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Energy Program
Compressed Air Project Improves Efficiency and Production at Harland Publishing Facility PDF Print E-mail
Written by USDOE Office of Industrial Technologies   
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 10:16
Article Index
Compressed Air Project Improves Efficiency and Production at Harland Publishing Facility
Project Overview
Project Implementation
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Compressed Air Project Improves Efficiency and Production at Harland Publishing Facility

In 1999, a project was implemented on a compressed air application at the testing facility of the John H. Harland Corporation printing plant in Atlanta, Georgia. The project began with a system review by Air System Management, an Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) BestPractices Allied Partner. It involved reconfiguring a new type of printing machine so that it would consume less compressed air and require lower pressure to operate effectively. Implementation allowed the site to significantly reduce the amount of compressed air the new printing machines require and to take those machines’ onboard compressors offline. The project was replicated throughout the company the following year. The total cost of the project was $300,000; its success also allowed Harland to avoid spending more than $500,000 for additional compressors that would have led to over $200,000 per year in energy and maintenance costs and would have consumed 2.9 million kilowatt-hours (kWh). In addition, the project’s implementation improved the performance of the new printing machines, which has led to better product quality and reduced production cycle time.

Plant Overview
Harland’s facility in Atlanta, Georgia, employs about 225 people and prints personal and corporate checks for thousands of customers throughout the southeastern United States. The Atlanta site includes a test facility that applies new technologies and methods to the check printing process. In 1999, the Atlanta site installed fifteen of the new printing machines and piloted the compressed air improvement project.
compressed air project1
Before the installation of the new printing machines, one 60-horsepower (hp) rotary-screw compressor served the Atlanta site’s compressed air system. This system generated between 200 and 300 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) at 80 pounds per square inch gauged (psig), adequately serving the air guns, packaging equipment, cylinders and the existing printing machines.

When personnel at the Atlanta site installed the new printing machines, they discovered that these machines consumed significantly more compressed air than older ones. In order to satisfy the increased air demand and pressure requirements of the new printing machines, the Atlanta site had to bring online one 30-hp and one 40-hp compressor that had been used as backup compressors. As a result, engineers at the Atlanta test facility believed that similar, additional compressor capacity would have to be added to each of the company’s printing sites to adequately supply the new printing machines throughout the company.


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