Compressor helps Simba meet production and green targets 18 March 2011

Simba International is reporting that an Atlas Copco VSD compressor, financed through a Carbon Trust loan, has been a key success factor in its plant refurbishment programme.

The agricultural equipment manufacturer uses air in its shot blasting operations and spray booths, as well as for breathing masks and air tools in the final assembly hall for its cultivation and seeding machines.

Simba managing director Colin Adams explains that the plant's air demand varies greatly and that, prior to installing Atlas Copco equipment, the plant was experiencing problems, following expansion of its production.

Poor reliability and the presence of water in the air threatened quality, while capital budgets were unavailable to replace the existing three compressors, one of which was only three years old, he says.

In the event, Atlas Copco distributor Anglian Compressors was called in to carry out an energy efficiency survey that validated the project for a Carbon Trust loan.

Adams states that Anglian's survey established that the existing compressors were too small, but also that demand could be met and energy savings made – to the tune of 77,700kWh, equivalent to £7,770 per year – by using a single variable speed compressor.

As a result, Simba purchased an Atlas Copco GA75VSD FF variable speed drive compressor, together with integrated DD/PD filters and an OSC355 condensate separator, and Adams says the energy cost savings alone are more than covering the Carbon Trust loan repayments.

He also says that payback in electricity savings will cover the total price within three years, and he also expects significant reductions in service and maintenance costs.

"The new system is more efficient and better controlled than its predecessors. It detects how much air we need, something that changes regularly throughout the day, and only takes the energy it needs to provide the requisite airflow, states Adams.

"What's more, it retains a reservoir of compressed air at all times, so 'start up' at the beginning of production is much quicker. Compressed air used to account for 40% of our total electricity bill. We expect to cut that significantly," he adds.

Brian Tinham

Related Companies
Atlas Copco Compressors

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