Case Study – Air Systems Audit for a large printing company by JH Foster improves efficiency and reliability.

A large printing company retained John Henry Foster to perform a dual audit to evaluate and maximize their air compression and fluid cooling system processes. The intent of the study was to evaluate the efficiency of the existing air compression and fluid cooling systems and provide recommendations to improve performance, reliability, and efficiency.


The air systems audit produced two design challenges.

Fluid Cooling System Audit

For the fluid cooling side, the issues were a lack of chiller capacity, a needed reduction in operating costs, and an increase in overall system reliability. Chiller capacity was completely utilized and with the new installation of a printing press, an additional chiller would be required. This would not only require a capital expenditure of $300,000 but also result in additional operational and maintenance costs. With the compressed air and vacuum systems and printing operations dependant upon chilled water for cooling, a failure in the chiller system would result in a partial shutdowns in plant production areas.

Compressed Air System Audit

The compressed air system had an adequate capacity albeit operating at an inefficient level. Without the benefit of demand storage and regulation, the plant suffered from wide pressure fluctuations of approximately 25 psi. This created the need to maintain a high operating pressure on the system, resulting in higher than necessary air leakage, artificial demand and operational costs. Also, without the benefit of a central control system, the compressors were not being controlled efficiently, thus resulting in higher than necessary operational costs and the inability to effectively match horsepower to demand.


Fluid Cooling System

After performing the fluid cooling audit, it was determined that the compressed air and vacuum systems could be separated from the chiller system. By sizing the coolers on all industrial equipment to handle warmer water, JHF suggested installing a dry cooler system that would not only operate the compressed air and vacuum systems effectively, but also do so without utilizing trim water.

For further information regarding air system audits, please contact us at 800.582.5162 or

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