Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Douglas Autotech and Atlas Copco Steer Efficiency

Automobiles take us where we want to go – and a critical element to make that happen is a steering column.

“We make steering columns for all types of vehicles around the world,” said Larry Stone, Maintenance Supervisor for Douglas Autotech, the world leader in vehicle directional technology. “Stable, high quality compressed air plays a critical role in what we do. We can’t afford to be down even for a minute. We need stable, high quality air 24/7.”

Adam Cartwright, Territory Manager for Evapar, Atlas Copco’s Platinum Distributor, conducted an air study for Douglas Autotech. “We determined that a GA 250 VSD made the most sense because Douglas Autotech has varying capacity of air usage between their shifts. The second shift has fewer people and less air usage. The VSD turns down automatically, providing an energy reduction while precisely matching air production to demand.”

Douglas Autotech chose a turnkey installation that includes a maintenance program. “We’re here quarterly for maintenance services and inspections,” said Cartwright. “They also included SMARTLink, which provides 24/7 monitoring. The customer can log in from basically anywhere and see how that unit is operating in that moment. They can see the percentage range in regard to capacity of air that unit is providing. They can also backtrack and review the history of percentage ranges that unit has been operating at. If you truly want to get into the details of efficiency, you can do that through SMARTLink.”

“We were projecting to reduce energy consumption from the new compressor by about 53%, and we are seeing that,” said Brett Barret, Engineering Technical Manager for Douglas Autotech.  “That’s about 20% for the plant overall. A lot of times with capital projects, the savings is kind of theoretical and you don’t necessarily see that impact directly, but we actually enjoy seeing the energy bill these days.”

With Atlas Copco, Douglas Autotech is steering efficiency in the right direction:

  • Saving over 1.2 million kilowatt hours per year
  • Saving $84,000 per year in energy costs (down 53% compressor, down 20% plant overall)
  • Reducing total horsepower from 500 HP to 300 HP
  • Dropping pressure from 110 PSI to 98 PSI (and still dropping!)
  • Monitoring operations 24/7 remotely with SMARTLink

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 About Atlas Copco Group & Atlas Copco Compressor Technique

Great ideas accelerate innovation. At Atlas Copco, we have been turning industrial ideas into business-critical benefits since 1873. Our passionate people, expertise and service bring sustainable value to industries everywhere. Atlas Copco is based in Stockholm, Sweden with customers in more than 180 countries and about 37,000 employees. In 2018, revenues were BSEK 95, approximately 10 BUSD.

Atlas Copco Compressor Technique partners with customers to turn industrial ideas into smart, connected air and gas solutions and leading edge compressed air technology. By listening to our customers and knowing their needs, we deliver value and innovate with the future in mind.

 About Atlas Copco Compressors

Atlas Copco Compressors LLC is part of the Compressor Technique Business Area, headquartered in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Atlas Copco Compressors provides innovative solutions including world-class compressors, vacuum pumps, air blowers, quality air products and gas generation systems, all backed with full service, remote monitoring and auditing services. With a nationwide service and distribution network, Atlas Copco Compressors is your local, national and global partner for all your compressed air needs. Learn more at