IBC tanks are stored at optimal temperatures. Our standard IBC heaters fit 250 gallon, 275 gallon, 330 gallon, 350 gallon, 450 gallon and 550 gallon IBC tanks. Through our custom process we can manufacture heaters to fit any IBC. Easy to install, Powerblanket IBC heaters will save you time, money, and preserve your sensitive products, whether in storage or in transit.

Commercial Snow Removal

Commercial Snow and Ice Removal

When it comes to commercial snow removal, proactive, preventative planning is the best way to go. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “ An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Last-minute scrambling to remove snow and ice is chaotic and can be unnecessarily time-consuming and expensive. Additionally, a reactive approach to snow removal leads to excessive use of snow and ice melting agents including rock salt and other chemicals that are harmful to concrete, roadways, and the environment. Preventative snow and ice control will also significantly reduce the risk of personal injury and damage to property. This includes damage to property caused by icy driveways, personal injury from slip and fall accidents, accidents that occur from snow or ice falling off rooftops, and damage or injury resulting from falling tree branches.

Know the Rules

Before establishing a snow and ice removal plan for your commercial property, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the snow and ice removal laws for your municipality and city. Laws vary from state to state and your snow and ice control plan will need to address these laws. Additionally, you will want to ensure you are insured in case a litigation does arise.

Some commercial property owners or managers may wish to partner with professional snow and ice removal services. If this is the route you choose to go, begin looking for a contractor as early as possible, near the end of summer or beginning of fall. Make certain that your chosen contractor has the necessary tools, staff, insurance, and availability to meet your needs.

Make a Plan

When constructing a commercial snow removal plan, it’s suggested that a detailed, step-by-step guide is written out and followed unfailingly. Moreover, you may want to consider documenting adherence to your plan; this will prove beneficial should a legal accusation arise.

Some elements you may want to contemplate incorporating into your commercial snow and ice control plan include:

  • Purchase all necessary equipment and supplies and service any snow blowers before winter.
  • Clearly define responsibility regarding snow removal in any leases involved with your commercial property.
  • Keep an eye on weather predictions.
  • Pre-treat surfaces when snow or ice is expected.
  • Check for any leaks in gutters and downspouts that could result in dangerous ice patches.
  • Remove ice and snow from all sidewalks and driveways surrounding your property.
  • Do not let snow accumulate to more than 3 inches.
  • Confirm that your facility has proper lighting.
  • Make routine inspections of your property throughout the day.

Try Summerstep

An efficient and convenient way to prevent ice and snow accumulation during winter weather is Summerstep Snow Melting Mats. Summerstep Snow Melting Mats can reduce the need for time and labor intensive snow removal and the use of harsh chemicals. Summerstep Snow Melting Mats are designed to be outside throughout the winter and can be custom designed to fit any location. With Summerstep Snow Melting Mats, you can keep your property accessible and running smoothly during even the harshest winter months.

PBL05 Bucket Heater is in the Top 5

by Powerblanket

PBL05 Bucket Heater is in the Top 5

Powerblanket is honored to have PBL05 selected as number five of Ezvid Wiki’s Top 6 Best Heated Buckets

Powerblanket Lite PBL05 has recently been ranked at #5 in the 2017 wiki of the best heated buckets. If you store food or industrial supplies in 5-gallon buckets, you’ve dealt with the stringent temperature storage requirements.  It can be difficult to regulate temperatures and stay within temperature ranges for heating and storage requirements. By using an effective heating solution like bucket warmers from Powerblanket, certain foods and materials will last longer and be more effective. In turn, this saves you time, hassle, and money. Powerblanket bucket heaters are superior when compared to conventional heating and warming methods.

Process Heating Engineering: Pumps Too Hot?

Process Heating Engineering:  Pumps Too Hot?

Valin Corporation is a leading technical solutions provider for the technology, energy, life sciences, natural resources, and transportation industries. They came to Powerblanket with a process heating engineering dilemma, and Powerblanket world-class engineers came up with a solution.

What was the heating dilemma?

Valin’s problem centered around the oil and gas industry.   Pumps were getting too cold and shutting down, slowing production and wasting time and money.  They had tried to employ EHT to solve the problem; however, this got too hot and melted the rubber portion on the pump. Ultimately, they needed heating blankets that were C1D2 certified with self-regulating thermostats.   This became a custom process heating engineering project because of the pumps’ varying shapes and sizes and because of the very specific C1D2 requirements.

How did Powerblanket create a solution?

The Valin field site sales manager offered key information and measurements to ensure Powerblanket engineers could create a solution with a good fit for each pump.  After Valin tested the initial blankets for form and fit, we made minor modifications for the final order and provided a pricing level that met the end-item budget.  Each pump had a heating blanket to meet C1D2 specifications that also contained a self-regulating thermostat.

Time, Money, and Stress Averted

Valin no longer worries about pumps/stators freezing and shutting down operations.  The blankets will not get too hot or damaging rubber rings on pumps.   Because of this process heating engineering solution, Valin can install their blankets and rest easy about the efficiency and safety of their operations.

