Microtherm is a Dutch company that specialises in turning and milling plastics. For more than 40 years, they strive to offer a high-quality product of consistent quality, with a fast delivery time, at a competitive price.
When Microtherm moved to a new location mid-2019, Rik Swikker, owner Microtherm, knew that a form of cooling and ventilation had to be installed in the building. This would prevent the heat problem in the factory that they had been dealing with inside the old building. After a long search for the right solution, Swikker came upon Oxycom's two-stage adiabatic cooling. In the summer of 2019, Oxycom installed two IntrCooll Plus systems on the new Microtherm building, each delivering 14.000 m3/h fresh cooled air. Since then, Microtherm's employees have been working in an optimal indoor climate, i.e. they feel healthier, and there is less absenteeism due to illness. Besides, the constant indoor temperature guarantees the desired exact dimensions of the workpieces.
Rik Swikker: "When we moved to another building last year, I knew it was necessary to install a good ventilation system. Just like our previous building, the new building has a flat roof, which gets extremely hot in the summer. In addition, CNC machines in our factory produce a lot of heat which makes it stuffy and warm inside. Because of the heat, the productivity of the employees has decreased noticeably. Besides, due to fluctuating temperatures in the factory, the machines had to be compensated constantly to guarantee the desired exact dimensions of the workpieces. The move to the new location offered the perfect opportunity to do things differently. I wanted to create a healthy climate for my employees while continuing to deliver optimal quality to our customers."
Swikker wanted to refresh the building healthily and sustainably. Traditional air conditioning was not an option, as ventilation is often limited when you want to keep energy consumption at a minimum. And as maximum ventilation was a requirement for the new building, Swikker went looking for an alternative solution with the building's architect.
Swikker: "First we looked at ventilation using large fans in the outer wall. However, this didn't turn out to be a good option. Enormous ventilation grids would have to be placed in the building to make that option workable. Ideal for summer, but during the winter this would create an icy draught in the factory." The architect then advised to see if adiabatic cooling could be a suitable and workable solution. Swikker: "I made calls for two days straight, and talked to many different suppliers to see who could offer me the best adiabatic cooling, i.e., the right temperature (between 20°C and 22°C) and ventilation, with as little moisture input as possible. Each call turned out to be a disappointment. That was until someone told me to contact Oxycom. Because if Oxycom couldn't deliver what I wanted, then no-one could."
Thus Swikker came into contact with Kor Foekens, commercial director at Oxycom. "Kor was able to give an adequate answer to all my initial objections against adiabatic cooling. He was also the first to tell me, after a clever calculation, exactly how much cooling capacity was needed to provide my factory with a constant and optimal temperature. This convinced me that Oxycom's new two-stage adiabatic cooling was indeed the right solution for Microtherm." In two months time, Oxycom realised the project and placed two IntrCooll installations on the roof of Microtherm.
Now that Microtherm's building is ventilated with 100% fresh air, employees feel healthier, and there is less sick leave. Swikker: "Just the other day, one of the boys told me that he used to have laryngitis three times a year as standard due to the old air-conditioning system. Now he no longer suffers from anything. This may have everything to do with the fact that now there is optimal ventilation. And one more thing: in the old factory, there was always a smell of milled plastic. Now you don't smell any of that anymore. That's how fresh it is in the factory." The IntrCooll systems also ensure that it is a constant 20 ℃ in the factory. Because of the constant temperature, the machines do not have to be compensated all the time. Swikker: "Because of the constant temperature, we can offer quality to our customers with greater ease."
Cooperation with Oxycom
Swikker says the following about Oxycom: "We are very satisfied. Not only with the results but also about the cooperation with Oxycom. We're always in good contact with their mechanic. In the beginning, we had some problems with the installation. For instance, there was a leakage because rain, when it came from a certain angle, blew into the installation. And, because the fans of the IntrCooll Plus hang below the roof, in our factory room, there was initially a problem with noise nuisance. But Oxycom's mechanic was able to solve these problems adequately. If something is wrong, we only have give a buzz, and Oxycom's there to help out. Nowadays we're not used this kind of willingness to help anymore. But at Oxycom it still works that way!"