‘Bigger, Longer and More Dangerous’: The Rheinmetall Rheinfeldheiligstätten
“Bigger and longer and more dangerous” is how the head of the German Rhemgewerbe Metallurgical Works describes the problems that have been encountered with its latest generation of refrigeration machinery.
In the past two decades, the company has undergone a series of changes in order to make the latest Rhemedheiligs-Auschlusserung-Kontroll (AKW) unit of its Hausforschung des Rheinstechnik (HRT) technology “as reliable as possible” according to the company’s CEO Rolf Schuster.
In recent months, the system has been installed in the storage facilities of the Bremen-based firm’s main plant, which has been in operation since 1993.
“We are now at a point where we can use the latest refrigeration technologies, in particular those developed by HRT and the new refrigeration units at the factory,” Schuster said.
The problem for the HRT plant has been the high-voltage connection to the cooling equipment, which can be difficult for older equipment to withstand.
It is expected that the problem will be resolved in the coming months, with the Hausfrättingen Rheumwerkwerke, the plant’s technical council, expected to report on the latest problems.
In March, the factory had to switch to a new cooling system due to a “prolonged” period of bad weather in the summer, the Hauptstag newspaper reported.
However, Schuster and other company officials have not revealed any details about the new problems.
The latest problems were first reported by the local daily Handelsblatt on February 23, but the newspaper reported that the Händergesetzungsgemeinschaft (HG) of the state-owned Bölzgartenbank, which manages the industrial assets of the Haut- und Rheine Landesmuseum, the largest historical museum in Germany, had confirmed that the problems were caused by an “irregular connection between the cooling system and the refrigeration system.”
According to the HG, the problem involved the connection of a two-phase cooling system to the two-volt connection of the cooling and refrigeration systems.
The cooling system consists of a compressor and a gas generator, which operates at a voltage of between 2 and 4 volts.
In its latest inspection, the Bayerische Landesmätische Abteilung (BLA) found that the “problem is caused by a short-circuit in the cooling connection,” and the result is a “corrosion of the gas generator” and a “high temperature”.
“It is a problem of the new generation of the refrigerating system,” the BLA wrote in its report.
“There are some new systems installed at the plant, and the existing ones are no longer able to cope with the current conditions.”
A spokesperson for the BLP said that the company was “confident that the system will be safe.”
The BLA report was not the only one to express concerns about the cooling problems at the Hauermeister factory.
In September, the German Federal Criminal Police Office, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Office for Serious Crimes also issued a report, which said that a “major” electrical problem had been caused by the HAAH-HK-HSS-KIT-KAR-HAAH system, which is responsible for cooling the Haegermeister plant and other plants.
According to a report by the BLO, the heating and cooling system at the facility had to be upgraded, but it was unclear whether the system had been able to deal with the increased temperature.
The report also said that “no adequate measures” had been taken to prevent a “catastrophic” failure of the system.
In a report published in November last year, the Böllzgarteinische Bölschutz-Stadtverband (BNSV) reported that “several problems of a high frequency and low frequency have been identified” at the Küchek plant, but that the plant “has been working smoothly.”
In a letter to the BNSV dated February 23 and signed by the head for the plant and the head responsible for the equipment, both of whom were not identified by name, the head said that it was necessary to “make sure that no problems occur again.”
He added that he was confident that the equipment would “be repaired in a safe and effective manner.”
In response to a request for comment, the Kärntenheim state office for economic development and industrial relations declined to comment on the matter.
A spokesperson from the factory did not respond to an emailed request for further comment.
However Schuster told HandelsBl