Blowing a jet of compressed air at an object is a common but “poor” use of compressed air. Often the blowing nozzle is a piece of pipe on a hose with a manual valve for control. This quickly solves a production problem when a more efficient factory made nozzle is either physically too big, too expensive, or not on site when needed. Retrofitting with factory made nozzles is often ruled out by for the same reasons, and the time needed by managers and fitters to change a nozzle for often little gain in production.
In this article, we will provide detail on the characteristics of the baseline system and then share the energy-saving work identified in two projects. These two projects represent work which can be performed by the maintenance teams in every plant. These are also project opportunities we find in almost every plant we visit. The two projects are to (1) repair/replace condensate drains wasting compressed air and (2) to perform a compressed air leak survey.
The dust is collected on the bag or fingers, and when the cake of dust is of appropriate thickness and structure, a pulse or pulses of compressed air hits or shocks the bag and knocks the cake off. This pulse may sometimes be accompanied by physical shaking and even reverse air flows, depending on design.
By monitoring compressed air consumption using smart pneumatic sensors, companies can reliably reduce energy use and emissions.
The digital transformation of pneumatic systems is one critical way that companies can improve operational sustainability. Advanced airflow-sensing technology provides compressed air monitoring and valuable insights that allow companies to control and significantly reduce the energy used to produce compressed air as well as related carbon emissions.
The current cost to operate the compressed air system is \$139,100 annually, and the proposed measures will reduce it by \$50,700 annually. The proposed cost to complete the measures is $47,600 providing a simple payback of 11 months. The cost included in the Action Plan includes engineering, project assistance, services to maintain the gains, and a 10% contingency.
The purpose of this article is to show there isn’t always a proportionally linear relationship between what happens with flow reductions on the demand side of a compressed air system - and what happens with the energy consumption in the air compressor room. Optimizing an entire compressed air system requires precise knowledge of the supply side, how compressed air is used in the process itself and how those two relate together.
There are a tremendous variety of unique and creative ways people in the food industry have overcome their need for compressed air blowoffs used for cleaning, drying, cooling, conveying and overall processing. You may have seen some of them yourself. It is not uncommon to view open copper tubes, pipes with a crushed end, plugs or caps with holes drilled into them, modular flex coolant lines or nozzles designed for liquid application but blowing air.
Pulse jet dust collectors are common air/material separators in the food industry serving as dust collectors, bin vents, and pneumatic conveying filter/receivers. The biggest complaint I’ve heard from plant managers and plant engineers about these is that “these collectors don’t make us any money”. While that is true, they can COST a plant a significant amount of money if they aren’t maintained. Wasted compressed air is one of the worst offenders, as it not only costs the plant in energy costs associated with creating and conditioning the air, but also in premature bag failure from improper cleaning, production downtime, and inefficient dust collection leading to increased housekeeping requirements, and other many issues.
For Imerys S.A. there’s little question about the importance of managing dust collection systems it uses to control and reduce harmful particulates in its worldwide minerals processing facilities. And now there’s zero doubt about the tremendous energy savings it stands to save by reducing the amount of compressed air needed for these same dust collectors.
As the crisis unfolded, manufacturers and distributors of compressed air and vacuum systems took the necessary steps and precautions using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and other agencies to minimize the spread of the virus, while continuing to support customers. At all times the top priority was the safety and wellbeing of employees and their families, as well as partners and customers.
Manufacturers familiar with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Energy Treasure Hunts initiative know it’s a great way to save energy and natural resources – as long as it’s done right – which is why some are turning to perhaps their best asset to achieve success: their unionized workforce.