Better cooling water treatment saves DAF Trucks a lot of costs
The vision of an external specialist can have a solid, positive influence on the operational costs of a company. They have also been convinced by DAF Trucks since halfway last year. The manufacturer from Westerlo joined forces with Water-link and was therefore able to realize a number of interesting 'quick wins' for the cooling water circuit. Moreover, since then, DAF does not have to, or hardly ever, replace certain essential components, such as transformers and point weld tongs, which results in significant savings.
Management of cooling water circuit
DAF Trucks Westerlo has experienced solid organic growth over the past five decades. A lot of extensions and constructions have been realized during this period, which has made certain installations complex. This also applies, among other things, to the cooling installations, which consist of various components. In 2014 DAF Trucks switched from Euro5 to Euro6 engines. On the occasion of this important strategic change, they switched from manual to robotic point weld tongs. Due to this change, the proper management and maintenance of these cooling installations had become a major challenge.
DAF Trucks and Water-link have visited the work floor and consulted with the technical department, the project engineers and the operators. As a result, water-link could immediately well define the bottlenecks that existed concerning the management of the cooling water circuit.
Control over corrosion
This cooling water circuit is treated with chemicals to keep corrosion and deposits to a minimum. It is a typical example of critical closed cooling circuit. In the cooling water circuit of DAF Trucks there are many different metals (galvanized steel, carbon steel, aluminum, copper, ...). Because of this it is not so obvious to keep potential corrosion under control. In addition, the wall temperature in the spot welds can be very high, which also increases the corrosion pressure. If the dosage of certain chemicals differ from the ideal scenario, there is too little protection against corrosion. We noticed the presence of quite a few hard deposits in the cooling water, as a result of that the cooling water flowed less well and there was too little power to optimally cool the hot spot welds.
The result of insufficient cooling of the circuit has a negative impact on the quality of the welds, the service life of the servomotors and on the spot welds themselves.
There was continuous cooling and flow at the manual spot welds, but there was no continuous flow at the robotic point welds. It fell silent at times when there was no welding activity. This caused the cooling water to stop, which was not ideal. Thanks to the advice of Water-link, we have adapted the dockings for the robotic point welds, so to avoid this standstill and potential corrosion."
Based on the analysis, Water-link presented DAF Trucks with a number of other improvements that were quickly applied by the truck builder's technical service.
During the summer recess, DAF Trucks carried out a chemical cleaning of the cooling water circuit up to 2015. At start-up and operation of the installation, DAF still experienced too often blockages.
In 2016, a team from Water-link was responsible for the chemical cleaning which was successful for the first time. DAF Trucks had no congestion after the maintenance period and afterwards during operations. Since the chemical cleaning and continuous treatment by Water-link, DAF Trucks experiences a wide range of benefits. For example less breakdown of transformers. Such components are not only pricey - one transformer costs easily a few thousand euro’s - each replacement is also accompanied by additional costs and production downtime.
The expertise of Water-link offers DAF Trucks many advantages: less maintenance, less costs for replacing critical parts and better quality of their end product.