Industrial Utility Efficiency    


Blower & Vacuum Best Practices interviewed Deepak Vetal, National Sales Manager, Blowers and Low-Pressure Compressors, Atlas Copco Compressors, LLC. - To put it in perspective, the food and beverage industry accounted for 12 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product in 2017. The main subsegments that use low-pressure air for numerous applications in this industry include meat processing, poultry, dairy product manufacturing, preserved fruits and vegetables, as well as brewing and beverage processes.
Recently, The Kroger Company’s Indianapolis bakery identified the use of compressed air in a blow-off and conveyor gap transfer as a major source of energy loss and cost waste. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “inappropriate use” of compressed air like blow-off produces high pressure atmosphere bleed leading to significant energy loss and unnecessary operational costs. Carrying a 10-15% efficiency return (according to the Department of Energy), compressed air applications can often be achieved more effectively, efficiently and less expensively with alternative solutions using a high flow rate and moderate pressure.
This factory currently spends $735,757 annually on the electricity required to operate the compressed air system at its plant. The group of projects recommended in the system assessment will reduce these energy costs by an estimated $364,211 (49% of current use). Estimated costs for completing the recommended projects total $435,800. This figure represents a simple payback period of 14.4 months.
The snack food facility is running with two normally separated compressed air production systems: the main plant system and the nitrogen system.
Blower & Vacuum Best Practices Magazine spoke with Mr. Ed McGovern (VP Sales & Business Development) of PIAB North America.