Could a ‘plug and play’ compressed air container project be your solution?

By Direct Air & Pipework
schedule14th Dec 22

Just like Direct Air’s other projects, we can take care of everything that goes into the making of a container project, with full project management capabilities in-house from the initial enquiry to the design and build, to commissioning and ongoing maintenance.

Our projects are customer driven as they are individually tailored to each company’s request and are suitable for multiple industries including Automotive, Aerospace, Defence, Environmental Services and many more.

At Direct Air, we pride ourselves on providing value engineering with the ability to modify plans in line with specifications, without reducing quality. We’ve led on design and build projects for:

  • Positioning
  • Fabrication
  • Compressor controls
  • Cooling water systems
  • Chilled water systems
  • Electrics
  • Off-load
  • Ducting
  • Heat recovery

We have the in-house capability to complete a full installation project including complete new production facilities, plant room packages, SKID packages and the solution we’re discussing today… container project packages!

Container projects are a ‘plug and play’ solution designed for customers with special requirements. Containers are able to house everything necessary for the specific compressed air system. From the actual compressors to downstream equipment and its mechanical and electrical connections.

Some key benefits of container projects

Space – Container projects can be ideal for sites where there may be limited or no space at all inside the facility for a compressor plant room. The container can house everything required for a complete compressed air system and our skilled installation engineers can connect it straight up to your production line.

Pre-site construction – Housing compressed air systems in containers means that our engineers are able to construct the complete system within the container at the Direct Air workshop before we even reach your site. This means any M&E contractors needed to complete the project can also carry out their work before the container gets to your site, as well as completing the required testing of the system. This allows us to truly fulfil the ‘plug and play’ benefit of this solution, as when we arrive at site your system will already be built and ready to install into your facility as required.

Health & Safety – A container plant room means that the compressed air system isn’t located within the actual factory or shop floor. Therefore, elements generated from the compressor are confined inside of the container, including… noise! Noise at work can cause effects which can be temporary or permanent including anger, stress and even hearing impairments. Employers have a legal obligation under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations (2005), to protect the hearing of their workforce and considering the placement of your compressed air equipment is a great place to start.

Bespoke – Containers come in a range of sizes, meaning we can provide the correct solution specifically for your compressed air requirements. Our CAD engineers are able to design compressed air system layouts to create the most efficient and tidy set up inside the container.

Maintenance access – There are multiple large doors along the side of the containers, which provides easy access for our Direct Air engineers to reach the compressed air equipment. Therefore, the system can be accessed for servicing, maintenance, repairs and even future system upgrades to stay in line with your required air demand.

Minimal disturbances – Constructing the compressed air system in the container prior to site delivery and having the container external to your factory means that the installation of these projects creates minimal disturbances to site. As well as the entire compressed air system being built at the Direct Air workshop, it can be held there until your site is ready for delivery and installation. This is ideal for facilities where there is limited site access as your complete solution can arrive on site in just one delivery.

Permanent or temporary – Although the container conversion could be your compressed air plant room for the long run, there’s also circumstances where these solutions are only needed temporarily. That’s the beauty of container projects, they can be tailored specifically to each customer’s needs.

Manoeuvrable – Many of the above benefits wouldn’t be possible without this one! Due to containers robust structure, they can be lifted and moved with the full compressed air system inside them, meaning the container can be placed in the required area and also relocated if needed. This is ideal for customers where the demand for compressed air is continuously changing sites, in industries such as construction.

Designing container projects

We can produce 3D models and drawings that give a more detailed representation of our compressed air system designs, making it easier for the customer to visualise what the system comprises in the lead up to an order. It also allows us to edit the layout of any plant and pipework quickly and efficiently!

This is especially useful when we are designing a system that is going to be installed in a newly built site, as the 3D model can be used with building information modelling (BIM) to ensure proper coordination between all the building services.

We use Autodesk Inventor to produce our 3D models, ensuring our models can be integrated with other 3D model software.

As well as 3D modelling, we produce 2D drawings which enable us to coordinate our pipework routes with other services on site.

2D Drawings

Our 2D drawings are made on AutoCAD to show plan views of sites and relevant pipework information.

3D Models

Our 3D models allow us to design complex compressor houses to provide more detail and allow us to overcome any potential obstacles before installation.


Renders are constructed from our 3D software to give clients a better understanding of what their compressor housing will look like.

Wire Frame Drawings

Wire Frame Drawings provide a linear view to give the Direct Air team and our customers the internal and external perspectives of their new compressed air system all in one drawing.

Building container projects

So once the design process is done, it’s onto the build…

Alongside the compressed air equipment, constructing the system set up in the container also consists of the pipework to deliver the compressed air to your application. Our team of engineers are fully trained in the installation of modern stainless steel and aluminium systems, including TESEO & Transair, as well as more traditional galvanised steel pipework.

The video below shows a time lapse of a container being installed with compressed air equipment for a previous project that Direct Air carried out to fulfil customer requirements.

S Jones Containers

To bring all elements of projects together, Direct Air work in partnership with major M&E contractors and trusted suppliers including S Jones, who provide us with containers of the required size for each of our customers container projects.

Not only are S Jones a family-owned business with decades of container unit knowledge and experience, but they also produce bespoke solutions for companies all around the UK. As every compressed air project is tailored uniquely to each Direct Air customer, it’s vital that we work with suppliers who are able to accommodate to the requirements of the projects.

Dealing with the container experts directly means Direct Air are able to efficiently address the individual requirements of each container project regarding factors such as sizing, ventilation and access points.

Below shows two containers at S Jones site, complete with Direct Air logos and ready to be delivered to our site for compressed air system installation.

Current container project

The below image shows one of the two containers part of a current project we have underway at the Direct Air workshop. Our engineers are beginning to install a brand new full compressed air system inside.

One of the containers is a 40ft unit designed with three large doors across the length of the container, allowing for easy accessibility to the compressed air system. As well as this, custom vents have been incorporated to ensure this container plant room is adequately ventilated in the correct areas. This specific container is being installed with three 75kw compressors which have all been supplied by us, creating a compressor house that generates the customers required air demand.

The second container is 20ft in size, a smaller yet critical part of the project, as this unit will house the systems air treatment equipment and act as a control room.

Due to the nature of their compressed air requirements, this customers system must be transportable to various sites in a robust structure, which is why Direct Air recommended these manoeuvrable containers as the perfect solution.

Here’s one we did earlier…

The customer needed a container solution due to the nature of their compressed air requirements.

They needed to power specialist equipment to provide power to an entire city. Considering the importance of this requirement, a reliable backup plan needed to be in place in the case of failure. Another consideration for the customer was access to site was quite limited, so a solution with minimal onsite visits the better.

The container provided acts as an emergency starter support system for their specialist equipment, in case of any unexpected issues. The container was a perfect one-action delivery solution to ensure minimal visits and for short periods of time. There was no customer site installation needed.

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