A Trusted
Steam Specialist

Success Story

Heat Recovery Reduces Steam Consumption in Tunnel Wash System

Today, Natural Factors is one of the largest manufacturers of nutritional products in North America.

Their origins reach back to the 1950s, and right from day one, they’ve always been fully committed to making products right. Natural Factors is not a public company with shareholders to impress. Instead, they care about impressing you. They have close to 700,000 square feet of space across nine locations in North America housing offices, manufacturing and production facilities, laboratories, distribution centres, and extensive warehouses. The head office is in Coquitlam, British Columbia.

Marc Giron, Chief Engineer at the Coquitlam plant was interested in reducing his plant steam consumption. His company’s success was taxing his boiler capacity fast and a project was being developed to add an additional boiler. In the meantime he was looking for cost effective projects with quick paybacks to assist him in his goal – reduce steam consumption but maintain factory output. Mark called Andrew Reynolds to have a conversation to discuss his options. After   walking the plant and in learning about the production processes and the various areas of steam consumption a proposal was made. Reclaim the waste heat from the tunnel and cart washers. A detailed cost analysis was made looking at the number of Btu’s that would be recaptured including the installation and equipment costs. The result was a unique energy saving heat exchanger system that was installed and reduced overall steam consumption by 50% for the washing systems. The cold water makeup was now 100% preheated during normal operation. This success was achieved by recapturing valuable heat content from the overflow rinse water.

This type of heat recovery system is now standard with many tunnel and cart washer manufacturers. Marc’s project earned a 6 month payback. Natural Factors installation of an additional boiler went ahead the next year. The heat recovery system continues to this day to save the company money with reduced steam demand for cart and tunnel washing.


Did You Know?
Insulate Pipes

Uninsulated steam distribution and condensate return lines are a constant source of wasted energy. Insulation can typically reduce energy losses by 90% and help ensure proper steam pressure at plant equipment. Any surface over 120°F should be insulated, and this including boiler surfaces, steam and condensate return piping and fittings.

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Client Testimonial

I have worked with Andrew for a number of years on many successful steam heating and condensate recovery projects in the Fraser Health Authority. I have found him to be an excellent resource on steam systems and he is always willing to share his knowledge. He presented a full day seminar on steam topics to our operating engineers which was well received. Andrew has participated in many BC CHES Trade Shows and has also been a guest speaker. I would not hesitate to recommend Andrew to help you with any of your steam system requirements.