Retreading tyre specialist Vacu-Lug has installed a second Babcock Wanson ESM2000 Steam Generator complete with flue gas economiser to serve its curing process.

Steam Generator for Tyre Curing

Steam Generator for Tyre Curing

A long standing customer, Vacu-Lug has operated three Babcock Wanson dual fuel VPX 2000RR Steam Generators from 1989 as part of its curing process for retreading tyres; the tyres are used for applications varying from delivery vans up to large earth moving dumper vehicles. The Babcock Wanson Generators have retained their original coils for 25 years - a testament to the quality of the equipment and the water treatment regime carried out by Vacu-Lug’s maintenance department.

With the VPX-RR units reaching the end of their working life and with the opportunity to make considerable energy savings, Vacu-Lug has opted to update its steam rasing equipment by installing two Babcock Wanson gas fired vertical ESM2000.

The Solution

A coil type Steam Generator, the ESM2000 provides high operating efficiency coupled with low emissions. It utilises modern controls to maintain a close ratio between the burner firing rate and water input, whilst its variable speed drives for the fan and feed water pump enable the unit to stay on load while closely matching process demand. This ensures the lowest practicable consumption of both fuel and electrical power.

Both ESM2000s at Vacu-Lug have been fitted with economisers to allow the feedwater to collect heat from the waste flue gases prior to entering the steam generator. In addition to equipment supply, Babcock Wanson helped Vacu-Lug with the upgrade of its water softening and TDS monitoring systems.

Steam Generator for Tyre Curing
Steam Generator for Tyre Curing

What the Client Thought

Peter Connolly, Production Engineer at Vacu-Lug, is pleased with the performance of his Babcock Wanson Steam Generator: “The ESM 2000 installation, together with an ongoing programme of process plant lagging and steam trap maintenance, has enabled us to significantly reduce our gas usage and cushion the company against rising gas prices.”

With many manufacturers moving from steam to thermal fluid heating, Peter explains his company’s decision to remain with this heat raising technology: “The curing process is a critical element of the retread process and requires three variables – heat, pressure and time. Steam provides the heat element of this process. The steam generators have proven to be reliable items of plant.”

“Since Vacu-Lug is able to process a wide range of tyres from those that fit onto delivery vans up to very large tyres which can be as large as a delivery van, the curing process can lead to a highly variable steam demand. We have found that steam generators can react to variable steam demands as they can very quickly proceed from standby through to steam generation within minutes.”

With Babcock Wanson’s ESM2000 this is further enhanced through its quick Autostart facility, enabling a standby Generator to be brought on line in a very short timeframe if steam demand requires it.

Customer Testimonials

Loucas Antoniou, Engineering Manager at Bakkavor Meals London

“The Thermal Oxidiser is the most efficient way of removing any smells and it’s also very straightforward to use.  We have been a customer of Babcock Wanson for many years and have always enjoyed a good service.”

Carbon Trust Annual Report 2009/10

“A major carbon footprint reduction will be achieved when the scheme currently in progress to change the main boiler fuel from heating oil to gas is completed in summer 2010. This £900k project will reduce our carbon emissions via energy usage by around 15% by removing the need to use heavy fuel oil, as the new boiler plant will use natural gas as its main fuel source.”

Webster & Horsfall

“What we hadn’t expected initially though is the level of control the new system provides us with; it’s amazing. It alerts us to any potential issues, is easy to maintain (no annual statutory inspection is required) and is quick to respond. All that and it doesn’t take up much room.”

Peter Connolly, Production Engineer at Vacu-Lug

“The ESM 2000 installation, together with an ongoing programme of process plant lagging and steam trap maintenance, has enabled us to significantly reduce our gas usage and cushion the company against rising gas prices.”

Dave Scrivens, Facilities Manager at Plastic Omnium

“Babcock Wanson’s expertise and ability to provide a whole package made them the leading contender for this project. On further investigation, their proposal was also commercially viable, which sealed the deal.”

Denis Kelly, Engineering & Construction Manager at Stolthaven Dagenham

“The Thermal Fluid Heaters themselves were ideal for this project as they are based on mature technology and are well proven in the field. They are robust and also require very little maintenance.”

Ian McQuarrie, Engineering Manager at Puredrive

“During my three years here, the Steam Generators and Thermal Fluid Heaters have worked flawlessly. Babcock Wanson carries a good name in the business for both quality and equipment longevity. Their knowledge, company wide, is exceptional and the whole package from installation through to service is managed professionally.”

Jason Hall, J&A Young Engineering Manager

“We had estimated our steam requirements, but Babcock Wanson had the experience to understand that we had underestimated this. In fact, the erratic nature of the steam loads would have been impossible to meet under our existing spec. Babcock Wanson was able to identify this as well as provide a very energy efficient solution with a number of enhanced features”.

Lee Bullen, Corrugated Services Manager at Board24

“It’s running very well, both easy to use and efficient. The service from Babcock Wanson has also been very good.”

Peter Shrimpton, Engineering Projects Manager at Bridgnorth Aluminium Ltd

"We were unfamiliar with Babcock Wanson, but we’ve had no problems with it whatsoever; you simply switch it on and it works – simple as that! The service we have received from Babcock Wanson has also been great.”

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