Manufacturing plants repair, replace and install new equipment and systems all the time. Almost universally, the reason would be the need to improve some aspect of the operation. The articles in this month’s issue of Process Cooling look at various equipment meet this goal. The authors discuss these bottom-line goals via energy savings, increased efficiency, greater reliability and lower maintenance needs, which all together mean lower costs.

            Poor water quality can push a plant’s cooling system over the edge, causing a surge in maintenance costs. According to Glenn Dobbs in “The ROR of Cooling Tower Filtration,” the installation costs of a well-designed filtration system often are small compared to what an operator would pay to fix problems stemming from poor water quality. Dobbs, who is executive vice president at Valve & Filter Corp., Arvada, Colo., says that incorporating an efficient filtration system into a cooling tower can extend equipment life and lower upkeep costs, both of which provide a significant return on resources.

            In “Preventing Cooling System Downtime,” Randy Simmons, vice president of Air Solution Co., West Chester, Ohio, notes that an ideal approach to keeping maintenance costs in check is to have a plan and stick to it. He suggests that operators identify the “mission critical” systems across their facility and then implement aggressive procedures and technologies to streamline the maintenance process. The result, he says, will be reduced costs.

            Dr. Karin Jahn, managing director at eurammon in Frankfurt, Germany, points out in “Sending Chills Down the Line” that keeping perishable products such as cheese, meet and fruit fresh requires impeccable refrigeration throughout the entire supply chain, which requires energy. To keep a lid on energy costs, many companies rely on natural refrigerants such as ammonia or hydrocarbons, which consume up to 30 percent less energy. Additionally, natural refrigerants do not deplete the ozone layer or contribute to global warming, Jahn says.

            Money also can be saved by using a closed-loop cooling tower system in plastics manufacturing, says Sheetal Desai, operations and marketing director, Cooling Technology Inc., Charlotte, N.C. “Closing the Loop on Water Quality” discusses how water contamination can damage equipment, cause equipment failure and harm workers’ health. However, recycling process cooling water with a closed-loop cooling tower or water chiller (central or portable) can help keep water quality high, reduce energy use and decrease maintenance.

            Also, in “How to Choose the Right Water Cooling System,” Don Robson, vice president of engineering at Robson Industries Inc., West Chester, Pa., describes the factors involved in designing or specifying a process water cooling system to help you successfully match a cooling strategy to your process.

            In this issue, case histories detail how some processors have pursued the improvement and savings aspect of equipment use. “Pure Efficiency” explains how facility costs are kept in line at one of Denmark’s biggest refrigerated and cold storage companies. Claus Sorensen A/S, switched to a high-purity compressor oil from Petro-Canada Lubricants that allowed the company to reduce operating expenses while optimizing compressor efficiency.

            Case history “Chemical-Free Water Treatment” answers this question: What do an international agricultural business, a chemical technology center, a peaker power plant and a razor-blade manufacturer all have in common? Each of these companies has selected the same water treatment technology to reduce water and energy use and improve the bottom line.

Anne Armel

Group Publisher