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Compressed air & vacuum system makeover generates energy savings

01 May 2020

Atlas Copco’s compressed air and vacuum systems upgrade for brick maker Wienerberger Ltd is resulting in significant savings in energy costs, estimated to be around £38K per annum, along with reduced CO2 emissions and production downtime – plus, the added benefit of a short-term payback.

The existing compressor system upgrade project at the Windmill Lane factory was triggered by episodes of unreliability. This meant choosing between carrying out costly motor rewinds or taking the longer view and replacing the compressors with alternatives – offering higher efficiency and dependable performance.

The compressor installation’s primary function in brick production was a 7-bar air supply to pneumatic cylinders – powering the clutches of the mixers blending essential additives with the basic ground and milled clay processing operation, and those of the extruders. This, together with the final sandblast treatment, determined the quality, performance and appearance of the finished products.

There were similar performance and efficiency issues with the vacuum pump system employed to remove air from the brick material before extrusion, forming and kiln firing. The operation was intermittent because of problems running cooling water through the pumps, whose design offered only limited opportunity for corrective maintenance. 

To rectify these problem areas of his manufacturing processes, Miles Coppinger, Wienerberger’s Director of Production North, called on the services of Atlas Copco. 

Read the full article in the May issue of DPA

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