Engineers and operators tell us that they like reading case histories to see how their counterparts solve application problems. Although the precise operational challenge may differ from what they face day to day, case studies often trigger ideas. Then our readers do some adapting and add in some good suppliers, getting a result that is more efficient, more productive and perhaps less costly operation.

The first case history in this issue is “A Matter of Time,” in which a PVC pipe-maker looking for a way to clean a fouled extrusion line and improve its extrusion system’s temperature control used advanced cleaning and heat transfer fluids from Duratherm Extended Life Fluids, Lewiston, N.Y. According to author Michael Bates, the customer reduced the time required for extruder cleaning and increased the manufacturing operation’s runtime.

The second study was written about a creamery on a university campus that produces more than 225,000 gal of ice cream annually (among other dairy products) for both the school and sale to the general public. Randy Williams, president of GCAP LLC, an industrial refrigeration training firm in Garden City, Kan., explains in “Sweet Success with Ammonia Refrigeration” that when the plant opted for an ammonia refrigeration system in its new plant, assuring the university community of its safety as well as ensuring the security of its personnel were important. By investing in ammonia operator training and following good manufacturing practices, the creamery can maintain a leadership status in both dairy products and ammonia safety for years to come.

While Process Cooling publishes case histories, it also spends considerable time lining up experts to prepare articles providing suggestions, advice and help, and in general, ways to do things better or easier or faster or more cost-effectively at your company.

For example, “RX for Process Water Reuse” acknowledges that dirty process water is more than just a nuisance - it’s one of the biggest challenges faced by any industrial operation. Particulate matter and debris clog pumps, nozzles, heat exchangers, cooling towers and other components. So how do you conserve water by reusing it without adversely affecting product quality? Randy Delenikos, vice president of sales at Lakos Separators & Filtration Systems, Fresno, Calif., delves into how filtration can reduce water consumption and improve process efficiency.

Have you ever had to specify a temperature control system? It’s easy to over-specify one based on what you think you need to ensure accuracy, or to under-specify by focusing exclusively on price. Learn what the variables are and how they affect temperature control by reading “Keep Your Cool” by Dr. John DuBois, CEO and co-founder of Thermalogic, Hudson, Mass.

It’s no game to face EPA fines up to $25,000 per day per violation, as well as lost production time and ruined product because of refrigerant leaks. But there are ways to find these leaks well before they cause big problems. Although there is no one single leak detection method that locates every leak in every possible situation, Valerie Scherer, publicist at Spectronics Corp., Westbury, N.Y., describes in “Hide and Seek with Leaks” the most common methods. Leak detection should be part of a regular preventive maintenance program for any refrigeration system.

And finally, should you “Repair or Replace?” That’s the title of contributing editor Kristi Grahl’s piece on evaporative condensers. Grahl interviewed Gary Hudson, owner of G.R. Hudson Sales in Surrey, B.C., Canada, to help you find the answer with regard to evaporative condensers. Hudson says the decision depends on a number of factors related to the condition and location of the equipment, as well as the overall goals of the plant.

Anne Armel, Group Publisher, ArmelA@bnpmedia.com