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Energy Savings by Use of the Correct Spray Nozzle
Rising production costs and fierce competition is resulting in manufacturing companies looking at all aspects of savings, especially energy savings.
Spray nozzles of the right specification can lead to significant savings in both energy and raw materials.
One of the overlooked areas is the use of the correct spray nozzle. Whilst frequently ignored in the manufacturing process, it is often this item of equipment that is the most important. Header tanks, pumps sophisticated controls, pipe work are all immaterial if the spray nozzle “at the sharp end” is not delivering the right amount of fluid (flow rate) at the correct spray angle and with the right spray pattern. This can lead to excessive wear on the pumps and ancillary equipment resulting in higher energy consumption and related costs.
The phrase – it sprays, is often used, but how effectively is often not considered.
In addition to these more obvious savings there are a many “hidden” savings to be made.
Expensive down time and failed equipment could be contributed to poor nozzle performance.
Production lines designed to operate continuously are expensive items if shut down owing to badly performing spray nozzles and this failure could affect the total production plant with the resulting unsuccessful distribution to customers, which in turn may affect their production.
All this from the wrong or poor performing spray nozzle!!
The correct spray configuration is essential to maximise the spraying operation and continuous spray nozzle development will lead to greater beneficial savings.
In addition, the wrong or worn out spray nozzle will eventually lead to poor finished products and possible rejection of expensive products. This could result in extra production to make good these shortfalls, with the resulting increase in energy costs. All this will reduce profit margins.
Initial investment will be required to introduce the correct nozzle, but payback can probably be counted in months and in some case weeks.
As an ongoing maintenance program, substantial savings will be made by regular inspection and maintenance of the spray operation and possible replacement when nozzles become worn, through blockages, corrosion, wear and accidental damage
Regular maintenance of the spray nozzles must be undertaken to ensure the nozzles have optimum spray performance.
All nozzle configurations should be analysed on a regular basis to ensure that the spray pattern, flow and operating pressure cannot be improved upon, possibly with new nozzle technology, or the fact that the application process has not changed. The latter being the case then a new specification should be sought.
As well as energy savings, raw material savings must also be taken into consideration and it is feasible to experience water reduction of up to 40% in certain industries and spray nozzle applications.
Also to be taken into consideration must be the application where the spray fluid is not water, but more expensive chemicals or fluids. With correct nozzle design even greater savings may be achieved.
Energy savings can be made in pump operation and it some case it is possible to reduce the number of pressure pumps, thereby saving considerable operating costs and associated maintenance cost.
To summarise, energy savings, raw material savings and a reduction in the wear and tear of other equipment can all be experienced if the correct spray nozzle is specified.
The specification must include nozzle material, spray angle, spray pattern, flow and pressure. With all these set correctly a regular maintenance programme should be undertaken. With the correct specification and maintenance schedule then energy and raw material savings can be expected.
About the Author: Roger Wakefield is a staff writer at:
ICS Spray Nozzles, (http://www.icsindustrialservices.co.uk), a manufacturer of tungsten, sapphire and diamond spray nozzles.