At Scholle IPN, Valley Packline’s engineering experience and JetAir’s drying expertise came together to deliver an automated, energy efficient solution. Ultimately, the new system eliminated 120 man-hours each week dedicated entirely to erecting and washing. The new system can be manned by just one employee as it pulls bins directly off delivery trucks, re-erects, washes, and dries them, and feeds them into the facility for refilling. Throughput at Scholle was improved by the system, while energy costs were kept to a minimum.
A metal producer, in the Midwest, spends an estimated $2.4 million annually on electricity to operate their compressed air system. The current average electric rate, at this plant, is 5.5 cents per kWh, and the compressed air system operates 8,760 hours per year. This system assessment recommended a group of “near-term” compressed air demand reduction projects and then a group of separate “longer-term” projects focused on optimizing the air compressors, the controls and the heated desiccant compressed air dryers. The near term demand-reduction projects...
This food & beverage plant is a large (500,000 sq ft) meat processing plant with twenty packaging lines and nine palletizers. The compressed air system is supplied from three separate rooms with seven individual lubricant-cooled, single and two-stage rotary screw compressors. The plant has four blower purge desiccant dryers designed to deliver a - 40°F pressure dewpoint.
The plant air system consists of eight, single-stage, lubricated, Sullair rotary screw compressors. All units are in good working order. Units 2, 3, 4 and 7 are water-cooled and units 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11 are air-cooled. The main plant air system has two primary compressed air dryers, a Thompson Gordon model TG 2000 refrigerated dryer, and a Sullair model SAR 1350 heatless desiccant dryer. Both units are working according to their design. The TG 2000 uses approximately 11.2 kW and is a non-cycling type unit, and the SAR 1350 uses approximately 200 cfm of purge air to regenerate the wet tower.
Bottling companies and breweries, in California, are benefiting from a three-step system assessment process aimed at reducing the electrical consumption of their compressed air systems. The three-step process reduces compressed air demand in bottling lines by focusing on open blowing and idle equipment, and then improves the specic power (reducing the energy consumption) of the air compressors.
Many times, the hierarchy of making improvements in your compressed air system will begin with the larger equipment. If your compressor is outdated, inefficient or sized improperly for your plant, the cost of replacing it may scare you away from proceeding down the efficiency path. It is also typical to first concentrate on updating the controls of a compressor to best match peak demands and lulls in the need for air and, while this is a very good step to take in your overall plan of attack, it can also burden your budget.
Assessing payback on engineered air nozzle and blower upgrades
There are a variety of means factories can use to remove or “blowoff” moisture from a package. Open tubes or drilled pipe are often viewed as simple low-cost methods. However, there are considerable drawbacks to these approaches, most notably – increased operating expense. While they may be convenient and inexpensive in the short term, these approaches often cost 5-7 times more to operate than preferred alternatives.
Recently, The Kroger Company’s Indianapolis bakery identified the use of compressed air in a blow-off and conveyor gap transfer as a major source of energy loss and cost waste. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “inappropriate use” of compressed air like blow-off produces high pressure atmosphere bleed leading to significant energy loss and unnecessary operational costs. Carrying a 10-15% efficiency return (according to the Department of Energy), compressed air applications can often be achieved more effectively, efficiently and less expensively with alternative solutions using a high flow rate and moderate pressure.
A leading soft drink bottling manufacturer’s compressed air needs were threatening to exceed its Michigan plant’s compressed air capacity. Faced with the cost of buying a new compressor, the soft drink bottling manufacturer re-assessed their compressed air use to identify compressor and energy savings opportunities. In the audit, the soft drink bottling manufacturer identified the use of compressed air in a gap transfer as a source of compressed air and energy inefficiency.
This factory currently spends $735,757 annually on the electricity required to operate the compressed air system at its plant. The group of projects recommended in the system assessment will reduce these energy costs by an estimated $364,211 (49% of current use). Estimated costs for completing the recommended projects total $435,800. This figure represents a simple payback period of 14.4 months.
The snack food facility is running with two normally separated compressed air production systems: the main plant system and the nitrogen system.