V W Broaching Service, Inc. has been a Fluid-Aire Dynamics customer since March 2018, when they purchased a new air compressor for their metalworking shop. Since then, they have counted on Fluid-Aire to keep their system operating at peak performance. That includes finding and fixing the inevitable leaks that arise in an older facility. Fluid-Aire found rebate programs from their energy company that covered the entire cost of compressed air system leak repair.
Challenge: Keeping Older Pipes Air-Tight
V W Broaching is a family business that has provided broaching services for nearly 70 years. Vice President Steven Hanna says, “Broaching is an old-school, manual process. There aren’t many shops that still do this. But we can produce parts much faster and cheaper than a CNC machine so long as the tolerances permit.”
The company has about 50 machines running on a combination of motors and pneumatics. Many of these machines date to the 1950s. Over the years, they have been refurbished and, more recently, several machines have been semi-automated. They have also added two CNC machines so they can offer “parts made complete” services for their clients. Steven says, “Many of our machines rely on air in some form or another. If our compressor goes down, we’re in real trouble.”
The facility housing all of this equipment is nearly 100 years old—and so is the pipework. “Things break all the time,” Steven says. “You have to stay on top of things if you want to maintain an efficient system.”
The Fluid-Aire Solution: An Energy Rebate Program for Leak Repair
Fluid-Aire Dynamics was already providing preventative maintenance services for V W Broaching’s compressor. Steven counts on his Fluid-Aire representative to keep him informed about rebates and programs they may qualify for.
Fluid-Aire Dynamics found a rebate program for leak repair through V W Broaching’s energy provider, ComEd. The Fix-It-Now leak repair program covers the total cost of leak repair up to $120 per leak. Fluid-Aire Dynamics is an approved service provider for ComEd customers. Other energy providers offer similar programs to help their customers improve the efficiency of their compressed air systems and, in turn, reduce stress on the power grid.
V W Broaching’s Fluid-Aire technician confirmed their eligibility for the program and even got the paperwork started for them. Steven says, “It was great—they did it all on their end. Then they came out and fixed everything and billed ComEd. I didn’t have to pay a thing.”
Results: Energy Savings and Efficiency—With No Disruption to Operations
V W Broaching has taken advantage of the leak repair program twice, first in 2017 and again in 2019. Both times, Fluid-Aire Dynamics identified and fixed multiple leaks. The technicians used an ultrasonic detector to find tiny leaks that are not detectable by sight or sound.
Steven appreciates that the entire process was completed in just two days with minimal disruption to their processes. “Some contractors come in and they’re like a bull in a china shop—they’re always in your way. The Fluid-Aire guys are really nice, and you hardly know they’re here. They did a lot of the work while we were on lunch or breaks so they wouldn’t disrupt production. They do their best not to interrupt our daily operations, which is paramount.”
He also appreciates the energy savings. Fluid-Aire fixed more than 30 leaks in their first visit and another 19 leaks two years later. “It’s been a tough decade for manufacturing, and every penny counts,” says Steven. “3,000-kilowatt hours may not sound like a lot for a bigger operation, but everything we can do to save energy adds up—and this didn’t cost me anything to do. I put the money we save back into incentives for my employees.”
The bottom line for Steven? “I appreciate free services that can help our business, make us more productive and even help the environment by saving electricity. If there is a service I can benefit from and is at no cost, I’m in!”
Just the Facts:
- Leaks repaired: 19
- Load reduction: 11.9 CFM
- Energy savings: 3,883 kWh/year
- Cost savings: ~$272/year
- Repair cost to customer: $0
“This program is really a win-win-win. It saves us money, it’s good for the environment, and it didn’t cost a thing. I like to do what’s right for the planet and for my company, and this lets me do both.”
- Steven P. Hanna, Vice President, V W Broaching