Chilled Water System Improvements for Global Plastic Component Manufacturer

Essentra Components manufacture parts from packaging and fluid handling to moulded plastics and hardware. They operate over 100 injection moulding machines at their large site in Oxfordshire.

Their machines utilise Chillers and V Bank Airblast Coolers to provide cooling to the tools at 14°C and to hydraulic oil at 20°C. Minimising downtime is crucial to their production, so they need a maintenance partner that they can rely on to maintain and optimise their chilled water system and equipment.

The situation

The manufacturing site required a reliable and supportive partnership with a reputable provider of high-standard technical support, maintenance, and servicing.

The use of mixed metals in the internal factory pipework had caused corrosion, which led to the poor quality of water running through the system, damaging the pipework and causing leaks.

If closed-loop systems or the water used within them are poorly maintained or left untreated it can lead to problems that will affect energy usage, cost, asset performance, and reliability. Specifically, these problems include corrosion, fouling, biofouling, and scaling to a lesser extent unless there is significant water loss requiring additional make-up water.

These issues were resolved in the recent past by adapting their cooling water system from a closed-circuit pressurised system to an open tank system – making it easy to monitor the quality
of the water and add treatment as needed.

The solution

We are providing the site with technical support, maintenance and regular servicing of the equipment. This includes cleaning and ushing the dual filter arrangement to ensure clean and treated water is provided – protecting the system components and minimising the risk of downtime.

You can view the full Essentra Components case study online.

To discuss how we can help improve the efficiency and maintenance of your chilled water systems, please call us on 0330 404 3228 or contact us online.

chiller drop

Aqua Supplies Complete Package to Manufacturing Client

The Client –

Global Packaging Manufacturer

The Challenge –

Eliminating Single-point Failures

The Solution –

System Upgrade

When you are manufacturing 24/7, the resilience and reliability of your process is most likely as important as its efficiency. For a packaging supplier client looking to upgrade their existing process cooling system, Aqua’s design team came up with a system which managed to overcome legacy issues, added N+1 redundancy and improved energy efficiency.

Our clients’ existing cooling system on their injection moulding process line required additional capacity and whilst they had bridged the gap temporarily with a chiller from our hire division, Aqua Hire, they wanted a permanent solution going forward.

Their existing system also had an issue with additives in the water which, over time, had corroded the current chiller’s evaporator, causing it to rupture. Not only did this result in a large repair bill, but it also jeopardised production which would have a huge financial impact for the client. The alternative was to hire in replacement equipment, at additional cost, to bridge the gap whilst repairs were carried out. Any upgrade needed to resolve the risk of additives compromising the process a second time.

Aqua’s solution involved adding a second chiller to the process, along with intermediate plate heat exchangers to separate the primary and secondary circuits. With two chillers, both operating on reduced load, the system could maximise efficiency and benefit from built in redundancy. Adding the heat exchangers would prevent any future damage from contaminants as well as protecting against possible frost damage. Resilience was boosted even further by the addition of a large buffer tank and the inclusion of inverter driven process pumps increased operational efficiency.

The full solution included:

  • 348kW scroll fluid chiller – with 2 refrigeration circuits and 4 compressors
  • 304 stainless steel plate heat exchangers
  • Inverter driven process pumps
  • 4000 litre tank

Full mechanical design, installation & commissioning

“This project really showcases the difference technical design excellence can make to a system”, explains Aqua Senior Sales Engineer, Martin Windley. “Not only did the design team overcome the initial challenges, but they also boosted overall system resilience, improved efficiency and our client will now benefit from cost savings year after year.”




cse chiller

Lack Of Outside Space Pays Dividends For Plastics Client

The Client –

Plastic Injection Moulding Client On The South Coast

The Challenge –

No Outside Space To Site Process Chiller

The Solution –

Pipework Upgrade With Minimal Downtime

Whilst initially a lack of outside space to might seem problematic, our design team managed to turn it into a huge positive for a client running an injection moulding plant on the South Coast.

Their production factory is part of an industrial estate, but local restrictions prohibited them using their external space to site a chiller. Their failing legacy chiller had been installed at height within their factory. This had made access for servicing and maintenance challenging over the years and the unit was now failing and becoming costly to repair.

Aqua’s design team suggested replacing the existing chiller with a new air-cooled chiller unit from our CSE range. These chillers are specifically designed for indoor installations and have variable speed centrifugal fans which allow air to be ducted externally or internally. This effectively allows the chiller to provide process cooling, but the resulting warm air can then be ducted into the factory during the colder months to provide comfort heating. In the warmer summer months, the air is simply directed outside to keep the ambient temperature comfortable.

