Metal Forging

$126,000 per year energy cost savings was achieved by installing Air Compressor Automation, a Pressure Flow Controller, a supply side air receiver tank and a Variable Frequency Drive Air Compressor.


BASELINE
The Metal Forging Facility Uses compressed air for general shop needs and for their Pneumatic Air Hammers. These air hammers are used less than half the time, but consume a huge volume of air. As a result, the facility had to operate multiple air compressors in order to meet demand when forging required use of the air hammers.


RECOMMENDATION
Energy Savings was achieved by installing:

  • An automation control system in order to operate only the number of compressors needed to meet demand, i.e. when the air hammers weren't operating, compressors could be automatically turned off.
  • A Variable Frequency Drive compressor staged as the full-time trim unit in order to efficiently meet demand.
  • An air receiver tank upstream of an Intermediate Flow Control Valve which separates the demand side from the supply side of the air system, thus minimizing "artificial air demand." This extra air supply stored at a higher pressure serves as a battery and instantaneously meets sudden air demands without unnecessarily turning on a standby air compressor.


ENERGY SAVINGS
The compressed air upgrade the metal forging facility allowed for efficient air compression regardless of the plant demand. Prior to the upgrade, their system production was 3.9 Cubic Feet per Minute per kW and afterwards it was improved to 4.4 CFM/kW. Based on their annual air needs, the facility realized a savings of 838,941 kWh per year ($126,000).