Schoeneck Containers Comes Out Ahead with Free-Cooling System

Schoeneck Containers, Inc. (SCI) is a company that thinks a lot about its future – and how to continue to maintain a long track record of profitability and reliability while meeting a growing demand for its quality plastic containers for customers throughout North America. 

It’s the kind of thinking driving the decision to install a closed-loop adiabatic fluid cooler and central chiller with free-cooling capabilities at the company’s new 250,000-square-foot production facility in Delavan, Wisconsin. 

With the advanced hybrid cooling system in place, SCI stands to reduce energy costs for cooling at the facility by nearly 50% per year when compared with cooling technologies without free-cooling capabilities. And, said SCI Facilities Engineering Manager Bill Bushman, the company’s approach to process cooling lets it do what it does best: delivering customer satisfaction and maintaining strong growth.

“This system lets us focus less on the cooling and more on the equipment and process of manufacturing quality containers since we know we’ve got a robust system that just runs without taking a whole lot of effort to oversee it.”

An advanced hybrid system featuring a closed-loop adiabatic fluid cooler and central chiller with free-cooling capabilities helps Schoeneck Containers, Inc. reduce energy costs at its new facility in Delavan, Wisconsin. 


Strong Growth Fuels Expansion

SCI supplies plastic containers for diverse consumer and commercial markets. Since its inception in 1972, it has experienced steady growth as a supplier of containers for food, beverage, personal care, household, industrial,  nutraceutical , wipes and pet care products. The company employs 170 people.

For decades, SCI produced containers at its 172,00-square-foot headquarters facility in the Milwaukee suburb of New Berlin, Wisconsin. To do so, it regularly updated its headquarters operation and added production lines to meet demand. Eventually, growth led to the construction of its new facility in nearby Delavan, which began operation in 2019. 

The new facility uses injection molding and blow molding machines to produce a wide range of containers. Designed to accommodate continued expansion, it includes six production lines with two injection molding machines and four blow-molding machines operating 24 hours per day, seven days a week. 

Bushman said SCI built the new facility with plenty of room for growth since the outlook for the company has never been better, which is due to a skilled and talented workforce and a philosophy of meeting customers where they need to be met.

“Our claim to fame is our willingness to be flexible with our customers in terms of the types of packaging configurations they’re looking for in plastic containers,” Bushman said. “We don’t just deliver full-size palletized skids. Instead, we handle special orders, work with smaller companies and we’re flexible as far as how and what we can deliver.”


Energy Savings a Top Priority

After reviewing process cooling options for the Delavan facility, SCI decided to work closely with Thermal Care to install a hybrid system combining a closed-loop adiabatic fluid cooler with a water-cooled chiller to meet the operation’s cooling needs – and its strategic goals. Based in Niles, Illinois, Thermal Care ( is a leading manufacturer of water chillers, process cooling equipment and systems for applications worldwide. 

The ability to reduce energy savings costs was a primary factor in choosing a hybrid cooling system, Bushman said. 

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