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Reducing Groundwater Use by Recycling Cupola Furnace Cooling Water

Hitachi Metals, Ltd.

Hitachi Metals Kuwana Works manufactures malleable iron pipe fittings. During the process of manufacturing these castings, a large amount of cooling water is required to protect the cupola furnaces that melt the raw materials. At Kuwana Works a pump is used to recycle water that has been drawn from the ground into a water tank. Previously, in order to reuse water after being run through the cupola, groundwater had to be added to the tank to lower the temperature, and overflow was discharged outside of the factory.

With the aim of reducing the amount of groundwater used, new water tanks and cooling towers to cool the furnaces were installed with an investment of ¥40 million when aging cupola were replaced. Thanks to these improvements, the temperature of the water used to cool the furnace can be lowered without adding groundwater, which is now needed only to make up for evaporation. As a result, the average amount of groundwater used each month in fiscal 2019 was reduced by 16,962 cubic meters (a 36.4% reduction) compared to fiscal 2016.

Flow of Recycled Groundwater
Flow of Recycled Groundwater