The full solution included:

  • CSE 160 air cooled chiller with shell & tube evaporator
  • Design service
  • Installation & commissioning

“Our design team did a great job of turning a negative into a positive with this installation”, explains Shaun Lancaster, Aqua’s Sales Manager. “Our client knew they needed to find a new location for their chiller for it to work effectively for the long term but were so restricted with their options. The fact that we could provide a highly energy efficient unit as well as repurposing the waste heat for space heating was a complete win win. They’ll not just make energy savings from the new chiller but they’ll also dramatically cut their heating bills!”

pump skid

Custom Design Skill Set Keeps Glycol Pumping

The Client –

UK Based Chemical Client

The Challenge –

Glycol Pump For Overseas Site

The Solution –

Custom Self-contained Packaged Skid

Clients working within sensitive and critical industries such as the chemical sector tend to work within very strict and specific parameters and for these customers it’s Aqua’s ability to custom build a solution that puts them head and shoulders above the competition.

For a client looking to circulate 30% glycol fluid around their cooling plant, Aqua’s design team put together a closed-circuit pump skid which was designed and built on a completely bespoke basis. The end result was a self-contained packaged solution ready to be shipped overseas to its final destination.

The full solution included:

  • 2 x circulating pumps; 1 active and 1 standby with auto switch over
  • Pump in-line Y strainer, suction and discharge pressure indicators, discharge temperature indicator
  • Sealed Process tank in 304L stainless steel, high/low level switches and level gauge
  • Valves and piping
  • Control panel and control system
  • Local instruments
  • Steel base frame
  • Electrical and instrument wiring
  • Vacuum packaging for onward transportation overseas

“It’s often easy to think of process or industrial cooling equipment in terms of off the shelf chillers and box units” explains Aqua Group’s Sales Manager, Shaun Lancaster. “But, for Aqua, there’s so much more to achieving the best solution for a customer. Our bespoke design & build ability is something we’re really proud of and it helps our customer get exactly what they need, without the restraints of trying to fix their requirements to a set product or range of products.”



Cooling Tower System With Zero Capital Investment

The Client –

Rubber Processor, South Of England

The Challenge –

Failing Cooling System

The Solution –

Energy Saving Analysis & Cooling Tower Replacement

It can often be confusing for clients looking to install, upgrade or replace cooling equipment because of the wide range of products available to choose from and their respective advantages or disadvantages depending on the application.

For one client trying to choose between a cooling tower and an adiabatic cooler, Aqua carried out a cost analysis based on their facility and operating conditions, to illustrate the true lifetime cost of both options.

Based on the South Coast, the client specialises in cabling for energy and telecom applications. Their large factory facility had a cooling tower-based cooling system on site. However, after serving them well for 30 years, the aging towers were starting to raise health & safety concerns within the business. However, a question remained over whether they replaced the equipment with similar cooling towers or moved to adiabatic cooling.

“Often customers look to move away from cooling towers because of the associated risks of legionella and the ongoing water treatment costs and H&S implications but in reality, the key is good regular maintenance” explains Aqua Group Sales Manager, Shaun Lancaster.

“For our client we analysed the true costs of both systems – considering capital costs, energy costs and running costs (including maintenance) – and cooling towers came out on top. Where we like to feel we’re different as a business, is we give transparent energy & related cost savings. We look at the complete picture, considering capital and operational costs, our savings aren’t just on the supply of the equipment but on the lifetime operation and all the variables that brings.”

“We also considered how we could introduce glycol into the adiabatic cooling option without adding it to the main factory water. The answer was relatively straightforward – just add heat exchangers and additional pump skids – but the impact of this would have been an increase in the temperature of the supply water.”

Aqua supplied a replacement Marley NC tower unit, factory assembled, single cell, crossflow design. The cooling tower’s casing, structure, collection & distribution basin were constructed in galvanised steel to give additional corrosion protection. Aqua engineers erected, installed and commissioned the tower.

“The icing on the cake, so to speak, was that Aqua supplied the new tower based system for the buy- back cost of some redundant adiabatic units that the client had on site, so the project was completed with zero CAPEX investment.”


Low Temperature Solution for M&E Consultancy

The Client –

UK Based M&E Contractor

The Challenge –

Cooling System Requirement For An Automotive Client

The Solution –

Low Temp Chillers – Supply Only + Technical Overview

A recent project for an automotive industry client highlighted the flexibility and versatility of the service offering Aqua Group can provide, not just to direct end user customers but also to mechanical contractors and consultants.

In this example, the end user appointed a design consultancy and an M&E contractor to deliver a cooling system for their automotive process. Aqua Group were approached by the specified contractor to provide the equipment required on a supply only basis.

The end client’s process was working on temperatures down as low as -25°C so Aqua provided 3 x air cooled chillers specifically designed for low temperature applications. The units, each 152kW, included screw compressor, shell & tube evaporator, cooper tubed condenser, aluminium finned core and axial fans. The chillers were designed with several extras, including low noise option on each compressor.

