Category Archive: Air Compressors

Using Air Compressors for Food and Beverage Applications

The importance of using air compressors for food and beverage processing applications cannot be overstated. Many steps of the manufacturing process benefit from the use of compressed air, such as:

• Food mixing
• Packaging movement
• Pumping fluids
• Air filtration

This last step is arguably the most important role of air compressors in the food and beverage industry. Filtering out contaminated air is essential to creating sanitary food products, helping you preserve customer health and avoid liability.

For this reason, air compressors used in food manufacturing environments must be held to the highest standards. For example, if your processes fill a ready-to-eat package with contaminated air, the dirt or bacteria in that air will travel directly to your customer. This poses a risk not only to them, but to your business as well.

Therefore, choosing a dependable, efficient, and oil-free air compressor for your manufacturing application is vital for ensuring that you deliver the highest-quality products possible. Here, we outline a few of the ways you can best incorporate air compressors into your facility.

Applications for Food and Beverage Air Compressors

Compressed air is a powerful tool for many different applications within the food and beverage industry. Imagine a hypothetical manufacturing facility that uses compressed air for the production of yogurt. In one area of the factory, compressed air pushes flavoring powders through tubes to mix them with uncultured yogurt. In another area, compressed air supplies oxygen to the yogurt as it cultures. Once the yogurt finishes culturing, additional processes place it into containers cleaned using compressed air. Throughout these automated process, the air also opens valves and actuators for filling and bottling.

Although this is only one example of the use of compressed air in food processing, this technique can benefit food processing applications in many different ways. Air compressors can spray oil and dispense liquids such as soft drinks, condiments, or beer. Compressed air generators can produce ozone to treat water or to generate nitrogen to create nitrogenized beer. The air can be used directly on the food as an air knife or on the packaging for agitation, transfer, or sealing.

The uses for food-grade air compressors are almost endless. Some other applications for air compressors include:

● Bakeries (to spray vegetable oil)
● Coffee automats
● Packaging
● Mixing foods
● Pilot air

Uses for Food and Beverage Air Compressors

Because of the wide range of pressures that air compressors can generate, they can be used in many different places on your product line. Here are just a few examples of how food and beverage processors use air compressors every day:

• As raw ingredients and materials enter a factory, compressed air sorts them based on weight
• High-pressure compressed air peels and slices fruits and vegetables such as carrots, onions, and apples
• Worker use compressed air to wash down packaging machines and keep the factory sanitary
• Compressed air pushes fillings into pie crusts or other stuffed pastries
• Diaphragm pumps move around the liquid filling to ensure even distribution
• Low-pressure compressed air blows off crumbs from baked products
• Workers use blow-molding to create specialized packaging
• Compressed air cleans packages and vacuum seals food products inside
• Cold compressed air freezes products for shipping and retail

As you can see, compressed air is integral to every step of the manufacturing process in the food and beverage industry. Because of its usefulness, some people call compressed air the fourth utility, saying that it is just as important to manufacturing as running water, heat, and electricity.

Learn More About the Advantages of Air Compression with Compressed Air Systems

At Compressed Air Systems, we have the knowledge to provide you with the best air compressors to suit your manufacturing needs. We have been in business since 1963, and we sell, service, and rent all types of pneumatic tools and equipment.
Contact us if you would like to learn more about how compressed air can help your business.

Why Air Receiver Tanks Are Essential for Your Compressed Air System

Air receiver tanks, also called compressed air tanks or simply air receivers, are crucial elements of compressed air systems. Air receiver tanks have two main purposes: to serve as short-term storage units during temporary demand spikes, and to help systems perform more efficiently overall.

To think of it another way, air receiver tanks perform much like batteries: By utilizing stored energy, a lower-horsepower machine can be employed to complete a larger task. Because of the massive amount of pressure these tanks are often under — not to mention their vital importance in compressed air systems — they must be both durable and strong.

There are two kinds of air receivers: wet and dry. Wet receivers are placed immediately after the compressor.

In addition to serving as storage tanks, these receivers also help reduce moisture. Dry receivers, on the other hand, are placed after the air dryer or other air preparation equipment, and can minimize drops in the air pressure of a compressor system.

1. Integrating Air Receiver Tanks Into Your Facility

Typically, an air receiver tank is sized at six to 10 times the flow rate of the compressed air system. By law, tanks must have a pressure relief valve and a pressure gauge. The relief valve is typically set to 10% higher than the working pressure of the system.

Also, it’s crucial to have either a manual drain or an automatic drain on the receiver tank so water can be easily removed from the system.

The removal of moisture is especially important in cold weather, as moisture can accumulate and reenter the flow of outgoing air. Plus, if the temperature falls below 32 °F, the condensate line will freeze, potentially damaging the pipe.

Moisture can also cause rust and scale to form on the inside of the tank, both of which can be carried in the outgoing air and cause premature blockages of filters. A coalescing filter and air dryer usually are placed downstream of the receiver tank.

Air compressors — typically smaller-range ones — may be “tank-mounted” on top of an air receiver. Space-constrained plants usually opt for this arrangement. However, this won’t work for most larger compressors, as they’re much more top-heavy and would pose a danger.

2. The Importance of Air Receiver Tanks

In addition to storing energy and optimizing the efficiency of compressed air systems, air receiver tanks perform several other important duties.

First, they help regulate compressor controls to prevent short cycling and over pressurization. Failing to install a receiver — or using one that’s too small — will cause a compressor to rapid cycle, which can cause a range of different issues.

Next, an air receiver tank also serves as a second heat exchanger. As air passes through it, the air temperature drops about 10° below what it was after cooling via the first heat exchanger.

Air receiver tanks also precipitate some of the moisture and oil carryover that may be present in the compressed air as it leaves the compressor or is carried over from the after-cooler.

And finally, these versatile tanks help reduce the dew point and temperature spikes that can occur after regeneration.

Learn More

Air receiver tanks serve a critical role in compressed air systems across a range of different industries. In fact, not using one can be downright dangerous.

Need help selecting an air receiver tank for your specific application needs? Reach out to the team at Compressed Air Systems (CAS) today to request a quote and discuss your options with an expert.

A History of Air Compressors

Air compressors are used in a variety of industries to provide compressed and pressurized air for many applications. These devices are now even used to power construction and manufacturing equipment and to drive control system valves; earlier compressors were much less versatile. The advent of air compressors dates back thousands of years.

compressed_air_bellows (more…)