frozen food manufacture

Camfil Serves Up Savings in Energy, Filter Costs, and Labour

Thanks to its significant energy savings, the manufacturer received a rebate check from the local utility company. The air filters basically paid for themselves.

Company profile

One of North America’s largest packaged food companies with branded and private branded food serving consumers, restaurants and food service operations across the globe.

POOR FILTRATION AFFECTS CRITICAL PROCESSING AREAS AND DEMANDS ON PERSONNEL

Three air handling units supplied 170,000 CFM of air to critical processing areas in one of the nation’s largest frozen food manufacturing facilities. The high moisture return air contained breading residue, which restricted airflow and overwhelmed the Airguard Merv 8 pleated prefilters within one to two weeks. Rated at Merv 11, the Airguard Legacy synthetically charged media final filters had the incorrect efficiency for the critical application. Once the charge dissipated, the low Merv rating of the filters dropped further. With only 4-inch-deep pockets, the filter configuration had insufficient media area with poor dirt loading and resulted in shorter service life than expected. In addition, dramatic pressure drop increases created airflow issues within the plant.

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The ongoing challenges and time demands placed on maintenance personnel drove the need for important filter program changes to deliver consistent airflow, extend filter life and improve efficiency, particularly in the final filter. There was also an opportunity to capitalize on a utility rebate program if all three challenges were accomplished and the energy savings were documented by an independent third-party consultant.

CAMFIL’S PLEATED FILTERS A PROVEN PERFORMER IN FOOD PLANTS

As a proven performer in food plants across the country, the Camfil 30/30® Merv 8 was selected to combat the breading residue and moisture in the prefilter section. Its higher strength construction and U-shaped pleat configuration would allow for collection across the entire media surface, guaranteeing longer service life. For the final stage, the award-winning Camfil Hi-Flo ES® 22-inch-deep Merv 13 pocket filter was selected due to its proven performance in similarly challenging food and beverage plants. Lastly, data logging equipment was installed by a third party to monitor the energy use. The 45-day testing on two identical units measured final filter pressure drop readings and fan motor kilowatt hours.

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ENERGY REDUCTION, LONGER SERVICE LIFE, LOWER LABOUR AND DISPOSAL COSTS

In complete compliance with the utility company's guidelines, the third-party reporting determined that Camfil filters provided significant energy reduction with a longer service life and reduced labour and disposal fees. The Camfil 30/30 Merv 8 prefilter and Hi-Flo ES 22-inch-deep Merv 13 pocket final filter combination offered the perfect solution – saving over $33,000 annually.

The 30/30 prefilter and Hi-Flo ES filter combination reduced overall filter costs by more than 26% annually.

HOW BETTER FILTERS SAVE MONEY

PREFILTER STAGE

As seen in virtually every side-by-side prefilter test, the 30/30 Merv 8 pleat outperformed the Airguard pleat. In this particular case, the 30/30 lasted three times longer.

The data logging equipment revealed that the average cost of energy for the unit operating with the Airguard pleat was $42.67 per day versus $37.86 per day for the unit operating with the 30/30. For the purposes of tracking total cost and making comparisons, half of the unit’s energy cost was assigned to the prefilters and half to the final filters. The cost of the filters plus labour and disposal fees were added in to calculate total cost of ownership. Converting to the 30/30 would allow the food manufacturer to save $8,830 annually on the prefilters alone

FINAL FILTER STAGE

The results of the final filter testing were just as dramatic. The previous Legacy filter needed replacing within six months. But the service life of the Camfil Hi-Flo ES® 22-inch deep Merv 13 pocket filter was one year – double that figure. 

Additionally, the Camfil CamTester was used to evaluate the pressure drop reading after one full year in service. The readings showed an insignificant increase from its original .37”w.g.; however, the physical weight of the filter was 2.2 lbs. heavier than when brand new. This indicated that while maintaining the necessary airflow, a large amount of dirt was captured and prevented from entering the production facility. The data logger information combined with the associated replacement, labour and disposal costs showed that the Airguard Merv 11 Legacy filters were costing $15,712 annually to operate, while the Merv 13 Camfil Hi-Flo ES filters were costing only $13,240 annually.

GREAT SAVINGS – AND EVEN A CHECK IN THE MAIL

The Camfil prefilter and final filter combination in all three identical units saved the plant over $33,000 per year. These savings do not include the financial gains from greater airflow into the plant or the inherent value of significantly cleaner indoor air to support food safety, employee health and equipment operation. The information from the data loggers was submitted and later confirmed by the local utility company. In the end, the manufacturer won a rebate check for significantly reducing its overall energy use.