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Quaker Foods North America

Compressed Air Study
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PROJECT SNAPSHOT: Quaker Foods North America
Compressed Air Study cost, funded by the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program $16,015
Implementation cost paid by customers $19,624
Estimated annual energy savings 620,010 kWh
Estimated annual cost savings $51,981*
Incentive received $15,128
Estimated payback period with incentive Less than five months

*Estimated annual cost savings are based on an electricity rate of 7.5 cents per kWh.

Project Summary

Quaker Foods North America (QFNA), a division of PepsiCo, operates its food manufacturing facility in Bridgeview, Illinois, with two air compressors working around the clock. The plant was built in the 1960s and is approximately 400,000 square feet. Compressed air is used for material transfer, processing, packaging and warehousing of products. The compressed air equipment vibrates for product transfer of ingredients and uses high pressure “blow-offs” to remove products from high-speed lines.

“Compressed air use was one of the largest opportunities to make a difference in our plant,” said Andy Lempera, QFNA’s supply chain engineering senior manager. QFNA leveraged the Compressed Air Study and its incentives from the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program to improve compressed air efficiencies. According to Lempera, they realized the project aligned with the site's conservation goals once they saw a potential savings of close to $52,000 a year for initial implementation costs of under $20,000. More than $15,000 in ComEd incentives and the fully-funded study made the improvements affordable and reduced the payback period for all improvements to less than five months.

The Solution

Based on Compressed Air Study recommendations, QFNA completed the following five projects:

  • Modified air compressor schedules to operate on only one compressor rather than two. The plant now has two backup compressors, which improves reliability within the facility
  • Repaired air leaks, which reduces the amount of compressed air produced to save energy
  • Replaced timer condensate drains with no-loss condensate drains which open a valve only when signaled by the condensate level control, making it a more efficient option
  • Sized and installed engineered nozzles with less compressed air volume on production blow-off applications
  • Replaced compressed air vibrators with electric vibrators, reducing compressed air demand and energy

Project Benefits

The energy-saving improvement projects at QFNA’s facility are saving the company close to $52,000 in electric costs annually.

Lempera explained he sees the benefits of these projects every day when he gathers the electricity usage data for the plants. He said, “Plants that aren’t using these ComEd incentives are missing out. They can take advantage of big savings for very little cost. I urge other facilities relying on compressed air to look at the Compressed Air Study.”

Plants that aren’t using these ComEd incentives are missing out. They can take advantage of big savings for very little cost. It’s a great program. I urge other facilities relying on compressed air to look at the Compressed Air Study.
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