Enhancing Energy Efficiency in Machining Operations

The Challenge

Maziak Compressor Services recently undertook a project for a client in the construction sector, who was relocating to a new, purpose-built facility. This move coincided with a 45% expansion in their machining operations. Initially, the project scope included the supply of one variable speed compressor and one fixed speed compressor for a duty/duty configuration, with provisions for a third backup machine in the future.

Maziak reviewed a data logging exercise from the client's current operations during the tender stage and identified a significant specification gap. While the specified compressors were adequate for the existing facility's demand, they were insufficient for the increased capacity of the new facility. Furthermore, the fixed-speed compressor would cycle excessively between load and idle during lower demand periods, indicating a control inefficiency.

The Solution

Maziak initially considered proposing a larger variable-speed compressor paired with a backup machine to ensure full energy efficiency. However, this solution exceeded the client’s budget constraints.

To address both the demand requirements and budget constraints, Maziak devised an optimised solution comprising a larger variable-speed compressor and several fixed-speed machines to eliminate control inefficiencies and ensure energy efficiency. The final configuration included:

  1. Variable Speed Compressor:
    • A larger variable speed compressor to efficiently handle variable loads.
    • A 30kW VSD model equipped with a superior permanent magnet motor for optimal energy efficiency.
  2. Fixed Speed Compressors:
    • A 26kW GA+ fixed-speed compressor with an IE4 efficiency motor.
    • Enhanced Free Air Delivery and reduced power consumption.
  3. Advanced Control System:
    • Implementing the Optimiser 4.0 system to maximise energy efficiency under varying demand conditions.

The Results

The optimised solution resulted in a modest increase of 25% in total packaged power compared to the existing facility while achieving a 48% boost in maximum flow capacity. This approach not only met the client's budget constraints but also ensured enhanced energy efficiency.

Key Takeaways

  1. Data Analysis: Utilising data logging to understand actual demand and identify performance gaps is crucial for proposing effective solutions.
  2. Customised Solutions: Tailoring equipment configurations to match specific demand patterns can lead to significant efficiency gains.
  3. Advanced Technology: Implementing state-of-the-art control systems, such as the Optimiser 4.0, can optimise performance and reduce energy consumption.
  4. Budget Considerations: Balancing the ideal technical solution with budget constraints requires innovative thinking and a deep understanding of the client's operational needs.

By thoroughly analysing the demand and proposing a mix of advanced variable speed and fixed speed compressors, Maziak provided a cost-effective solution that significantly enhanced the energy efficiency of the client’s new facility.