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Energiatehokkuus 16.11.2018


Based in Äänekoski, Specialty Minerals Nordic manufactures additives for paper and card production to make the material thicker, whiter or glossier.

Specialty Minerals Nordic has unbiasedly begun to investigate the opportunities of cutting production costs and simultaneously reducing the burden on the environment. One solution was found in high-efficiency motors. The factory has several large-sized motors which are in continuous use. This is one of the best situations in which high-efficiency motors are in a league of their own.

SMN’s Regional Maintenance Coordinator Esa Sällinen has calculated energy-saving solutions to cut the company’s costs. The results are impressive.

“Energy makes up 97% of a motor’s lifecycle costs, so there is significant savings potential,” explains Sällinen. Decisions on procurement are usually based solely on the purchasing price of the product. The procurement price of a motor is only 2% of the overall costs, so it is unwise to use that as a purchasing criterion.

Even one small 11 kW motor can save annually 920 EUR in energy costs

Sällinen has calculated, that the replacement of a 75 kW IE2 motor with an IE3 motor of equivalent power would save 1,138 euros per year at a rate of 8,760 operating hours and an energy price of 0.05 euros per kilowatt hour.

The replacement of a 4 kW IE1 motor with an IE4 motor will save 320 euros per year with the same number of operating hours and energy price, while an 11-kW motor would save 920 per year in energy costs.

With 200 kW motor energy savings up to 7400 EUR annually

As a practical example, Specialty Minerals Nordic’s Äänekoski factory has a high-pressure water pump which is used in the manufacturing process. Initially the pump’s motor was 315 kW and classed EFF1 in accordance with an outdated energy efficiency class. The back-up motor for the most critical motor to production was a 200 kW EFF2-class motor. This pair of motors were replaced with 200 kW IE4 motors. An old frequency converter was also replaced.

The number of operating hours per year was still 8,760 at an energy price of 0.05 euros per KWh. Annual energy costs are 3,600 – 7,400 euros lower with VEM’s IE4 motors. The payback period for the investment was calculated as seven years. The motor’s service life is expected to last more than 20 years.

Air cleaning with waste material

“Another example of an environmentally friendly and cost-cutting solution is the flue gas fan. A flue gas fan equipped with VEM’s IE3 motors uses the smoke created from Metsä Fibre’s new bioproduct mill’s processes to produce its own product, calcium carbonate. We utilise Metsä Fibre’s waste in our factory’s process. “Äänekoski’s air becomes cleaner and raw materials are utilised,” explains Sällinen.

Leivon Sähkö’s Production Manager Seppo Hujanen from the Team VEM chain has provided great background support for charting energy efficiency calculations and opportunities. Hujanen and Sällinen are both amaze d by how little production companies take advantage of clear savings potential. When you cut energy costs, you’re automatically doing something important for the good of the environment.

IE4 motor

From left: Esa Sällinen, Specialty Minerals Nordic, Seppo Hujanen, Leivon Sähkö and the VEM IE4 motor waiting to be installed.

HP-pump waiting for IE4-motor installation

The high-pressure pump, into which the IE4 motor will be installed.

Marko Hetesuo from Specialty Minerals Nordic carrying out maintenance measurements on the flue gas fan’s IE3 motor.


The flue gas fan receives waste from the adjacent mill and converts it into a raw material. Äänekoski’s air becomes cleaner and raw materials are utilised.

Marjut Vainio

Marjut is VEM motors Finland's Marketing Manager.