Hot weather is coming, and no business can afford to be without cooling — especially when the system cools not just the environment, but also the machinery in the plant.

But all systems eventually need to be updated or replaced. And the more critical the system is to a plant’s operation, the less downtime you can afford — a challenge that one automotive supplier recently tackled with help from The Macomb Group.

The company planned to relocate its old roof-based cooling towers to the ground, and this project was on an extremely tight schedule. The large-flow water cooling system served all machinery, with heat exchangers throughout the plant fed through large diameter pipe.

The process of upgrading the system required redesign, so the contractor, Mechanical Design and Installation, called in the experts at Diversified Spec Sales, whose engineer worked with the company on the redesign and reconfiguration.

Because of the tight time frame, there were worries about using steel piping, which often calls for extended downtime and major onsite fabrication. The preferred solution was to use Sch 80 PVC piping, which has the advantages of being non-corrosive (unlike black steel and galvanized piping), robust, and having a long wear life.

The key to the project’s success, though, would be the prefabricated, large diameter piping headers, which would save time in the field (and therefore reduce downtime) and avoid the need for complex installation activities onsite. The prefabrication of the headers enabled the team to get everything together in short order and helped minimize process interruptions and their impact on the company.

Calling in Macomb

It was decided to use the specialist services of commercial and industrial thermoplastic manufacturer IPEX for this complex task. The Macomb Group had an established relationship with IPEX, so the coordination and fabrication of the special pipe order was turned over to Macomb.

The norm today is that everything is very price sensitive and fast paced, so the team worked really hard to get the pricing in line and to get all the logistics worked out: shipping, parts, installation, and who was doing what and when.

Macomb coordinated the manufacture of the pipe and fabrication through IPEX and arranged the logistics, including timing the delivery of the materials to exactly meet the needs of the onsite crew. The prefabrication and timely delivery — made possible by the teamwork of Macomb and its partners — resulted in dramatically shortened downtime and a fast return to full operations for the end customer.

Don’t let downtime hurt your business. Contact the experts at The Macomb Group by email at or by phone at 888-756-4110.