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Festo and LeekSeek announce joint venture to combat energy wastage
Festo and leakage management specialist LeekSeek International have announced a joint initiative to combat energy wastage. The two companies are launching a unique energy-saving service for users of pneumatic automation, which provides comprehensive site-wide detection, management and resolution of compressed air leakages. The potential cost savings are huge: industry analysts estimate that European manufacturers currently waste 25-35% 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 1 cubic metre of air to 7 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. Simply by adopting the type of comprehensive leak management strategy proposed by Festo and LeekSeek, companies could reduce their compressed air generation costs by up to 30%. In this example, that equates to a saving of £118,260 per annum, and a much smaller carbon footprint.
Although Festo already offers several energy-saving services to help manufacturers analyse and reduce the consumption of compressed air, it believes that collaborating with LeekSeek will enable it to expand its level of service in this area significantly. LeekSeek is a completely independent, third-party company; it maintains the world's most comprehensive database on leakage detection projects, and has an impressive track record in helping customers reduce their energy costs.
The new energy-saving service provided by Festo and LeekSeek is comprehensive, all-embracing and very thoroughly documented. Following a systematic leakage survey - for a typical medium-size manufacturer this usually identifies in the order of 500 to 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. The LeekSeek leakage management system provides a direct link to Festo's Online shop, enabling customers to order every required spare part with a single click of the mouse. This combination of comprehensive leakage detection and management, backed by one of the world's most comprehensive pneumatic product portfolios and logistics services, is set to usher-in a new level of energy saving.
According to Daniel Winkler, Managing Director of LeekSeek International, "The average cost of a leakage survey is less than 10 per cent of the overall leakage costs, and the cost of repair is also less than 10 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 6 months. The savings are also long term. Many pneumatic delivery systems and automation components that we encounter have problems caused by compressed air contamination. This factor is eliminated during the air quality analysis that we perform as part of the new combined services package that we now operate with Festo. Obviously this helps manufacturers reduce their consumption of compressed air, but it also helps them reduce maintenance costs and machine downtime."
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