Quality air from quality compressor

Atlas Copco Compressors Australia
Tuesday, 01 April, 2014

When David Chin, manufacturing manager with Chemson Pacific, saw the need to replace his chemical plant’s ageing air compressor, he had no hesitation in investing in another Atlas Copco air compressor.

“We have never suffered any unscheduled downtime with the previous 15-year-old Atlas Copco ZR132 machine, plus the service has been excellent, so the decision to stay with Atlas Copco equipment was very easy,” Chin said.

“Obviously we did our homework on Atlas Copco’s competitors, but realised we would be better off staying with the company we know and are happy with.

“And with the new oil-free compressor featuring variable speed drive (VSD), we have considerably reduced our energy costs, even though it is a bigger unit.”

Chin explained that Chemson Pacific is part of a multinational company making chemical additives and stabilisers for the PVC industry.

“We produce the chemical additives and stabilisers here in Sydney and sell them to pipe and cable manufacturers and injection moulding companies in the region who make rigid and flexible PVC products,” he said.

“We use the compressed air right throughout the facility, so a reliable compressed air supply is very important for us.

“We use pneumatic conveyors to move the powders around the plant, right from the raw material addition points through to the end product packaging. For us, it’s the most cost-effective way of conveying them.

“However, the quality of the air is very critical; we don’t want any oil in our products, and it’s imperative that the air is clean and exceedingly dry at all times.”

Chin said the company is “comfortably automated”, operating two shifts, up to 20 h/day, with the occasional weekend work.

“We don’t need a high number of staff here, because the air-operated equipment offers us the versatility we need to be able to run the plant with just 17 employees.”

Stephen Climpson, a sales engineer with Atlas Copco, explained that the new compressor, a ZR160 VSD FF, is a full-feature machine with its own in-built dryer, which is matched to the output of the compressor.

“Because the dryer is enclosed in the compressor cabinet, it saves on installation costs; and being a VSD machine, the company’s operating costs will be much lower,” Climpson said.

“Compressed air is the greater part of Chemson Pacific’s energy costs and, even though the machine has only been in service for a couple of months now, the customer is seeing significant energy savings of 10 to 15%, despite the machine being of larger capacity than the previous model.”

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