An aluminum rolling mill recently underwent a major expansion of their plant location. This required additional hydraulic power units, or HPUs, to power additional rolling mills. The customer has been in the industry for a long time and has extensive experience with HPUs.
- Expand mill output
- Keep maintenance simple
- Overcome corrosive nature of the unique hydraulic fluid
- Find and source specific parts with short lead time
The new HPUs are comprised of 700, 800, and 900 SS reservoirs, along with 12 Rexroth pumps and 13 Vickers pumps for flushing and kidney loop operations. All three units are required to be completely hard piped with pressure, return, and kidney loop filtration and constant particle and water monitoring.
The unique, kerosene-base hydraulic fluid used in this particular industry placed strict requirements on all parts. Standard hydraulic components simply couldn’t withstand the corrosive fluid for long. Only products with Viton seals and stainless steel construction could be used.
Finding some of the specific parts with acceptable lead times was a challenge, but AirDraulics worked diligently to find a source that met the customer’s acceptable timeframe.
AirDraulics built three separate HPUs for the plant expansion. While they all used similar parts and layouts, they each had a unique size, horsepower output and number of pumps based on their different applications within the mill.
The components used in the solution were identified by the customer ahead of time not only because of the kerosene fluid, but also because they were currently being utilized in the existing HPUs. Doing so made maintenance simple as mill personnel were already familiar maintenance procedures. In addition, the mill didn’t have to stock additional replacement parts, saving them money on maintenance overhead.
Having been in the industry for a long time, the customer knew what was best for their plant expansion. While other companies would have tried to sell them on the benefits of substituting components, AirDraulics differed to the customer’s expertise and provided exactly what was requested, down to the specific part numbers.