Nestled in the Pennsylvania woods between a state park and a fish hatchery, Benton Foundry and its owners have long been committed to reducing the site’s impact on the environment. Recognized as a leader in its industry, its foundry has no steam plume, no smokestack and no discharge of process water. Now, after completing a five-year plan of work, it also can boast about reducing dust emissions while dramatically cutting energy costs.
For nearly 100 years, spanning three generations, the family-owned foundry has produced gray iron and ductile iron parts. Today, with a diversified base, the foundry serves more than 400 customers with 8,000 active part numbers. However, creating these products consumes a great deal of electricity, and with energy costs rising, foundry owners began an aggressive plan to cut usage.
They first targeted the foundry’s four furnaces, the largest consumer of electricity in the facility. However, after implementing an energy management strategy and installing specialized software to help prioritize power demand, their attention turned to motors.
Figure 1. New dust collectors installed at the Benton Foundry are powered by Baldor•Reliance Super-E motors. The return air moves through HEPA filters and heats the facility in the winter months and directs the warm air outside during the summer. The project has resulted in a six-figure reduction in heating costs, while markedly improving comfort in the foundry.
The manufacturing vice president for Benton Foundry, Jeff Hall, says that because electric motors were consuming a sizable portion of electricity, the site began a search for the most energy-efficient motor it could find. At this same time, it also was starting a five-year program of installing dust collectors and wanted to standardize one motor for their entire facility. The motor Benton Foundry chose to specify was the Baldor•Reliance Super-E.
“This motor is not the lowest price product available, but it offers so many additional benefits that make it worth the premium,” says Hall. “The Baldor•Reliance Super-E offers the highest efficiency ratings vs. others in the marketplace. So when you take a look at the cents per kilowatt and the hours that these motors run, with the improved efficiencies of the Baldor product, the payback can be in as little as 18 months. When you consider how many years these motors will last, choosing the Baldor•Reliance Super-E makes the most sense.”
The first dust collector was installed in 2007. The system, powered by a 500-horsepower Baldor•Reliance Super-E, moves air at a rate of 120,000 cubic feet per minute. The return air moves through HEPA filters and heats the facility in the winter months and directs the warm air outside during the summer.
This project has resulted in a six-figure reduction in heating costs, while markedly improving comfort in the foundry.
Figure 2. An existing dust collector was retrofitted with a cyclone, powered by a 200 HP Baldor•Reliance Super-E. This unit removes larger particulate and metallic pieces, reducing emissions by 50 percent
A second dust collector, powered by a 200 HP Baldor•Reliance Super-E motor, came on-line in 2009. This unit is for furnaces, pre-heaters and sand system. An existing third collector was designated for the grinding and cleaning operations. This unit was retrofitted with a cyclone, powered by a 200 HP Baldor•Reliance Super-E, designed to remove larger particulate and metallic pieces. The emissions from this collector were reduced by 50 percent.
Today, more than 100 Super-E motors can be found throughout the Benton Foundry. Hall says they plan to add others as older motors fail.
While Benton Foundry looked at a variety of motors from a number of manufacturers, Hall says they chose the Super-E because of the merits of the motor and because Baldor brought more to the table.
Figure 3. By looking at the cents per kilowatt and hours that motors run in the foundry, officials say the improved efficiencies of the Baldor•Reliance Super-E will deliver a payback in as little as 18 months. Today, more than 100 Baldor•Reliance Super-E motors are operating at the foundry
“We looked beyond the purchase price and focused on the return on our investment,” says Hall. “One has only to look at the total operating lifetime costs of the motor to realize that the cheaper motor can be the more expensive motor. Quality and performance are not a given.”
For more information, visit www.baldor.com.