Sullair’s flexible managed air power solution for a COVID-impacted Australian food packaging manufacturer, Confoil

The key benefit of a VSD compressor, like the VX160 installed with Confoil, are the opportunities for scalability. Image credit: Sullair

Confoil, an Australian owned and operated packaging manufacturer offers a range of food packaging products – both standard and customised – across a broad range of sectors.

Confoil produces over 350 kinds of foil food-packaging items, supplies across a range of industries including food manufacturers, retail and commercial foodservice, defence, and healthcare. It also offers an eco-range of food packaging products made from materials such as paperboard, pulp, and eco-parchment

The company’s need arose when it became apparent that their an old compressor was starting to approach its end-of-life period. A third party who was engaged for service and repairs flagged the issues and felt there might be an issue with the air end. They suggested Sullair be brought in for more comprehensive technical advice. Knowing the compressor needed replacing and could fail at any time, our client found themselves considering whether repair or replacement was the solution and sought a second opinion with Sullair’s sales engineer, Eric Low.

In addition to the main compressor, Confoil also has multiple machines on site that need regular attention for servicing and repairs. With this in mind, there was an opportunity to rethink their current strategy and implement a new, cost-effective solution that would manage their need for new equipment and provide ongoing technical and professional support for their existing equipment.

The solution

Confoil needed something urgently as a replacement for their failing compressor – within a couple of weeks. They had an old VOC110 compressor on site and wanted something like-for-like, however long lead times due to COVID import delays on that unit meant it was not a viable solution. Low applied some creative thinking to the issue and on discussion with the Sullair team, offered a solution that above and beyond the client’s needs and set them up for future growth.

The conversations with Confoil began in June 2020, coinciding with the impending launch of Sullair’s new MAP – Managed Air Power – solution. Low provided an initial quote, recognising that a MAP solution over a traditional solution would be of greater benefit to Confoil’s situation. The quote was considered, discussed and then customised to accommodate for the client’s needs and budget.

“We didn’t have a VOC110, but we did have a new model VX160 on site that we had been testing. It was a Variable Speed Drive (VSD) machine so would deliver some great energy savings to the client,” Low explained.

The VSD machines ensure the supply will match the demand, rather than work above the required capacity. The compressor varies the flow of air needed, making it an extremely versatile and efficient solution for a manufacturer like Confoil.

“We’ve been involved with Champion/Sullair for almost three decades and find them very innovative and supportive,” explained Confoil’s projects manager, Wayne Rogers. “The agreement of MAP shows a whole new way to approach air use in our facility.”

The result

Confoil’s new Managed Air Power installation has been a great success at their Bayswater location. With comprehensive reporting and real-time data available, Confoil’s MAP solution has made their compressed air easier than ever.

“The visualisation in real time that we have of our compressor performance is something we haven’t had in the past. We can observe the compressor performance on our remote dashboard and look at real-time data and historical performance. This monitoring and combined service reports will enable Confoil to truly evaluate the success of the MAP program going forward,” Rogers said.

We’re very happy with this new way of doing air. It takes the responsibility of the service and unexpected costs and worry for the asset away. It’s simple.”

The key benefit of a VSD compressor, like the VX160 installed with Confoil, are the opportunities for scalability. Confoil has experienced increased production demand due to COVID’s effect on the industry, and in fact exceeded their goal base figure per calendar month. The new compressor then became more than fit to purpose – it has been the ideal solution to keep up with the busy production schedule.

The VX160 is 5-7 per cent more efficient than the current model (VOC160). The versatility of the solution allowed our client to accommodate for future extra business with the more powerful and energy efficient VX160. Should their demand grow above their current demand of 110Kw, the VX160 will allow for that without having to bring in a second compressor, as they would’ve with the VOC110, meaning there is only one machine to maintain.

Paired with the support and security of Sullair technicians on standby for any issues or repairs that may arise means that Confoil’s air supply through Managed Air Power is hassle free and entirely taken care of by Sullair Australia’s experts. MAP has been the ideal solution for the company, in what has been an unpredictable environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Confoil’s Wayne Rogers says “I look forward to continuing a long-term partnership with Sullair. The level of professionalism across all areas of their business, sales, and service is extraordinary. This level of service is what people expect, but it’s not always what you get. You get that from Sullair.”

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