In February this year, an automotive upholstery manufacturer in North Carolina announced that it was going to cut costs by installing Miura boilers to produce steam. Six Miura LX Series boilers were installed at NC-based Viscotec Automotive Products. The Japanese Miura Boiler was founded in 1927 and today is one of the largest industrial steam boiler manufacturers in the world. In 2006, Miura sold more boilers in North America than ever before in its history.
Miura boilers are environmentally-friendly as they produce 60 per cent less nitrous oxide or NOx emissions levels compared to conventional boilers. Recent technological innovations by Miura will reduce NOx emissions to near zero on future models.
Automotive Industries spoke to Mark Utzinger, vice president of Miura Boiler's USA operations.
AI: Please tell us little about how Viscotec Automotive Products decided on Miura boilers for its plant?
MU. Viscotec knew of Miura Boilers out of Japan. They understood the concept of fuel savings and how Miura achieves this. Since this was a new plant, the size of the boilers was also a consideration. The smaller footprint requirements meant a much smaller boiler room size and associated construction cost savings.
AI: How popular have your boilers been with automotive manufacturers? Please give us some examples.
MU. Miura has always been a preferred choice of automotive manufacturers. Automotive clients include Chrysler, Ford, Honda, and Toyota. In addition, many automotive parts manufacturers such as Viscotec chose the benefits that the Miura Boiler design has to offer.
AI: Please tell us a little about how Miuras strong presence in North America - how did the company gain this position and what do you do to maintain it?
MU. Historically Miuras sales were primarily due to its compact size. It is among the smallest footprint for the output in the industry. However energy savings now dominate sales, since fuel prices have more than tripled in the last three years. We offer the most efficient, in-service system available for the industrial and commercial markets. We back this up with cutting edge, diagnostic capabilities not offered by any other boiler manufacturer.
AI: What are some of the factors that Miura has to take into account when selling to automotive manufacturers?
MU. Automotive plants and their suppliers have a broad range of steam requirements. Miura steam systems provide the flexibility for all these requirements, especially for sudden changes in load demand. We also provide state of the art multiple installations which insure steam is produced only when required - for maximum reliability and minimum fuel consumption.
AI: What are some of the new technologies Miura is working on to further reduce fuel and time consumption?
MU. Probably the single most important challenge in todays boiler industry is the reduction of fuel and time consumption?
This is what Viscotec had to say about the Miura LX Series boilers that were installed at Viscotec's NC facility "We choseMiura boilers because the quick start-up time and their ease-of use. We believe in the technology so strongly that we’ve been a Miura customer from the day we opened our doors. The reduced time to produce steam means that our fuel costs are lower, which is another major benefit we’ve gotten from these boilers," said Will Fritz, plant engineer at Viscotec Automotive Products.