Enjoy the recording of Tamturbo’s webinar held at the EMS Virtual Summit by Brecht Vanlee, Area Director West Europe and Asia.
For those of you who prefer to read the seminar content instead of watching the video, please find below the content transcribed:
Good Afternoon, welcome to the EMS Virtual Summit.
What is on the agenda today? I would like to talk to you a little bit about the customer requirements, the customer headaches, what kind of a solution we can offer, the valuation of these advantages, the Care-Free Service, then a small summary, how all of this relates to Industry 4.0 that is quite important these days, and the impact on the compressed air ecosystem.
The customers have very high expectations. In most of the segments and companies compressed air is located in the utilities, so not as a process itself, but as a utility. Anyhow, the compressed air quality needs to be 100% oil-free air. The total cost of ownership (TCO) is what we are measured on, to actually switch or stay with a current supplier. Reliability/availability is of course one of the most important things. Flexibility is key, it means that the supply needs to match the demand. New industry shifts are here, also in compressed air, although it’s a little bit of a slower industry, which is Industry 4.0, and finally assets-free operations.
Of course in practice things can be quite different. No monitoring of the compressed air system, maintenance is only done when it’s too late, limited knowledge on specific technologies and no visibility of the key parameters.
The installations can also be quite big, a lot of air is needed in larger plants, so there is a high dependency of compressed air. It’s also quite difficult sometimes to match the air supply to the demand.
The integration and the scada systems can be very challenging, all the electronics, closed software, limited amount of available data.
However, at Tamturbo we try to do things differently. We try as much as possible to accommodate these specific customer needs. Our slogan is Touch-Free, Oil-Free, Care-Free and we try to live up to the customer expectations and go beyond. In this photo you can clearly see the quality of our air compressors, all stainless steel piping, stainless steel cable trays and much more. To develop long-lasting quality is to be Care-Free.
In a lot of cases the total cost of ownership (TCO) in oil-free compressed air domain is actually mispresented as three parameters: maintenance and service cost, investment cost and energy. However, in practice, a lot of other parameters are also influencing the total cost of ownership like the time needed for planning, guided interventions on site, corrections of settings. A lot of time and money is actually wasted.
Therefore I would like to present the total cost of ownership in a more elaborate way. You will have the atmospheric air, the compressed air, this is the process of course. You will have the electrical energy, you will also have the re-usable heat, which is often forgotten. Of course you have the investment and service cost but you also have some issues like the quality of the compressed air, the efficient flow control, but also other ones like noise and the footprint.
Did you know that 10% of global industrial electricity consumption is being used by compressed air? It means that 5% of the world electricity consumption is going to compressed air. This is growing 5-7 % compounded annually.
If your car would have the same life cycle cost as a compressor, the lifetime cost would be 3.6 times the purchase cost and an ever-increasing fuel consumption. So, if it’s new it would be 5.6, four-year-old it would be 7.6. The yearly maintenance would be around 5k. Every five years you would need to have your engine rebuilt. I think it’s quite clear that this would not be sustainable, and this is an example of traditional technologies.
During the last year I think the focus on climate change has been enormous for a clear reason. There have been several forecast models and this is one of them. This would be a representation of the world when the average temperature would be four degrees warmer. The whole yellow part would come inhabitable so I think it’s quite shocking to see what the impact will be.
Working against the climate change can start with compressed air because 10% is being used of the industrial electricity consumption. A lot of people are changing light bulbs at home but clearly there is a much better way and a much more influencing way to do this with compressed air. The market value in 2016 was USD 13 Bn of which 20-25% is oil-free air.
Also the cost of compressed air, oil-free air is quite big because 85% is heat, which can be reused, but only 15% is air, and of that 15%, 50% is only going to production, 50% is wasted as well in the form of leaks, artificial demand and inappropriate use.
The challenge today is inefficient technology. There are several oil-free technologies: you have the oil-free screw, the traditional gear turbo compressor, and you have our technology. The major difference is in the use of components. We don’t have any gears, oil seals or mechanical bearings, none of them. A traditional turbo is already quite a good technology but still there are a lot of components that are not needed. And of course an oil-free screw, it’s actually designed for maintenance so it’s a much more difficult technology to call efficient.
