This article discusses some experiences in using cellular connected data loggers to perform a compressed air assessment during a time when travel was restricted. While not ideal, this exercise identified huge savings for this customer.
The pulp and paper industry depends on reliable sources of energy, water and compressed air; maintaining cost-effective supplies of these utilities is important to every successful business. Within paper making processes, a clean, oil-free air supply is essential for the reliable operation of pneumatic equipment and a high-quality end product. For one manufacturer in Italy, the selection of an oil-free turbocompressor enabled both operational and maintenance costs to be reduced.
The facility has a compressed air system consisting of four, 200-horsepower (hp) two-stage water-cooled lubricant-free reciprocating air compressors. The air compressors are controlled individually with local pressure switch controls connected to a common pressure sensing point. These air compressors have been operating since the mid-1960s and are very difficult and expensive to maintain because parts are scarce and service companies with experience servicing this type of air compressor are difficult to find.
Experienced auditors become wary when they see desiccant dryers installed in customers’ plants. These dryers are required when a plant needs instrument-quality compressed air, or when compressed air piping is exposed to freezing temperatures. However, while desiccant dryers can gain this level of quality, the energy cost of stepping up from a dewpoint of 35 oF to a level of -40 oF increases quite considerably. To attempt to reduce the energy costs of drying to these low levels, heated blower desiccant styles may be used. This article describes three common desiccant dryer types, as well as some experiences, good and bad, with heated blower types.
Rockline Industries is one of the largest global producers of consumer products, specializing in wet wipes and coffee filters. The company contacted the Arkansas Industrial Energy Clearinghouse after identifying that the compressed air system in their Springdale, Arkansas facility was a potential source of significant savings. Experts from the Clearinghouse then began working with Rockline Industries, representatives of the electric utility, and a local compressed air vendor to perform a complete evaluation of the system.
This paper mill currently spends \$1,747,000 annually on energy to operate the compressed air system at their plant located in the southwestern region of the U.S. The set of projects recommended, in this system assessment, could reduce these energy costs by \$369,000 or twenty-one percent (21%). Estimated costs for completing the projects total \$767,900, representing a simple payback of 25 months. More importantly, these projects will improve productivity, quality and maintenance costs - many associated with poor compressed air quality.
Based on the air system operating 8,760 hours per year, the group of projects recommended below could reduce these energy costs by an estimated \$170,718 or 56% of current use. In addition, these projects will allow the plant to have a back-up compressor and help eliminate the rental expenditure for compressor maintenance or downtime.
Power Smart® efficiency measures for compressed air systems at Tolko’s paper mill and sawmill at The Pas are saving the company more than \$125,000 a year.
Pneumatic air cylinders play a major role in allowing a modern sawmill to produce at the high-speed production rates required. Stable air pressure is critical to allow the air cylinders to respond in a timely manner and avoid any production delays.
Recently, this major pulp & paper mill made compressed air optimization a mill-wide priority. At the request of the utility company providing energy to the mill, Compression Energy Services performed a comprehensive energy analysis that outlined the following four energy efficiency measures (EEM’s) for the mill to consider.
This article reviews two major processes in paper mills: compressed air quality and air compressor cooling. The central air compressor room was expanded and relocated at the largest privately owned paper mill in Canada. The compressor space was required by a plant expansion, which would occupy the original compressor space for increased production.