A Three-Compressor System Maximizes Efficiency for SCM Group

PneuTech’s three-compressor solution for SCM Group was recently written up for Compressed Air Best Practices. Read the full story here.

SCM Group provides high-end industrial woodworking equipment through a nationwide network of dealers. Once a year, these dealers gather at SCM headquarters in Duluth, Georgia, to see all the latest equipment in action. SCM Group needed a compressed air system that would meet the high demand during “Dealer Week” while keeping energy costs low the rest of the year.

The Challenge: A Once-a-Year Spike in Peak Demand

During Dealer Week, SCM Group ran simultaneous demos for multiple large machines, ramping up peak demand to ~400 CFM. The rest of the year, they only used compressed air for dust collection and pneumatic tools in the crating area, requiring about 20 CFM. Their 40 HP fixed-speed compressor was too large for their daily compressed air needs but not large enough to meet the demand during Dealer Week. During normal operations, the compressor used an excessive amount of energy for their compressed air demand. 

The Solution: A Three-Compressor System for Maximum Flexibility

WSI, a PneuTech dealer, installed a three-compressor system with PneuTech equipment that would allow them to ramp up for Dealer Week while minimizing energy costs the rest of the year. 

  • A 7.5 HP fixed-speed rotary screw with integrated dryers, filtration and storage for daily operations. 
  • A 60 HP VSD air compressor that serves as the primary compressor for the showroom. 
  • A 40-HP fixed-speed air compressor that serves as a backup and kicks on for high-demand events. 

The system is set up to automatically add capacity as needed. Any two compressors can work in tandem, or all three can work together to provide up to 455 CFM. SCM Group also installed a new aluminum compressed air distribution system from Unipipe. 


Results: Cost Savings and Reliability

The three-compressor system significantly reduces energy costs for SCM Group. Compared to a proposed two-compressor system with two 40 HP fixed-speed compressors, the PneuTech solution cuts annual energy costs in half ($1,800 for the three-compressor setup vs. $4,120 for two fixed-speed compressors). Capital costs were roughly the same for both proposed systems. 

The three-compressor system also provides more flexibility and reliability for SCM Group. The small compressor is quieter, cooler and easier to maintain, and minimizes runtime for the larger compressors. The two larger compressors allow them to meet the demands during Dealer Week and other events during the year. There is built-in redundancy in the system, so they don’t have to worry about being out of air even if one compressor is down for maintenance.

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