However, whilst working on a supply only basis, Aqua’s engineering team were still on hand to give technical oversight and advice. Sales Manager, Shaun Lancaster, explained; “Our engineers have the ability to work with clients in many different ways, depending on their individual situations and requirements.”

“One member of the team could be working on a project that involves a full turnkey solution – from site visit and energy analysis through project management to installation and commissioning. Equally, at the same time one of the team could be working on a supply only project. The Aqua difference however is that even in a supply only scenario, our engineers will still be on hand to give technical advice and guidance at the design stage to ensure the final system will do what it needs to do. We work with our clients for the long term, regardless of whether they are OEMs, end users, trade customers or consultants and M&E contractors.”


Pipework Upgrade With Minimal Downtime, Not Such A Pipe Dream For Plastics Client

The Client –

Midlands Based Plastics Manufacturer

The Challenge –

24/7 Production Facility With Defective Pipework

The Solution –

Pipework Upgrade With Minimal Downtime

Replacing or upgrading outdated or faulty equipment always presents challenges, but for manufacturing sites working to 24/7 production schedules, any interruption or downtime can have a serious financial and operational impact.

Old, leaking pipework was causing a plastics manufacturing client a major issue, which was compounded by their 24/7 operation. The faulty pipework supplied cooling to their hydraulic machinery as well as tool cooling for the factory presses. It was running into a maintenance pit, close to electric cabling, so any leakage presented an immediate H&S risk.

Aqua engineers designed a new pipework layout that could be installed alongside the existing system, allowing the factory to operate as normal throughout the upgrade project.

The replacement pipework was prefabricated off site in stainless-steel. Then, on delivery it could be put together quickly using press fit rather than welded connections. The stainless-steel construction enhances its life span as it’s inert, as well as being lightweight which helps from an installation point of view.

The new design enabled the pipework to be installed higher up, rather than at floor and pit level, making it much more accessible for maintenance and if any leaks should develop at any time in the future they would be easily spotted and at a safe distance from any electrical cabling.

“This project was a great example of how we can help clients get around what often seem like huge obstacles” explains Aqua Sales Engineer Mark Hopper. “Initially our client feared they’d be faced with weeks, possibly months, of interruptions to production, but our solution saw them shut down for just 2 days over a single weekend.”


Low Temp Chillers Are Just The Tonic For Gin Distillery

The Client –

Oxley Gin Distillery, Hampshire

The Challenge –

Upscale In Production

The Solution –

Complete Temperature Control System

Launched in 2009, Bacardi owned Oxley Gin is widely recognised as pioneering the cold vacuum distillation technique.

Historically, production at their distillery in Hampshire, was done by hand, one litre at a time. Due to increased product demand, Bacardi tasked a consultant to oversee the upscaling of their production facility.

Aqua were called in during the initial design phase and took on responsibility for the complete design of the temperature control distillery cooling system required.

The cold vacuum distillation process is also referred to as a sub-zero process. Essentially, botanicals are cooled to -5°C with ethanol. The distillation process pulls a vacuum to distil the gin from an initial tank. Due to it being under vacuum, to condense the gin back to liquid, Aqua supplied a specialist condenser serviced by a-30°C glycol system. It is then re-heated to over 0°C and moved to the next stage in the process which is blending.

The full solution included:

  • -30 low temperature glycol chiller
  • Secondary stage heat exchanger – condenser
  • Temperature control solution to maintain parameters

The distillery now has a fully automated process, uniquely designed and able to process 100 litres of primary source gin (ethanol) at a time.

dc cooling

Keeping the World’s Data Cool

The Client –

4D Data Centres Ltd – Gatwick Data Centre Facility

The Challenge –

Cooling System Refresh And Capacity Increase

The Solution –

Eco-friendly Cooling Tower Design, Supply And Install

4D Data Centres is a UK-based colocation provider, providing ultra-fast connectivity, business-focussed cloud and cyber solutions to organisations around the world. Data centres are at the heart of nearly all internet-based technologies, including Facebook, Google, WhatsApp and Amazon. Keeping all this technology online takes a lot of power, not only to run the computers themselves but also to keep them cool, otherwise they would quickly overheat.

When 4D took over an existing data centre building at Gatwick, Aqua was selected for its ability to upgrade the existing chiller-based cooling system, with installation and commissioning taking place whilst the facility was live. Working in direct partnership, Aqua designed and built an intelligent, energy efficient data centre cooling solution that significantly reduced the need for mechanical cooling and provided fresh air free cooling.

