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Home >Quantum Controls boosts energy savings for plastic recycling company

Quantum Controls boosts energy savings for plastic recycling company

04 December 2013

Quantum Controls has helped Regain Polymers of Castleford, West Yorkshire convert its plastic extruder machine from a DC motor to a new ABB AC Motor and Variable Speed Drive, creating an annual energy cost saving of £49,000.

Regain Polymers is one of the largest plastic recycling companies in the UK, currently recycling around 50,000t of plastic per year. The company turns waste plastic materials such as polypropylene, high density polyethylene and polystyrene into new pellets which are then used to produce products such as water pipes and wheelie bins.

The company's production is based on seven extruder lines. As part of its programme to cut energy use and carbon emissions, it had identified one of its extruder lines as a prime candidate for improvement. This was based on a 400kW DC motor and the company wanted to convert it to AC operation. The conversion to AC would also eliminate the need to replace the DC brushes every three months, resulting in a saving of a further £2500 a year. 

As an ABB Drives Alliance member, Quantum Controls was asked to investigate the extruder for possible conversion to AC.

Quantum installed a data logger which established that the daytime electricity costs for the DC motor were £424. 

Quantum fitted a 400kW ABB AC 4 pole squirrel cage motor and variable-speed drive, together with a new mains cable. Following the installation of the AC motor and drive, energy costs dropped to £260 per day, a saving of around £163 based on a 24 hour a day production.

Quantum offers AC Drives and Motors for hire, with before and after monitoring along with full turnkey installation and commissioning. "This means we can prove actual savings for our clients and give a factual payback period prior to any capital investment," says Peter Stelling, Quantum Director. "This proves invaluable when clients are faced with the decision of making the investment in new equipment as they know exactly the saving they will achieve”

With 300 days total production a year, this would give a total annual saving of £49,000. This would be an energy reduction of nearly 870,000kWh per year, as well as saving over 488t of CO2. 

The AC motor runs at the same speed as the previous DC motor, with savings coming from the improved torque ratio and efficiency of the AC drive and motor. 

Ian Fenwick, Asset Care Manager for the plant, said: "Quantum estimated that we would get a 20 percent energy saving from the project and we are getting above this figure with the AC motor and drive fitted, so we are more than pleased with the project."

To find out what savings you can achieve switching your existing DC applications to AC contact 0330 9000 247 or email p.stelling@quantum-controls.co.uk