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Media / Local company news / Food Manufacturer Benefits from Oil-free Air, Heat Recovery and Rebate

Food Manufacturer Benefits from Oil-free Air, Heat Recovery and Rebate


What did you eat for breakfast this morning? If you had a bowl of cereal with milk, your breakfast was touched in some way by compressed air. In food manufacturing, compressed air is used in processes such as ingredient mixing, pneumatic conveyance and packaging, among others. Because the air touches the final product in many food manufacturing applications, the air must be clean and free of any potential contaminants.

Atlas Copco USA - Atlas Copco Class Zero Milk
For a food manufacturer to remain competitive, energy efficiency and energy savings must be a top priority. A cereal manufacturer in Massachusetts worked with their utility provider to perform a comprehensive audit of the manufacturing facility’s compressed air system; the audit revealed several potential areas of savings including the replacement of the existing compressed air equipment.

Heat Recovery Substantially Reduces Natural Gas Bills

Considering that the cost of electricity to power compressors can be as high as 40 percent of a plant’s electricity bill, reducing energy consumption is a simple way to contribute positively to the bottom line.

An innovative way to reduce energy consumption is to capitalize on the heat by-product of air compression to defray the costs of other necessary food manufacturing processes. Because the cereal manufacturer uses large volumes of steam in the cereal making process, water is continually added to the gas-fired boiler. With energy recovery, the water can flow through a heat exchanger that captures the heat of compression from an Atlas Copco oil-free air compressor which heats the water to the desired temperature.

With energy recovery, manufacturers can typically recover 80-105% of the original electrical input energy used to power the air compressor.

Energy Rebates from the Utility Provider Reduces Capital Costs

Manufacturers often have to invest capital to cut costs, but companies may not always have the capital budget to make a large compressed air system upgrade possible. Before the cereal manufacturer dove into the project to not only add energy recovery, but also combine two existing compressed air systems into one, add an upgraded dryer, and a new closed cooling system, the local utility provider analyzed the proposal and offered a huge financial incentive to make the project happen. Because the utility provider determined the return on investment was very good, they worked with the manufacturer to cover half of the investment through an incentive program, and the other half through financing the facility’s monthly utility bill.

Is your facility ready for an upgrade?

To learn if your facility is ready for an upgrade, look to your utility provider or a third-party auditor to perform a comprehensive energy audit of the compressed air system. You can also learn more about Atlas Copco oil-free air compressors for food manufacturing and energy recovery systems by visiting the Atlas Copco website, or fill out our request form below and a representative will be in touch with shortly.

For further information please contact:

  • Erik Arfalk, Vice President, Communications & Branding
    Atlas Copco Compressors, LLC  
    Telephone: 866-546-3588

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