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Disaster avoided thanks to long-term oil-free air solution!

November 12, 2020

More than a provider, a partner

Emergency intervention turns into long-term project for Italian chemicals company

As a major producer of disinfectants and other chemicals used in the fight against Covid-19, our customer’s production plant in central Italy was running at full capacity to keep up with demand. So when one of their high-capacity compressors suddenly broke down in mid-2020, at the height of the pandemic, it could very easily have spelled disaster! Luckily, Atlas Copco Rental was on hand, not only to help avoid a catastrophe but also provide long-term support to optimize our customer’s productivity, cost-efficiency, and agility. 

A high-pressure challenge

The breakdown of our customer’s large turbo compressor resulted in an immediate shortfall of around 350,000cfm of oil-free air used to run the plant’s various production systems. A significant deficit which threatened to put a halt to the entire plant which just happened to be running at full hilt. 

Lightning-fast reflexes

Our local team responded to the emergency in kind and designed, delivered, and commissioned a powerful compressor package that got the plant back up and running at full capacity in less than 48 hours! Comprising 4 100% oil-free PTS 1600 diesel-powered compressor units, fuel lines, manifolds, fuel tanks, and other accessories, the comprehensive package was perfectly dimensioned to meet the shortfall in pressure in our customer’s systems. 

From diesel to electric

The damage to our customer’s compressor, however, was more extensive than first thought. The turbine proved to be beyond repair and a replacement required custom manufacturing that would take over 6 months to complete. Suddenly, a new challenge arose: shifting priorities from emergency intervention to long-term optimization. To save on operating expenses without compromising on capacity or reliability, we recommended migrating the customer from the temporary diesel-powered package to a fully electric solution.

Controlling costs on all fronts

The fact that our customer generating much of its own electricity on site at very favorable rates made the switch to electric a foregone conclusion. But paying regular grid prices, the long-term benefits of 100% oil-free air are clear, especially when the diesel package was consuming around 5,000L of fuel every day, which is quite a logistical and administrative challenge in itself. 

Our availability and speed in covering the emergency and our flexibility in knowing how to promptly adapt our solution to changing scenarios were key factors in mitigating the negative impact of the breakdown. The price was a secondary factor in the customer’s choice in favor of a trusted partner over a mere supplier.

Andrea Giorgi , Sales Area Manager Central and Southern Italy at Atlas Copco Rental Italy

Fit and forget

While we continued to monitor the eAir package throughout the project, the faultless performance and true plug-and-play functionality of our modular components gave our customer real peace of mind. Thanks to the full compatibility and modular design of the diesel-powered PTS 1600 units and their electric equivalent, the transition itself also went extremely smoothly, with no interruption to our customer’s activities. A total of 5x PTE 1500 were supplied over a period of around 8 months, making energy-efficiency, productivity, and above all agility count for our customer. 

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At Atlas Copco, we have been turning industrial ideas into business-critical benefits since 1873. By listening to our customers and knowing their needs, we deliver value and innovate with the future in mind. 

Great ideas reinforce sustainable development. At Atlas Copco Specialty Rental, we team up with our customers to set up state-of-the-art temporary air, flow, steam and nitrogen solutions. Our passionate experts have extensive application and equipment knowledge. We understand our customers' needs and can provide a total solution for any industry, no matter if it is for emergencies or planned projects. We are a division of the Power Technique business area, headquartered in Boom, Belgium and offer specialty rental solutions under several brands around the globe.