Gatorade Learns Central Air Compressor Control Cuts Costs
By Dusty Smith, PE, Pneu-Logic CorpNovember 19, 2012
Food and beverage processing applications are some of the largest users of compressed air, and a significant portion of the energy used to compress air in processing plants is wasted due to inefficient compressor controls.
Consider the Gatorade plant in Tolleson, Arizona. At 797,000 square feet, this plant is the largest producer of Gatorade and Propel in the world, and the use of compressed air is integral to its bottling process.
After undergoing an independent compressed air analysis, several issues were identified with the plant’s compressed air system. The plant had seven compressors in two locations, but no monitoring was in place to observe system-wide pressure. To ensure adequate air supply under all conditions, the compressors were operated at higher pressure than necessary, regardless of production requirements. “We suspected that energy was being wasted, but we didn’t know how much,” said Tom Schaefer, Principal Engineer – Resource Conservation for PepsiCo Gatorade.