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Film Extruder Tries Do-It-Yourself Electric Power.

One of the country's largest makers of stretch film and bags, the Sigma SIGMA - A scientific visual programming environment from NASA.
 Plastics Group based in Lyndhurst Lyndhurst, city (1990 pop. 15,982), Cuyahoga co., NE Ohio; inc. 1917. It is a residential suburb of Cleveland. , N.J., has embarked on an experiment in generating its own electricity. Last year Sigma leased a small gas-fired gas-fired adjde gas

gas-fired adjau gaz

gas-fired adj (heater etc) → Gas- 
 power-generating plant from Honeywell In 1927, the Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Company was formed as a merger of Alfred Butz' temperature control company (1885) and Mark Honeywell's water heater company (1906). In 1957, Honeywell, along with Ratheon, introduced one of the first computers in the U.S., the Datamatic 1000. , which installed the plant in Sigma's Lyndhurst industrial park.

Honeywell Home and Building Control in Morristown, N.J., runs and maintains the co-generating plant for Sigma under a seven-year lease and a management contract. Honeywell's contract includes an on-site engineer and 24-hr surveillance of the power plant by Honeywell.

The package represents an investment of $6.5 million for Sigma, but after the lease expires, Sigma will own the equipment. Sigma ultimately will save a lot on energy because Honeywell guarantees at least $1.2 million/yr in cost savings after the lease is up. That includes Honeywell's $400,000/yr contract to continue running the plant.

Sigma had also expected to achieve modestly positive cash flow during the seven-year lease. The "co-gen" plant was supposed to save about $100,000/year in energy cost almost immediately. But that was before natural gas prices soared.

When Sigma struck the deal with Honeywell, natural gas cost about $2.80 a decatherm. But no sooner did Sigma fire up its co-gen plant last November, than natural-gas prices soared. In December, January, and February, gas hit all-time highs of over $10 a decatherm. That meant that in the short term, generating its own power wouldn't save Sigma much, if anything, over buying electricity on the outside.

Methane methane (mĕth`ān), CH4, colorless, odorless, gaseous saturated hydrocarbon; the simplest alkane. It is less dense than air, melts at −184°C;, and boils at −161.4°C;.  next door

But Sigma wasn't daunted daunt  
tr.v. daunt·ed, daunt·ing, daunts
To abate the courage of; discourage. See Synonyms at dismay.

[Middle English daunten, from Old French danter, from Latin
. And it isn't waiting around for the seven-year lease to end or for gas prices to drop. Sigma is already exploring a deal proposed by its next-door neighbor, the Kingsland Landfill, which could supply enough methane gas from the landfill to fire Sigma's co-gen plant. The landfill currently flares off almost exactly the same amount of methane as Sigma uses in natural gas, says Bob Silk, Honeywell's on-site technical-resource manager. The co-gen engines, which are built by JenbacherAGinAustria, can be readily converted to run methane and frequently are methane-fired in Europe, Silk says.

Sigma Plastics operates 19 plants in the U.S. and three in Canada. Its Lyndhurst campus was chosen for the co-gen experiment not because it is such a big energy user, but because its energy is expensive. Lyndhurst houses Sigma headquarters and three film and bag-making plants processing 90 million lb/yr of stretch film, T-shirt bags, and merchandise and produce bags. It consumes about $250,000 a month of electricity. Sigma's stretch-film plant in Kentucky Kentucky, state, United States
Kentucky (kəntŭk`ē, kĭn–), one of the so-called border states of the S central United States. It is bordered by West Virginia and Virginia (E); Tennessee (S); the Mississippi R.
 processes a lot more resin--120 million lb/yr. But whereas power in Lyndhurst costs 8-9[cent]/kwh, power in Kentucky costs only 4-5[cent]/kwh.

Chilled chill  
1. A moderate but penetrating coldness.

2. A sensation of coldness, often accompanied by shivering and pallor of the skin.

 water 'for free'

The gas-powered engines provide enough hot water to power a 900-ton chiller chill·er  
1. One that chills.

2. A frightening story, especially one involving violence, evil, or the supernatural; a thriller.


, also installed by Honeywell as part of the co-gen plant. The heat-recovery boiler boiler, device for generating steam. It consists of two principal parts: the furnace, which provides heat, usually by burning a fuel, and the boiler proper, a device in which the heat changes water into steam.  produces hot water at 210 F, which provides heat absorption for the chiller that supplies cooling water to all three buildings. That chiller replaces three electrically powered chillers, which were expensive to run. "Now chilling the water doesn't use electricity. It's entirely a byproduct by·prod·uct or by-prod·uct  
1. Something produced in the making of something else.

2. A secondary result; a side effect.

Noun 1.
 of heat generated by the co-gen plant," explains Mark Teo, Sigma's executive v.p.

The co-gen plant should provide more reliable power, too. It generally runs around the clock, except for a week in July and a week in December when Sigma closes. The co-gen equipment at Sigma consists of two 1400-kwh gas-fired engines capable of generating a total of 23,000 Mwh/yr. They will supply about 70% of Sigma's power needs in Lyndhurst.

Sigma is probably already one of the first plastic processors to generate its own power. If the landfill pipeline goes through, Sigma would almost certainly be the first to tap methane from a landfill.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gardner Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Sigma Plastics Group
Comment:Film Extruder Tries Do-It-Yourself Electric Power.(Sigma Plastics Group)
Author:Schut, Jan H.
Publication:Plastics Technology
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2001
Previous Article:Market Prices Effective Mid-July.
Next Article:'Sure, we sell all-electric machines'.

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