Atlas Copco's Compressed Air Solutions Help Kao Group Realize Safe, Energy-Efficient Production

WILRIJK, Belgium – As Japan's largest producer of chemicals for consumer use, Kao Group has been committed to environmental protection and implements this throughout its development and production processes. Atlas Copco equipment provides 100% pure, clean air that complies with ISO 8573-1 Class 0 certification and boosts energy efficiency at Kao.

Since Kao Group's Shanghai Kao Minhang Factory (Shanghai Kao) went into operation in 1996, several Atlas Copco oil-free screw compressors have provided compressed air for the different production lines. Recently, the company purchased another five Atlas Copco oil-free screw compressors, including two ZR 110s, two ZR 75s and one ZR 90 VSD (variable speed drive) compressor.

Heat recovery units save 52 tons of diesel oil per year

However, Shanghai Kao's requirements were not just limited to production demands. The company also closely monitors the energy consumption of its air compressors. When Shanghai Kao discovered that energy consumption accounts for over 75% of the life cycle costs of the compressors, they began to consider recovering this energy to heat water used in their production processes.

As much as 94% of the electrical energy used by an air compressor is converted into heat and loss through radiation in the compression process. The remaining 6% is converted into compressed air heat losses. Therefore, a properly designed heat recovery unit can recover up to 94% of this available thermal energy to heat air or water (up to 90degree(s)C or 140degree(s)F). Preheated water can be used in the application process to reduce the use of traditional energy sources.

Kao uses pure water at a temperature of 80 in the filling process. They previously used a diesel boiler to heat the water. Since the installation of energy recovery units in the two ZR 110 compressors, they are able to preheat the process water to 40 using this system. As a result, Kao estimates it saves 52 tons of diesel oil per year.

Central controllers ensure optimal compressor performance

In order to meet other requests from Shanghai Kao, Atlas Copco also recommended central controlling. ES central controllers allow simultaneous monitoring of several compressors in the entire compressed air network from one location. This helps ensure optimal performance during manufacturing. Correct management of the compressed air network helps Kao save energy, decreases maintenance, reduces downtime, increases production efficiency and improves the quality of their products.

"After 10 years of use, our technicians have confirmed the quality of Atlas Copco. The service team of Atlas Copco also responds and helps quickly," said the chief facility manager at Shanghai Kao

The service team also provides optimized service products such as an annual energy audit, which can help Kao save up to 30% on energy and ensure that all equipment operates at maximum efficiency and minimal cost.

"A growing number of customers have begun to pay attention to lifecycle costs, and they all want to realize the benefits of energy savings and emission reduction at their companies," Wang Tingzhong, Sales Engineer in the Atlas Copco Service Department, said. "Energy savings and emission reduction are priorities for Atlas Copco, and our company has been devoted to meeting the demands of our customers with sustainable solutions.

Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and service focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2013, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 84 (BEUR 9.7) and more than 40 000 employees. Learn more at

Atlas Copco's Compressor Technique business area provides industrial compressors, vacuum solutions, gas and process compressors and expanders, air and gas treatment equipment and air management systems. The business area has a global service network and innovates for sustainable productivity in the manufacturing, oil and gas, and process industries. Principal product development and manufacturing units are located in Belgium, Germany, the United States, China and India.

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