Case Study: Trinity Manufacturing

Always-on steam trap monitoring yields 2.9x return with substantial reduction of CO2 emissions and energy usage

At a Glance

In 2020, Trinity Manufacturing, a premier manufacturer of specialty agriculture and water treatment chemicals, engaged Everactive to help deliver on its safety, sustainability, and operational cost savings goals. Year One results:

  • Industry: Chemical Process
  • Location: Hamlet, NC
  • Coverage: 95%
  • ROI: 288%
  • CO₂ savings: 856 metric tons
  • Energy savings: 21,118 MMBTUs

Challenge

Steam is commonly used in chemical process industries (CPI) for a range of applications, including: process heating, power generation, atomization, cleaning and sterilization, moisturization, and humidification. Steam has many advantages as an energy source, but the steam system must be properly maintained to ensure peak efficiency. A poorly functioning steam system can significantly reduce not only energy efficiency, but also uptime, environmental impact, and the safety profile of a given plant.

Although Trinity followed common practices for traditional steam trap maintenance—occasional manual spot-checks of each trap—it began to understand the limitations of this approach. Indeed, even if performed thoroughly, this spot-check approach can be problematic.

To achieve its goals and maintain compliance with the industry’s strict regulatory standards, Trinity sought a modern solution for monitoring and maintaining its steam system. With real-time visibility, Trinity could identify issues as they occured, mitigating environmental, health, and safety (EHS) risks to its employees and reducing energy and CO₂ waste in the process.

Solution

Trinity outfitted 78 of its plant’s steam traps with Everactive STM. In addition to a fully tagged trap survey at install, the customer now received data every 60 seconds from each and every steam trap. In the Evercloud analytics portal, the customer can readily see the operating state of each trap and is alerted to failing traps instantaneously so that swift action can be taken to avoid losses. Notably, with Everactive’s self-powered sensors, users are only required to take action when the asset requires attention—not to continually monitor and maintan sensors, as is the case with competing battery-powered devices.

Results

Through the first half of 2020, Everactive identified seven steam trap failures. Addressing these failures within a reasonable timeframe presents a huge savings opportunity, both from a dollar and environmental standpoint. By fixing these failed traps, Trinity stands to generate a 288% return on its investment in Everactive, while saving 856 metric tons of CO₂ emissions and 21,118 MMBTUs. That’s equivalent to removing 186 passenger cars from the road each year!

Everactive also delivered inferred insights based on continuous analysis of the steam system. As remote sensors began to identify an increased number of blowthrough failures, the teams identified a failed 2-inch float and thermostatic trap by a steam-driven condensate pump. Due to this insight, Trinity reconfigured the condensate return system.

By implementing STM, Trinity not only demonstrated its industry leadership in sustainability and workplace safety, but also gained a competitive advantage by reducing costs and increasing efficiency and reliability throughout the plant.