Compressor package slashes manufacturer's energy costs

2nd August 2017
Posted By : Anna Flockett
Compressor package slashes manufacturer's energy costs

Within the wind energy sector a leading manufacturer of drive train technology, is saving almost £44,000 a year thanks to the installation of a BOGE compressor and pipework. The customer’s 110kW compressor was predominantly used in air beds for lifting and shifting components, air tools and punch presses feeding the manufacturing plant. However, three other unused factories also remain on the site due to downsizing of the UK manufacturing operation.

All three redundant factories were fully pressurised, but suffered from leaks and this cost the company £47,385 a year in power consumption.

By decommissioning the pipework feeding the three unused factories and installing the high efficiency BOGE EasyFit aluminium pipework system, BOGE platinum partner Airflow Compressors and  Pneumatics was able to exchange the 110kW compressor for a 15kW package, bringing the power consumption down dramatically to just £3,450 per annum.

Dean Urmston of Airflow explained: “Lots of people overlook the fact that compressed air in factories is expensive to generate. The drive train manufacturer called us in because the compressor was becoming unreliable and they weren’t getting a good level of service from their existing supplier.

“However, we discovered that the compressor was also massively oversized, with expensive offload running. Basically, the compressor was operating, but not producing any air. We fitted data loggers and took a profile of the power and air consumption in the factory.”

The data-logging software can simulate the system with different types of compressors and it revealed that the drive train company could replace its 110kW machine with a 15kW BOGE C20FD, variable speed drive (VSD) rotary screw compressor.

Urmston again said: “That is where the bulk of the energy savings come from. But they also came from three other major factors: Offload running kW and time which is eliminated by installing a VSD, managed system pressure (also thanks to the VSD), and power (the modern BOGE compressor offers more output per kW than the old machine).”

The BOGE C20FD air compressor is belt-driven and incorporates integrated electromagnetic frequency controllers. Frequency converter flexibly controls the motor speed, and therefore the airend, to ensure the compressor output automatically adjusts to demand with continuous volume flow between 25 and 100%. Soft starting avoids undue wear and tear and prolongs the service life of the compressor.

All the compressor’s essential components are integrated into a compact module, and this eliminates pipework and reduces flow losses.

Meanwhile, the pipework serving the compressed air system originally comprised a ring main surrounding and feeding all four factories (the one that remains in use plus the three redundant plants), interlinked in various different locations.

Airflow rationalised the pipe network by cutting the three laid-off factories out of the loop and reinstating the ring main around just the remaining working factory using the corrosion-resistant BOGE EasiFit Airline system.

This system’s high quality aluminium pipe is smooth bore so the pressure and velocity drops caused by pipe restrictions are eliminated and a smaller size can be used. The airtight push connectors make the BOGE EasiFit Airline System fast and easy to install with no welding required.

The ability to join, break and adapt the design makes the configuration options infinitely variable. The simple design means extra drops can be added in minutes without the need of saws and thread cutting equipment.

Urmston concluded: “Pipework is typically made from galvanised steel. Each end must be threaded, which is time consuming and requires the use of threading machines during the installation. However, Easifit, allows you to cut into the pipe simply by using a tube cutter. The composite pipe connectors are similar to those used in plumbing and can be tightened by hand. This radically cuts installation time and provides a cost-effective, leak-free system.”

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