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Festo and LeekSeek plug the gaps

17 March 2009

Festo has joined forces with leakage management specialist, LeekSeek International in a bid to combat energy wastage. The newly launched energy saving service targets users of pneumatic automation and provides site-wide detection, management and resolution of compressed air leakage.

The service is in reaction to recent estimations from industry analysts, suggesting European manufacturers currently waste 25-35 per cent of the compressed air that they generate, mainly through leakage caused by bad maintenance practices.

Compressed air is not cheap. In the UK, it typically costs companies about 1.5 pence to compress one cubic metre of air to seven bar – and a medium-size manufacturing company is likely to consume about 50 cubic metres of air per minute. Extrapolating these figures to cover 24-hour operation gives an annual cost of £394,200 (€426,300). Festo and LeekSeek claim that by implementing a leak management strategy, companies could reduce their compressed air generation costs by up to 30 per cent. In this example, that equates to a saving of £118,260 per annum – and a much smaller carbon footprint.

The companies claim that a systematic leakage survey, for a typical medium-size manufacturer, usually identifies between 500 and 1,000 leakages. The results are analysed using advanced software techniques and used to create a prioritised list of optimisation measures. The list includes the accurately identified parts that are required to perform each optimisation task, and is held in a web-based database which can be accessed by the customer.

Daniel Winkler, managing director of LeekSeek International, said: ‘The average cost of a leakage survey is less than ten per cent of the overall leakage costs, and the cost of repair is also less than ten per cent. 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.’

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