Camfil engaged with one of the largest global food companies and a global leader in the bottled water industry, with production in more than 35 countries. The manufacturer is committed to health, hydration and especially the environment when it comes to water use, packaging and energy.
As a result of airborne contamination from packaging operations, the manufacturer was frequently changing air filters on its bottling line conveyor intakes. If filters were not changed as needed, they risked line ﬂow problems and product contamination. Earlier trials with low-cost filters showed consistent failure. The pleated and final filters failed prematurely and gained resistance at an unacceptably high rate resulting in system contamination, continued line airﬂow adjustments, production loss and lower case counts. The filter changing process and constant airﬂow adjustments led to ongoing maintenance problems and added a significant cost burden to the plant's material, labour and logistics.
Faced with escalating expenses and an increased demand on maintenance personnel’s time, the beverage manufacturer understood the need to provide effective filtration, but realized they needed to do so at a reduced cost. The beverage manufacturer required a clean air solution that would reduce air filter life-cycle costs and maintenance costs.
Camfil, the corporate air filter contract holder, was invited to the facility to make recommendations. Camfil's representatives recommended simple field modifications to the filter housings using Camfil fasteners. This allowed the bottling facility to convert from 4-inch pleated prefilter and 4-inch final filter combination to a 2-inch prefilter and 12-inch box-style filter configuration. Two different filter combinations were then tested. Camfil's 2-inch 30/30® and 12-inch RigaFlo® combination was compared side-by-side with Camfil's 2-inch 30/30 and 12-inch Durafil®ES. Camfil also agreed that at trial completion sample filters would be tested in its field laboratory per ASHRAE Standard 52.2-1999 – test criteria of contaminant removal efficiency, contaminant holding capacity, and resistance to airﬂow.
The tests proved that Camfil's filter combinations significantly outlasted the bottlers 4-inch prefilter/final filter solution. The 2-inch 30/30 prefilter lasted more than six months compared with the 4-inch, which lasted only one month. Camfil's Riga-Flo and Durafil ES lasted six and 12 months, respectively, versus the three-month performance the bottler was experiencing with the 4-inch final filter. Filter resistance is minimal, and so constant line airﬂow adjustments are not required.
Fewer filters, less labour and waste all mean lower costs
As a result of the trials performed, the beverage manufacturer has proof the facility will experience substantial savings and dramatic improvement in line performance. Because the new approach provides lower resistance and gains resistance at a slower rate, the constant adjustment of line ﬂow is eliminated, and maintenance staff will be freed up for other activities. And because filter changes are less frequent, the production facility benefits from less labour, less waste and lower disposal costs.
Energy savings an added benefit
Converting to Camfil's prefilter and final filter solution substantially improved the airﬂow resistance performance in the air handling system. The new solution operated at a 0.80” wg pressure drop change, which will save the bottling operation $11,851 a year.