In these difficult times, efficiency, energy and the environment are closely linked topics and ongoing concerns for virtually every business. One of the most commonly overlooked areas for energy saving is compressed air, a technology used in three quarters of all UK factories. About 80% of a compressor’s (average) ten-year lifecycle costs are related to energy and this can represent a surprisingly large proportion of a business’s energy bill.
The solution is actually straightforward. By fitting a specially designed nozzle to the open pipe normally used, it is possible to draw in ambient air so effectively that for every 1 cfm of air used there will be an increase in output of 25 cfm of compressed air.
“Compressors are expensive to operate as they require a surprising amount of electricity to function,” says Iain Cameron, International Product Manager at Meech International, which is one of the UK’s leading developers of air technology. “In fact, some 10% of all electricity generated is used to compress air.”
“The size of a compressor determines its power consumption and our research has shown than equipping a standard open pipe with a Meech nozzle will reduce electricity usage by, on average, 70%. Compressed air is used in so many areas of manufacture, from removing waste material and dirt to drying tin cans or cooling, that it is an integral part of most production lines. But even the humble blow gun can be responsible for making a hole in your profits.”
“We’ve calculated that a standard gun, operating at 80 psi, will cost around £370 a year to run when used in normal factory conditions. The savings made with a Meech gun would give a return on investment of about two months and as most plants have multiple guns, the cost implications are significant.”
Consuming less power is obviously good for the environment, as well as for your pocket, but there are also important health and safety advantages to moving away from traditional compressed air technology. One benefit of the Meech Safety Nozzle is that air is not forced out of one opening, which eliminates the risk of contact with the air line resulting in a potentially dangerous embolism. In addition, there is also a very noticeable reduction in noise … one can almost hear the savings being made.