23 Jul 2024

AUTOMATION FOR MANUFACTURING

Leak detection service could save £100,000 a year

Festo has joined forces with the Oxford-based leakage management specialist, LeekSeek International, to offer an energy-saving service for users of pneumatic automation. They reckon that the service could cut compressed air generation costs by up to 30%, saving some users more than £100,000 a year.

European manufacturers currently waste an estimated 25–35% of the compressed air that they generate, mainly through leakage caused by poor maintenance. In the UK, it typically costs about 1.5p to compress 1m3 of air to 7 bar, and a medium-sized manufacturer is likely to consume about 50m3 of air per minute. For 24-hour operation, this gives an annual cost of £394,200.

The Festo/Leekseek service promises site-wide detection, management and resolution of compressed air leakages, cutting compressed air generation costs by up to 30%. In the example above, this would mean an annual saving of £118,260, and a much smaller carbon footprint.

Although Festo already offers energy-saving services, it believes that collaborating with LeekSeek will enable it to expand these activities significantly.

Following a leakage survey – for a typical medium-size manufacturer, this will usually identify around 500–1,000 leakages – the results will be analysed and used to create a prioritised list of optimisation measures held in a Web-based database that can be accessed by the customer.

“The average cost of a leakage survey is less than 10% of the overall leakage costs, and the cost of repair is also less than 10%,” says LeekSeek’s managing director, Daniel Winkler. “Furthermore, once the improvements have been carried out, the savings are immediate, which means that most projects have a payback period of less than six months. The savings are also long term.”