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Straalbedrijf Wikor B.V. Case Study

Frequency controlled compressor with electronic flow controller offers precise pressure control, provides 172,496 kWh first-year savings, eliminates production variability; project completed in four weeks.

Founded in 1975 as a small to medium-sized steel beam and coatings business, today Straalbedrijf Wikor B.V. is a full-fledged surface treatment company. The company offers 30 years of experience, guaranteeing customers the highest quality products and professional services, and is ISO 9001: 2000 certified.

Straalbedrijf Wikor B.V. was pleased with its more than twenty-year-old SSR M110 Two Stage Oil-Flooded Rotary Screw Compressor. With its integral gear drive system and digital controls, the energy efficient, reliable compressor had been running for 47 hours. However, an unforeseen problem occurred when a defective screw block was detected. As facility managers faced the choice of repairing or replacing the unit, the cost was a significant consideration for the unbudgeted service. In addition, the work would need to be completed quickly to prevent costly downtime.

Based on a successful working relationship with Ingersoll Rand service and account teams, Straalbedrijf Wikor B.V. turned to Ingersoll Rand for solutions regarding the technical issues. In addition, Straalbedrijf Wikor B.V. knew they could rely on Ingersoll Rand for quick delivery. With only a week allotted for the development of a solution, Ingersoll Rand took immediate steps to evaluate the situation. The team began by calculating the cost to repair the compressor compared to the cost of purchasing a
new compressor, taking into account the energy savings to be achieved. To aid in the comparison, Ingersoll Rand used Electronic Assessment data collected earlier in the year.

The Ingersoll Rand Electronic Assessment is a tool used to help customers identify significant savings opportunities through a compressed air system optimization. Electronic Assessment investigates system operation, collecting more than three million critical system data points during a typical 7-day production cycle to establish a baseline of existing system characteristics. An analysis is then performed, using the principles of compressed air science, to identify opportunities to reduce energy and compressed air consumption, increase system reliability, optimize capacity and air pressure, establish effective storage, apply flow controls, and lower maintenance costs.

Together with the mechanic, Ingersoll Rand presented the compressor repair or replacement possibilities to the customer. The Ingersoll Rand team recommended replacing the existing compressor with a frequency-controlled compressor that could provide a total solution for the company’s compressed air needs, eliminating an existing third-party compressor, and making zero load hours a thing of the past. For additional savings, an efficient, reliable D1300EC dryer was also included in the proposal.

Ingersoll Rand implemented the proposed system, which included an IntelliFlow electronic flow controller to reduce energy use by 7.8kW. The IntelliFlow creates a buffer between the air supply and air demand, allowing for more effective use of air storage and continuous dynamic response to demand fluctuations. The controller offers precise pressure control (+/- .75psig) with capacities from 500 – 17000 CFM, eliminating the requirement to turn on additional compressors. With fewer compressors operating, costs have been reduced.

The more reliable compressor provides stable air pressure, eliminating production variability and interruption due to insufficient pressure. The system has also lowered energy and compressed air consumption; provides reductions in artificial demand, leaks, and maintenance costs; and offers back-up and redundancy.

Compressor upgrades implemented at the Straalbedrijf Wikor B.V. plant were operational within four weeks, achieving customer energy saving objectives and tight timelines. First-year energy saving were 172,496 Kwh. (€17.000.- euros per year), with a fixed energy fee savings of €2.700.- euros per year. The energy bills were so much lower that it prompted a call by the energy company to ensure that the meter readings were correct. In addition, the better controlled, more efficient compressor system has reduced service costs.