Tackling leakages

Oxford-based LeekSeek International has teamed up with pneumatic and electronic technology group Festo to launch an energy-saving service for pneumatic automation customers.

US-based pneumatic and electronic technology group, Festo, has teamed up with LeekSeek International to launch an energy-saving service for pneumatic automation customers.

According to industry analysts, European manufacturers currently waste 25-35 per cent of the compressed air that they generate, much of which is caused by leakages.

The joint initiative hopes to combat this problem by providing site-wide detection of compressed air leakages. In addition to reducing energy, the move is expected to save money for the companies involved.

Daniel Winkler, managing director of Oxford-based LeekSeek International, said: ‘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 six 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.’

According to figures released by Festo, compressed air typically costs UK companies around 1.5p per cubic metre. This amounts to an annual cost of around £394,200 during a 24-hour operation. Festo claims that its strategy will save companies up to £118,260 per year.