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Tridex Die Enjoy Major Energy Savings Thanks To Direct Air

The recent installation of a new Hydrovane HV22RS regulated speed compressor by Direct Air has provided Tridex Die of Gloucester with major energy savings.

Advice from a trusted distributor has led to annual energy savings in the region of £3000 for Tridex Die Limited. The recommendation made by Hydrovane distributor, Direct Air, was to replace a fixed speed compressor with a Hydrovane HV22RS regulated speed model to better match the company's considerably varying air needs.

Gloucester based Tridex Die is a die extruder for the aluminium industry. Employing 30 people and established for over 20 years, like all other manufacturers the company has seen energy costs escalate over recent years.

Managing director Earl Loughry says: "Industry has been hit with appalling increases in energy prices. Life is already tough for manufacturers and we have to run lean and mean to make any profit. It is our policy to look at every area of opportunity to reduce costs and we are continuously looking for better, faster, cheaper and more efficient ways of operating. Knowing this, Tim McGill our main contact at Direct Air, suggested we might benefit from replacing our fixed speed compressor. I trust Tim's integrity implicitly and because he said it, I believed it. However, he recommended that we datalog our existing machine to find out just what level of savings we could anticipate with a regulated speed model."

Tridex Die is heavily dependent on its compressed air supply, using it for a range of equipment from hand-held tools to large CNC machines. Working a two shift pattern, with five day shifts and four night shifts, the company has an ongoing need for air, but demand levels vary considerably. Earl continues: "We have a variation of around 40% in our air requirements. There are periods during a shift when there is an intensive use while at other times, say during lunch breaks, demand drops to virtually zero. However, our previous compressor was running for the whole time."

The datalogging exercise was carried out to establish exact patterns and levels of usage of compressed air. The data obtained was extrapolated over a year giving an accurate picture of the actual energy cost involved in running the fixed speed compressor. The same data was then used to demonstrate the difference a variable speed drive compressor would make to costs and the resulting estimate of some £250 per month has subsequently proved accurate.

"Since we have installed the compressor, energy prices have risen again so the cost saving benefit to us is increasing in proportion to the price rises" says Earl. "We also have the benefit of a new machine that is operationally more efficient and with the money we are saving, the payback period will be relatively short."