Balaji Multiflex reduces energy costs with NIRA LEL: A Case Study

About the customer
Balaji Multiflex Pvt. Ltd., is a well-known manufacturer of flexible packaging materials based in Rajkot, Gujarat, India. Over the years, the company has gained a reputation of being a manufacturer and supplier of high quality packaging materials to a wide range of industries for various packaging functions.

Challenges
The management of Balaji Multiflex realized that increasing raw material costs and a growing need for emission control would make it necessary to explore new technologies. Balaji Multiflex were convinced these new technologies would help reduce overhead costs such as those associated with production, energy (electrical and thermal), and consumables, and thereby help them increase profitability.

Balaji Multiflex (as with most converters) use rotogravure printing machines these machines consume a lot of energy
(200,000 to 500,000 kcal/hr) for the heating of the drying stations that are a part of these machines. The drying stations use energy to dry the wet film and evaporate the solvents used in the printing process, after which the air is exhausted into the atmosphere. This hot, solvent-laden exhaust from the dryer still carries around 60-70% of the thermal energy that was fed into it. Hence, there is great potential to recover this energy which otherwise wasted.

For reasons of safety, during solvent-based converting processes, the concentrations of solvents in the air need to be controlled and maintained within a specified percentage of the Lower Explosive Level (LEL) value of the solvents used. An increase in the solvent concentration beyond this threshold LEL increases the risk of an explosion that could be dangerous to the human life as well as capital machinery. Hence, Balaji Multiflex approached A.T.E. for a safe and sustainable solution.

[quote style=’1′ cite=”]We are now completely sure that our system is working in safe conditions, thanks to the NIRA LEL monitoring system. This is an essential diagnostic tool for monitoring LEL values at each print station. Overall, NIRA LEL met all my initial expectations and I am satisfied with the operation and performance of this system – Pranav Bhalara, director of Balaji Multiflex[/quote]

Results
Balaji Multiflex were very happy with the NIRA LEL system re-circulation of 60-70% of the exhaust air, resulting in 30-40% savings in thermal energy.

  • Operator alarm when the solvent concentration reaches higher levels.
  • Interface between production and LEL monitoring system stops the machine when the solvent air mixture crosses permissible limits.
  • Savings of INR 1,32,047 per month resulting in a payback of less than 2 years.
  • Improvement in product quality, with low amounts of residual solvents on the substrate.
  • Diminishes solvent vapors exhausting from dryers hence reducing fumes in the production room.

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