Matching compressor flow to demand has helped achieve energy savings for two food manufacturers. Installation of the CompAir units at Ifantis and Société Marie has lowered annual electricity consumption by 15% and 25% respectively
Food company Ifantis produces a range of products including deli meats, traditional Greek salads, pizzas, hamburgers, bakery goods and fresh pasta. The company’s Athens plant is capable of producing 70 tonnes of food in one shift, and uses compressed air for the operation of pneumatic machines for processing and packaging across its production line. A stable air pressure of 6 bar is required throughout the site’s 24 hour operation.
Work recently began on extending the plant’s production line, with the addition of more processing equipment. Due to the age of its existing units, and the fact that the demand for air had increased, the company looked to replace its compressed air system.
Chris Vasiliadis, maintenance manager at Ifantis, said: “We chose to replace our existing compressors with three oil-free, variable-speed machines from CompAir; the clean air that they provide makes them ideally suited to meet our stringent hygiene requirements.
“In addition, the variable-speed drive technology matches compressor flow to demand with great efficiency. This means that the units produce the correct volume of air to match our requirements at all times. The new machines have proved to be more reliable than our previous compressors which has led to fewer stoppages in production.”
CompAir’s DH compressors have a different operating principle to conventional oil-free screw and piston compressors and operate without any oil lubrication.
The compressor block is lubricated, sealed and cooled by water, which is sprayed into the compression element. The cooling properties of water allow the compressor to be operated at low compression temperatures not exceeding 60°C. This means the compressor operates efficiently, while the power consumption is correspondingly low.
In addition to the compressors, CompAir supplied a refrigerant dryer and filter set to ensure the provision of clean, dry air to the factory along with a SmartAir Master and remote monitoring controller. This operates all of the units to the narrowest pressure band.
Vasiliadis said: “The SmartAir Master ensures that the most efficient compressor combination is selected, thereby avoiding the risk and associated cost of offload running.
“Since installing the new equipment, we’ve seen a 15% reduction in energy usage and have lowered our maintenance requirements and associated costs by 25%.”
In another food industry application, CompAir has enabled French company Société Marie to make 25% savings on its annual electricity consumption, which totals €10,500, achieving a payback within two years.
The company manufactures both fresh and frozen ready-meals, and uses compressed air throughout its manufacturing process at the Sablé sur Sarthe site, from controlling hot water valves through to packaging the finished product. Some of the compressors within the system were 20 years old and proving inefficient. Based on the results of an air audit carried out by CompAir, a fixed speed CompAir L50 and regulated speed L55RS compressor have been installed, in addition to heat exchangers.
Stéphane Lemiale, maintenance manager at Société Marie, said: “The regulated speed technology in the L55RS means that the correct volume of air is produced to match our requirements at all times. This reduces offload running and its associated costs. In addition, the L50 provides a reliable supply of high-quality air.”
Working with local distributor R-Hydrau, CompAir has also developed a system to recover the heat produced during the compression process. This heat recovery system has reduced Société Marie’s annual natural gas consumption by 15%, saving approximately €8,000 per year.