Recirculated Cooling Water System
Mercury Marine utilizes a central recirculated cooling water system for cooling components in their die casting plant. Without cooling water, components and equipment begin to overheat within minutes. As Mercury prepared for long-term growth of the die casting operations, the need for upgrading the recirculated cooling water system became critical. The cooling towers were maintained well by Mercury Marine, but were operating many years beyond their rated life, and were showing signs of their age. The original system was expanded multiple times through the decades, with multiple supply and return lines in each of the utility tunnels. Rohde worked closely with Mercury Marine to upgrade the system over a three year period with new cooling towers, pumps, controls, piping, and filtration equipment processing up to 2,330 gallons of water per minute. Changes in die casting technology required improved filtration to prevent plugging of die cavities and ineffective part cooling, which resulted in significant downtime, loss of productivity, and defective parts.
The Rohde team completed a sequenced rebuild of a plant-wide recirculated water cooling system for their aluminum die-casting operations, with no disruption to plant production. Water flow rates were reduced to allow for lower pumping energy costs and improved water quality, leading to reduced maintenance costs. The phased upgrade of the system started with replacement of one cooling tower in a temporary location. Sequential replacement of the entire network of supply and return piping for the system was started after the first cooling tower was replaced. Installing new piping while maintaining flow of water to the plant with highly congested utility tunnels required careful layout and review off every piping system within the plant. With the piping replaced and new cooling towers in place, planning for the permanent system installation started. The final phase of the project included replacement of the pumps and controls along with relocation of the cooling towers to a permanent location on the roof of the plant.
“We (Mercury Marine) are continuously modifying and adding to our operations to accommodate new engine programs. Rohde Brothers, Inc. has provided design, engineering support and installation for many of these projects in our manufacturing and design facilities. In sever of the recent addition, Rohde Brothers, Inc…to provide entire mechanical systems integration packages and added their own value engineering to reduce installed cost and operating cost while enhancing our original performance expectations,” said Stephen Mlinaz, senior facilities engineer, Mercury Marine.
Replaced cooling towers sequentially first in temporary location and then final location to maintain plant operations
Replaced recirculated cooling water piping in the tunnels serving more than 30 die cast machines
Added and upgraded piping at die cast machines as individual cells were added or reconfigured
Replaced the original side stream strainer with two full flow multi-bag filtration units.
Allen-Bradley Micrologix control system integrated with the plant Factory Talk SCADA system
Careful planning and coordination with plant operations to complete the installation without disruption of plant operations
Ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the complete system to ensure peak efficiency and performance