Naturally there are many technology improvements and in this graph you can see an overview based on a study that has been done to sketch the different technologies based on their maximum attainable efficiency. You can clearly see that here (in red) you have the centrifugal technology and here (in purple) is the oil-free screw, it’s much lower.
In these technology improvements there’s the direct-driven, high-speed, VSD Tamturbo machine. Here you can see the base module of our technology. It consists of a permanent magnet motor, two impellers on the shaft, this is a two-stage module, the magnetic bearings that actually levitate the shaft completely.
The high-speed motors, of permanent magnet, are of course synchronous motors, they have a very high efficiency and they’re variable speed driven. What it actually means that it can react very quickly on any flow or pressure changes. The maximum rpm of these motors is 35 000 rpm.
The active magnetic bearings allow for very good balance because they will have a 14 khZ position measurement and steering so the PID circuit will be constantly adjusting the position of the shaft so there is no wear, there is no friction.
Added to that here you can see the flow chart of our compressor with the blue and the red piping, which is the water circuit, the complete machine is water-cooled. We have three stages, and ultimately what comes out is cool, compressed air. But of course there is still a lot of heat in the water circuit. All this heat can be recovered. We have three different ways of recovering the heat, where we can have starting from 65 degrees water out, to above 90 degrees to have the maximum flexibility on reusing the water. We would really like to stimulate reusing the hot water because as we said, it’s 85% of the energy of the machine. Companies that start to use the hot water from the compressed air circuit, will gain a lot of money.
It’s a Care-Free technology. Why is it Care-Free? As it’s free from rising electrical bills, we have a stable electricity consumption. It’s free from maintenance, free from environmental loading, we don’t have spare parts that need to be changed every 1000 hours. There are no surprises because we do remote monitoring so how does it look?
Here on the left side you will see a typical maintenance schedule for traditional “oil-free” technology. You can clearly see the length, you can see what kind of visits, there is a 4000 hour visit, a 8000 hour visit, 12000 hour visit. It’s a very extensive maintenance schedule whereas at Tamturbo you have a Care Free contract.
We cover all the consumables, wearing parts, the spare parts, the needed labour to keep the units running, the remote monitoring and optimization of the control algorithm that will be specifically adjusting to your production needs. Including a warning system where the production people can be included within the alert. So it’s a Care-Free contract.
How do we get to this lowest total cost of ownership? Our aim is to transform towards a more sustainable alternative. Our aim is to transform the market from using polluting oil-lubricated machines towards oil-free. How will we do this? As you see, the energy efficiency here at the right bottom corner, is a stable energy efficiency. The centrifugal technology is not a technology that deteriorates. Because it doesn’t deteriorate, there is no need of doing overhaul of elements every 5-10 years. Because of this in the lifecycle, you reduce a lot of costs as well. Also, this is only comparing the technology itself, but if you use an oil-lubricated machine, which is of course a little bit less expensive, it uses a lot more money on maintenance, but also you need to filter the air continuously and replace these filters. So ultimately comparing to other technologies, Tamturbo technology is more efficient, you pay less for the maintenance, and in your compressed air system, you also have a lot of benefits. So what does it mean in money? In money it means that if you compare the difference in capital investment between a Tamturbo installation and another one, it means that you will have a payback of less than one year.
Industry 4.0 is a key aspect of the future. What we do different from the traditional industry is that we measure. We measure everything that we can and we display it as well openly for our customers to follow at the machine or remotely. Because we use a standard PLC as an operating platform, SCADA integration is quite easy. Our assets, your assets, are connected to our centralized Tamturbo technical support team who are constantly monitoring the machine, and warning you if something is bound to go wrong. Here you can see four different printscreens of the actual interface that we use in our technology.
This remote monitoring is different than using an on-site technician. It’s a 24/7, 365 days a year solution. There are notifications, you can have a coordination with local maintenance personnel, you can have remote fixes, or a remote restart if required where you only have somebody on the phone guiding the process. There can be a periodic review of data log, operational data, the performance can be optimized using changing conditions. So there are a lot of different possibilities.
