Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Compressor Controls

UniFirst is one of North America’s largest workwear and textile service companies. They outfit nearly two million workers in clean uniforms and protective clothing each workday. Founded in an eight-stall garage in 1936, the Company has grown to 240 customer servicing locations throughout the U.S. and Canada servicing 300,000 business customer locations. The subject of this article is an energy-saving Air Demand Analysis (ADA), conducted by Kaeser Compressors, at UniFirst’s centralized 320,000 square foot hub Distribution Center located in Owensboro, Kentucky.
Productivity and profits are very directly linked to the compressed air system, as is waste elimination. High performance central compressed air management systems can respond quickly to even extreme system fluctuations, improving productivity and minimizing energy waste.  This is accomplished with modern software systems analyzing and processing appropriate data and triggering proactive actions - before the dynamics effect the compressed air production system.
In today’s world, where “green” is “gold”, the efficient operation of multiple air compressors has taken on a new sense of urgency. In an era where giant manufacturing campuses with huge compressed air systems are fast disappearing, the emphasis shifts now to improving the efficiency of the higher numbers of installed small and medium size air compressors.
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.
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.
Reducing energy costs and pollution emissions involves many areas within an industrial facility.  My studies have found seven (7) key (or common) areas where low cost practical projects can be implemented.  Combined, these projects provide savings exceeding 10% of the annual energy spend with an average payback of less than one year.
This facility processes bulk food ingredients into finished packaged food products. The factory belongs to a division of a large corporation and was spending $732,342 annually on energy to operate their compressed air system. This system assessment detailed twelve (12) project areas where yearly energy savings totaling $214,907 could be found with a minimal investment of $68,350. Due to space constraints, this article will detail only the higher impact project areas. The over-all strategy for improving this air system centers on improving specific power performance of the #3 centrifugal air compressor and reducing over-all demand with compressed air savings projects.
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.
With all of the different LEED credits and associated M&V requirements and tax incentive opportunities for businesses to reduce energy consumption, we have seen an increasing demand for metering. Companies are looking for more ways to estimate cost savings and prove that their energy saving investments are working.
Motor Coach Industries, headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois, is the largest manufacturer of intercity tour coaches for the tour, charter, line-haul, scheduled service, commuter transit and conversion markets in the U.S. and Canada. The company operates a four screw-type air compressor system at its Clarence Avenue plant in Winnipeg. To maintain adequate system pressure at the plant, Motor Coach was forced to run all four compressors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.