Original Date: 05/12/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Temperature Control with Environmental Responsibility
In the late 1980s, Cincinnati Milacron was faced with the challenge of producing more accurate, higher tolerance machine tools at a lower market price. Statistically, machine tolerance requirements increase 30% every six years. Typical machining center tolerances have increased from the one thousandth of an inch range of the 1970s to less than 20% of that in the 1990s. During the same timeframe, rapid traverse rates and spindle speeds have increased by 400% and 300%, respectively, while market prices have decreased by 30%. Cincinnati Milacron recognized that temperature control was a necessity for meeting this challenge.
Existing resources were available to Cincinnati Milacron. A coal-fired steam plant was located on-site and a portion of the production complex already had air handling ducts in place. The existence of the steam plant dictated the use of absorption chillers in lieu of chlorofluorocarbons. By working with a company that dealt in secondhand equipment, Cincinnati Milacron only needed to purchase two new chillers. The rest of the equipment was secured in used, but excellent condition at a greatly reduced price, including cooling towers and pumps.
Cincinnati Milacron’s temperature control system has proven successful. Not only does the system meet production requirements, but it allows the company to work with the local manufacturing community in an environmentally- conscious, manufacturing initiative. Cincinnati Milacron also reconfigured its coal-fired steam plant to burn supplemental fuels. This action eliminated the high costs previously endured by the company when it sent a substantial amount of by-products (produced as oils) to disposal facilities. The expected closure of landfills to wood products presented another challenge. Cincinnati Milacron purchased a wood chipper to dispose of its wooden pallets, and installed an automated system which incorporates the chips into the coal-burning process.
In addition to its own, Cincinnati Milacron has set up contracts with several local companies to beneficially use their by-products, including wood and oil filter media. By charging a fee for this service, Cincinnati Milacron can partially offset its expenses and more fully utilize natural resources. This initiative has enabled the company to generate up to 10% of its steam requirements, while partially eliminating a disposal situation for itself and the local community.
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