Superior Manufacturing Division, Magnatech Corporation Case study


Courtesy of Superior Manufacturing Corporation

15 Years of Saving the Environment

Some companies seem to always be ahead of their time. Rather than going with the flow, they choose to step out and try something different. That’s what often leads them to success. L&L Products of Romeo, MI, is one of these mastermind companies. The intellectual wheels of Robert Ligon and Eugene Lane started turning in 1958 after realizing a need for automotive sealants. What started out as an experiment in a kitchen oven lead to the creation of L&L Products, one of today’s top manufacturers of engineered sealing and structural solutions.

Throughout the years, L&L Products, has undoubtedly faced many challenges, as all companies do, but they seem to have a knack for making wise decisions based upon the impacts those decisions will have on the future. In the late 1980’s, a problem arose for L&L regarding their water treatment. At that time, their Romeo North plant used well water, which had 3.5 ppm of iron and 43 grains (735 ppm) of hardness. They were using biodegradable chemicals along with an iron filter and sodium ion exchange softener on each of their four cooling towers to control the lime/scale. They were also draining bleed-off water into the wetlands located behind their facility. After employing this procedure for a period of time, Engineering Manager, Jurg Hauptli decided enough was enough. Hauptli knew that putting chemicals, heat, and additional water into the environment would have a negative impact on their surroundings. But, he was uncertain of what option, if any, he had. At that point, he began to investigate alternative non-chemical water treatment methods.

In the nineties the phrase “going green” was not often used, but that was exactly what L&L was about to do. In 1990, Hauptli discovered the Superior Water Conditioner®, which used no chemicals in its process and promised equal results (to chemical water treatment) for lime/scale control. Since Hauptli had not previously heard of this technology, he began extensively researching magnetics and their effect on water. Shortly after, Hauptli recommended that L&L purchase Superior’s “Environmentalist/Zero Bleed 2000®” water treatment system, which would do the job without requiring blow-down, meaning time and money savings for the company.

Fifteen years later L&L Products continues to use the Superior Water Conditioner® systems for their lime/scale control. Over the years they have incorporated several more Superior units within their plants, and look to add more with any expansions.

When asked his feelings regarding the Superior systems Hauptli said, “The equipment just keeps running, running, and running…it’s great, we have had no problems with it.” However, Hauptli confesses he, like many, was first hesitant to try a technology that was new to him, and feels that most engineers do not choose magnetic water treatment solely based on their unfamiliarity with it.

By choosing inline permanent magnetics for their water treatment needs, L&L has come out on top, substantially reducing their annual operational costs. Hauptli said the cost of one Superior system was equal to what L&L was paying the laboratory to have their water tested when using chemicals, giving them a payback of just one year in laboratory costs alone. The company has also profited in environmental ways, by conserving in excess of 2 million gallons of water annually and keeping an additional 2 million gallons of polluted water from being dumped into the wetlands (or hauled away) annually. Also eliminated was the air pollution that would have been caused with the normal evaporation and drift of the chemically treated water recirculating from the sump to the top of the towers.

Stepping out to try something new is never easy for any company. However, L&L realizes the rewards they receive by looking beyond the norm, and that’s why they continue to step out again and again. This way of thinking has afforded them the ability to stay on the cutting edge in new product development, awarding them issuance of patents on new products year after year.

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