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Industrial Assessments in the Cast Metals Industry: Common Problems and Opportunities
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Opportunities for cost savings in industrial plant operations can either be associated with systems that are common to most manufacturers or be industry specific. Examples of the former include lighting, air compressor operation or projects involving the building envelope. The focus of this paper is on those opportunities and practices that are more or less specific to the cast metals industry. The paper contains observations and conclusions drawn from several industrial assessments at casting shops of varying sizes carried out over the last ten years. Some plants were large enough to have engineering staffs that contribute to the scientific literature (Timberlake and Hansard, 1996), but most were small. Some of the general areas to be considered include the melting area where the potential for inductive heating, waste heat recovery, preheating of metal charges, and optimization of combustion efficiency will be discussed. The casting area provides many opportunities including mold design, heating and cooling strategies, and operation of the hydraulic pumps. Finally, a careful look at post-casting operations shows that it is usually the most overlooked area in terms of cost savings. In addition to the survey of opportunities, the paper will show how focusing on waste minimization and other aspects of industrial productivity have a direct impact on energy costs demonstrating the importance of the integrated assessment in identifying all of the cost saving opportunities available in a plant.
Muller, M. R.; Barnish, T. J.; Kasten, D. (1998). Industrial Assessments in the Cast Metals Industry: Common Problems and Opportunities. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from