Customer Experience
June 19, 2019

Helping glass recycler see cleaner and leaner operations.

Blackhawk Equipment finds compressed air efficiency -- all around the plant.

As the first bottle-to-bottle recycling facility in the state, Momentum Recycling in Broomfield is a significant asset supporting the environmentally responsible mindset that has become a hallmark of Colorado lifestyles. Glass recycling can also reduce about 5 percent of the waste stream which means less landfill space is needed. Also, making recycled glass products consumes 40 percent less energy than making new glass from raw materials. Thanks to Momentum, 85 percent of recycled glass in Colorado goes back into new bottles1. It’s a closed loop system which creates no additional waste or by-products. Plus there’s no loss to glass purity with each recycling process2. The benefits are clear to see.

 Yet, recycling glass is no simple task. The process is a complicated industrial procedure which includes several filtering steps of materials. Get a tour of Momentum’s plant in the video below.

 Little things can add up

That’s the theme realized by Momentum after the plant had been open about a year. Questions were raised about the performance of their compressed air equipment. They turned to Blackhawk Equipment, and a compressed air audit was performed for the facility. The Blackhawk audit team quickly realized tremendous opportunities to optimize for both equipment performance and energy savings. Here are the main updates and adjustments they made:

  • Replacing a pair of 100 horsepower constant speed machines, with a new Sullair V250S-250L, variable speed drive, variable capacity control 250 horsepower compressor. The combination of variable speed drive and variable capacity control optimize energy efficiency and allow the machine to operate at peak efficiencies at part load conditions.
  • A blower purge desiccant dryer.  Reducing overall compressed air demand by eliminating costly purge air to regenerate the offline tower by utilizing heated ambient air from a smaller HP blower.
  • A much smaller reciprocating compressor to operate the fire suppression system.  Allowing the larger 100 Horsepower machines to be shut off during non-production weekends, saving tremendous amounts of energy.

Finding efficiency in everyday places

When auditing, Blackhawk saw that more power was needed for specific underserved components. This is especially pertinent for on-demand tools and devices that run intermittently throughout the workday. On the other hand, a smaller unit may be better for other systems that require much lower flow and pressure levels around the clock. A fire suppression system is a perfect example.  Because this equipment is always on, a much smaller Horsepower compressor can be utilized to further reduce the running hours of large Horsepower machines.

Manufacturing is becoming more aware of air power

As businesses are becoming more focused on optimizing efficiency, clean power, and climate issues, they are paying greater attention to their energy usage. Flow meters and other devices are being used to monitor and manage the amounts of air used within production and manufacturing environments.

It gets down to simple math

For each pound of compressed air pressure required, there is a .5 percent (half of one percent) increase in energy costs.  Compressed air requires energy, so the more efficient the compressed air system, the lower the energy costs.

With targeted changes and adjustments, customers can save thousands annually in energy costs, which can off-set initial installation costs and the lease or purchase payments on new equipment. It is often a true win-win outcome.

Known for customized solutions

Blackhawk Equipment creates compressed air solutions for customers in most states and around the world. They take pride in providing customized solutions for almost any industry. Blackhawk services a broad mix of industries with expertise in industrial and lab grade extraction services. Blackhawk also specializes in the brewing and the metal beverage and food container industry. They can develop and implement energy-saving measures using air compressors, air dryers, vacuum pumps, cooling tower systems, chillers, and temperature control systems.

They also have a breadth of capabilities in equipment and manufacturing utilities including air, gas, vacuum pumps and cooling water, oil-less air compressors, nitrogen generators, and more. With over 150 years of combined experience, Blackhawk has highly-trained staff, including five Department of Energy Certified AirMaster+ Specialists, and two of the first five to receive the new Compressed Air and Gas (CAGI) Compressed Air System Specialist certification, along with helpful sales, service, engineering, installation, and parts professionals.

Learn more about how to best leverage Xcel Energy’s Programs & Rebates for Trade Partners by connecting with Derek or Robert.

Derek Shockley

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Robert Macauley

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