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Six months after installing Quantima compressors from Compair, Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant is on target to achieve annual electricity savings in the region of 3,000,000kWh.

For Jaguar Land Rover, a luxury car manufacturer, the rising cost of energy can have a major impact on profitability across its West-Midlands based plants.

The company has set itself stringent environmental targets to reduce its carbon footprint through a programme of energy reduction.

This is especially the case at its Castle Bromwich facility, where the company’s current range of XF, XK and XJ models are assembled and finished.

Here, the paint process is a critical part of production and requires the use of compressed air.

Interruptions in air supply or air quality issues will affect not only throughput in the paint shop, but also productivity elsewhere in the plant.

The existing compressed air installation was coming to the end of its useful economic life, so a project team from Jaguar worked alongside compressed air equipment provider Compair to evaluate the options available.

This included examining the benefits of repairing or refurbishing the existing equipment or whether to invest in new compressors.

Compair engineers carried out an air audit on the existing compressors to determine compressed air usage and the potential savings that could be achieved with the installation of a new system.

As a result, Jaguar chose to upgrade its network to incorporate Quantima’s technology, installing two new compressors and ancillary equipment.

Occupying half the footprint of the existing units, the two new compressors were easy to install in to the existing compressor house.

They are controlled by Compair’s Smartair Master control system, to produce compressed air at 8 bar.

The Q-52 unit provides the base load with the Q-43 machine coming online when the pressure drops below 7.5 bar, helping to avoid any peaks or troughs in supply.

The compressors also provide air to the XF trim and final assembly line.

Each Quantima unit is water cooled and served by a closed-loop air blast chiller, which, according to Compair, is an efficient way of cooling the water to the required intake temperature and helping Jaguar to save more than 11,000m3 of water per annum.

The air is transported to a desiccant dryer and then passed through a series of CO2 scrubbers, to ensure it meets the required standards for breathing air.

This part of the compressed air treatment is critical, as a proportion of the air is used for personnel breathing masks within the paint shop booth processes.

When the clean and dry air reaches the paint shop, it is used for a variety of applications across the 5.7 miles of conveyor line.

Slave removal, where the car bodies are first placed on to the conveyor system, requires the full 8 bar pressure in order to lift the vehicles, especially on the heaviest of the models assembled at the plant, the XJ.

Compressed air is also used to control the valves operating the pneumatic paint-dosing process and on both the under-body seal and the internal seam robots.

Since the Quantima compressors were installed, Jaguar is on target to achieve annual savings in the region of 3,000,000kWh of electricity, 11,000m3 of water and 13,000 tonnes of CO2.

This accounts for 12 per cent of the Castle Bromwich plant environmental target and the company anticipates payback within two years.

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