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Winner of Global Best Projects Award Utilizes Rogers Engineered Compressed Air System
When CalPlant, the world’s first straw-based medium density fiberboard manufacturing plant, needed a supplier for compressed air, Rogers provided a custom engineered solution that allowed the award winning facility to open.
January 25, 2022
In 2001, longtime customer Les Younie contacted Rogers Machinery Company about a new MDF plant he and others were working on opening in Willows, CA. Les had worked for Louisiana Pacific for 20 years. Throughout the years, he developed a relationship with the Eureka, CA branch, so naturally when it was time to develop a compressed air system, he called the team at Rogers.
Over the next 17 years, Rogers worked with Les, Evergreen Engineering, and several contractors to size and provide an energy efficient air system. The system would supply compressed air to the world’s first straw-based medium density fiberboard manufacturing plant.
As you can imagine, the project scope changed numerous times over almost two decades. The result was an energy efficient system purchased in 2018 consisting of three Rogers KRV Series 150 HP variable speed driven air compressors, Zeks heated blower purge air dryer, along with Manchester Tank wet and dry air receivers.
The KI and small dryer are generator tied, which allows the system to clear the press of the material in process allows in the event of power failure. This ensures it won't combust due to the extreme heat generated during the straw production process.
The two main compressors are used as base load trim and the third is redundant along with a Zeks Heated Blower Purge air dryer, which produces -40*F dew point CDA. This system feeds the plant compressed air for all its pneumatic systems and processed air needs.
Most recently, the 3 KRV compressors were upgraded to an inlet air filter system modification to better handle the high dust environment. The improvement was made by using a Solberg SpinMeister® Precleaner and a larger cotton poly pleated air filter and housing. This modification helped move the inlet air from the side of the compressor to the top of the units and has extended the air filter service interval to more than double.
Our Centralia engineering team and years of problem-solving customer specific problems with custom engineered designs allowed us to meet this challenge.
Les and his team got to see his dream come to fruition when the plant was put online in early 2020. Sadly, Les passed away from brain cancer on May 15, 2020. Rogers extends condolences to Les's loved ones and the team at CalPlant.
Les’s legacy and role in innovative engineering remains strong. In 2021, CalPlant was the winner of Engineering News Record Global Best Projects Juried Competition for the category of manufacturing. This competition honors the project teams behind advanced design and construction efforts from the prior year.
This competition stands apart from the others with the distinct rule that at least one firm involved in the project must be working outside of its home country, and projects are partially weighted by how globally diverse those teams are.
Thanks to Rogers, CalPlant was able to operate the award-winning manufacturing facility with the critical compressed air needed for the production process. This project highlights one of the many examples of how Rogers Machinery Company has valued and cared for its customers since 1949 and will continue to do so.
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