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Closures put a lid on energy wastage

21 September 2010

Plastic packaging manufacturer Closures is on track to reduce annual operating costs by over £52,000 thanks to a series of energy saving initiatives implemented by IsoCool

The process cooling specialist went far beyond the original brief of a brand new chilled water system, to identify not one but four ways in which Closures could make significant cost savings.

Closures manufactures In-Mould-Label cream pot containers and lids, and over 2 billion closures a year for the UK dairy market. To fulfil increasing demand, the company extended its 4000sqm2 Mansfield-based factory this year, and put out a tender for a new cooling system.

Several specialists were invited to bid but it was IsoCool’s expertise and reputation which impressed closures director, Peter Acres: “I asked around the market for references and had no negative feedback. And IsoCool’s technical knowledge really stood out above the competition - they identified an energy saving solution which other suppliers had completely overlooked,” he explained.

IsoCool installed a complete turnkey cooling solution for the factory extension, which will house up to 12 new large injection moulding machines. This included an adiabatic cooling system for the hydraulic oil coolers, plus a multi-circuit chiller and air blast cooler for the moulds to provide partial and up to 100% free cooling during low ambient conditions.

By offloading the chillers in this way, IsoCool will reduce the annual energy consumption of the cooling system by over 50%, saving Closures around £17,000 every year and increasing the longevity of their plant.

During this installation, IsoCool saw the potential for Closures to make much greater energy savings across their rest of their premises. “Before the recent extension, Closures consisted of three factories on the same site, each of which had its own cooling systems” explained Nigel Hallett, MD of IsoCool.

“Factory 1 and 2 had packaged chillers that came with the original production lines, Factory 3 was a centralised system, and Factory 4 is the new extension. With a combination of upgrading, recycling and centralising, we knew we could make Closures overall system much more energy-efficient” he continued.

Peter was impressed: “IsoCool produced detailed cost analyses of our existing energy consumption compared with their new solutions. The savings were fantastic and return on investment excellent” he said.

The intelligent solution will begin with the expansion of the existing central system in Factories 3 and 4. Here, IsoCool will add additional capacity from two of the stand alone chillers in phase 2. They will then upgrade the adiabatic cooler in phase 3 and retro-fit an IsoFC energy saving device to the system. This connects the mould and hydraulic cooling circuits through a high-efficiency packaged heat exchanger unit to enable energy transfer between the systems without them mixing.

Finally, IsoCool will install new pipework from phases 3 and 4 onto the compression moulding machines in Factory 2, which will release the remaining stand alone chillers. To reduce the carbon footprint of both factories and lower Closures’ expenditure, IsoCool have committed to purchase the redundant chillers in order to recycle them. Even without this saving, the solution is expected to cut Closures’ annual operating costs by a further £24,000.

Once this is completed, IsoCool will make further energy savings to the compression moulding cooling facility in phase 1. Here, they will centralise the existing chillers to optimise the performance of each unit by adding a staged control system plus utilising the redundant air blast cooler from Factory 3 cooling system, to provide partial and up to 100% free cooling, which will lower Closures’ annual operating costs by a further 50%, or £14,000 in monetary terms.

Once again, IsoCool was able to release another chiller from the system, which they will purchase from Closures for recycling. Altogether, Closures is on track to save over £50,000 every year thanks to IsoCool’s resourceful solutions.

And if all that proactivity wasn’t enough, IsoCool’s Director, Nigel Hallett, also helped Peter apply for a Carbon Trust loan to help manage the cost of their initial investment: “Nigel suggested that we go for the CT loan and then gave advice throughout the process. In fact, IsoCool were incredibly helpful with everything. They’re a really professional company, offer an excellent product and I’d recommend them to anyone looking to make significant cost savings”.

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