The objective of industrial manufacturing companies today spans beyond production and returns on investment. Energy efficiency has become a popular term in recent years, and companies are emphasizing energy efficiency more every day. The reason is that energy efficiency can dramatically increase production and investment returns.
The growing popularity of doing more with less reflects the first of the Three Rs of sustainability: reduce, reuse, and recycle, which is now more mainstream than ever. It is ever more apparent these days that resources are finite, and no manufacturer wants to be the one that people point at for using more than their share.
APenergy has spent years discovering innovative ways to assist industrial facilities and plants by implementing energy-efficient measures. One of the most beneficial ways to accomplish this necessary task is by utilizing insulation jackets (e.g., insulation blankets).
Insulation jackets are not a revolutionary approach or a modern scientific advancement; they are a simple, logical, practical, and easy-to-install measure that works more efficiently than any other insulation method.
The jackets, in a nutshell, are customizable thermal insulated blankets that cover the barrels of an injection molding machine and the components of extruders. The jackets trap the warm air inside, limiting heat loss, which decreases the energy level needed to maintain high temperatures.
Jackets are a relatively simple project, but that wasn’t always the case. The change occurred as manufacturers of insulation materials have innovated modular designs and increased product usability, making them versatile for applications that can be very customizable.
These advancements allow energy-focused companies to consider these installations without requiring a significant capital expenditure for installation and design. The energy savings will differ from one plant to another, as ambient temperature, product temperature, machine size, and operating hours contribute to the overall reduction. This component is the true power APenergy (https://apenergy.com/contact/):
- Quick realization of both energy savings considering all the variable input data
- Defendable thermodynamic-based conclusions
- Utility incentives or rebates we apply for to offset the cost of both our engineering and the products we use.
Thermal insulation jackets can be made from different materials and contoured to fit various shapes and sizes. Usually, the jackets have down insulation from waterfowl plumage (e.g., geese, ducks), synthetics, wool, fiberglass, or polyfill.
Insulation materials are durable yet low-density and can trap upward to 97 percent of warm air. The insulation used to trap the warm air produced by injection molding machines and extruders is similar to the material in a skier’s jacket and achieves the same result.
That said, not just any thermal insulation will do; not all are created equal. The design of the insulation jackets for injection molding machines and extruders can handle extreme levels of heat and activity to trap the output of heat released effectively.
APenergy focuses on utilizing utility programs to help customers maximize energy efficiency investments. Insulation jackets are a part of the many projects that APenergy champions for energy reduction and perhaps the most popular first step for many companies working on improving energy efficiency.
In conjunction with investor-owned utilities like ComEd, APenergy offers a program that, in most cases, pays for 100 percent of the cost of insulation jackets for injection molding machines and extruders.
APenergy works with UniTherm International to provide clients with the most efficient insulation jacket performance possible. The ability of UniTherm to customize jackets for the absolute perfect fit for each machine is the key to their enhanced ability to lead to energy savings.
A bonus to the energy efficiency of these jackets is that due to their insulating properties, they also help to reduce noise pollution to a degree and reduce the risk of workers burning themselves from accidental contact with the equipment.
For industrial plants and factories, insulation is more than important; it’s necessary. Necessary for the safety of workers, energy savings, and more profitable production. Additionally, by containing the generated heat from the operating machines, the risk of damaging other equipment that is sensitive to heat is significantly reduced.
The jackets have an outer cover that shields the insulation from possible damage. The inner liner also helps the jackets stay in place while acting as a barrier of protection from any possible fluid leakage. Their fastening system provides a secure and tight fit around the components. The system also allows for easy removal and reuse.
UniTherm’s UniVest extruder insulation jacket’s design fits perfectly, with straps and roller buckles to ensure the jackets are secure. All extruder elements are insulated, including the barrel, feed pipes, and dies.
Injection molders may believe that they cannot use insulation jackets because the process temperature changes throughout the day. UniTherm’s QuickCool is a custom insulation jacket that can open easily to allow the machine to cool for the next step in the process.
APenergy’s team (https://apenergy.com/contact/) has developed a five-step process for evaluating and installing jackets within utility programs. The process was designed to be methodical, achieve accurate results, and put companies on track to save money. The APenergy team manages the projects from beginning to end, so customers don’t have to navigate or become distracted by the process.
The process begins with a walkthrough. The customer escorts an APenergy team member through the plant to take inventory of the facility’s machines. The team member looks at each machine’s manufacturer, size class, and other variants to determine if they qualify for the insulation jacket program.
Scoping occurs during a follow-up visit. The team member looks closely at each unit to gather details about each piece of equipment, including operating hours, to calculate the energy-saving outcome.
The evaluation stage is when the calculations go through the approval process. The process is relatively easy, as the methodology is pre-approved in the utility programs that APenergy utilizes.
The next stage is the customer agreement. A team member presents the client with the projected energy savings, costs, and utility rebates. Once the documents are signed, the order for the insulation jackets is submitted.
The final stages of the process are the installation and verification of the jackets; APenergy makes all the necessary assessments and adjustments and takes temperature measurements during the installation of the jackets. APenergy then submits the utility paperwork.
APenergy understands every step of the process of becoming energy-efficient through insulation jackets. We pride ourselves on the most cost-effective solution for our clients because of our process-based approach and unique, experiential knowledge of the Utility Incentive industry.
Employee time is a high-value asset, and it’s imperative to work with trusted experts who can minimize internal facility staff hours in implementation and design. Our expert team is ready to help companies start saving energy and money today. If interested in insulation jackets, contact the APenergy team, the leading energy efficiency consultants, at 740-862-4112 or message us at (https://apenergy.com/contact/).