The Wales-based bottling plant of Princes Gate Spring Water is experiencing energy savings and production improvements by replacing its oil lubricated compressor installation with Atlas Copco oil-free machines.

The company’s plant in Narberth, Pembrokeshire, bottles mineral rich spring water filtered naturally through the local landscape. The production operations need a constant 108l/s supply of high quality compressed air at 7bar to meet the demands of the process line’s low pressure air users, such as air cylinders, manifolds, filling equipment and inking machines – all of which contribute to an annual output of 55 million bottles of spring water from the company’s on-site source.

Princes Gate supplies bottled water to large wholesale operations and as own label brands to a number of large supermarket chains. All of these customers require suppliers to comply with the minimum purity standards of the Code of Practice for Food Grade Compressed Air, jointly developed by the British Retail Consortium and the British Compressed Air Society. The code places the burden of responsibility for the provision of uncontaminated air on the end product manufacturer to ensure that its process air is free from dirt, water and oil contaminants.

The company’s decision to install two Atlas Copco oil-free compressors, the ZT37 VSD and the ZT18, together with new AIRnet pipework, was influenced by the need to ensure optimum air quality and product purity. Atlas Copco’s process air complies with the standard of air purity, ISO 8573-1(2001), and also embraces the Class 0 industry standard which measures all three forms of oil contamination – aerosol, vapour and liquid.

Prince Gate’s compressor upgrade was influenced not only by the need for guaranteed 100% oil-free air, but also for the production environment benefits of lower operational noise levels and the elimination of the time and costs involved in oil condensate disposal. What’s more, the integrated frequency converter feature of the Atlas Copco VSD compressors varies the speed of the drive motor to exactly match the changes in compressed air demand, thus using the minimum amount of energy and saving Princes Gate up to 35% in energy consumption costs.

The net effect of these production line improvements has now enabled Princes Gate’s management team to put plans in place for increasing the company’s annual output to 70 million bottles and to undertake a major expansion of retail sales during 2012.

Commenting on the success and efficiency of the compressor upgrade operation, Endaf Edwards, Princes Gate’s operations director , said,“The Atlas Copco equipment is proving to be very efficient. It produces the 100% oil-free, high quality, dry air we need and is extremely reliable. In our view, the installation of the compressor plant was carried out very professionally and we have no hesitation in recommending Atlas Copco’s equipment to other companies.”