Manchester-based brick maker Wienerberger Ltd experienced significant savings in energy costs after a compressed air and vacuum systems upgrade, along with reduced CO2 emissions and production downtime.
To rectify these problem areas, Miles Coppinger, Wienerberger’s Director of Production North, called on the services of Atlas Copco, who supplies both compressed air and vacuum. His decision was based on his familiarity with their products, service and reputation from experience in a previous organization.
The first task was a week-long data-logging procedure to determine the energy usage of the existing plant, the air demand requirements and the system’s capabilities. The results demonstrated a clear opportunity to make significant energy savings, reduce the carbon footprint and introduce a new level of reliability and performance.
The recommendation was for a complete replacement compressed air installation. This would comprise a rotary screw compressor, a fixed-speed machine together with a refrigerant dryer, a 3000-litre air receiver with electronic zero-loss drain, plus ancillaries including an oil/water separator, all connected by a central controller.
To minimize pressure drops in the air network, the existing galvanized pipework was to be replaced with a modular aluminum system. To contribute to overall energy efficiency, the compressors would feature winter/summer ducting to aid heat recovery and direct hot air into the factory during colder months via manual vent switching.
Additional benefits derived from the new installation is that Wienerberger has reduced its carbon footprint by almost 200,000kg per annum. Furthermore, it has now become the Wienerberger parent company’s policy to switch from liquid ring vacuum pumps to rotary screw vacuum pumps in all its production plants.
Miles Coppinger went on to say that he valued the technical support and efficiency with which the project was conducted by Atlas Copco, and the peace of mind that a Total Responsibility service plan offered: ‘I am happy to work with them and pleased to report the good news that Wienerberger has signed a blanket agreement to make Atlas Copco a preferred supplier in the UK