Technical plastic injection moulder, OGM, has invested in a specialist energy-saving product for the process cooling system in its new Yarnton factory. Manufactured by IsoCool, the IsoFC is a packaged heat exchanger designed specifically for use within dual circuit systems. Installed in October 2011, the IsoFC is on target to reduce cooling costs by over 25%, providing a payback period of just 2.5 years.
OGM manufactures and supplies technical and clean-room plastic injection mouldings and assemblies to leading blue chip organisations in the medical and electronic industries. Due to increased demand for the company’s high-precision products, the company built a new facility. Based on a recommendation, IsoCool was invited to tender for the process cooling system, along with several other specialists. Stuart Wilson, Engineering Manager at OGM, explained why IsoCool stood above the competition:
“Our manufacturing processes are required to meet exacting standards, and IsoCool’s proposals and approach inspired us with the highest level of confidence. They were also the only company to offer an attractive energy-saving solution like the IsoFC. Because we operate a policy of continuous improvement goals, it fits perfectly with our drive to improve efficiency,” he explained.
IsoCool installed a Eurochiller AX-A chiller with cooling capacity 110kW, a pump and tank system, and bespoke pipework into the new factory. To minimise the initial investment required, as well as the carbon footprint of the extension, IsoCool utilised existing equipment wherever possible. This included an air blast cooler, which IsoCool identified as a product that could be used in conjunction with the IsoFC to optimise energy savings even further.
The IsoFC indirectly links mould and hydraulic cooling circuits through a high-efficiency packaged heat exchanger, and facilitates energy transfer via intelligent software between the systems without them mixing. During low ambient conditions it is designed to use the surplus capacity from the air blast cooler to pre-cool water returning from the mould circuit before it reaches the refrigeration plant. In this way, both circuits continue to fulfil their primary functions, but the load on the chiller is greatly reduced. As well as saving a significant amount of energy, this extends the life-span of chiller plant.
A user-friendly touch-screen on the IsoFC controls the plant to optimise performance and ensure close process temperature control on both circuits – a feature which Stuart particularly rates: “the touch screen control is excellent, and makes it ever so easy and straight forward to operate,” he commented. In addition, the IsoFC’s modular software design enables SCADA interface to computer and building management systems with power consumption monitoring.
Compared to the existing chilled water system, IsoCool calculated that the IsoFC will reduce cooling system costs by over a quarter, equating to thousands of pounds every year. This means that the energy-saving device has a return on investment schedule of just 2.5 years. OGM are delighted with the new system, as Stuart explained:
“We’ll be operating on partial free cooling below 10.5°C, and 100% free cooling below 5°C, so expect good savings throughout the colder times of the year. We’ve been incredibly impressed with IsoCool. The stainless steel welded system was particularly excellent and the quality of workmanship throughout the installation first-class”.