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Media / Application stories / Atlas Copco oil-free compressors help Kolak Snack Foods boost output capacity

Atlas Copco oil-free compressors help Kolak Snack Foods boost output capacity


Wilrijk, Belgium, March 2014. When Kolak Snack Foods Ltd experienced a business upturn and required increased output capacity at its manufacturing plant in London, it decided to upgrade its production equipment, including its compressors. Kolak chose new oil-free air compressors from Atlas Copco due to their reliability and ability to provide a guaranteed supply of high quality, oil-free air.

Kolak Snack Foods Ltd is a leading UK manufacturer of crisps and snacks. Its brands include Kolak Diamond Crisps and Snacks and Dylans Hand Cooked Crisps. At its London plant, the company manufactures a range of standard, crinkle-cut and low-fat crisps, extruded products, pellet-based snacks, prawn crackers and mini poppadums, both as own brands and private label products supplied to independent retailers and major high street supermarket chains.

Energy efficiency was an essential consideration in the selection of new compressors

Kolak Snack Foods is committed to quality and so, when upgrading the existing plant air facility to ensure reliability and continuity of output, the company also wanted to ensure that any possible risk of product contamination during process operations was eliminated. To achieve this, Kolak chose to replace its existing units with Atlas Copco oil-free, rotary screw, full feature machines – two ZT 90 FF compressors and a ZT 90 VSD FF – which provide a guaranteed supply of high quality air. As a result of the installation, the process air at Kolak’s London plant complies with the ISO 8573-1 (2010) CLASS 0 standard of air purity, which embraces the Class 0 industry standard. Class 0 measures all three forms of oil contamination: aerosol, vapour and liquid and Atlas Copco was the first compressor manufacturer in the world to achieve the TÜV-certified standard for its zero oil, zero-risk Z-series of stationary compressors.

The 24/7 working shift pattern at Kolak’s London plant, which is in place to meet production demand, meant that energy efficiency was also an essential consideration in the selection of new compressors. As Rikin Lakhani, Kolak Snack Foods’ Director explains: “The Atlas Copco VSD compressor works in tandem with the base load compressors to cover all the main 7bar plant air application duties, including heat exchanger, steam boiler and packing operations. This ensures that output is matched to demand in the most energy-efficient way, with the VSD compressor taking over any additional site load.”

Investing into a future proof solution

Each of the three new Atlas Copco compressors is a full feature, total installation concept – a pre-wired and pre-piped solution, ready for use ‘out of the box’. Integrating the compressor’s IMD dryer and its variable speed drive enables the compact package to supply high quality dry compressed air at the lowest cost.

The IMD adsorption dryer eliminates the moisture before it enters the air net to ensure a reliable process and a contamination-free end product. No external energy is needed to dry the air and as the dryer needs no purge air, no compressed air is wasted. The pressure drop through the dryer is minimal, which again cuts down its operating cost. The overall effect is to generate substantial savings in comparison to conventional types of dryer operation.

To ensure that its compressed air installation was fully protected and operating at optimum performance, Kolak Snack Foods also entered a 10-year Total Care agreement for compressor system maintenance and servicing with Atlas Copco who undertake responsibility for monitoring and maintaining the installation’s performance. As Rikin observes: “We invested in the best possible service package in order to make us future proof.”

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Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and service focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2013, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 84 (BEUR 9.7) and more than 40 000 employees.

Atlas Copco’s Compressor Technique business area provides industrial compressors, vacuum solutions, gas and process compressors and expanders, air and gas treatment equipment and air management systems. The business area has a global service network and innovates for sustainable productivity in the manufacturing, oil and gas, and process industries. Principal product development and manufacturing units are located in Belgium, Germany, the United States, China and India.