Industrial Utility Efficiency    


A small pulse crop and seed processing facility located in Canada has upgraded their facility compressed air system to accommodate the expansion of their production capacity.  While completing this project the facility has learned some valuable lessons about sizing and maintaining lubricated screw air compressors and compressed air drying equipment.
This facility is part of a major corporation with dozens of manufacturing facilities where consumer good food products are processed and packaged for shipment to retail outlets. The factory was spending $210,000 annually on energy to operate their compressed air system. This system assessment detailed four (4) project areas where yearly energy savings totaling $100,855 could be found with an investment of $100,000.
Compressed air is a key utility supporting the food packaging and food processing industries in North America. Compressed air must be contaminant-free to ensure the protection of the food products processed in each facility. The U.K. Code of Practice for Food-Grade Air helps define three types of compressed air systems and air purification specifications required for each.
In the 1970s, the use of filtration in air quality management in pharmaceutical production, hospitals, and medical device manufacturing facilities became increasingly important and increasingly of interest to regulatory agencies. The air quality field was growing. From the air moving into and out of clean rooms to the protection of surgical environments to the expansion of the global medical drug industry, compressed air began to play a larger role—a role that continues undiminished (and, in fact, has increased substantially) today.
The 2012 Edition of the PepsiCo National Fleet/OG&S Sustainability Training Summit and Trade Show took place in San Antonio, March 19-22. Held in the San Antonio Convention Center, over 700 PepsiCo fleet and operations personnel attended. Led by Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine’s Editorial Board Member, Eric Battino, over 150 people involved with Resource Conservation at PepsiCo also attended.
This food industry factory, located in California, was spending $386,533 annually on energy to operate their compressed air system. This system assessment detailed eleven (11) project areas where yearly energy savings totaling $154,372 could be found with a investment of $289,540. A local utility energy incentive, paying 9 cents/kWh, provided the factory with an incentive award of $159,778. This reduced the investment to $129,762 and provided a simple ROI of ten months on the project.
Spoetzl Brewery is the nation’s fourth largest craft brewer, and although founded 102 years ago, the Shiner TX-based company uses the latest, most efficient technologies - along with its traditional, time-tested beer production protocols - to make its range of popular Shiner beer brands. Among the advanced brewing technologies Spoetzl uses are two Miura ultra-low NOx modular on-demand steam boilers, which provide multiple advantages for the unique needs of the craft-brewing industry
This Midwestern prepared food company now spends $131,011 annually on energy to operate their compressed air system.  This figure will increase as electric rates are raised from their current average of 6.0 cents per kWh.  The set of projects recommended below will reduce these energy costs by $38,736 or 29%.
Nitrogen, an inert gas comprising 79% of the atmosphere, can be distilled from ordinary air. However, companies that use this product in their everyday operations know that it’s not quite that simple and much more expensive than the stuff we breathe. The primary means of obtaining nitrogen for industrial use is to transport it onsite in liquid form, which must be shipped stored at cryogenic temperatures. But, really, what’s the point of turning nitrogen into liquid for shipping, transporting it to where it’s used, and then turning it back into gas?
Lifecycle assessment shows that compared to other parts of our value chain, our manufacturing is not particularly energy-intensive. However, because of the scale of our business, we continue to focus our efforts on reducing our manufacturing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
We have been working on reducing our environmental impact for a long time. For example, since 2001 we have improved energy efficiency within our operations by more than 10 percent per metric ton of production (our energy efficiency per U.S. $1,000 of sales has improved by more than 20 percent). Cargill invests in a variety of innovative solutions to use energy and resources more wisely.