Manchester, NH—When orders for medical trays went through the roof at thermoformer and tray manufacturer PolyVac Inc., Facilities Manager Ray Ferland knew that it was time to increase the plant's compressed air capacity. "Our increased demand for compressed air meant we needed increased capacity and the redundant systems that back them up," he says. "Otherwise, if we have to shut down a compressor for any reason, we might as well just send everyone home because our operation depends heavily on pneumatics."
Ferland had a 50-hp compressor that provided pneumatic pressure for thermoforming and injection molding operations used to produce customized medical trays sold globally. He also had three 25-hp compressors that provided back-up, but the plant needed their additional capacity, so he started looking for a 100-hp unit.
"Our region of the country has very high electric utility rates, so I wanted a compressor that could help me control the company's peak energy demand," Ferland says. He chose a Sigma Frequency Control (SFC) from Kaeser Compressors, Inc. (Fredericksburg, VA).
The compressor has a unique airend design that brought an immediate energy savings of 15%. SFC airends use a minimum amount of energy over a wide speed range, rather than the standard approach of specifying an optimum operating point at one specific speed. What makes the design unique are changes to the profile, the length-to-diameter ratio, injection points, cutting depth and shape of the profile, and discharge porting.
The SFC also incorporates the Sigma Control, an industrial computer integrated into the compressor that monitors and controls the compressor's operation, which helps Ferland shave the peaks in electrical demand.
For more information about compressors from Kaeser:Enter 534