The project design focussed on a bespoke solution with energy efficiency, system resilience and reliability at its heart. It was critical that it was completely scalable, future proofing the client’s business model, allowing them to scale up to high density capacity at 40kW per rack when market demand required. Aqua’s ‘water tower’ system uses evaporative cooling to lower the temperature of the computers in the data centre.

Evaporative cooling used in this way is very innovative in the UK but at its heart it’s the same process that we as humans use to cool ourselves down. When we get hot, we sweat and it’s this process of water evaporating off the skin which cools us down. Legacy chillers were replaced with a “chiller-less” solution, using a cooling tower alongside a packaged plant room and full water treatment facility. The design included pumps, heat exchangers, dosing equipment, filtration, inverters and remote monitoring.

Specially designed CRAC (Computer Room Air Conditioning) units which operate on a 2°C difference between air and water temperatures, enable the system to run at higher temperatures. This eliminates the need for compressors – or mechanical cooling – allowing the chillers to be replaced with natural source cooling (cooling towers). This also reduces the number of moving parts within the design which increases system reliability.

In addition, using Carel’s CPco Platform, the system’s control strategy was engineered to minimise energy usage. The monitoring technology is aware of the minimal energy requirements for each piece of equipment within the system, ensuring it runs at the optimal needs of the data centre, with zero energy wastage. A bespoke square pipework system was designed with dual – or 2N – redundancy, so there is no single point of failure. If an issue should ever arise, it can be resolved without interruption or downtime in the data centre.

The full solution included:

  • Bespoke design service
  • Full installation and commissioning including turnkey pipework
  • Cooling towers
  • Packaged plant room/water treatment facilities
  • Pumps, heat exchangers, filtration, inverters and Carel CPco monitoring and control system
  • CRAC units

Project Engineers restricted the work carried out within the live facility to a minimum. For example, pipework was all pre-manufactured off site and then bought in for final assembly. Final commissioning had to be carefully phased, to avoid any unnecessary swings in supply temperature. The design of the Gatwick facility also caused some challenges. For example, the existing raised floor with cable trays in situ meant pipework had to be carefully routed and specially designed in areas as there were limited places to cross over.

Energy efficiency and subsequent cost savings were immediately evident, in the autumn months consuming significantly less than the previous system. The annual energy saving compared to the old system is forecast at 90%+, with an annualised part load Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.125. For 4D’s business, they have a facility that they can now scale right up to high density capacity of 40kW per rack.

Benefits achieved included:

  • Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) of 1.125 (ratio of total facility power usage divided by
    IT equipment power usage)
  • 90%+ energy saving on legacy cooling system
  • Future-proofed, modular, scalable design – from low density to high density – as
    demand dictates
  • 2N redundancy – zero risk of downtime
  • Constant temperature, humidity and leak detection monitoring
  • Green installation – major statement of intent by 4D to reduce carbon footprint

“The single biggest challenge of the project was installing and commissioning within a live data centre environment. Aqua’s diligent planning ensured zero risk of client downtime and provided us with a fast, reliable, greentech solution with tangible energy savings”Steven Wright, COO, 4D

4d data centres

blow moulding

Free Cooling Upgrade Saves £70K Annually

The Client –

Plastics Blow Moulder

The Challenge –

Energy Efficient Upgrade

The Solution –

Complete Cooling System Design

For a client with a legacy cooling system, a full system upgrade gave them the opportunity to benefit from the latest in energy efficient cooling technology.

Our client, an end user, specialises in plastics blow moulding and initially asked Aqua to carry out an energy evaluation on their existing factory set up. Our engineering team then designed an upgraded system with estimated annual costs savings from reducing overall energy consumption. When it comes to energy calculations, we are completely transparent and pride ourselves on living up to our predicted savings.
The suggested upgrade centred around utilising highly efficient free cooling technology, alongside inverter driven pumps. New chiller units were added to two production lines – on the injection moulding side and the blow moulding. Based on our client’s annual production schedule, energy cost savings were forecast at over £70,000. The free cooling also reduces the run hours on the chiller units, increasing their overall life expectancy.

An additional advantage for our client from moving to the new system was the warranty, giving them peace of mind for the years ahead.
The full solution included:

  • Energy efficient design review with energy calculations
  • Free cooling chillers
  • Inverter driven pumps
  • Mechanical installation & final commissioning
  • Warranty
  • Aftersales support

“Our client had become exasperated with their old system, experiencing long lead-times from the manufacturer when they needed to source replacement parts and then discovering some spares had become obsolete. That said, I think the prospect of a full system upgrade initially made them nervous because of the anticipated costs involved. However, our energy review quickly established that upgrading their equipment would bring them so many advantages. As well as a very quick payback – less than 2 years – they will make significant energy and cost savings every year” explains Aqua Sales Manager, Shaun Lancaster.