Centralised Process Cooling achieved Finalist status at the recent Plastics Industry Awards, when IsoCool were acknowledged for their partnership work with leading injection moulder Coral Products.
Coral Products Plc are a manufacturer of plastic injection, extruded and blow moulded products into a diverse range of sectors, including food packaging, personal care, household, healthcare, automotive, telecoms and rail.
Coral has a duty to their shareholders to improve their financial efficiency and deliver the best returns. Examining their energy-hungry cooling processes for their manufacturing plant in Haydock, Merseyside, was high on their agenda and they turned to IsoCool Ltd to help them investigate the improvements it was possible to make.
Coral Products existing Cooling System comprised a combination of cooling towers, chillers and pump systems in various cells. IsoCool have huge experience of assessing the cost of cooling systems and they worked with Coral Products to calculate the estimated running costs of the elements of their current systems. Taking into account Coral’s manufacturing operation, these were assessed on a 3 shift set up.
After thorough analysis, taking into consideration the processing operation of Coral Products and the targets they had set themselves, IsoCool engineers proposed to replace the existing systems with a new centralised process cooling and chilled water system with energy saving features.
IsoCool explained that the Cooling Towers should be replaced with closed circuit coolers, with the obvious benefits for an adiabatic dry cooler being reduced water consumption and water treatment costs. Water losses from the existing towers are made up of evaporation and a constant bleed off to maintain the total dissolved solids in the water system to a minimum. This bleed off rate can be equal to evaporation rate if the water treatment is not well maintained.
With a dry cooler, Coral Products can achieve water temperatures at least 3°C above dry bulb ambient, which in most cases is sufficient for hydraulic oil coolers in modern injection moulding machines.
They also proposed to replace the various chilled water systems and install a centralised modular chilled water plant with an IsoCool developed ISO/FC energy saving device. This has linked the mould cooling system indirectly to the new hydraulic cooling system. The system facilitates the use of the under-utilised adiabatic cooler in low ambient conditions to provide the cooling source which will allow partial and up to 100% direct air cooling, thus offloading the compressors and the inherent high operating and running costs.
The planned period for the installation was three months and Mick Wood, CEO of Coral Plc says “IsoCool stuck to the installation period despite severely adverse weather conditions. It was essential to us that IsoCool were able to work in partnership with us to keep downtime to an absolute minimum. I’m proud to say that the teamwork exhibited by both my team and the IsoCool squad meant that we achieved that goal.”
The new centralised process cooling system consisted of a large chiller and cooling plant which needed to be installed into Coral Products plant deck. The space available was already taken by their existing system and no other was available. IsoCool needed to build the system externally and then integrate it into the plant deck. This required them to systematically decommission and relocate redundant machinery to make room for the new system. Crucially, Coral Products production had to keep running whilst this massive operation was ongoing. Working together with Coral Products engineers, IsoCool were able to achieve this, with manufacturing shutdown only occurring during very minimal, planned weekend slots.
Ian McCormick of IsoCool who ran the project says “We were installing a completely new cooling system, which comprised a number of very large and complex pieces of plant. The only space available was already occupied by the existing system. It was, therefore, necessary for us to build up the components outside in the challenging weather of a Merseyside winter. Without the partnership between Coral engineers and ourselves, it would not have been possible to meet the criteria of minimal disruption to their production schedule and maximisation of their production output.”
On completion of the installation of the centralised process cooling system, IsoCool provided comprehensive training for Coral Products operators and they will be re-visiting the training once the dust has settled. A strategy which IsoCool feel is particularly important to a customer with a large project with so many new factors.
Together Coral Products and IsoCool have put together a Service Plan tailored to fulfil all of Coral’s requirements in order to keep their production running and their energy saving targets on track.