Posted by Compressed Air Systems, Inc. on | Comments Off on The First 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, but earlier compressors were much less versatile. The advent of air compressors dates back thousands of years.
The First Air Compressors: Humans?
The earliest air compressor was actually the human lung. Since the human body can exhale oxygen, people once used their breath to stoke fires. The trend of providing our own air pressure faded around 3000 B.C. as the practice of metallurgy became prevalent. Metalsmiths were melting down various materials such as gold and copper, and they soon realized that higher temperatures were needed.
Healthy lungs can only produce .02 to .08 bar (1 bar equates to 14.5 psi) of air pressure—hardly adequate for metalworking tasks. Also, the carbon dioxide content in human breath wasn’t helpful for sustaining fires. The demand for stronger air compressors began to grow as time progressed.
The First Air Compressors: Bellows
In 1500 B.C., a new type of air compressor called a bellows was invented. This device was a hand-held (and later foot-controlled) flexible bag that produced a concentrated blast of air ideal for achieving higher-temperature fires.
The basic design of the bellows has remained unchanged since its invention and can still be found today by fireplaces, inside musical pump organs, and in other devices.
The First Air Compressors: Water Power
During the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth century, advancements in air compression made it possible for metal mines, factories, and other facilities to increase productivity. In 1762, professional engineer John Smeaton designed a water wheel-driven blowing cylinder that slowly replaced the bellows.
The First Air Compressors: Blasting Machine
Though Smeaton’s device was efficient, it was replaced in turn by the hydraulic blasting machine invented by John Wilkinson in 1776. Wilkinson’s blasting machine became the archetype for later mechanical air compressors.
Air compressors were used for more than just metalworking in those days; they were also used for mining and fabricating metals and providing ventilation to underground areas. During the 1857 construction of the Italy-France rail system, compressors were often used to move large air volumes into the 8-mile construction tunnel. Soon after, people conceptualized more ways to utilize the technology.
The First Air Compressors: Electric Power
By 1800, people began using air compressors to transmit energy. Austrian engineer Viktor Popp created the first compressor plant in Paris in 1888. In just three years, Popp’s 1,500 kW compressor plant grew to 18,000 kW. Another plant was also built at Quai de la Gare. In 1889, Popp attained municipal permission to use his compressed air power network to supply electricity to local generators.
More innovations in air compression continued improving upon the process and soon began incorporating electricity and pneumatic energy.
Modern Air Compressors from Compressed Air Systems
Today, there are many types of air compressors to choose from. Compressed Air Systems offers a vast product line of air compressor types that include the following:
Whether you’re located in Orlando, Tampa, or outside Florida, Compressed Air Systems can provide quality industrial air compressors and services that meet your unique needs. Browse our catalog, or contact us today to learn more about our air compressors.
Posted by Compressed Air Systems, Inc. on | Comments Off on Nitrogen Generators for Food & Beverage Packaging
Extending shelf life and maintaining product quality are essential in the food and beverage industry. A nitrogen generator for food packaging provides an effective tool for achieving these goals. Learn more about the role of nitrogen in food packaging, the types of nitrogen generators available, their applications, and more.
The Role of Nitrogen in Food & Beverage Packaging
Nitrogen plays a crucial role in preserving the quality and freshness of packaged food and beverage products, particularly by doing the following:
Reducing spoilage and oxidation
Protecting against contaminants
Extending the shelf life of the products
Eliminating oxygen from the packaging environment slows product deterioration, so customers receive the freshest food and beverages possible.
Types of Nitrogen Generators for Food Packaging
There are three primary types of nitrogen generators in the food and beverage industry:
Membrane Nitrogen Generators: This type of generator separates nitrogen from other gases using selective permeability. Membrane nitrogen generators are cost-effective and efficient for low-purity nitrogen applications.
Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Nitrogen Generators: PSA generators adsorb oxygen and other gases to allow the free-flowing release of nitrogen. These units are suitable for moderate to high-purity nitrogen requirements.
Cryogenic Nitrogen Generators: This type of generator separates nitrogen from other gases by cooling the air to extremely low temperatures. They are an ideal solution for large-scale operations and high-purity nitrogen demands.
