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Beverage Packaging Plant Economizes On Drying Costs

Packaging Production LinesWith multiple aseptic packaging production lines running full-time, the Plant Engineer at a beverage packaging plant understood the vital importance of air technology in ensuring dryness for date coding and labeling. When customer demand necessitated the addition of another production line, the Plant Engineer realized it was time to switch from compressed air to a more efficient and cost-effective form of drying.

This contract beverage packaging plant packages soy and milk beverages for several beverage industry clients. The 500-employee company manufactures and packages beverages from its clients and puts them in sterile paper cartons known as aseptic packaging. The firm’s business expanded rapidly in recent years, necessitating an additional production line to keep up with client demand. Yet continuing to use compressed air throughout the facility would have cut into profits significantly. The Plant Engineer calculated that, with the expansion of production lines, the facility faced a choice between moving to a modern form of drying technology or spending over $100K on a new air compressor, while also dealing with an increase in annual electricity costs due to compressed air usage.

The Plant Engineer consulted with Fred Sanchez, southwest regional sales engineer for Paxton Products, to learn how the plant could switch to a more efficient and cost-effective method of drying. When Sanchez visited the plant, he saw that the 14 existing production lines contained an assortment of different compressed air nozzles. He explained to the Plant Engineer that Paxton’s Power Dry system could help standardize the facility’s production lines as well as save money.

“Part of the problem they faced at this location,” Sanchez explains, “is that they needed to automate more completely. They were losing money on energy costs because the compressed air nozzles kept running even when the line was shut off. At the same time, they still needed to have a powerful enough blowoff system to remove every drop of water from the top of the cartons so that the date codes would not smear.”

“I recommended the Paxton Power Dry system for this beverage packaging facility because it supplied the kind of powerful and efficient drying they needed, and it has the advantage over their compressed air systems in that it can be fully automated to the line system so it shuts down whenever the line does. Plus Power Dry can be adapted to a variety of drying applications from drying a targeted surface in preparation for date-coding or outfitted with a spyder manifold for drying hard-to-reach places.”

The Power Dry also met the company’s needs in terms of pricing. Since the facility manager did not want the cost of the equipment to count as a large capital expenditure, the decision was made to update a few sections of the plant at a time from compressed air to the new Paxton Power Dry system. The affordability of the Power Dry system made it possible for the Plant Engineer to implement a stage-bystage changeover to the newer, more cost-effective drying technology.

As of this writing, the company has updated 5 of their lines. The Plant Engineer reports that after installation, the new Paxton Power Dry systems showed a return on investment in only 4 months. He also gave the Power Dry system high marks for ease of use and reliability. As Paxton Products sales engineer Fred Sanchez who helped install the Power Dry systems at the facility summarizes, “They went from losing thousands of dollars on compressed air costs to actually saving money.”

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