A year after upgrading its steam trap population with up-to-date equipment from Spirax Sarco, Marston’s Brewery in Burton-on-Trent saved £60,000 in energy and hot water costs.
By preventing steam escaping into the brewery’s condensate recovery systems, the steam traps also improved the site’s environmental image by eliminating visible steam emissions.
Marston’s Brewery senior engineer Colin Walton said: "You used to see plumes of steam exiting the plant, but now that’s all stopped."
The impact was instant, with the quantity of escaping steam visibly reducing as more of the steam traps were replaced.
Mr Walton said: "I used to tell the fitters that I’d know they’d done their job when steam stopped coming out of the condensate tank in each section."
Stainless steel sealed inverted bucket steam traps from Spirax Sarco replaced 70 old steam traps ranging from ten to 40 years. The brewery opted to make the change en masse, rather than checking each steam trap individually for faults.
Mr Walton said: "Price and quality were the deciding factors in choosing Spirax Sarco, but they also delivered great local support."
The new steam traps were responsible for savings, but Marston’s also took the opportunity to remove any trap bypasses from the steam system at the same time.
Bypasses are often installed to enable engineers to redirect condensate around defective steam traps when necessary. Bypasses can encourage bad practice by enabling the steam system to carry on operating at a suboptimal level, rather than forcing engineers to fix any defects immediately.
The Burton on Trent brewery makes 300,000 barrels of beer every year, including brands such as Pedigree, Old Empire, Burton Bitter and draught Bass.
The company uses steam throughout its processes and for space heating.