Industrial Utility Efficiency


If there was ever a place where manufacturers can save energy using compressed air and make measurable gains toward sustainability, it’s with pneumatics that power a seemingly infinite variety of machines and processes.

Pneumatic and Vacuum Energy Optimization in OEM Machines

Machine builders aiming to improve the energy efficiency of their machines tend to focus on using energy media other than pneumatics (typically electro-mechanical or hydraulic) since pneumatics, as traditionally applied, is viewed by some as inefficient due to factors like leakage and over-pressurization (i.e.: supplying a higher pressure in an actuator to accomplish a task which is endemic in practice). But they shouldn't, with its low cost of ownership, pneumatics when properly used remains a viable and many times preferable energy source for a given application. When generating and using compressed air, it's true that there are many places in the system where energy can be lost, however targeted measures within a comprehensive energy saving concept can prevent these losses and significantly reduce energy consumption at the machine level.

Festo Optimizes Compressed Air Consumption at Volkswagen

Many passenger cars on roads in Germany contain efficiency concepts that make a considerable contribution to lowering emissions. Automotive manufacturers such as VW have gone even further than this, by applying efficiency strategies in their own value added chain. Because the benefits of pneumatics in automotive industry production processes have seen pneumatic actuation win over other drive technologies, efficient use of compressed air plays a key role in increasing energy efficiency.

Maintenance Saves Energy: Automatic Leak Detection on OEM Machines

Why So Many Air Leaks - Even Today?!

Energy conservation has been much talked about lately, in the media, the government, and at the water cooler. Lean manufacturing is also a popular topic these days, as are any ways to increase productivity, reduce costs, and increase profitability.


Honda of America Mfg. Fine Tunes Compressed Air System

“We are close to becoming a zero-landfill facility. Zero-waste is the goal,” Mike explained. Company literature on the Green Factory initiative, coordinated in North America by Karen Heyob, Associate Chief Engineer for Honda of America Mfg., Inc. , says the initiative is designed to reduce the impact of Honda’s manufacturing operations on the environment. This includes efforts to reduce the energy intensity of production, as well as initiatives to reduce waste generation, air emissions, and water use at all of the company’s manufacturing facilities in North America.

A Pharmaceutical Compressed Air System Audit

This West Coast pharmaceutical facility has a very clean and organized compressed air system. All equipments is in good working order in the compressor room. The compressor room itself is very clean and well ventilated. The management requested a compressed air system audit for two reasons:

Optimizing Pneumatic Systems for Extra Savings

Compressed air users looking for energy reduction often identify their air compressors as a prime area for savings potential. But …what about end uses? There are a large number of obvious measures that can be implemented, such as leakage reduction, reducing open blowing and eliminating inappropriate uses..however, there are other more technical opportunities available that involve properly specifying or redesigning existing pneumatic circuitry in compressed air operated machines and processes.

OEM MACHINE DESIGN. Pneumatics: Sizing Demand Users

Most systems are sized on the supply side at many times more volume and significantly higher pressure than is actually necessary to support the real demand plus a fudge factor generally created out of fear. I am sure that had the OEM defined what is not only minimally necessary in terms of mass flow at density (pressure and temperature), but also with the intent of the highest possible efficiency, we would approach things very differently.

Pneumatic System Assessments Save Energy

When it comes to conserving energy in compressed air nothing is sexier than a big, old, oil-free 300 horsepower variable speed drive air compressor coupled with a heat of compression dryer tied to an energy management system with all the trimmings. If you’re like me, it’s hard not to let out a manly grunt after reading that sentence.

Reducing Packaging Cycle Times

Swiss brush company Ebnat-Kappel uses non contact transfer technology from Bosch Rexroth to automate a problematic section of its packaging production process.

Inappropriate-Use Assessment Saves 1,881 scfm

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.