Compressed Air Reconfiguration of Leading Horticultural Company

When the Chief Engineer had to reconfigure air systems to provide the manufacturing and production facility of one of the UK’s leading horticultural companies with greater redundancy – so it could maintain multiple production lines in the event of a compressor failure - he looked at the options and concluded the addition of a third compressor was needed.

One of the fastest growing horticultural companies in the UK

As Chief Engineer for one of the fastest growing horticultural companies in the UK. He was responsible for ensuring the manufacturing arm of the business could sustain the current demand and build in a plan for increased volumes. With compressed air at the heart of their production infrastructure - this needed to be robustly scrutinised.

Leading producer of retail brands and supplier to the industry

The manufacturing division was responsible for producing their own market leading brands as well as supplying product across a wide range of gardening products to the industry. This included growing media, lawn treatments, lawn seed, plant food, pest control, fungicides, weed killers and mulches. With products available for purchase in garden centres, large retailers on the high street and online and also in most supermarkets across the UK - ensuring the production lines continuity was essential.

An additional 45kw compressor was specified

The incumbent production and manufacturing capability was based around a compressed air system fed by two compressors (An Ingersoll Rand Nirvana 37 and X1 Avelair VSD 37 and after doing his homework, due diligence and listening to several compressed air companies recommendations - the Chief Engineer had specified an additional 45kw compressor. This was agreed by all as the most suitable addition to the current infrastructure to provide the added redundancy needed. The Chief Engineer then invited compressed air companies to tender for the work required.

Companies invited to tender but was the specification right?

Cambs Compressors were one of the companies invited to tender but rather than simply respond to the specification set out, they asked if they could investigate the system and scrutinise the needs - in addition to a direct response to the engineers request. The Chief Engineer agreed to allow them to log the current compressed air system through several cycles of manufacturing and production peaks. After just one week’s data logging, Cambs Compressors had the detailed evidence to highlight a more cost-effective option.

“The obvious solution to improve compressed air systems supply and redundancy is often a larger capacity compressor. However, on further investigation there are more cost effective solutions to achieve the same goals. Compressed air is an expensive rescue, consuming energy to keep the system charged and ready for use. When it gets broken down into ‘real costs’ understanding what is going on with the air being fed into the system is key to making further investment - as getting it wrong simply escalates ongoing costs without any clear commercial benefit.”

Mark Fryer, MD, Cambs Compressors

A better solution met the demand needs with less cost

Cambs Compressors could demonstrate the need of a 45kw compressor would not provide any benefit to the manufacturing needs and production peaks than a 22kw compressor. With lower cost to purchase, the 22kw compressor saved capital outlay, but more importantly energy consumption and reduced service costs. Cambs Compressors got the contract and the leading horticultural company had the redundancy and additional production capacity they needed at a fraction of the costs.

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