This success story shows how Kipp Umwelttechnik GmbH and its sister company mycon GmbH helped a customer improve the energy efficiency of its production hall and its heating plant while cutting energy costs with regular cleaning of the exhaust and heat recovery systems. Regular cleaning and service also helps avoid downtime and fire load.
The customer is a global industrial group that is a market leader in the manufacture of cutting tools, rust-free materials such as seamless stainless steel drawn tubes, special alloys, high-temperature materials and process systems. As the market leader for these products and with a view to sustainable production processes, the customer was seeking a company that could perform the necessary cleaning operations according to its specific requirements. The company was convinced by the innovative and environmentally friendly processes offered by Kipp Umwelttechnik GmbH and mycon GmbH.
The growing competition, coupled with increasing cost pressure and ever-more demanding regulations, makes the consistent energy efficiency of production lines essential. High-quality seamless drawn stainless steel tubes are made at the company’s plant. Because some of the production processes are heat-intensive, exhaust from the various furnaces needs to be removed from the production halls through several pipe systems. The exhaust pipe systems are made up of 700 and 800 mm inside diameter pipes. In recent years, the company has determined that regular cleaning of these pipe systems is necessary to maintain the reliability of the plant, avoid downtime and reduce fire load. Until four years ago, however, the cleaning was not performed to this extent. The accumulated build-up over the past several years formed a layer which constituted significant fire load. The company identified a need for professional cleaning of the exhaust system to reduce energy costs and avoid production stoppages caused by fires.
The customer passes the exhaust air through a heat recovery system (finned heat exchangers). Because some of the exhaust is also hot, this heat recovery system would save the customer a lot of heating energy costs for the plant. However, the heat recovery system had been out of service for quite some time. The finned heat exchangers were so dirty that air could no longer pass through them. Preliminary attempts to clean the exchangers with a pressure washer failed because some of the sensitive fins were very badly damaged in the process and the attempt had to be aborted. Kipp Umwelttechnik GmbH identified further savings potential for the customer by cleaning the fin heat exchangers to obtain further energy optimization through heat recovery.
The customer was seeking a regional company that could provide industrial cleaning of its exhaust systems with quick response times if needed. The customer already had several IceMaster dry ice blasting machines by mycon GmbH in automated operation and was therefore familiar with mycon’s sister company, the service provider Kipp Umwelttechnik GmbH. After interviewing several competitors and comparing offers, the customer was convinced by the innovative processes offered by Kipp Umwelttechnik GmbH.
Kipp Umwelttechnik GmbH further convinced the customer with the first round of very efficient cleanings and identifying additional savings potential through cleaning the heat recovery system with the AiR-Robot and JetMaster processes.
After extensive consultation, the following goals were set:
- avoid production stoppages during the cleaning phase
- perform cleanings with eco-friendly and machine-friendly processes
- clean exhaust system with AiR-Robot from Kipp Umwelttechnik GmbH
- cleaning the heat recovery system (finned heat exchanger) with JetMaster
- optimize energy efficiency at the production plant
Kipp Umwelttechnik GmbH used its AiR-Robot process to clean all of the pipes in the exhaust system including connectors, reducers and smaller branch lines over one weekend so that there was hardly any production downtime. On Monday, the customer could resume production as usual. Since then, the pipes have been regularly cleaned with AiR-Robot and the entire system can be completely cleaned in just a few hours.
Simultaneously, the entire heat recovery system, including all of the interior surfaces, fins and motors, was cleaned using two JetMaster devices. The parts were once again moving smoothly after cleaning. All of the finned exchangers were once again fully operational after cleaning.
The savings in energy costs and the optimization in production hall heating that resulted from cleaning the pipes and the finned heat exchangers surprised and impressed the customer. The customer continues to have the systems cleaned on a regular basis to be able to continue enjoying the savings in the future.
Before the systems were cleaned, the air supply for the production hall had to be heated with an additional boiler. The need for this extra boiler has since completely disappeared. The cleaned finned heat exchangers now provide enough heat for the plant through the winter, resulting in tremendously lower energy costs for heating the hall. This measure has resulted in an annual energy savings far above the cost of cleaning the system.
The customer was also satisfied with the quick, professional cleaning of the systems as well as how potential savings were also identified by cleaning other areas. The Kipp Group met the customer’s high demands for project organization as well as providing staff with the necessary expertise. The service will be repeated as needed.
Facts at a glance
|production site with very heat-intensive production processes, downtime to be avoided
|Complete cleaning of the exhaust pipe system with environmentally friendly processes that would not damage the machinery, cleaning the heat recovery system (finned heat exchangers)
|Benefit to the customer:
|The measures resulted in an annual energy savings and optimization of the production hall heating and increased energy Efficiency