The benefits of using nitrogen generation technology are plentiful, and span across many different applications and industries. The automotive manufacturing industry is no exception. One particular automotive manufacturer recently found out just how beneficial nitrogen delivery systems can be for metalcaster applications.
According to a recent article from MODERN CASTING, automotive metalcaster, Honda of America Mfg. Inc. is celebrating its 30th year of operations for its manufacturing facility in Anna, Ohio. This facility, known as the Anna Engine Plant (AEP), is the company’s largest automotive engine plant in the world, offering complete melting, casting, machining and heat treatment capabilities. In addition to producing a variety of automotive components, AEP uses a significant amount of Nitrogen for isothermal annealing and ferritic nitrocarbonizing. The facility also uses Nitrogen as a pressurizing gas during pouring and as a blanket gas to prevent oxidation during heat treatment.
With so much of AEP’s operations depending on a steady supply of nitrogen, engineers began to investigate possible upgrades to their existing Nitrogen delivery system. They wanted to improve performance, reduce consumption and minimize maintenance – all while keeping a healthy bottom line.
“AEP was using 72 million cu. ft. of nitrogen per year from an 18,000-gallon liquid tank, which was filled three times a week,” MODERN CASTING reports. “The annual cost of this liquid nitrogen system — including tank rentals, hazardous material charges, delivery fees and the cost of liquid nitrogen — exceeded $250,000.”
After learning about the two types of nitrogen generation technology, and how they can help streamline costs and operations, the team of Honda engineers chose to pursue the installment of a Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) system, which is comprised of vessels filled with a carbon molecular sieve that is pressurized with air. This system’s long life expectancy, increased flow rates and potential return on investment in as little as two years are what drew the team to it.
Now that the AEP team is equipped with a nitrogen generation system, they no longer have to rely on costly liquid nitrogen deliveries, only use the amount of Nitrogen they need, and are on the way to realizing the tremendous savings that can come with the installation of a N2 Generator.
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