One of the biggest challenges to optimize compressed air usage is to define where, how, and when the improvements should take place. Through the experiment with real-time measurement by VPFlowScope In-line, our customer was able to easily calculate the Return On Investment and make rational decisions.
The challenge in the cable manufacturing industry
Our customer is an electrical and communication cable manufacturer in Kenya. They produce cables for both domestic and international industrial applications. In the cable manufacturing industry, the drying phase to take away all the water after cooling is imperative. All the cables have to be dried satisfactorily.
When it comes to the drying phase, the customer used to operate with two facilitated hollow cylindrical pipes to direct the compressed air. However, this practice encountered many deficiencies including incompetent drying, high compressed air consumption, and immense noise level.
In order to improve the drying process, they decided to experiment with a new air wipe system. To evaluate and gain more insight into the compressed air usage, the customer used the VPFlowScope In-line 0.5” to measure both old and new air wipe systems.
Compressed air usage comparison by VPFlowSpope In-line
And here was what the figures told us during the experiment:
Before – The old facilitated system
The two facilitated hollow cylindrical pipes had 4 and 20 diameter holes respectively. Each hole is 4 mm in diameter and consumes 3 SCFM of air at 5.5 bar:
1st pipe: 3 SCFM x 4 holes = 12 SCFM
2nd pipe: 3 SCFM x 20 holes = 60 SCFM
Annual energy cost:
72 SCFM x ( 22 kW / 100 SCFM ) x 2,000 hrs x 0.13 Euro / kWhr = € 4,118
After – The new air wipe
The new air wipe with 3” internal diameter replaced both pipes, while using 55% less compressed air at 5.5 bar.
New air wipe consumes: 39.8 SCFM
Annual energy cost:
39.8 SCFM x ( 22 kW / 100 SCFM ) x 2,000 hrs x 0.13 Euro / kWhr = € 2,278
> Total energy saving per machine: € 1,840
> Investment cost: € 691
> Payback period: 4.4 months
With this obvious result, the company has no hesitance to implement the new system.