Benefits of Using Nitrogen Generators in Food & Beverage Packaging
Using nitrogen generators for food packaging offers numerous distinct advantages, including but not limited to the following:
Better Product Quality: Using a nitrogen generator helps products remain fresher longer, with improved texture, taste, and color.
Cost Efficiency: Eliminating the need for expensive nitrogen gas cylinders offers considerable cost savings in the long run.
Reduced Environmental Impact: Manufacturers can reduce their carbon footprint by decreasing their reliance on nitrogen cylinders.
Consistency in Nitrogen Purity: Nitrogen generators provide a consistent and stable nitrogen supply.
Adaptability to Packaging Needs: Nitrogen generators can be customized to meet various packaging requirements and demands of the food and beverage industry.
Applications of Nitrogen Generators in Food & Beverage Packaging
Nitrogen generators are widely implemented for packaging in the food and beverage industry, proving beneficial in the following applications:
Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP): To effectively prolong product freshness, the oxygen gets replaced with nitrogen during packaging. Examples of MAP include capsule packaging machines that fill coffee pods and VFFS machines that inflate chip bags.
Nitrogen Blanketing: This prevents container collapse and protects bulk storage during product transfer.
Beverage Can & Bottle Filling: In addition to maintaining carbonation, nitrogen extends the aroma and flavor in bottled and canned beverages.
Considerations When Choosing a Nitrogen Generator in Food & Beverage Packaging
In nitrogen generation, oxygen is filtered out of a compressed air stream to create a nitrogen gas steam. A nitrogen generator can operate around the clock, with several sizes available to meet the demands of a specific application. Food-grade nitrogen must adhere to various quality and purity standards within the food and beverage industry. Using food-grade nitrogen helps to avoid contamination while lengthening the shelf life of products and preserving the flavor of food and beverage items.
Choosing a nitrogen generator for food packaging involves careful consideration of the following factors:
Compliance with food safety standards
Nitrogen Generators for Food Packaging from Compressed Air Systems, Inc.
Compressed Air Systems, Inc. provides air compressor services in Tampa, Florida, and beyond. As a leading expert in compressed air, we have over 50 years of industry experience performing maintenance and repairs for a wide variety of air compressor makes and models. Some of the services we offer include the following:
Posted by Compressed Air Systems, Inc. on | Comments Off on Check Your Air Compressor Safety Relief Valves
Air compressors supply pressurized air for diverse applications. To prevent unsafe pressure levels within air compressors, their design includes air compressor safety relief valves, also known as air compressor pop-off valves and pressure safety valves. These valves will open to release built-up pressure once the compressor reaches its set pressure and close again when the compressor returns to normal levels. They play an important part in the safety and performance of this equipment. You should check them periodically to make sure they’re clean, undamaged, and functioning optimally to protect your system from costly equipment failure and your property and workforce from hazardous conditions.
Why Air Compressor Safety Relief Valve Testing Is Important
Properly caring for any high-powered equipment requires routine checks to support both operator safety and system reliability. Maintaining your air compressor safety relief valves safeguards against excessive pressure buildup in your compressor, which could otherwise be disastrous for your equipment or facility. In addition to ensuring that you’re using safe equipment and components, maintaining and inspecting safety relief valves and pressure levels assists with keeping your equipment compliant with any industry regulations or safety standard requirements.
Benefits of Regular Air Compressor Safety Relief Valve Maintenance
Performing regular valve checks is an essential step toward preventing equipment failure and promoting workplace safety. By detecting defective or damaged components before they fail, you can take proactive measures to repair or replace them before they cause any major disruptions to your business. Air compressor breakdowns can lead to expensive operational problems for a manufacturing facility, including costly unscheduled downtime, replacement parts, and labor fees.
Enhanced safety is not the only benefit of properly maintaining and testing air compressor safety relief valves; this also improves the performance and dependability of the valves themselves and your air compressor. You optimize both functionality and the life cycle of your equipment by properly caring for its components. This has the side benefit of boosting productivity in your operation, as well.
