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    Refurbishing the compressed air supply at Scheurich

    The task
    Scheurich GmbH – a company based in the Main valley between the Odenwald and Spessart mountains – is a European market leader in the production of ceramic planters, and commissioned us to provide a reliable, economic compressed air supply. Very old compressors needed replacing and decentralised compressed air treatment required centralisation, with some ambitious energy-saving and environmental goals being set. Drying ceramic items requires a lot of heat, which air compression produces in abundance (95% of the electrical power consumption is transformed into heat). Given this, the task was to find a simple solution for putting waste heat to direct use.

    The objective
    The objective was to use a contracting or full-service solution to entrust the compressed air supply project to a specialist that would identify, implement and ensure the sustainability of the desired potential savings. This included making full use of BAFA’s funding opportunities to stand Scheurich in good stead.

    The solution
    A variety of measures were used to ensure an energy-optimised compressed air supply of around 9 million m3 with high operational safety standards:

    • Some of the air required to exploit powdered raw materials (clay) was decoupled from the main air supply (7.5 bar). This is now generated significantly more economically on a decentralised level using a suitable low-pressure compressor, with a sufficient pressure level of 2 bar.
    • For the main air supply, based on a needs analysis, energy-optimised vane compressors were acquired at 75, 55 & 30 kW on the power scale and are controlled in line with needs by an intelligent superordinate control system. This also helps to minimise uneconomic idling periods.
    • Inadequate central cold drying using multiple additional small, decentralised dryers was replaced with a large, state-of-the-art EU-regulated cold dryer.

    These measures alone have reduced compressed air costs by around €20k per year. In addition, optimised heat recovery via well-insulated, generously sized ventilation ducts in an adjacent dry room has doubled this savings potential.