Case study: MRT Castings in Andover
There are many challenges to overcome when designing an effective ventilation system for industrial environments, including overheating, air quality, humidity and noise.
In this particular blog, we wanted to share our experience in helping one of our die casting customers – MRT Castings – install a new industrial ventilation solution that would overcome overheating issues in their new foundry.
Similar to Colt, MRT Castings was founded over 70 years ago as a family-run business and has a reputation as one of the most experienced and skilled manufacturers of machined components in the UK and abroad. Aside from unrivalled experience and expertise in our respective fields, there are other interesting links between Colt and MRT Castings as well - they frequently work with Colt on the manufacture of the components that go into manufacturing our state-of-the-art systems and Colt designed and installed the ventilation systems in MRT Castings’ first dedicated machine shop and foundry in the 1990’s.
Seeing strong growth in recent years, MRT began construction of a larger, purpose-built foundry based in Andover in 2019 that required an updated ventilation system to be designed and installed to maintain optimal working and manufacturing conditions in the new space. Naturally, they turned to Colt again for help.
Creating optimal air quality and working environments for both man and machine
The design challenges
Obviously, as MRT’s primary working and manufacturing environment is based in a foundry, there are extremely high levels of heat being generated the whole time, which, in addition to solar gain can pose a health risk and lead to dangerous working environments. Overheating equipment is also always a risk and could lead to expensive repairs or even new systems having to be installed – finding the right balance between heat extract and natural ventilation systems is paramount.
Having adequate rain defence on the inlet ventilators (louvres) is also extremely important, as the foundry environment is very volatile and any water getting into the furnace area could cause a potentially catastrophic explosion.
The Colt solution
As with all our complex projects, we initially carried out a site check and did in-house CFD (computational fluid dynamics) modelling to best understand and verify the ventilation requirements by checking air flow and temperature modelling. The modelling helps us to understand what systems to use and where best to position natural ventilators for inlet air and mechanical exhaust systems to draw out heat.
To allow a constant supply of fresh air into the foundry, we installed triple bank, weather-resistant (3UL) louvres at low level to allow inlet air into the building.
Colt 3UL Universal Louvre is a roll-formed triple bank louvre system designed for applications requiring ventilation with the maximum degree of rain defence, making them the perfect fit for the MRT Castings foundry.
Behind the 3UL louvres, Seefire dampers were also installed that could be closed off to modulate inlet air and therefore control the speed of extract – something that is important in the foundry as heat levels are constantly changing.
Mechanical Tornado extract fans were then installed on the roof as an effective way to remove excessive heat generated from the foundry’s production processes from the building.
Tornado systems are ErP compliant (Energy Related Products), powered local exhaust ventilation fans designed to deal with localised air quality and overheating problems as well as to provide general comfort control. As an ErP compliant product, Tornado is highly efficient and complies to European standards for energy consumption and improved product performance. Another feature that made it the right fit for this project was that Tornado has a non-return shutter that ensures a weatherproof seal when the fan is not in operation.
In addition to the ventilation requirements in the area of the foundry where all the heat was being generated, MRT also asked Colt to install glazed Coltlite ventilators throughout other sections of the building to allow for day-to-day ventilation and help with removing heat.
Coltlite is a natural louvred ventilator suitable for natural day-to-day building ventilation, as well as smoke control. It has the benefit of a visually aesthetic design and is most commonly used as a glazed element of the building envelope.
If you need help designing and installing a suitable ventilation and climate control solution in a factory or production plant where overheating and rain defence are issues, talk to us. Our team has the experience and expertise to deliver the best solution.
If your building is too hot or too cold, if your process gives off fume or moisture, if your product requires specific conditions during its manufacture or storage, or if noise is a concern, then we may be able to help you.
We can survey your building using a range of techniques and equipment to identify your problem. Once established, we can then recommend a solution based on proven design work.
Andrew Wright is an Area Manager for Colt's Climate Control divison, experienced in creating efficient ventilation systems to achieve comfortable working environments and increasing productivity.