Atlas Copco at the side of Sanofi

Atlas Copco at the side of Sanofi for years, in its factory at Scoppito (AQ)

VSD+ compressors and the smart control system decrease consumptions and contribute in winning economic and environmental challenges

The challenge to reduce compressor rooms’ consumptions is always open, owing to the constant technological evolution. On the other hand, in industrial ambit, the problem of the correct management of the compressed air vector is very relevant: just consider that about 11% of electric consumptions can be ascribed to it, with an incidence that can even constitute over 30% of the electric energy consumed by an enterprise. With the addition that 70% of the cost of a compressor’s operation during its lifecycle is due to the energy consumption.

Step by step towards consumptions’ reduction

Concerning this, the course undertaken some time ago by Sanofi factory at Scoppito (L’Aquila, Italy) is particularly interesting, because the first compressor with variable speed drive – which has allowed the company to decrease by 10% the energy consumptions caused by the compressed air use – was already introduced fourteen years ago. Since then, step by step, thanks to the partnership with Atlas Copco and the constant technological upgrading, the factory’s specific consumptions have decreased by a further 30%.
Sanofi factory at Scoppito, one of the three plants of the pharmaceutical Group headquartered in Italy, is an excellence reality. It is a highly automated site where compressed air represents an essential component of productivity. Compressed air is in fact used as energy vector for the operation of machines, especially in the packaging department. Moreover, where air can come in touch with the pharmaceutical product, a very high quality level is required. Like in all sector companies, not only it is necessary to use oil-free compressors with ISO 8573-1 certification to grant 0-class pure air and absence of oil contamination but the air humidity control is very important, too.

The solution

In the factory four Atlas Copco compressors are installed, two of them with variable speed drive and always in operation. The first of them, ZR 160 VSD, has allowed the load modulation according to manufacturing requirements. The second, equipped with VSD+ variable speed technology with independent drives for the two compression stages, was introduced in 2020 and has determined a further 20% energy saving. Furthermore, considering the existence of two systems with variable speed drives, the existing sequencer, that is to say the control system that activates the various compressors on the basis of a hourly schedule, has been replaced with a smart control system by Atlas Copco that activates compressors according to the air and pressure requirements, to guarantee the utmost energy efficiency at any time. It is Optimizer 4.0 that, through a proprietary algorithm, evaluates the air request in terms of airflow and pressure and makes the most convenient machine intervene at any time to have the minimum energy consumption, irrespective of the compressed air requirement. It is an essential tool, especially in presence of more variable drive compressors, and in this case it has permitted a further 10% consumption saving.

Optimizer 4.0, through a proprietary algorithm, evaluates the air request in terms of airflow and pressure and makes the most convenient machine intervene at any time

Concerning energy consumptions in 2021, thanks to ZR 160 VSD+ compressor in combination with Optimizer 4.0, a saving of about 80,000 Euros yearly has been achieved.
“To improve air compressed plants’ energy efficiency, we need compressors with variable speed drive and smart monitoring and control instruments. The innovations by Atlas Copco include VSD+ compressors, which in their whole lifecycle decrease CO2 emissions by 11%, SMARTLINK 2.0 monitoring system, which shows where it is possible to optimize and save energy, and Optimizer 4.0 control system, for the consumption optimization. The three technologies together allow optimizing consumptions and winning environmental challenges”, affirms Emiliano Farnesi, Product Marketing Manager of Atlas Copco.

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