In Austria, the business unit MKW Kunststofftechnick GmbH processes thermoplastics and thermosets by injection molding. MKW is the technology leader in press technology and one of the most important European producers of toilet seats. One core process here is powder coating. In order to provide a comfortable environment for the employees despite these energy-intensive processes, five IntrCooll Plus units with different requirements were installed by Oxycom's partner INFRANORM®. Temperature reduction at the permanent workplaces with the highest possible proportion of fresh air and maintenance of production safety were the top priorities, along with simple expandability and low operating costs.
In Weibern (Austria), the company MKW produces high-quality metal and plastic products for the local economy. In the manufacturing processes, such as laser cutting and CNC machining for the metal and injection molding area, as well as powder coating in the plastics area, large heat loads are generated with the production. Added to this are solar heat loads, resulting in uncomfortably high temperatures at workstations during the summer months. Oxycom's patented two-stage adiabatic climate control now ensures comfortable working conditions, all year round.
Focused on sustainability and awarded for it, MKW became aware of Oxycom's innovative climate control while searching for a sustainable, economical and powerful system for year-round air conditioning. Various requirements emerged during the customer discussion. This led to single-stage adiabatic pre-cooling for the intake air of the existing ventilation system and a total of five two-stage adiabatic cooling units to provide extra cooling and ventilation to the halls.
Figure: Single-stage adiabatic pre-cooling of the intake air of the existing ventilation unit
During the pressing of the sanitary products, dust is generated as a result of the process. To improve the climate and to protect employees, the system located in this area works with 100 % fresh air. Therefore, the plant is operated when the outdoor temperatures are above the minimum injection temperature.
In the injection molding, wire processing, and powder coating area, on the other hand, year-round operation with recirculated air admixture is used for four additional plants. A special feature is the injection molding area, in which fire gas fans have been installed for smoke extraction, which operate as exhaust fans during normal operation. If a fire would occur, the systems shut down and the fans start the fire mode for mechanical smoke extraction. In year-round operation, the maximum possible volume of fresh air can be supplied without additional heating costs by utilizing the operational waste heat and mixing in recirculated air. A significant advantage here is the reduction of ventilation heat losses by up to 100% through direct use of the warm recirculated air.
With the patented technology of the cooling systems, the outdoor air is cooled down in a two-stage adiabatic process using pure hydropower. In this way, the permanent workplaces are supplied with 100% clean, cooled fresh air.
The processes needed to manufacture the products require high-temperature levels, such as the baking of the powder coating at 150 °C. If the hall were fully air-conditioned, the oven would require the over more energy, which would significantly increase the energy requirements for the manufacturing process. For this reason, spot cooling is used for targeted conditioning of the continuous workstations. Instead of a conventional air conditioning system with 671KW cooling capacity, the innovative two-stage adiabatic cooling technology was chosen. The draught-free supply air is introduced via customized textile air hoses with laser perforations tailored to the customer's needs. In this way, each workstation can be individually supplied with cool fresh air.
In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that manufacturing companies need to respond to an increasingly dynamic market. This is where Oxycom's IntrCooll has a clear advantage due to its easily expandable modules. It is possible to reconfigure the systems or expand them at a later stage.
In some cases, it is even sufficient to adapt only the piping and the individually manufactured textile air hoses to the new situation without changing the entire system configuration.
When production capacity is low or during shutdowns, the hall temperature control system ensures a stable hall temperature. This means that employees have access to an optimally tempered hall even after weekends.
The pressure control present allows for negative pressure in the press room. This prevents the dust generated there from spreading to other parts of the hall.
Figure: Air is introduced in a targeted manner for the employees with the individually manufactured textile air hoses.
The textile air hoses used in this project are individually adapted to the different workplaces. The introduction of the supply air is designed for the maximum possible amount of fresh air without creating drafts. This ensures optimum comfort in the work area and is additionally ensured by the supply air temperature control.
Statements and experience values
Stefan Kleinpötzl, Production Manager - Wire processing, MKW
"Even with the limited space and low hall heights, the system could be integrated without any problems and now ensures an optimal hall climate with plenty of cooled fresh air. The project execution was very positive, the installation could even be carried out during ongoing operations and thus prevented production downtimes."
Robert Wimmer, Production Manager - Press Technology, MKW
“Two-stage adiabatic, with cooling of fresh outdoor air by up to 17°C, was one of the main reasons for choosing sustainable Hall conditioning. The adjustable vacuum in the pressing area is extremely important to ensure that the dust generated during production is not carried over into other production areas.”
Oxycom's two-stage adiabatic cooling shows enormous performance compared to conventional air conditioning. It provides optimum comfort in the work areas and ensures a fresh and healthy indoor climate all year-round.
- Saves 89% energy costs;
- Saves 83% operating costs;
- Saves 55 tons of CO2 emissions;
- Fresh air cooling instead of recirculated room air;
- 100% prevention of heat loss;
- Limitation of room humidity and; prevention of condensation by dew point monitoring.