Stringent hygiene requirements also impact on compressed air quality

The brand new production premises of Paccor Finland Oy are in the Moreeni industrial area in Hämeenlinna: a factory of 21,000 m², producing rigid plastic food packages. Special attention was paid at the design stage to the energy efficiency of both the building itself and all its systems. In air compression, energy efficiency calls for precise control, accurate sizing of compressors, and efficient heat recovery.

Since May 2013, Paccor Finland Oy has been part of Exopack Holdings S.a.r.l., the sixth-largest plastic package manufacturer, nowadays called COVERIS. Its products include tubs, lids and cups for the dairy industry; and fresh-meat trays and containers for ready meals.

The new factory is highly automated to meet the requirements not only of efficiency but also hygiene. The hygiene requirements are as high for the manufacture of food packaging as they are for dairies and food processing. But even so, human hands are still needed; about two hundred people work in the new factory.

“Our production technology is based on plastic sheet extrusion, thermoforming and versatile decoration options,” the Technology Manager says.

Automatic conveyors carry the semi-finished products from the production line to the intermediate storage area which features room for 25,000 boxes.

“We had a screw compressor at the old factory, and we are putting it to use as a spare unit in the new facility. Two new oil free turbo compressors were introduced step by step as the production started here. This presented quite a challenge, as the air demand was constantly changing, but the Sarlin automation engineer shouldered the project very nicely, cooperating with us when tuning the optimisation and control. Everything was finished and completed within the tight schedule.”

Beside the turbo compressors, one new oil free screw compressor compresses air to demand. Three refrigeration dryers treat the compressed air.

“We were already familiar with the Sarlin Balance system which had provided sufficient information and good control of our system. Sarlin is now in charge of controlling and optimising the system. They also present us with a leak survey twice annually: an expert goes through all the equipment and lines to check for any leaks.”