Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Industries

Outsourcing maintenance agreements for compressed air systems is commonplace in the food and beverage industry. The maintenance programs are often performed by air compressor distributors, who are experts in the specifics of the air compressors and compressed air systems they sell and service.

Auto

A Tier 1 automotive supplier was concerned its compressed air system was not operating as efficiently as it could be. The situation called for a site visit and metering and evaluation of the company’s air compressors to generate a representative data sample that accurately captured the compressed air needs during typical production and non-production periods.

Bulk

Reverse pulse type dust collectors often represent a challenge to compressed air energy efficiency, and sometimes throw a wrench into the works by causing huge air pressure fluctuations, high transient flows and just plain large leaks. This article discusses this type of dust collector, often installed in food processing plants, and gives some real-life examples of problematic installations. Some suggested measures are mentioned to ensure your dust collectors keep running in a trouble-free manner.

Medical

The air is delivered through a distribution piping system that ends with a medical air outlet within the room. Outlet requirements per room are governed by American Institute of America (AIA) Guidelines for Design and Construction of Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities. Equipment is plugged into the medical air outlet to treat the patient. Many studies have been done determining the load required for medical air compressors. The sizing can be calculated using several methods. 

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.

Paper

The facility has a compressed air system consisting of four, 200-horsepower (hp) two-stage water-cooled lubricant-free reciprocating air compressors. The air compressors are controlled individually with local pressure switch controls connected to a common pressure sensing point. These air compressors have been operating since the mid-1960s and are very difficult and expensive to maintain because parts are scarce and service companies with experience servicing this type of air compressor are difficult to find.

Pharmaceutical

Blood plasma is an indispensable resource in the production of life-saving medicines. It is also in high demand on global markets. To make more efficient use of this valuable commodity, Biotest AG developed a new large-scale production plant in Dreieich, Germany, for plasma fractionation capable of obtaining five instead of the previous three products from a single liter of blood plasma. As part of its strategy, Biotest AG worked with Festo to standardize automation components used at the plant, resulting in simplified installation and maintenance.

Plastics

By making changes primarily focused on compressed air uses, Winpak, an international plastics products manufacturer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, increased compressed air production capacity and reduced annual energy consumption by 33%. These benefits have been accomplished while the company was making the switch to lubricant-free compressed air to support product quality goals. This article discusses some of these changes and addresses measures that could be implemented in any compressed air system.

Power

A newly constructed ethanol plant experienced control gap issues shortly after comissioning.  This article discusses the cause of the issue and how the problem was solved.

Printing

The Trinity Mirror Group print works on Oldham is one of the UK’s largest newspaper printers. The nine presses in the facility produce around 1million papers every day, including the Independent, the Daily Mirror and a range of local, regional and sports titles. Printing on this scale does not come cheap in energy terms, however. The plant’s annual electricity bill is in the order of £1.5millon. With energy prices on the rise, and a strong desire to improve environmental performance and reduce its carbon footprint, the plant’s management has recently embarked on a project to cut energy use substantially.

Transit

When the New York City Transit Authority (NYCT) set out to comply with local regulations calling for reductions in energy usage, it leveraged new air compressors for use in transit bus maintenance and repair – and took things to another level by recovering air compressor waste heat to provide hot potable water for the bus depot. The air compressor and heat recovery system, installed in spring 2017, is on its way to helping NYCT achieve the best energy savings possible.

Wastewater

The plant upgrades, in combination with a progressive management strategy, allows the plant to consume less energy and reduce its reliance on outside contractors for biosolids removal, resulting in total operational savings of approximately $60,000 per year.  The plant is also positioned to efficiently manage the area’s wastewater for decades to come.
The NPE2009 international plastics showcase was held June 22-26 in Chicago’s McCormick Place. While attendance was down from NPE2006, the preliminary total of visitor registrations numbered 44,000. Sustainability and energy efficiency was a prominent topic in the booths of exhibitors. Manufacturers of compressed air and injection molding equipment had many developments with Sustainability to show the visitors to NPE2009.
This commercial printing facility is located in the Northeastern part of the U.S.  Like most facilities, the plant has seen many changes over the years.
Sustainability at RRD starts with a philosophy. It is then executed through a global policy and objectives. RRD’s philosophy does not see sustainability as making a choice between being cost-effective and improving environmental impacts. On the contrary, sustainability represents integrating these two factors. This philosophy guides our sustainability objectives and strategies.
The primary objective of this case study is to illustrate the process in which industrial facilities can qualify for energy incentives on projects that reduce the energy usage of their compressed air system.
This article will focus on a compressed air system assessment done at a printing facility in Canada. The energy costs at the time, in Manitoba, were $0.025 per kWh and the installation was of just 65 horsepower of air compressors.
Most printing facilities use vacuum for one process or another.  I recently spoke with Jesse Krivolavek, (a vacuum system efficiency specialist with IVS, Inc.) about his recent adventures in the world of printing.
Resin drying is a critical step in the manufacturing process of injection molding, extrusion molding and stretch blow molding.  Compressed air resin dryers are one of the most commonly used dryers in the plastics molding industry. Recent advancements in compressed air membrane-type resin dryers, have reduced the associated energy costs significantly.
Over the last several decades, Air Power USA has reviewed many various types of plastic injection molding operations throughout the U.S.
Compressed Air Best Practices interviewed Paul Lukitsch.  Mr. Lukitsch is the Regional Facilities & Energy Manager for Millipore Corporation.
The facility is a plastics injection blowmolder and is a division of a large corporation. The following information was produced from a compressed air system assessment done over seven days.