Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 12

PLANT PROFILE
packaging materials, are provided on the upper floor. The material supply is almost fully automated, Rosenberg said. The raw
materials are transported directly from the supply silos, which
are located outside the building, using seven coupled stations
that move the materials through the ducts to the machines.
"All cooling, power, water, and compressed air is supplied
directly to the machines through a central supply channel
integrated in the floor," Rosenberg explained. "This allows the
respective areas to be clearly separated in a structured way,
enabling the focus to be on respective core competencies of
the involved teams. All process and building controls (material
supply, cooling systems, fresh air, light, and safety engineering)
were programmed and managed in house."

Sustainability

Top. This is a portion of the process-cooling system for
Aquatherm's new extrusion lines. Aquatherm pumps
more than 121-million gal. each year from the Bigge
River at temperatures from 50 F to 57 F. By German
law, the water returned to the river can be no more than
73.4 F. The firm has three water loops running through
heat exchangers-process cooling, electric-motor
cooling (the largest motor is 800 kW), and heat recovery
for space heating and domestic hot water.
Above. Aquatherm's new extrusion lines operate three
shifts a day, and ran for more than 340 days in 2016.
Aquatherm engineers designed everything in the plant
itself, including the control systems. The firm designs,
builds, and automates their production lines, rather than
purchasing complete lines, which may not be optimized
for their product lines. Because they had to maintain
production, it took 10 months to move the lines
from the old building into the new building.

12 |

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

Sustainability has been a core value of the company from the
time it was founded more than four decades ago, according to
Barry Campbell, vice-president of marketing, Aquatherm North
America.
"We believe sustainability is a vital component in a company's
success," Campbell explained. "That is why we have certified our
energy-management system according to DIN EN ISO 50001
and our environmental-management system according to DIN
EN ISO 14001. It is also why we are the only piping system in
North America that can contribute directly to LEED v4 points.
We consistently are working to reduce our consumption of
energy, water, and resources, as well as lower the amount of our
waste and emissions. For example, in 2015, we saved more than
42 tons of carbon dioxide. We also reduced the consumption of
raw materials by more than 288 tons by reusing plastic materials
in our production processes."
Energy savings play into the company's sustainability picture.
"We use the hot water, hot air, and waste heat generated during
production processes to heat our state-of-the-art extrusion
building, as well as another building," Rosenberg said. "The total
heated area is approximately 15,500 square meters. The system
that we have in place is so efficient, we only need additional
heating for approximately 10 days a year when production is
down during the Christmas holidays."
The company also started a program to replace the lamps in
all of its production and warehouse buildings with LEDs. "To
save energy, we also have installed movement-sensitive lighting
in the technical basement of our new extrusion building,"
Rosenberg added.

Automation triggers continuous improvement
With constant changes in technology, automation continues to
be a crucial element in every one of Aquatherm's processes.
"Automation gains more and more importance, especially
with regard to quality control," Rosenberg said. "One example
is the in-line measurement of pipe-wall thickness. Monitoring
data is sent to our control center and displayed as graphics on
computer monitors. In the event of an error, a message is sent to
the shift supervisor and an alarm warns the lead operator. This
allows us to constantly minimize reaction time, helping us to
guarantee product quality."
MAY 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology May 2017

Maintenance Technology May 2017 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 2
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 3
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 4
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 5
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 6
Maintenance Technology May 2017 - 7
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