Sharpen seeks edge in the printing industry

The company started in the mid 1980s as an air conditioning contracting firm. Due to fluctuations in the construction industry, Sharpen management took the decision to diversify using the company’s inhouse design and engineering knowledge to develop a range of chillers for a variety of industrial uses. The focus is on customised installations with which the company gains clear advantages cover imports due to its local knowledge and capabilities. Chillers offered range from 1.5kW to 210kW in capacity.

Included in the standard Sharpen Engineering package are: stainless steel inertia tank, stainless steel plate heat exchanger/evaporator, hermetic compressor, air or water cooled condenser, variable speed head pressure controlled condenser fans, multistage high pressure chilled water pumps, and all necessary safety controls, all enclosed within a powder coated galvanised cabinet.

The chillers are designed for indoor and outdoor applications and can withstand variable flows. According to Lovic, the Sharpen chiller achieves a smaller footprint due to use of a stainless steel plate to plate heat exchanger rather than a shell and tube evaporator. The use of stainless steel also guarantees a longer product life than similar chillers which utilise galvanised steel. The chillers are supplied with a digital display for water temperature, set point and pump pressure.

Lovic continues, “due to our own product development and design capabilities and a wealth of experience deriving from the 100 units installed each year, we can solve any problems the customer may have. Our aim is to design and assemble a unit for which the customer only has to establish the necessary pipe work and connection to electrical power: it couldn’t be simpler”.

For a recent installation where a customer specified that the chiller was to be installed and operate in an environment below 20 degrees celsius, Sharpen engineers had to develop and design a glycol water operating system. This chiller has been operating successfully. Another demanding segment in which the company has been successful is the laser cutting industry.

Meanwhile, Sharpen Engineering has identified cooling tower replacement as a growth market, due to new regulations and increasing maintenance costs. Another market with growth potential is where industry uses tap water as cooling agent. As the chiller recirculates water, companies can avoid the illegal dumping of water used for cooling.

Sharpen provides 24 hour service seven days a week and has a network of agents in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth as well as in Auckland and Christchurch for the New Zealand market. The agents are all members of the Hastie Group of companies which Sharpen Engineering has been part of since 2003.

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