Reducing Murray Goulburn’s carbon footprint

JUST five months after installing a new Quantima air compressor, Australia’s largest milk processor, Murray Goulburn (MGC) is on track to save $147,000 in annual energy and maintenance costs and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 1,908 tonnes over 12 months.

JUST five months after installing a new Quantima air compressor, Australia’s largest milk processor, Murray Goulburn (MGC) is on track to save $147,000 in annual energy and maintenance costs and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 1,908 tonnes over 12 months.

In addition, when further factory improvements are implemented, the company anticipates an additional $40,000 in power sav­ings and 677 tonnes of CO2 savings per annum.

Murray Goulburn process 37 per cent of Australia’s milk supply and is the nation’s biggest exporter of processed food. It is committed to the environmental sustainability of its business and has a continuous devel­opment program in place to reduce its carbon footprint.

The company decided to implement a complete new system to supply all of the factory’s air requirements used for both plant and packaging processes. This would include new compressor units, air supply pipes and dryers.

CompAir Australasia put forward a proposal, based on replacing the four existing units with just one, 300 kW Quantima compressor and leaving two units for standby air and in November 2007, the new system was commis­sioned successfully.

Detailed audit results taken before and after the installation have been submitted to the Victoria State Government and prove that MGC has met its power reduction target, achiev­ing overall energy savings of more than 35 per cent.

Group maintenance manager for MGC, Mark Gurney told Manufacturers’ Monthly: “We needed to commission a com­pletely new compressed air system that would optimise energy efficiency at every stage of our process. By combin­ing the innovative Quantima compres­sor with all downstream equipment, including desiccant dryers and new air distribution pipes, we have been able to reduce pressure drops and air leaks dramatically.

“Prior to the installation, our com­pressed air system was using 9.1 kW to generate each cubic metre of air per minute. Now, with Quantima, this specific power consumption has reduced significantly to just 6.12 kW/Nm3/min.

“In simple terms, we are now pro­ducing compressed air at best practice levels and with much better efficiency – to the effect it is now taking 33 per cent less power for us to generate a higher air output.”

The new Quantima compressor is engineered to save energy, due to its Q-drive, centrifugal compression assembly that consumes significantly less power than conventional tech­nologies.

Q-drive has only one moving part, the rotor shaft, so there is no friction contact that can result in energy losses and performance degradation over time. In addition, the compressor also has a variable-speed drive that match­es airflow to plant demand for further energy efficiency.

Current expectations are that car­bon offset costs will be around $35 a tonne when the National Emissions Trading Scheme commences in 2010, equating to an estimated saving for MGC of at least $66,700.<[ql]> Every Quantima compressor installed is supplied with Q-life. This is a predictive maintenance solution that enables CompAir to mon­itor the performance of the compressor, 24 hours a day.

When necessary, CompAir engineers can moderate the machine’s performance remotely to prevent a fault occurring or send a local engineer to site to carry out remedial repairs.

With its previous com­pressed air system, MGC was benefiting from regular, scheduled servicing from locally-based CompAir engineers. Now however, with the fixed price Q-life agreement in place, the company has made service cost savings of 64 per cent already. In addi­tion, because Quantima is totally oil less, MGC does not have to deal with the disposal and treatment costs of waste oil and condensate either.

Compair also interfaced the Quantima compressor into the compa­ny’s internal network so that MGC engineers can view the status of the machine locally and make minor adjustments to keep the compressor running at peak performance.

To further reduce its energy con­sumption and reliance on the chilled water supply, the Leongatha site is installing new water-cooling towers. These will enable water to be taken straight into the process, which can be up to 8 per cent more energy efficient than using a separate factory chiller to cool the mains water.

CompAir is currently working with MGC to enable the feed from the new water supply to the compressor, a project that will be completed in the next few months.

This project is likely to save another 71 kW of installed power , yielding an additional $40,000 in power savings and 677 tonnes of CO2 savings per annum.

Mark Gurney said, “Instead of sim­ply replacing one or two of our exist­ing compressors, we chose to install a complete new system that would deliv­er a low cost of ownership, with the maximum energy savings possible. We are very pleased with the results.

“After only five months, the Quantima compressor has already delivered the energy-saving and carbon footprint reductions that we expected. Overall the project will pay back, pre-tax, in 22 months.”

Quantima Roadshow Makers of the Quantima, CompAir, will be introducing this innovation to industry through an Australasian roadshow in late 2008/early 2009. Registration for the presentations is open now at www.quantimarevolu­tion.com.au, and those registering before October 22nd will go into a draw to win one of seven new genera­tion iPhones.

On registration, manufacturers are asked to provide some details of their current compressed air usage. CompAir will then do an assessment on the energy and cost savings that the Quantima can deliver and provide these at the breakfast presentation.

CompAir, 03 9212 5800.

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