Plastic container maker sees 60 percent fall in energy costs and 30 percent higher output

A worn out hydraulic motor on a 23 year old blow molding machine at Northern Ireland’s PrimePac was using excessive energy and producing inaccurate speed holding, leading to poor quality plastic bottles.

PrimePac Limited is located north west of Belfast in Northern Ireland. It specializes in continuous extrusion blow molding to manufacture a range of plastic bottles, containers and jars together with closures, pumps, sprays and various accessories.

They were facing two separate problems. First was the declining product quality of their old blow molding machine. The second was that they wanted to install a new extruder but lacked the power capacity, which meant that they would need to invest on an upgrade on their power supply.

An energy appraisal carried out by ABB authorized value provider, Advantage Control, revealed a potential energy saving of up to 30 percent by replacing the hydraulic motor with a synchronous reluctance motor (SynRM) and drive package. The energy appraisal showed that the power use was erratic and consumption was high due to the hydraulic pack requiring extra torque on start up.

However, once the SynRM package was installed the actual energy saving peaked at 60 percent. As a result, the purchase of the 55 kW, IE4 SynRM package is expected to payback in under 12 months.

Such are the energy savings that PrimePac was able to avoid a £250,000 ($356,000) upgrade of its 600 kVA electrical supply, needed to power an additional all-electric blow molding machine for producing a new type of medicine bottle.

Clifford Craig, Engineering Manager at
PrimePac Ltd


Customer  PrimePac Ltd 
Location  Antrim, Northern Ireland
Industry Plastics and rubber 
Project scope  Replacing old hydraulic power drive with all electric SynRM package
ABB deliveries  ACS880 drive and SynRM motor package
Keys to success  Energy efficiency, accurate process control, local service and support from authorized value provider

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