6 Easy Tips to Maximise Compressed Air Efficiency

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It’s easy to overlook the compressor on your workshop floor, as long as it’s doing its job, there’s nothing to worry about. Right?

Compressors are integral to production from conveyors to spray booth equipment. And like anything unglamorous, we often forget they’re there until there’s a problem.

There are simple changes you can make to avoid loss of production and finger-pointing. Ongoing management of the compressed air system can prevent most issues. You can improve production, reduce energy, and keep the money-men happy at the same time.

1. Design of your compressed air system

When you design a compressed air system its key to get the specification right first time.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Will this design work for the application?
  • Have we incorporated enough space for maintenance?
  • If we increase production, will we be able to scale up or adjust the plant work?

First thing to consider is your air inlet. You can have the best compressor on the market but remember the air that goes into the compressor is the air used. So, ensure it's not placed somewhere dusty or high in pollutants, for example near a lorry loading bay. For example, near a loading bay is not a good idea as contaminants from fumes could enter the airlines.

Remember to not only focus on the compressor itself. How many filters will you need? How big will the air receiver need to be? Do you need a dryer? All system elements have maintenance requirements and costs.

2. Ambient conditions

Did you know a 5°C increase in air inlet temperature will lead to a 2% reduction in your compressor’s performance?

You may be rolling your eyes for us worrying about scorching temperatures in the UK. But during the heatwave of 2018, many manufacturers struggled with breakdowns due to the hot weather.

A compressor's performance is more efficient if the air going into it isn’t too hot. During planning include ventilation which can be later adjusted throughout the year. When discussing your compressor house requirements, ask suppliers how they prevent temperature-related breakdowns.

3. Maintenance of compressor plant

Servicing your compressor will have a positive impact on its performance. Like with any machine, ignoring the recommended maintenance will have the opposite effect.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you service system elements such as filters or condensate drains?
  • Do you use genuine spares?
  • Do you use the correct grade of oil?

Managing the entirety of the compressed air system keeps it running like it did when it was new. Imagine avoiding the capital cost of replacing plant by looking after it.

Interested by the first 3 tips? Read the final 3 over on our website: https://www.directair.co.uk/news/6-easy-tips-to-maximise-compressed-air-efficiency/

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