Compressed Gas Cylinder Sizes

by Powerblanket

Gas Cylinder Sizes

Various materials are packaged in compressed gas cylinders such as atmospheric gases, fuel gases,  and refrigerant gases. Below is a resource for specialty gas cylinder sizes.

Specialty Compressed Gas Cylinder Sizes 

Compressed Gas Size Chart

Powerblanket Gas Cylinder Heating Blankets

When the temperature drops, maintaining optimal pressure in a liquefied gas cylinder can be incredibly difficult. Cold external temperatures prevent the liquid from vaporizing, which makes your gas cylinders unusable because of low pressure. Powerblanket offers a variety of gas cylinder heaters for increasing vaporization of propane, butane, carbon dioxide, anhydrous ammonia, refrigerants and other compressed gases. Powerblanket gas cylinder heaters provide a uniform barrier of heat across the entire cylinder.

  • Increase performance and efficiency of gas cylinders
  • Save money by optimizing gas and material usage
  • Provide even heat distribution
  • Reduce cylinder refills in cold temperatures
  • Safety certified to UL and CSA standards

Compressed Gas Sizes

The Effects of Pouring Concrete in Cold Weather

by Powerblanket

Effects of Pouring Concrete in Cold WeatherEffects of Pouring Concrete in Cold Weather

First, let’s define cold weather with respect to concrete. Any time you have three consecutive days where the average daily temperature is less than 40°F, or if the temperature is lower than 50°F for less than half of any of the three days–that is unpleasantly cold for concrete. Pouring concrete in cold weather will have a detrimental affect on concrete curing for several reasons.

How Does Concrete Cure?

Concrete transforms from a liquid to a solid material through a chemical reaction. The speed of the reaction depends upon the temperature of the concrete. When the weather is warm, the reaction proceeds quickly. When it’s cold and the ground hasn’t been thawed, the reaction slows down. That’s the problem: the concrete needs to harden as rapidly as possible to resist pressures caused by water freezing within the concrete.

Slower Chemical Reactions

If the temperature is too cold, the concrete may not have reached a minimum strength of 500 psi soon enough to resist the effects of freezing temperatures. If your concrete isn’t protected with concrete curing blankets after it’s poured, it may cool too rapidly, slowing the chemical reaction.

Poor finishing techniques can also doom your slabs. Freshly poured concrete often bleeds. The water in the mix floats to the top, since it’s the lightest ingredient. Floating or troweling this water into the concrete weakens the top layer. Troweling the concrete too early can seal this bleed water just below the surface as well. If your slab is then exposed to freezing temperatures several days later, this water can freeze and fracture the top layer. Using a concrete curing blanket can eliminate the potential of freezing.

Read how Powerblanket solved concrete issues at the Statue of Liberty.


Concrete Can Be Successfully Poured in Cold WeatherThe Effects of Pouring Concrete in Cold Weather

Several precautions need to be taken:

  • Never pour concrete on frozen ground, snow, or ice. 
  • Be sure to order air-entrained concrete. Request a heated mix or order 100 lbs of extra cement for each cubic yard of concrete. This extra cement helps develop early strength.
  • Be sure the concrete is ordered with a low slump (drier mix). This minimizes bleed water.
  • After the final finish is completed, cover the concrete with a concrete curing blanket. The heated concrete blanket will prevent freezing and keep the concrete at an optimal curing temperature.
  • After about three days, remove heated concrete blankets to allow the concrete to air dry.

Powerblanket Concrete Curing Blankets

If you use Powerblanket concrete curing blankets to pour in cold weather, your cement will cure 2.8 times faster than with conventional insulated blankets. Time and convenience are critical factors when planning out a project in the winter, and Powerblanket has you covered.  Our goal is to provide solutions to problems, and give you total temperature control over every process and aspect of your business.

We Solve Problems

From drum and barrel heaters to pipe wraps and snow melting mats, Powerblanket is dedicated to helping your business grow, saving jobs, and improving your bottom line.   Whether you need to extend the pouring season, or you are trying to survive an early winter, know that you have total temperature control with Powerblanket.

Learn More




Powerblanket® | The Ultimate Concrete Curing Blanket – The ONLY Concrete Curing Blanket!

Beacon Smart Temperature Controller

Smart Temperature Controller

In today’s connected world the “Internet of Things” (IoT) allows you to turn your lights on and off from your smartphone, see who is at your front door from your desk at work, or get an alert when your garage door is left open, among many other things.  The beacon smart temperature controller is ready to give you


Meet Beacon

The Beacon Smart Temperature Controller brings the IoT (Internet of Things) to industrial temperature control. It has the same features as many single stage, electronic temperature controllers plus many added benefits made possible by internet connectivity. For example: monitor conditions remotely and change settings remotely through a web portal or mobile app, recieve alerts when temperatures reach user defined thresholds, set alerts to be sent when settings are changed.