But of course, as I already mentioned, the machine is only part of the installation. And to transform from oil-injected air to oil-free air, it’s a huge advantage. You need less components, as you see here this is a typical oil-injected installation that you see. You have the compressor, sometimes an added aftercooler to reduce the inlet temperature for the drier, you have a lot of filters, one, two, three, four, you have sometimes an adsorption drier, and then starting from here you have the nitrogen/oxygen generation if required. But, because you have oil-injected air, you also need a water-oil separator because the condensate is contaminated with oil. So there is a lot of waste.
Added to that, because you have all these components in the system, there’s a huge pressure drop. Every component has a pressure drop, so the more components you have, the bigger the pressure drop. Every one bar of pressure has eight percent power effect, so if you go from seven bars to six bars, you immediately reduce eight percent of the power.
Let’s sketch a little bit of the Tamturbo advantages of the compressed air eco system. As said, with Tamturbo, the whole system is monitored so we not only monitor the machine, we can monitor the driers, the filters, actually we can include everything that is needed of the installation to be put online. If we start at the beginning, let’s say we always compare against oil-lubricated because we want to change the way the market towards oil-free. As I said, the investment maybe is a little bit lower, but the maintenance is very high, and the air quality is, of course, contaminated, so there is a huge environmental load. If we go more to the traditional “oil-free” technologies, the investment is high, service is high and there is an overhaul needed, so also there the total cost of ownership is very big. Only actually today at Tamturbo, we have a disruptive business model that allows us to lower the total cost of ownership. We don’t have any air quality risks and we don’t have a big environmental load because of using contaminated parts that need to be changed.
On this disruptive business model, there are a few notes. We can either use investment and maintenance like a traditional compressed air business model because it’s used everywhere today. We can do an investment and then the Care-Free Service package where it allows for up to 10 years all wearing parts, spare parts, labour, remote monitoring is included. But we will even go further in this journey to transform the market. What we offer there is Touch-Free Air meaning that all the expenses related to the compressor are included in a cost either per cubic meter or per month. We do this to avoid the CAPEX cycles that in a lot of companies that sometimes don’t allow to change easily to new technologies. This is a way that really allows you to test and experiment this very disruptive and good technology.
We’re only a young company so we’re ambitious with our technology. We have started about ten years ago where the company was founded. The first years we have done the R&D phase, everything that was actually needed to get a product and then starting from about 2017 were we really able to sell. Since then we have only grown exponentially, now we have a machine on almost every continent. Those machines are starting to talk for themselves, they start to get in the market attracting new customers because the customers are so enthusiastic about what they’ve experienced with our technology. It’s a huge journey that we’re going through. Our reference customers are so enthusiastic that they even do the selling for us. What better re-word can you have than of customers that are so happy?
There is absolutely no oil in the compressor. We satisfy the quality requirements of our customers. We’ve eliminated all the risks of contaminated air, we don’t need a water-oil separator. We take away the risk as well for the CAPEX cycle, we take away the risk for maintenance by offering a Care-Free all-inclusive maintenance program, which is unseen, especially at the cost where we can offer this because of the technology using the magnetic bearings.
One of the world’s leading brewing companies has chosen our technology in their compressor replacement plan. They have clear sustainability targets. They use our TT185, it’s a machine of about 200kW, totally remote monitored, now it’s been running successfully, they’re even changing the next machines in other plants.
In Belgium, there is a major potato-processing plant that is making all varieties of products from french fries to hydrated flakes and granulates. This company has a specific focus. They want to have a circular economy, completely of themselves, so they have a power plant where they use the waste product of the potato processing production to generate electricity. This electricity is then used in the plant, but also for all the utilities so it’s a complete and circular economy in this production facility. They do about 2500 tons of potato daily and this will turn into 300 000 tons of finished products a year. It’s huge. On their Green Field plant we were chosen to help them and they also are looking at the second machine. These are only two references that I’ve chosen to highlight to show you what we can do.
Thank you very much for your attention.