Mike Ward points to a container approximately the size of a hot tub, where crystal-clear water is swirling about. "This used to look like mud," says Mike, maintenance supervisor at Wolverine Plastic Technologies, Inc. in Ada. Michigan. "Always clogged up the system. Had to be cleaned out more times than I can remember. Now look at it. You could take a bath in there."

Well. maybe not a bath. But the equipment responsible for that crystal-clear water - the TowerKlean® Cooling Tower Water Treatment System from TowerKlean LLC - has proven to the plastics industry that clean no longer means chemicals.

Chemicals have forever been the accepted way for treating cooling water. Cooling water is critical for maintaining the proper temperature in injection molding manufacturing and similar plastics operations. If a cooling water system isn't operating properly. the slightest difference in temperature can result in a dramatic drop in performance and can lead to shut down in production.

The drawbacks to using chemicals in a cooling water system are abundant. Chemicals are expensive. They create drainage and emission problems. and they're hard to use. It's difficult to judge how much of a chemical to add to a system that is constantly flushing water.

"We discovered that chemicals created a domino effect with our equipment, " says Mike. "The heat exchangers would get a mineral buildup so thick that I had to bang it off with a chisel and hammer. We'd try to 'shock' the system with more chemicals. but that eventually ruined the heat exchangers. At $4.000-$5.000 a piece. they're not something you want to ruin."

"And," continues Mike. "because the buildup created so much pressure, it was crushing my heating elements at the rate of one a week at $400 each. I was using more chemicals at thousands of dollars a barrel, replacing more parts. and experiencing more down time. I was ready to try anything." That anything proved to be the TowerKlean®.

The uniqueness behind the TowerKlean® is a patented. 100% recyclable media. The media creates the same chemical reaction as oxidizers and reducers, but without chemicals. No chemicals means no chemical costs, and no need to purchase and maintain chemical feeding and monitoring equipment. It also means that water and air emissions can be discharged without concern.

Wolverine's Mike Ward agrees. "With the old system. production was off because we spent so much time fixing things. With TowerKlean® , my biggest complaint is that it worked too well." When Wolverine first installed the TowerKlean®. It removed scaling that had been in the system for years. "It was sloughing off in sheets," says Mike. "There was so much of it we had to shut down a few times to clean it up. Basically. the TowerKlean® flushed the entire system."

Mike freely admits that he never thought the TowerKlean® would work. "l’ve been in this business 18 years and have always used chemicals. When TowerKlean® came along. I didn't think it would work. But they guaranteed it would. And did it ever. Now I call it the 'miracle machine.' What I once spent days fixing and maintaining. I now spend five minutes on."

Steve Cook. president of Wolverine, echoes Mike's sentiment. "I questioned it at first. But so far the results speak for themselves. True, it was more expensive to get into. but operating costs are less. not to mention the time that has been freed up for employees to work on other things "

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