Optimised drying process

billede case sun chemical



Sun Chemical is a major international group. At its plant in Køge, Denmark, the company produces butyl acetate- and water-based ink and colour granules.

The colour granules undergo a drying process that takes 20-48 hours before they can be sold to customers.



Sun Chemical has a drying process that both heats and cools the air while circulating in a closed circuit.

The duration of the process has been set, based on experience and worst-case scenarios.

The plant has been using a lot of energy, but so far it has not been possible to assess whether anything could be done about this.

We’ve been wanting to save energy in the drying process for some time, and I’ve engaged the services of other consultants, without them having succeeded in finding a method and uncovering the potential. Working with EnergySolution, the right measurements were taken, which quickly showed great potential to optimise the operation of the plant and save energy. We’ve become more sustainable and we can look forward to annual savings in six figures and a payback period of less than a year.
Niels Jørgen Trandum
Facility & Technical Manager at Sun Chemical


Based on the motto: “what gets measured gets managed”, we’ve made analyses that show that drying time can be reduced by up to 60 per cent. At the same time, the heating surface and cooling surface of the system can be adjusted to work together more efficiently. This way, a total energy saving of 76 per cent can be achieved.

Sun Chemical is enjoying an annual saving on its electricity and gas bill of just over DKK 400,000 and an annual carbon emission reduction of more than 300 tonnes.

By installing sensors on the system, the cooling and heating can be effectively regulated, and the process can now run automatically and stop when the colour granules are sufficiently dry. The process is no longer prolonged and more expensive than it needs to be because it has to allow for the worst-case scenario and an additional margin of error.

The small investment in analyses, sensors and programming of the system gives the project a payback period of just 8.5 months. And with the reduced time consumption, Sun Chemical can now increase its drying capacity by up to 57 per cent.

The new sensors have also shown that the steam valve that regulates the heating surface is defective and does not close tightly. Once repaired, Sun Chemical will enjoy an extra saving on gas for steam production.


  • A faster and cheaper drying process with a sizeable saving on electricity and gas bills and a considerable reduction in carbon emissions
  • More sustainable production which will grab the attention of customers and make the employees proud
  • Annual savings of DKK 423,000
  • Annual energy savings of 1.4 GWh, equivalent to 76 per cent at the plant
  • Annual carbon reduction of 318 tonnes
  • Possibility of reduction in drying time: 50-60 per cent
  • Possibility of increasing the capacity of the plant by 57 per cent
  • Payback period of 0.71 years

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