Gimo’s sintering area demands high functional standards for ventilation: air must be replaced five times per hour in this energy intensive, difficult environment. Sandvik Coromant counts on ClimateMachines™ to meet these demands. ClimateMachines™ air handling units provide the highest efficiency ventialization on the market, generating a reliable indoor climate at low operating costs.
Sintering furnaces harden carbide bits, day in and day out. As the world’s leading supplier of tools, tooling solutions and know-how to the metalworking industry, Sandvik Coromant never stands still. This affects the quantity and quality of air.
“When we sinter carbide bits in the furnaces, hazardous substances are released. Accordingly, we needed to look at an updated solution that had higher efficiency, greater air circulation and allowed us to recover more energy,” explains Anders Sörling, Operations Manager at Sandvik Coromant in Gimo.
We noted a difference the very first month. We’re saving so much energy, it showed up in our finances right away. In round numbers, we’re saving around 70 cubic metres of oil per yearAnders Sörling, Operations Manager at Sandvik Coromant in Gimo
The answer was Climate Machines. A unit that not only provides comfort cooling but saves great quantities of energy with a temperature efficiency of 90%. This means the sintering process recovers 90% of the energy produced and only needs to add 10% of the total energy requirement.
Environment and safety are two high priorities for Sandvik Coromant in its daily operations.
“This investment is fully in line with Sandvik’s thinking about minimising energy use and providing a good working environment. We are making an investment for the future,” says Anders.
Our collaboration began in 2012 with our review of an energy center at another industrial site. But it was not until the end of 2014 that the plans for the new ventilation technology for the sintering works took shape.
“Above all, the unique thing was the efficiency the very large heat exchanger offered,” remembers Anders.
There followed a series of project meetings to put the plans into action. Installation began in the summer of 2015 and operations began in October the same year.
Energy Machines provides operational support and brilliant ideas.
“They are great to work with. Contacts are personal, easy-going and they come up with ideas whenever necessary. And I think it’s important that they are responsible for the entire project. From beginning to end,” concludes Anders.
The original idea was to install a Climate Machine unit to make use of all the exhaust air from the factory, including the exhaust from the sintering furnaces. However, we knew that would mean allowing a major part of the energy-rich exhaust air to bypass the heat exchanger, which was unacceptable. Our innovative solution was to have the existing fans handle exhaust air from the sintering furnaces – approx 5 m³/s – recovery energy with the aid of liquid coupled heat exchangers.
The Climate Machine unit concentrates on recovering exhaust air from factory spaces and offices. This results in an imbalance between supply and exhaust air of 18 and 13 m³ per second respectively. Despite this imbalance, ClimateMachines™ provides very high performance and temperature recovery. When after-treatment is necessary, heat is added from the heating system via coils using heat that largely comes from recycled exhaust air from the sintering furnaces. In principle, this unique solution means we achieve almost 100% energy recovery.