AB&I Foundry Increases Efficiencies in Manufacturing Cast Iron Pipe
March 7, 2017
AB&I FOUNDRY INCREASES EFFICIENCIES IN MANUFACTURING CAST IRON PIPE
Oakland, CA. March 7, 2017 – AB&I Foundry, an Oakland-based company that manufactures cast iron pipe and fittings for the plumbing industry, announces the successful installation of a specialized heat exchanger called a recuperator that increases manufacturing efficiencies in the melt operation.
The recuperator is a specialized heat exchanger that utilizes heat (energy) from the exhaust gasses and reheats the ambient air used in the combustion (melt) process. The new process reduces the need for natural gas and electricity used in the iron melting process – a $1M annual energy savings.
The recuperator was recycled from AB&I’s parent company and retrofitted for melting scrap metals into molten iron used to make cast iron pipe and fittings. “AB&I was able to reuse and repurpose a piece of equipment from a plant that had closed and incorporated it into our operation. We are continually identifying and implementing sustainable measures to save on natural resources,” said Dave Robinson, vice president of operations at AB&I Foundry.
“It’s impressive that AB&I could take a large hot-blast recuperator unit − not originally designed for AB&I’s melt system – retrofit it and make it work, while at the same time significantly improving efficiency in the foundry,” said Kurt Winter, executive vice president of McWane Plumbing Group. “The unit’s size provides system stability and allows for those times when pushing the melt rate to meet production requirements is necessary.”
AB&I moved the unit that weighs more than 74,000 pounds and is 65-feet long, from Alabama to its Oakland plant. Structural modifications were made to the cupola tower allowing the recuperator to be integrated it into the existing manufacturing operation.
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About McWane Ductile
For generations, the McWane family of companies has been an industry leader in water distribution and infrastructure that provide plumbing and clean water works systems. The history of McWane Ductile traces back to 1871, when Charles Phillip (C.P.) McWane entered the foundry business in Lynchburg, Virginia, with his sons, Henry and James Ransom (J.R.). McWane, Inc. was later formed in 1977.
In 1921, J.R. McWane started the McWane Cast Iron Pipe Company, a company that was designed and built as a specialty foundry for small diameter pipe. The McWane Pipe division acquired Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company in 1926 with McWane as a 50 percent partner, Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company in 1975, Clow Water Systems Company in 1985, and Canada Pipe Company in 1989. In 2015, these divisions merged to create McWane Ductile.
With over 900 employees, McWane Ductile is recognized today as the country's most experienced manufacturer and supplier of ductile iron pipe. The company's modern facilities offer 3-inch to 36-inch ductile iron pressure pipe and fittings to meet customer needs throughout the United States and Canada.
About McWane Inc.
McWane, Inc. is a family-owned business based in Birmingham, Alabama, with companies across the United States and the world. At the McWane Family of Companies, we cast ductile iron products--including pipe, valves, hydrants, fittings, and plumbing products--manufacture fire extinguishers, fire suppression systems, steel pressure vessels, and build network switches and monitoring equipment. We are the leader in delivering clean, safe drinking water around the world while focusing on the safe, environmentally-friendly manufacturing of our products. With more than 6,000 team members McWane has a longstanding commitment of support to the communities where we live and work.