How to Check Your Safety Relief Valves
To effectively check a safety relief valve, begin by pulling its ring when the system is at operating pressure. This will depressurize the air compressor system and help you ensure that no air is stuck in the valve. Next, turn the compressor off and build the system pressure back up to make sure that it’s not releasing early. If, during these checks, you find that a valve isn’t performing as it should or you see evidence of corrosion, it’s time to clean, repair, or replace it.
Maintenance Tips for Air Compressor Safety Relief Valves
Following a regular maintenance schedule is essential for the safety of your air compressor and optimizing its performance. The following are some maintenance tips to have your air compressor safety relief valves functioning at their best:
Perform regular cleanings and clear away any debris.
Schedule regular inspections, looking for general wear, blockages, or corrosion damage.
Handle valve repairs or part replacements promptly should your inspection uncover any issues.
Mark any equipment with faulty safety relief valves as inoperable until repairs are complete.
Schedule periodic calibration checks, making any necessary alterations to ensure proper pressure relief.
Document all cleanings, inspections, maintenance, and repairs not only to keep track of them but also to identify any recurring problems or maintenance patterns with your valves.
Refer to the operation manual for pressure limits, maintenance techniques, and optimal testing timeframes.
Audit Your Air Compressor Safety Relief Valves
Auditing your safety relief valves regularly is crucial for the safe and lasting operation of your air compressors. Following the recommended maintenance tips will help assure reliability in your valves and compressors, safeguarding against costly part damage and downtime.
Since 1963, the team at Compressed Air Systems, Inc. has specialized in quality air compressor solutions. We offer in-house design consultations, installation, round-the-clock service, and equipment rentals to provide you with comprehensive services.
We can also help your team audit the performance and reliability of your air compressors and components. Compressed Air Systems will send one of our expert system technicians to your facility for a full evaluation. The specialist can help pinpoint problems like system or piping leaks, inadequate fittings, and equipment overuse, with a focus on optimizing your equipment while saving you money on electricity consumption wherever possible.
We aim to be your single-source provider for your system needs. Contact us today if you have questions about safety relief valve maintenance, or view our catalog to learn more about our product line.
Posted by Compressed Air Systems, Inc. on | Comments Off on Air Compressor Installation Guide
Air compressors are the central workhorses of compressed air systems, and it’s essential to select and install them correctly. In this air compressor installation guide, we’ll walk you through the process of purchasing and installing a high-quality air compressor. You’ll also get basic instructions for safe operation and maintenance, then learn how to expand your air compressor’s functionality and achieve maximum productivity.
Air Compressor Installation Guide: Selecting the Right Air Compressor
Determining Your Specific Needs
To find the most suitable air compressor for your application, start by carefully determining your system and workflow requirements. Then, compare them with each air compressor’s specifications. Pay the closest attention to airflow, pressure, tank capacity, and power requirements, and ensure they align with your needs.
Assess the installation location: Air compressors must have enough space for proper ventilation. Look at the air compressor’s manual for the exact dimensions required to maintain adequate airflow.
Check electrical requirements and gather tools: Note the device’s electrical requirements and gather the tools needed for installation.
Air Compressor Installation Guide: Installation Process
For safe and efficient operation, use the following steps as a guide to installing your air compressor:
Unpack the air compressor. Inspect it to ensure it isn’t damaged and it came with all necessary components.
Assemble the components in the proper sequence according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Securely mount the compressor, heeding the pre installation considerations above (ventilation and electrical requirements).
Connect the air lines and fittings, ensuring they interface properly.
Install any regulators, filters, and lubricators. These are usually included. If not, you may need to order them from a compressed air specialist.
Check for any possible leaks and run a pressure test according to the manual’s instructions.
Air Compressor Installation Guide: Electrical Connections
Understanding Power Requirements
Air compressors come in a range of power requirements. It’s critical to know and match these requirements with the electrical ratings of your workshop or facility. Never use air compressors with electrical systems that don’t meet the compressor’s electrical requirements.
Wiring the Compressor to the Electrical Supply
Wire the air compressor into a suitable electrical supply, following all safety precautions and ensuring the compressor is grounded properly.
