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Compressed Air

Situation

Pinnacle Foods is a packaged food company producing well established brand names products such as Aunt Jemima, Bird’s Eye, Vlasic and WishBone.

With an environmental commitment to search for energy saving opportunities, Pinnacle’s management engaged Groom Energy’s team to visit its portfolio of plant locations around the US, and identify opportunities for upgrades within their use of compressed air, a critical production related system within their operations.

Project

compressed_air_2x_tall1At Pinnacle’s Fort Madison, IA operation, an aging 525HP system was found to be in need of an upgrade. The system required more frequent regular maintenance and over the long term presented reliability concerns.

Groom’s industrial team first developed a complete metering system to understand how the system performed, and proceeded with a design process that utilized the latest, most energy efficient compressors, also applying waste heat recapture that had productive use within the plant operation.

Ultimately the team installed two, new oil-free compressors, delivering a more efficient system, and securing local utility incentives that reduced the capital upgrade costs to Pinnacle Foods.

Results

The $1+ million upgrade project provided the plant a more reliable, efficient system, reducing electricity consumption by 1.2 million kWh, water by upwards of 40 million gallons per year, and gas by 6,000 MMBtu per year. With the offset of an local utility incentive, Pinnacle achieved a simple financial return of less than 3 years on their investment.