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Alco Valves save energy with a payback term of just seven months


Alco Valves group, part of Graco Inc, is a manufacturer of technically advanced, precision made valve products and accessories for the Oil, Gas, Petrochemical, Power Generating and Allied industries worldwide. The head office located in Brighouse in the United Kingdom and has been operating for over 40 years.

Alco Valves is able to provide an extensive range of high-performance isolation valves, double block and bleed (DBB) valves, a large range of manifold valves for varied applications including topside, subsea, critical service, severe service, low temperature, high and super high pressures as well as low, medium, and high-pressure instrumentation valves and pipeline interface solutions.

As a well-established manufacturer, Alco Valves prides itself in producing superior products and is committed to tight quality control processes, while developing its R&D and bespoke manufacturing capabilities.

Project date: April-September 2018

Project overview: Supplying a new Atlas Copco VSD Air Compressor to replace an old fixed speed belt drive screw air compressor

What was needed

Alco Valves Group Operations Manager Andrew Walton had been investigating ways of reducing in-house costs. After taking stock of the factory equipment that ran on a large motor, he came to the conclusion that the most inefficient piece of equipment was the air compressor.

To justify the capital investment in a new compressor, he called in PPS to provide supporting figures on energy and cost savings.

What we did

PPS engineers visited the site and carried out an energy audit by data logging the current air compressor, an old fixed speed belt drive screw machine. This type of air compressor cycles between load and unload and during the unloaded phase energy wastage occurs. Although it was still working, we estimated that replacing this compressor with a new, state-of-the-art Atlas Copco variable speed drive (VSD) air compressor would lead to an estimated cost reduction of £15,824 per annum.

“Within our overall factory running costs, this was a significant sum,” explains Andrew Walton. “As it meant a return on the cost of the new compressor within seven months, there was no red tape, it was a question of let’s just do it.”

The new Atlas Copco compressor was fitted at the start of September 2018 and a post-install verification log over the following week showed that the cost savings were even greater than predicted, despite higher use than usual that week as the company had been testing some large volume valves.

Alco Valves was issued with one of our Energy Saving Stars certificates in recognition of the company’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

Why PPS?

Alco Valves is based across the road from Pennine Pneumatic Services’ new site in Brighouse, which meant that the company was already on their radar and the location was convenient.

“Sourcing locally is very handy,” says Andrew Walton. “Although we knew we wanted an Atlas Copco air compressor because of the company’s reputation, we relied heavily on the PPS engineers to recommend the right model, as they have the knowledge and experience.”

Key benefits

As well as the fast payback and immediate cost savings, the reduction in Co2 will help the company as it works towards gaining its ISO 14001 accreditation.

“Another major benefit that staff working near to the compressor have noticed is the noise reduction,” says Andrew Walton. “Until the compressor was installed, we didn’t appreciate how much quieter it would be – you can now hold a conversation nearby.”

Summary of values

Existing System New Atlas Copco GA15VSD Savings PA
Kwhrs (pa) 188,726 44,557 143,859
£ (pa) £20,259 £4,901 £15,859
Co2 kg (pa) 100,025 23,616 76,245


“We’re extremely happy with the new compressor and the service we received from PPS. The installation was a painless transition, the engineers were very professional and worked around our working hours and the fact that the company is over the road means that we get a very speedy, reactive service. The overall experience was extremely good and has caused me no headaches, which is all you can ask for.”

Andrew Walton, Operations Manager, Alco Valves