Turning Project Opportunities Into Energy Conservation: Blow Mold Optimization Part 2

At Air Power USA, we leverage utility incentives and creative financial solutions to help fund energy efficiency improvements in industrial facilities and plants. As an independent energy service provider, we are free from any bias in our recommendations and insights.

Our primary goal is to recommend and help implement projects that will save your facility money. These improvements typically involve identifying opportunities where energy is being lost or wasted and closing that gap to make operations more efficient. To learn more about Our Process and how Air Power can help your facility reduce costs, refer to Part 1 of this series.

Case Study: Blow Molding Machine Optimization

As we discussed in Part 1, Blow Molding machines produce plastic bottles for a broad range of users. The heat requirements for these machines consume massive amounts of energy, and there are typically multiple ways to increase their efficiency.

Project Changes and Control Sequences

Air Recovery & Air System Optimization

One of the energy efficiency measures we implemented in this case works to recover a portion of the high-pressure air used in the blow-molding cavities. That recovered air is then piped into the main low-pressure system, which reduces the demand on the main system and low-pressure compressors.

Air recovery systems like this can save anywhere from 10% to 40% of energy costs. Typically, savings are around 25%. The system we proposed at this particular facility was the Technoplan ARS system.

During the older process, every bottle form was filled with a certain volume of compressed air to take its desired shape. Previously, that compressed air was then just released and went to waste. Now, that air is captured and redistributed back into the beginning of the process, ready for the next preform.

Lamp Optimization & Ceramic Reflectors

These blow-molding units have infrared heat lamps. These lamps have a wide angle of coverage. They are turned on and off based on the recipe and target temperatures of the portions of the preforms. By installing ceramic reflectors, we can refine the angle of the lamps’ coverage.

This allows for more direct heating of the preforms and wastes less heat overall. The installation of the ceramic reflectors requires installing the product and optimizing the angle of the lamp. There are a series of required tests that ensure the preforms are being properly heated.

Results From Project Changes and Control Sequences

The total average demand reduction from air recovery and the optimization of the oven lamps was 110.90 kW. The annual energy use reduction from both of those systems improvements combined was 942,953 kWh/yr. All of that translates into annual energy savings of $66,007.

In this particular case, the implementation costs of these improvements was $120,000 total. So, that equates to a simple payback timetable of 1.82 years. At that point, the return on investment becomes a net positive for the facility and their annual budget.

Long-Term Energy Savings Start Today

We offer unbiased, brand neutral insights into the best ways to optimize your energy consumption. We focus on cost-saving reductions that never sacrifice product quality or production uptime. To learn more about our process and the possible savings waiting for your facility, contact Air Power USA today.