Press Upgrades Benefit Local Business

Managers at Packaging Specialties Inc. of Idaho in Burley knew an upgrade to their printing presses would reduce electrical use but were uncertain by precisely how much.

To their surprise, the amount was astounding, earned them a substantial financial rebate incentive from United Electric Co-op, and received accolades from the Bonneville Power Administration.

“This project has yielded significant energy savings in percent of annual usage,” says Nosh Makujina, Energy Smart Industrial partner at BPA.

In May, PSI received a rebate incentive of $130,000 from United Electric Co-op through BPA’s Energy Smart Industrial program.

“We were extremely surprised with the energy savings that resulted from installing a new print dryer system,” says Traig Jones, plant manager for PSI, which prints packaging for snacks, beverages, and meat.

Last year, the manufacturer of their presses, Paper Converting Machine Co., suggested the upgrade.

Installation of the $749,000 upgrade started November 28, 2021, and was completed December 13. Each of the two printing presses was down for a week during the upgrade.

To cut energy consumption, the centrally located baseline-fixed speed compressors were replaced with standalone variable-frequency driven compressors at each press. The project included removing the central piping system and installing much shorter and local piping at each press.

“Once we received information regarding potential kilowatt-hour savings, we reached out about this project possibly being eligible for a rebate incentive,” Traig says. He contacted Nosh and Chris Seibold, member services manager at United Electric Co-op.

“We collected data with Nosh and the Energy Smart Industrial team to validate what our power consumption was when using our old dryer system,” Traig says.

Loggers were installed at critical electrical monitoring points, and the data was collected. The ESI team returned to log the power consumption with the new upgraded drying system.

Based on the data collection from the loggers, PSI was projected to see a savings of 1,354,499 kWh annually.

“This translated to an annual projected savings of $53,000 in our power bill and a huge savings of about 35% of annual total usage,” says Traig, who adds PSI is grateful for the savings and to be energy efficient.

“We appreciate the help from Chris and Nosh with completing this project,” Traig says. “We’re proud to be a community partner and to help reduce energy consumption in our area. It happened with their help.”