Berry Plastics operates over 60 plastic manufacturing plants throughout the US. The Evansville, Indiana based corporation also has facilities in Europe, South America, Asia and Australia. The company’s facility in Hot Springs, Arkansas produces over 13 million plastic bottle caps per day. Major soda manufacturers, as well as some motor oil companies, depend on the 200 employee facility to turn out a high volume of quality products.
Targeted air lines play an important role in keeping the Hot Springs facility’s production line moving. As the pallets of plastic resin arrive at the plant and move through production, being shaped, printed and sorted, air lines ensure that the caps continue moving along the conveyor and that they emerge from the molding process in the correct orientation. However, compressed air carries a high price tag and to meet the demands for their plastic caps, the Hot Springs Berry Plastics facility required full-time usage of all of the plant’s air compressors.
Joe Jewell, the plant’s Compression Engineer Manager, recalls that “When we moved into our current location, which became fully operational in January of 2011, our compressed air usage was so high that all of our air compressors were in constant use. This was not an optimum condition because it meant we would have to buy an additional one or rent an extra one in order to do routine maintenance on our existing compressors. Plus compressed air is extremely expensive. So one of our goals was to change that situation so we could conserve compressed air and reduce costs.”
Jewell had previous positive experience with Vortec air products at another facility. He did some homework online to find the appropriate nozzles for the Hot Springs facility. He then contacted the company about a solution to the compressed air issue at the Hot Springs plant. After Jewell described his concern about excessive use of compressed air, Vortec’s engineers recommended the Vortec model 1202 blow off nozzles as an air-assist device. With the installation of these nozzles Berry Plastics was able to reduce compressed air consumption by 70%. “The Vortec nozzles are saving us $300,000 a year in compressed air costs” says Jewell. “The nozzles paid for themselves in less than a month.”
A year after installing the Vortec nozzles, Jewell says he has already recommended Vortec products to other facilities trying to cut compressed air costs. “Our experience with Vortec and their products has been extremely positive,” he notes.