Compressed air audit business expands to meet demand

CAPS Pty Ltd
Monday, 11 March, 2013

While compressed air is a major part of most manufacturing and industrial processes, many systems operate inefficiently with old technology or ineffective controls. Large volumes of air are wasted through leaks, inappropriate usage and other artificial demands such as over-pressurisation. Audits regularly show that less than half of the compressed air produced is used for actual productive activities.

A continuing drive by industry to reduce energy costs has enabled the Energy Efficiency Services (EES) division of Compressed Air and Power Solutions (CAPS) Australia to expand its range of services and increase the number of staff available to carry out compressed air energy audits. Investing more than $150K in its growth, EES has pursued an expansion strategy to fit the needs of compressed air users that are looking for an independent approach to analysis of their energy use.

“With compressed air being responsible for 10 to 15% of industrial electricity use Australia-wide, an air audit can reveal surprising opportunities to reduce energy consumption and overall business costs,” said Quentin St Baker, National Manager, EES.

“We identified that there was a pressing need for a flexible and dynamic audit system that allowed for comprehensive analysis of any compressed air system, regardless of the manufacturer. From there we consulted with many compressed air users to ensure that our solution was world class and represented best practice principles.”

Quentin St Baker, at a client site, conducting analysis of air audit data.

The company devised a custom-designed software suite and comprehensive air audit hardware package, which was teamed with extensive training and development of engineers and technicians nationwide to undertake audits. To assist in driving implementable recommendations, additional experts were also employed to conduct the air audits, provide analysis and provide independent reports.

Since the implementation of these growth strategies, EES has gained considerable attention from the market, chairing several panel discussions at energy industry forums and presenting papers at major conferences.

“It’s been exciting to have gained the attention we have and our services are proving to be extremely popular. This has led to us employing more senior consultants and driving continued staff development,” said St Baker.

According to St Baker, there are still opportunities for companies to streamline processes to reduce energy consumption and costs resulting in the growth of energy-efficiency services and air audits.

“The carbon tax is just one factor that has changed the energy-efficiency landscape. It is no longer people at the shop floor who are implementing ad hoc projects to improve efficiency,” he said. “Today we are seeing senior management driving initiatives and asking what can be done to reduce energy costs.”

With the right advice and experience, it is possible for companies to rapidly achieve significant savings. Making use of the audit expertise of a consultant to develop commercially viable and operationally feasible solutions will help companies achieve their goals.

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