For industrial compressed-air plants, the cost of acquisition accounts on average for only about 30% of the total lifecycle cost. The remaining 70% - energy costs. The good news is: upgrading to the latest compressed-air technology can reduce those costs significantly. It is no surprise then that energy efficiency remained top of the agenda at ComVac, at this year's Hannover Fair.

PWE reports from this year’s Hannover Fair where Gardner Denver has launched a new, water-cooled oil-free compressor from its CompAir brand – Ultima - offering up to 12% improved energy efficiency compared to a conventional two-stage machine with a 37% smaller footprint.

Mark Ranger, business line manager, oil-free air division at Atlas Copco Compressors UK, looks at how to ensure the right compressed air for the food and drink industry.

Beko Technologies is a long-established, international developer and manufacturer of a specialist range of products for the treatment of compressed air. With filters, dryers, condensate management systems and sophisticated air measurement devices, its UK and Ireland operations has recently expanded into new premises in Redditch, Worcs.

Oil-free compressors are appropriate for hygienic applications such as food or pharmaceutical production and can be designed for maximum efficiency, says Mark Whitmore, general manager at BOGE.

Mark Ranger, UK business line manager, Atlas Copco’s oil free air division, takes a look at evolution and revolution in lower pressure air and rough vacuum generation.

European printing company, Polestar, is predicted to save more than £10,000 off the annual energy bill at its Sheffield printing plant by adopting a new VSD-driven vacuum pump from Atlas Copco. PWE reports.

Significant energy and carbon savings can be achieved by investing in a new, modern compressor, but the efficiency of any machine is largely dependent on where it’s sited, and the condition and layout of the pipework. Andy Jones, managing director at Mattei, explains more.

As the UK economy recovers, those in the manufacturing sector need to work together with education providers to close the skills gap and create a high-quality talent pool, says Andy Jones, managing director at Mattei Compressors.

To survive in a tough competitive environment, many manufacturers are searching for ways to achieve their energy efficiency and sustainability targets and improve the efficiency of machinery, in a bid to cut their production spend. Compressed air supply systems can be a source of wasted energy, especially if they have been in place for some years. Steve Sands, product manager at Festo, reviews how energy costs can be reduced by as much as 60% through optimisation at both the production and system level.

With so many potential contaminants in the atmosphere that can play havoc with air purity, Mark Whitmore, general manager at BOGE Compressors, explains how a compressed air supply can remain fit for purpose at all times.

MERU, a manufacturer of disability equipment solutions, while upgrading its production facility, required an improved compressed air set-up, which led to the installation of the Mark full feature unit.

As part of a strategy to further develop its specialist capability for renewable energy manufacturing, Mabey Bridge, a leading specialist supplier of high quality steel bridging, tubular structures and heavy plated steelwork, made a significant investment to add another 30,000ft2 to its Newhouse manufacturing plant, enabling the production of an additional 100 onshore wind turbine towers (more commonly referred to in the industry as canisters) per year. PWE reports.

Organisations that qualify for the ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) that are not fully covered by ISO 50001 must now carry out assessments every four years to determine their energy use and identify cost-effective energy saving measures. The new requirements are a golden opportunity to help reduce energy use, carbon emissions and costs, and can help to ensure that compressed air systems operate more efficiently than ever before, says Andy Jones, managing director at Mattei.

Greiner Packaging’s production plant in Northern Ireland is helping a local college cut its £40,000 annual heating bill by donating waste heat from its compressors and its process cooling installation. PWE reports.

When it comes to replacing your air compressor, there are two main rotary compressor options available: vane and screw. Both produce the same end result but how do the two compare in terms of energy efficiency? Andy Jones, general manager at Mattei, weighs the technologies up.

Iain Cameron, Meech business unit director, dicusses how Vortex technology can help companies reduce costs.

Diagnostic monitoring tools are firmly established as the guardian of efficiency in engineering industries, and continue to evolve to provide ever-greater performance and functionality. Good diagnostic information from compressors increasingly ensures that problems are detected early enough to allow planned maintenance intervention or repair to be carried out with minimal disruption, says Andrew Westwood, service manager BOGE Compressors.

For manufacturers concerned about energy costs and carbon emissions, examining their compressed air system is a good place to start. Andy Jones, general manager at Mattei, discusses a range of solutions available for increasing energy efficiency, and highlights some new innovations that are on the way.

Chris Camsell, UK service manager at CompAir outlines the main approaches to correctly maintaining compressors and ensuring a reliable and efficient system.

In 2009 Atlas Copco supplied Saint-Gobain Ceramic Materials (Mudanjiang) Co., Ltd., China, with a modular AIRnet piping system, which allows simple reconfiguration of the factory whenever required. Installed at the same time were ZT Series oil-free screw compressors enabling the company to meet the ISO 8573-1 “0” standard for oil content in the compressed air. Atlas Copco has now become a strategic global supplier to the Saint-Gobain Group.

PWE spoke with Philip McArragher, technical manager for HPC Compressed Air Systems, who explains there is up to 96% recoverable energy achievable from screw compressor installations.

Compressed air is often considered to be the industrial sector’s fourth utility, yet despite the wide scope of its use there is no formal training or accreditation requirement for operatives to ensure it is safely used and maintained. Here, Andy Jones general manager at Mattei, looks at why compressed air training is important, the voluntary schemes available and what can be done to improve the safety and performance of this essential equipment.

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