North American Automotive Component Manufacturing Plant
Effective management of costs is vital in the highly competitive world of automotive component manufacturing. A leading North American components manufacturer responsible for supplying the likes of GM, the Ford Motor Co and Daimler Chrysler - and acknowledged for its technology, product design, service and delivery - trialled Integra. The benefits from Somar Integra in reducing energy, maintenance costs and downtime were valuable as part of a wider energy and cost management program. Additionally, Integra helped meet the aims from the company's ISO environmental policy which states that they "will continuously improve and review our practices and processes in pollution prevention and waste reduction".
Fly-wheel presses are common in industrial sectors. The motor powering the press runs continually and only comes under load at the point that the required component is stamped.
During operation, many industrial applications experience sustained periods of no load or motors left idling; e.g. at the end of production runs or by accident over weekends. Integra can automatically detect and switch off a motor left idling, producing a 100% saving in addition to the energy savings achieved during production.
Fly-wheel applications experience periods of no load, e.g. during tool setting or the loading of difficult components. Integra, with its stored energy utilisation feature, is able to switch the motor on and off in pulses, saving energy whilst still maintaining momentum in the flywheel.
The company's facility features metal presses sized from 100 to 1600 ton capacity, used for producing hinges, glove box doors, exhaust manifolds and underbody parts. Integra was initially installed on a 30kW motor powering a metal press. In addition to reducing a previous starting current of approximately 400amps to a maximum peak of 130 amps, the energy savings were 30% when operating under its normal duty cycle. The readings taken showed that the 30kW motor only reached a usage of 15kW even under load. The savings generated equate to a payback of 20 months in energy savings alone, in addition to the peak demand and maintenance benefits from the controlled soft start.
Integra units have since been installed on press motors ranging from 22kW to 75kW. The installations to date display operational energy savings from 18% - 30% respectively. It should be noted that the Integra savings were validated by an independent power company. Furthermore, thermal image testing was performed on the motors whereby Integra reduced the operational temperature by over 15°C.