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VSD technology from Atlas Copco helps IFF achieve major energy savings

June 23, 2015

Choosing VSD compressor technology from Atlas Copco has helped International Flavours & Fragrances (IFF), a leading global creator of flavours and fragrances for consumer products, achieve major energy savings at its UK manufacturing plant in Haverhill, Suffolk.

Various spices in a wooden bowl

The plant is one of many IFF plants worldwide producing fragrances and flavours that are used in products such as beverages, sweets, dairy, savoury products, as well as fine fragrances, beauty care products, detergents, and household goods. As one of IFF’s European Centres of Excellence for Flavour Delivery Systems and Encapsulation, as well as a major producer of Fragrance Ingredient Compounds, the Haverhill plant recently underwent a significant expansion. A major part of the expansion was the upgrading of the plant’s Atlas Copco compressed air system.

IFF is a long-standing customer of Atlas Copco Compressors who, prior to the expansion programme, had originally installed an oil-free, fixed speed ZT3A together with a ZT290 machine on a service contract at the site. The compressors provide 100% Oil Free air for process instrumentation, the operation of pneumatic valves for powder transfer and plant-to-plant product conveying.

Performance logging of the compressors, carried out prior to the expansion highlighted the fact that significant energy savings could be achieved with the installation of a single variable speed drive compressor to replace both existing units. The ZT160VSD was selected for its ability to match compressed output to demand in variable full load/variable load production cycles and its wide turndown range. This single compressor alone can provide all the air for the site while the old ZT3A has been retained as a standby unit.

The 100% oil-free design of the Z machines is vital to eliminate even the slightest risk of contamination within the sensitive production environment. The ZT160VSD machine was supplied to IFF on a Service Investment Plan (SIP) contract rental arrangement that includes the Total Responsibility service provision. Not all compressed air users are able to undertake the major capital investment required to take advantage of the latest technological innovations to match their current and future needs. Atlas Copco Compressors’ SIP links into its service contracts, provides free site audits, delivers new energy-efficient compressors on a lease contract and requires no capital investment.

Commenting on his company’s long term relationship with Atlas Copco Compressors and the significant energy savings that have been gained through the new installation, Engineering Manager, Matt Borrill said: “We calculate that in the past year we have annually saved £10,000 on our energy bills and significantly reduced our carbon footprint. It’s a direct result of Atlas Copco looking after our interests under their Total Responsibility Plan. The plan lives up to its name. We get regular iTrak audits to monitor our compressed air use, and that means total peace of mind, plus full coverage of the unit including air ends, motor, electrical and electronic systems, coolers, etc with fixed annual costs for the agreed period. It means Atlas Copco technicians providing us with regular maintenance, engineering improvements, and breakdown repairs and machine overhauls if necessary.”

He went on to say how the two companies’ business philosophies were so alike: “We both value our environmental credentials and practice lean manufacturing techniques in our production processes. Also, the noise-reduction characteristic of the new ZT compressor is a welcome asset in view of the plant’s proximity to residential properties.”

The Haverhill site is yet one more example of Atlas Copco’s ability to provide sustainable, energy-efficient compressor solutions, reduce process energy costs and provide a complete product support service to major manufacturers throughout the UK.

Written by Joanna Canton Long & Ian Clay

IFF Compressor installation

Compressors Europe Energy efficiency UK ZT160VSD oil-free screw compressors Productivity Food and beverage Sustainability