Over at Lontra, an innovative engineering firm based in the UK, they’ve spent the past 10 years reinventing the compressor. How? They’re replacing the familiar old piston design with one that’s 20% more efficient and oil free.
Here’s how it works:
The Blade Compressor’s circular mechanism compresses air in front and induces the air behind it in a continuous motion. As a result, it minimizes waste. And this innovation, says the company, provides industries with a triple win benefit: (again) it’s oil free, more energy efficient, and ultimately more reliable than alternatives.
Recently DEVELOP3D featured Lontra CEO Steve Lindsey in an in depth article about this disruptive technology. Although an efficient compressor like the Blade might find applications in many industries, Lontra wants to target wastewater.
“The main treatment in a wastewater system is actually natural bacteria. These micro-organisms break down the contaminants and to stay alive they need vast quantities of air, which is pumped in using traditional blowers and compressors.”
Turns out that bubbling all that air through sewage accounts for a whopping 1% of the UK’s total energy use! That means even small improvements in efficiency can provide a big impact for the whole country.
Lontra’s Lindsey talked to DEVELOP3D about the secret to his company’s success so far:
“If you just look at a system afresh you can make big steps forward especially with a good bunch of people and with the modelling and testing techniques that allow us to do things far beyond what people would have planned before.”
Among the people helping is Concurrent Engineering Ltd. The PTC partner provides software consulting and tools for Lontra, including the Creo Behavioral Modeling Extension (BMX). These tools, in turn, can help Lontra create prototypes that come as close to production models as possible.
“Using a good CAD system, like Creo, makes that a lot easier,” says Clive Hudson, Engineering Director at Lontra.
Read the whole DEVELOP3D story here. (It’s worth clicking for the photographs alone!)