A major Atlas Copco client in China is the biggest local beverage company, Hangzhou Wahaha Group, which produces more than 150 types of food and drink. Wahaha has been using Atlas Copco oil-free compressors since 1998. Now more than nine out of ten Wahaha compressors are from Atlas Copco. Some 600 are running at any given time.
“In addition to the strict control of raw materials, we also have extremely stringent standards for equipment and suppliers,” says Qiu Yijun, Engineering Manager at Wahaha. “The excellent performance and security provided by oil-free air has ensured our consistently high quality and reinforced our confidence in Atlas Copco.”
Qiu stresses that food safety is the firm’s primary concern as it seeks to eliminate any risk during production. For example, compressed air is required for production of PET bottles. However, any traces of oil in the compressed air could enter the bottles during the blowing process, contaminating the end product. So the compressors must be 100% reliable.
These compressors, equipped with the heat of the compression dryers, provide Wahaha with exceptional energy savings and a lower total cost of ownership. Atlas Copco also provides Wahaha with emission reduction solutions.
For instance, to maximize savings and efficiency of the compressors, Atlas Copco customized an energy recovery solution for Wahaha’s Haining plant. Six sets of energy recovery units were installed. The heat they recover is used to preheat water for cleaning and sterilizing during the production process.
Qiu says the systems have run smoothly and the energy-saving effect has been significant. As a result, Wahaha recovered its investment in just a year and a half.
The energy recovery system cuts steam consumption by more than 5 000 tons annually, saving 3 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity and RMB 1.2 million (EUR 140 000) annually.
Since good results were obtained during the experiment in the Haining production base, Wahaha is considering assembly of Atlas Copco energy recovery systems for all production bases in the country,” says Qiu. “It’s time to rely on innovative technologies to achieve greater energy savings and enter a new era of energy conservation.