When you think of steam systems, you may be inclined to think of the food and beverage or pharmaceutical industries. What you may be less inclined to think of, is the UK car industry.
We were approached by one car manufacturer in a bid to review their ageing steam-to-hot-water heating system at their plant, with a view to modernisation.
The existing installation at the site comprised three large shell and tube calorifiers, which were once the industry standard for delivering hot water. In more recent years, a great deal of development has gone into the refining of steam-to-hot-water systems. This has helped improve plant efficiency and safety while displacing the traditional calorifier.
Maintenance at the plant proved to be a constant challenge for engineers as the old units were mounted at a high level. This became even more evident when the units underwent their routine insurance inspections.
We made a recommendation to replace the old calorifiers with compact high efficiency, pre-fabricated EasiHeatTM systems which use the latest in plate heat exchange technology. A new location was identified at ground level, but as space was at a premium the EasiheatTM proved to be the ideal solution when faced with these constraints.
The EasiHeatTM packages were supplied with a PLC Energy Management System. This allowed the plant to use of all the useful energy available in the steam – reducing fuel demand and associated CO2 emissions. The savings achieved now contribute to the overall system efficiency.
With the ageing system having been replaced, the car manufacturer is now geared towards improved safety and reduced maintenance of its steam-to-hot water system.
Manufacturing is at the forefront in the pursuit of efficiency savings and the UK car industry is no exception. Another car company has recently reviewed the performance of its condensate system through a series of surveys. The results served to help them identify areas of improvement - allowing them to drive-down energy and fuel costs.
Of particular note was the steam trap survey which looked at the operation of the traps and the suitability of the items installed on each application. This led the auto manufacturer to modernise their existing equipment and achieve significant efficiency savings with relative ease.
The good news for those looking to deliver enhanced operational and energy savings is that the technology and the resources exist to help you to steer your plant in the right direction.
Business Development Manager
From vaccines to vitamins, the pharmaceutical industry is fundamental to the world’s health by developing the latest in medications and medical devices. But when it comes to safeguarding the integrity of the final product, pharmaceutical manufacturers should look to a key part of their steam system that is absolutely critical in maintaining a safe and validated process – steam traps.
Efficiency is king - a saying that we should all be aware of in the industry. There’s always a way to save more on water use, especially during the wash-down process. Driving down the overheads that make up such a high percentage of our budgets should also be at the top of everyone’s to-do list.
For plant managers, two things in life are certain: manufacturing uses a lot of energy; and that energy costs money. In fact, a survey by The Daily Telegraph and YouGov revealed that 28 per cent of manufacturing companies spend more than £250,000 a year on energy . That’s enough to make anyone’s eyes water.