Remote Control and Monitoring

Control and monitor your system remotely. Check on current conditions and adjust setpoints, differentials, and other details related to your control system.  Control and monitor boilers, chillers, refrigerated warehouses, beer and beverage coolers, tank, valve, drum and tote heaters and many more systems.


Peace of Mind

Define your own temperature thresholds and leave the system unattended with confidence. The Connected Temperature Controller will alert you of any problems, whether you’re present or not.


Maintain Historic Data

Beacon’s Connected Smart Temperature Controller allows you to keep historic temperature data for long-term reference or process analysis. A log of electrical current lets you analyze the duty cycle of your cooling or heating equipment and the operating cost.


Additional features

  • Change settings at the physical device or anywhere with an internet connection
  • Customizable alerts based on temperature, electrical current, voltage, resistance, etc.
  • Connect to the internet through Wi- Fi or Cellular (coming soon!) networks
  • Create multiple users with varying access control for added security
  • NEMA 4x enclosure
  • Optional timer mode: easily set up an operating schedule by day and time (coming soon!)
  • Optionally switch load based on ambient temperature in addition to material temperature, for example, freeze protection applications (coming soon!)
  • Heat or cool
  • Backlit LCD display on device
  • Adjustable short cycle delay for refrigeration equipment
  • 120/208/240V, switch up to 24 amp loads
  • Options for secure interface with existing control systems




Win a New Powerblanket #MYPOWERBLANKET

by Powerblanket


Win a New Powerblanket!*
My Powerblanket

You’ve owned your Powerblanket for two weeks, two months, or maybe two years, and you love it! Now, share that love to WIN another one. 


“We use the Powerblanket 400 here at OMNIA Nightclub San Diego in an indoor application to provide extra power and performance with our Salvin CO2 Cryo System.  The Powerblanket significantly improves the output and quality of our Cryo System by creating and helping to regulate high pressure in our CO2 bulk tank.  The results are stronger and fuller CO2 plumes, which keeps our patrons cool and looks incredible!”

–Andrew Miller, Technical Manager, OMNIA Nightclub, San Diego


“We didn’t have the time to wait out the winter for the temperatures to become more moderate. The Powerblanket® heating blankets certainly played an important role in keeping us on schedule and not having to postpone the pour on an important Kansas City bridge.”

—Dale Helming, Project Manager Massman Construction


“Upon the implementation of using our new DEF system to stay compliant with EPA regulations, Powerblanket® provided an effective and energy efficient freeze protection system with its DEF Tote Heater System. We installed the unit and forgot about it, knowing our product is being protected, which gives us peace of mind.”

— Jerri Brumfield


“Powerblanket® barrel and bucket heaters are a drastic improvement over the original band heaters we used to offer. With Powerblanket® products we no longer have to worry about overheating or unpredictable thermostats. Their GreenHeat Technology provides uniform heat throughout the entire barrel of product which is paramount to what we do. Powerblanket® products are very durable, look great, and are the only heaters we will offer our customers.”

—Mike Roberts, Manager Howard Marten Fluid Technologies


As the seasons change and freezing temperatures become more prevalent, we want to reward you for your Powerblanket loyalty.  Share a picture of your Powerblanket in action and tell us how it has made a difference for your business.

To enter:

  • Enter Now-December 1, 2016
  • Go the Powerblanket Facebook page and click on the contest app on the right hand side, or click the link below.
  • Submit a photo of your Powerblanket in action.
  • Explain why you love your Powerblanket.
  • Tag your entry with #mypowerblanket
  • Contest Rules:  Enter as many times as you like with different pictures.  Anyone can enter.
  • Winners will be chosen at random and announced December 5, 2016.

Don’t own a Powerblanket?  Submit a photo of where you would use it and explain your need.  You could win!

button (16)

You could win a New Powerblanket! *


Snow traction mats

by Powerblanket

Every time the weatherman issues a winter storm warning, a collective groan can be heard from anyone who is in charge of snow removal in the affected area. The early morning wakeup call and the physical work of clearing the heavy fresh snow with a snow shovel or snowblower is not everyone’s idea of a good time. What if there was an easier way to melt snow on your sidewalk?

Summerstep snow traction mats are the answer. These industrial floor mats use an efficient heating technology to safely melt snow on your sidewalk and add additional traction from a non-slip rubber tread. The mats are designed to be used alone, or daisy chained together by means of a water tight plug, so you can link several together to cover your walkway.

snow melting mat

If stair safety is an issue, Summerstep also comes in a configuration meant to fit your stairs. Simply link together as many snow traction mats as you need to fit the stairs and you won’t have to worry about any slick surfaces, or using harsh snow melting chemicals. The warm mats will melt the existing snow, prevent any re-freezing, and provide a grippy surface to step on.
snow melting mat

Summerstep snow traction mats are designed to industrial strength standards, so they will last you for years with proper use and care. Now you can melt snow on the sidewalk and stairs without the back breaking labor involved, and you’ll have peace of mind for the duration of the snowstorm. You won’t have to spend any more time and energy to keep the walkways clear- let Summerstep do the work.