Case Study: Wilco Precast LTD

plummer compressors case study

Aluminium Pipe Installation

Project Description:

Wilco Precast LTD requested the services of Plummer Compressors to provide a solution for leaking underground air pipes at their South Auckland location. The site also required a major extension to the existing pipe system. This was to provide additional outlets in order to avoid safety issues from air hoses running across the floor at multiple points.

The solution to provide additional outlets on both the side wall of the factory, as well as running down the centre of the building, provided flexibility for production to be moved around the factory. This meant the client wouldn’t need to be concerned about having an air supply readily available.

The main challenges with the project were:

  • achieving a fast install to minimise production disruption
  • working at height (up to 9 metres above the ground)
  • working around the concrete moulds permanently fixed to the floor

The Plummer Compressors team met with Wilco Precast management to formulate a plan and a successful outcome. Specialist height equipment had to be sourced to allow the new AIRCOM pipe to be installed onto concrete beams 9 metres above the floor of the factory. Two 4-wheel drive rotating telescopic boom lifts were selected, and used in tandem to install the pipe. With only centimetres between the rows of moulds on the floor, the lifts had to be skilfully manoeuvred as well.

The project went very smoothly using the AIRCOM aluminium pipe system and the solutions offered by the team at Plummer Compressors. The client was very satisfied with the completed project, which was completed on time and within budget.

Challenges:

  • wilco precastWorking at height
  • Connection to existing pipework
  • Minimising disruption to production schedules
  • Weekend & after hours work
  • Tight spaces & limited access

Outcomes:

  • Utilised EWP licensed personnel
  • Compatible with existing pipe
  • Agreed plan with owner and production managers
  • Use of specialty access equipment
  • Completion on time and on budget
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Airleak detection device

The True Cost Air Leaks Have on Your Business

Compressed air is an essential utility for most manufacturers and factories and many of our clients wonder ‘what the true cost of compressed air is?’

The most expensive element in the total cost of compressed air—including set up costs, servicing and maintenance, is the power consumption. In fact, over the lifespan of an air compressor, power typically costs ten times that of the purchase price of the compressor. 

Did you know?

Air leaks are a common cause of wasted compressed air, in fact 20%-50% wastage through leaks is not uncommon. This is therefore a significant source of wasted power. Consequently, proactive leak detection and repair can generate substantial savings. Most experts agree that the “low hanging fruit” of compressed air system efficiency improvements is leak management and reduction.

If the electricity cost to generate compressed air is $35,000* annually, then you could be wasting up to half of that – or $350,000 over the life of your compressor!

It is vital to have knowledge about your compressor – this means you will understand the air compressors capabilities and whether it is or isn’t functioning normally.  If you are unsure what to check, please ask your service provider to give you some training.

Airleak detection device

 

To ensure a longer life span of your air compressor and save you costs, maintaining a regular service history will help you significantly to reduce wasted costs daily. A compressor system that is for example, medium sized could potentially save you between $10,000 and $30,000 per year!

All this information begs the question ‘what is a good leak prevention program to save costs?’

We recommend that all manufacturers and factories with compressed air systems should ideally establish a proactive leak reduction program. An air leak prevention program could be part of an overall program aimed at increasing the efficiency of compressed air systems. Additionally, once leaks are detected and fixed, the system should be re-evaluated. 

Our approach to this is transparent: 

  1. Detection & tagging, 
  2. Quantify & prioritise,
  3. Repair leaks – according to priority. 
  4. Repeat from step 1!

A well-established compressed air system ‘leak repair program’ is fundamental in maintaining the efficiency, reliability, stability and most of all cost effectiveness of any compressed air system.

Keep in mind that maximising energy efficiency on a long-term basis WILL save you money, whilst contributing positively to our environment.

We can help you monetise your air leaks. Get in touch with us today on how we can support you to optimize your compressed air system.

 

*22kW x 8000hrs/year x $0.20/kWh

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