Industrial Utility Efficiency


In late October 2023, professionals from around the world gathered at the Best Practices 2023 EXPO & Conference at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois to source and learn about Sustainable, Safe and Reliable On-Site Utilities Powering Automation including compressed air, blowers, vacuum, pneumatics, motors and cooling water systems. 

Adaptive Control for Low Pressure Wastewater Treatment Air Systems

In recent years, there have been many changes in wastewater treatment. Most modern processes control three cycles: DO, NH4, and NO3, and all of the processes require high volumes of air. Undeniably, the low pressure air system uses more electrical power than the rest of the wastewater treatment plant combined. The blower packages in these systems can be equipped with low noise enclosures, fixed speed or variable speed drives, and can include all the instrumentation needed for self-protection.


Value in Valves – Why a Compressed Air Control System is Worth a Look

A large multi-service public utility provider was faced with an ongoing problem. The utility, which services 93,000 retail and wholesale customers, employed five oil-free compressors at one power generation facility, but, if they needed to take down Unit 2 at the facility, it almost always pulled Unit 1 down with it, overloading the system’s capacity and causing service interruptions.


Black & Veatch Provides Guidance to WWTP Design

Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine interviewed Ms. Julie Gass P.E., Lead Process Mechanical Engineer, from Black & Veatch on trends in the wastewater treatment industry especially pertaining to new technology aeration blowers and energy efficiency.

A Compressed Air Management System for Five Compressors

This building products factory spent an estimated \$240,000 annually on energy to operate the compressed air system at their Midwestern facility. This figure will increase as electric rates rise from their current average of 7.8 cents per kWh. The set of projects recommended, by the system assessment, reduced these energy costs by an estimated \$104,336 or 43% of current use. Project costs totalled \$73,000, representing a simple payback period of 8 months.

Peerless Energy Helps Molex Save Energy

Air Demand Increase of 43% Results in Only a 5% Energy Cost Increase

Compressed air is an expensive medium; yet, many compressed air systems are wastefully managed with minimal system transparency. Capturing essential system performance data and monitoring critical air quality data is not only eye opening, it enables future investments in compressed air systems to be fact-based and traceable.

Optimizing the Supply Side with Intelligent Controls

“I don’t understand. I attended the Compressed Air Challenge® Fundamentals and Advanced courses. I read every article and book I could find on improving the efficiency of compressed air systems. I developed great ideas about how to reduce my compressed air consumption. We fixed leaks, “right-sized” filters to reduce pressure drop, changed piping, moved some processes to shifts that used less compressed air, bought low consumption nozzles and educated our entire workforce. We did all of this work and I still have six out of six compressors running. Reducing my air consumption does not appear to have reduced my air production!”


U.K. Printer Saves Energy with Compressed Air Automation

The Trinity Mirror Group print works on Oldham is one of the UK’s largest newspaper printers. The nine presses in the facility produce around 1million papers every day, including the Independent, the Daily Mirror and a range of local, regional and sports titles. Printing on this scale does not come cheap in energy terms, however. The plant’s annual electricity bill is in the order of £1.5millon. With energy prices on the rise, and a strong desire to improve environmental performance and reduce its carbon footprint, the plant’s management has recently embarked on a project to cut energy use substantially.

Centralized Compressor Controls Save Tremendous Amounts of Energy

It has been my experience that more than 50% of industrial air users don’t control their air compressor resources effectively. As a result, a tremendous amount of energy is wasted. When my firm does audits of plant energy consumption, it’s not unusual for us to encounter installations with large numbers of independently-controlled compressors that are all running at different pressure settings and different loads.

How Efficient Are Those Pneumatic Valves?

Back when gasoline was 35 cents a gallon, the term “environmental technology” was not well known. Engineers did not often promote the benefits of building low-energy consumption pneumatic valves among their peers. Recycling or conservation of resources was seldom discussed with any seriousness. In reality, the conversation was more likely to have turned to the muscle cars of the day and how much horsepower they would generate.

Furniture Maker Goes with Tri-Lobe Blowers

A large custom leather furniture manufacturer switches from rotary screw vacuum pumps to blowers for CNC router table hold down, and saves big on electricity, maintenance expenses and floor space.

Air Compressors

When selecting an air compressor for your manufacturing operation, the common choice is the

Air Treatment/N2

The impact of compressed air on industries globally is undeniable, spanning from small tire shops


The plant upgrades, in combination with a progressive management strategy, allows the plant to

Compressor Controls

A large chemical plant in Celje, Slovenia, planned to retrofit a kiln used to produce titanium


Pneumatics and the generation of compressed air accounts for about 10% of a typical facility's



Industrial ceramics have been produced in Hermsdorf, near Jena, since 1890. In the past, high-

Cooling Systems

This is a two-part article looking at factors impacting decisions on whether to use air or water-