Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Metals

One topic up for discussion in the metal fabrication industry is the assist gas used for laser cutting. The assist gas is fed into the laser head, and surrounds the laser as it cuts the work piece. The assist gas is intended to facilitate a smoother cut, increase cutting speeds and productivity, and to prevent discoloration, oxidation, scale, burred edges and other defects that can arise from the hot cutting temperatures. Since Nitrogen is an inert gas, it is used as an assist gas on many laser cutting systems to prevent oxygen from coming into contact with the metal while it’s being cut. Nitrogen is supplied to users in traditional cylinders, and with on-site nitrogen generation.
This aluminum mill spends $369,000 annually in energy costs to operate their compressed air system. This system assessment recommends actions reducing annual energy costs by $120,000 and improving productivity and quality by delivering clean, dry compressed air.
Industrial plants are major consumers of water. Water is used in many processes. Sustainability projects focus on reducing the consumption of water and the energy-costs associated with cooling water so it may be effectively used.
This major mill complex upgraded their compressed air system and thereby eliminated $500,000 in annual rental compressor costs, reduced annual cooling-water costs by $500,000, and reduced electrical energy costs by $135,000 per year.
Congratulations on Saint-Gobain being named a 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This is the second year in a row you’ve won the award. Why was this award received?
The Compressed Air Challenge® (CAC) is a voluntary collaboration of industrial users; manufacturers, distributors and their associations; consultants; state research and development agencies; energy efficiency organizations; and utilities. This group has one purpose in mind - helping you enjoy the benefits of improved performance of your compressed air system. The mission of the Compressed Air Challenge (CAC) is to provide resources that educate industrial users about optimizing their compressed air systems.
Properly functioning steam traps open to release condensate and automatically close when steam is present.  Failed traps waste fuel, reduce efficiency, increase production costs and compromise the overall integrity of the steam and condensate systems.  Traps should be tested on a regular basis -- or the neglect may be quite costly.    
Compressed Air Best Practices interviewed Richard Feustel, the Corporate Energy Manager of Briggs & Stratton.
Faced with rising energy costs, a large electroplating company sought to improve the efficiency and reliability of its compressed air system. After getting a quote from their vendor on a new 300-hp compressor to replace an existing unit, the company sought a comparison quote due to the significant investment the new compressor represented. Based on a recommendation from one of their customers, they turned to Scales Industrial Technologies.
Relatively few people realize that for a variety of industrial manufacturing applications, from air knife drying to simple blow-off nozzles, the use of high pressure compressed air that bleeds into the atmosphere represents a significant waste of energy.  
Finding the most effective, reliable and economical method for separating and concentrating die lubricant is no easy task for die casting plants – and the situation at the Metaldyne aluminum die casting plant in Twinsburg, Ohio was no different.