A Morganton, N.C.-based automotive upholstery manufacturer, Viscotec Automotive Products succeeded in reducing the time for process heating in its upholstery dye machines by purchasing six Miura LX Series boilers, which can produce steam within five minutes.
“We chose the boilers because of the quick startup time and their ease of use,” said Will Fritz, plant engineer. “The reduced time to produce steam also means our fuel costs are lower.”
Viscotec selected five Miura LX-300 units and one Miura LX-200 boiler for its dying application. The LX Series boilers include a “floating header” design that the company asserts provides gas and oil savings by producing a full steam output within five minutes from a cold start. Standard firetube boilers require more than an hour to reach full steam output following a cold start, which contributes to the consumption of up to 20 percent more fuel per month.
The savings proved to be an advantage for Viscotec. Over the course of a year, at the current price of $0.90/therm for natural gas, the new boilers can save the company approximately $200,000 in fuel costs.
In applications such as Viscotec’s where multiple boilers are installed, the systems can be turned on or off as needed, allowing the user to meet peak demand hours while operating at greater efficiency throughout the day and reducing wear on the boilers. The boilers also are safe for the environment, producing NOX emission levels that are 60 percent lower than conventional boilers, according to Miura. Recent technology innovations are expected to reduce NOX emissions to near zero on future models.
“I had my reservations about these boilers because I had previously worked with coal-fired boilers, and the idea of them producing steam in five minutes seemed too good to be true,” Fritz said. “But the boilers have performed well in our application.”