14 May 2018

Right sizing of Air and Cooling equipment allows savings for the Auto Industry

Automotive production line

With current reduced levels of production for the Automotive Industry, temporary air, cooling and power promote savings on utility spend. 

In the morning of May 2nd 2018, a series of explosions and a massive fire broke out at a Magnesium facility plant in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. The cause of the fire remains unknown and, fortunately, nobody was seriously injured. However, this event is affecting the automotive industry, since structural auto parts, such as dashboards, were produced at this plant. 

Several major automotive companies were affected by the event. While the auto industry has a history of working around parts shortages from natural disasters and fires, it may be more difficult this time, because there are few companies that produce magnesium parts.

Some of these companies had to lay off employees or reduce their schedules. Even bestselling car productions are slowing down due to the lack of supplies for critical parts. Automakers are reprogramming production to different models that come down the same assembly line.  

How to reduce energy and maintenance costs

Those manufacturers have very large facility centers, from which big parts consist of air compressors and chillers. The air plants, which focus around the automakers paint shop, consist of large centrifugal machines that run around the clock. These machines are very expensive to start and stop, which makes maintenance a difficult and costly task. At the same time, the chiller plants also have large centrifugal water-cooled chillers that are not easy to perform maintenance on either.  

With a slow or paused production, there is no need for heavy air or chillers. However, because the stop and start of this equipment is so expensive, many plants could still be running expensive, big machines with no or little load. This is where big savings can be achieved by switching to smaller, more efficient, less-costly-on-maintenance, rental Oil-free Air Compressors and cooling equipment. By right-sizing equipment for decreased production, plants can reduce energy and maintenance costs and perform maintenance for the owned-equipment while in the reduced production. 

For the automotive industry, this is a very opportune moment to use temporary air, cooling and power instead of grossly oversized in-house equipment, in order to adapt the capacity to the current production. Also, when the supply chain is restored, the plants will need to ramp up their compressed air, cooling and power capacity. That’s where, once again, temporary rentals are the smarter solution to get production lines back on track. 

With the oil-free air compressors, cooling and power equipment from Aggreko, manufacturers can focus on resuming the production levels and performing maintenance in this timely situation. We offer a remote monitoring service to anticipate problems and gather important data for optimum performance. Our technicians can oversee every piece of equipment 24/7 – every day of the year. This alerts us to when fuel is needed or if power demands change as well as a multitude of other parameters 

We are part of the manufacturing industry and we fully understand the industry. We use this knowledge to help other manufacturers to overcome unexpected challenges and find creative ways to enhance their processes. Talk to a specialist and we’ll help you find what’s right for you.