Air Compressor Installation Guide: Operating and Maintaining the Air Compressor
Safety Guidelines and Precautions
After testing your air compressor to confirm its basic function, pause and read the safety guidelines. For safe operation and maximum product longevity, the following are particularly important:
Power-on and -off cycles
Performing routine maintenance
Cleaning and replacing filters
Air Compressor Installation Guide: Compressor Accessories and Expansion
Exploring Additional Accessories
Expand your air compressor’s functionality with accessories built to the highest industry standards. Air compressor accessories and air tools can expand versatility, increase capacity, and maximize all-around workload efficiency. Examples include hoses, nozzles, pipes, fittings, air tools, etc.
Air Compressor Installation Guide: Safety Considerations
Guidelines for Safe Usage and Handling
Keep your work area and employees safe by following all safety guidelines. Also, explain these precautions to all who might use the equipment, and always store and dispose of compressed air components properly. Finally, ensure you keep up with regular maintenance.
Air Compressor Services from Compressed Air Systems
If you follow this air compressor installation guide step by step, you’ll be fully prepared to install the most effective air compressor for your company’s needs. When properly installed and equipped with the right accessories, you’ll achieve maximum productivity and ease of use. Since 1963, Compressed Air Systems has continually optimized air compressor technologies and adapted them to our clients’ exact needs.
From our 30,000 and 4,000-square-foot facilities in Tampa, Florida, we provide fast and reliable air compressor services for industries as broad as aerospace, medical, electronics, and food and beverage. If you have any questions about installing an air compressor or would like to request a quote, contact us, and tell our experienced staff about your compressed air system needs.
Posted by Compressed Air Systems, Inc. on | Comments Off on How to Reduce Pressure Drop in Your Industrial Compressed Air System
Compressed air systems can develop instances of pressure drop throughout their lifespans, disrupting productivity and leading to inconsistent performance. However, with the right maintenance schedule, parts, and monitoring processes, businesses can minimize the risk of system pressure drop and reduce unscheduled downtime and performance inconsistencies. Learn more about the common causes of pressure drop, how your team or repair technicians can reduce pressure drop, and the benefits of a proactive approach.
What Causes Pressure Drop?
Maintaining a stable pressure level in a compressed air system requires an unobstructed closed loop or connective hose through which pressurized air can travel at a steady rate. Any changes to this environment, such as loose parts, obstructions within the system, and rough internal surfaces, can disrupt the flow of air. Disruptions to steady air compressor pressure come from two major categories:
Problems with air quality components which include air/lubricant separators, moisture separators, aftercooler components, filters, and dryers.
Problems with the distribution components, such as the tubing, couplings, hoses, pipes, or regulators.
A pressure drop may register when the compressor delivers insufficient air because of blockage, leaks, or other interruptions. This lowers the pressure within the system, and the compressed air regulation systems respond accordingly. The pressure changes can also result in a lot of wasted energy; in fact, this energy waste increases exponentially as the pressure conditions exceed the recommended pressure levels. If technicians notice restricted air flow within the system or changes in pressure levels that the system must accommodate, it’s time for an inspection or maintenance.
How to Reduce Pressure Drop
While it’s impossible to eliminate pressure drop within an industrial compressed air system entirely, it is possible to significantly reduce the risk and severity of any pressure drops. Frequent inspections, ongoing monitoring, and preventative maintenance can help your facility catch problems early on and prevent them from growing too large. Follow these steps to reduce pressure drop:
1. Inline Filtration
An inline air compressor filter is a device that is installed in the air line between the compressor and the point of use. It is designed to remove contaminants, such as dirt, rust, and moisture, from the compressed air before it is used. This helps to protect the equipment and tools that use the compressed air, and can also help to improve the quality of the finished product. Inline air compressor filters typically use a filter element made of paper, metal mesh, or synthetic media to remove the contaminants. They are also made in different size and flow rate, depending on the compressor and the application.
An inline air compressor filter can reduce pressure drop by using a filter element with a high dirt-holding capacity, a large filter surface area, and a low resistance to airflow. A high dirt-holding capacity means that the filter element can trap a large amount of contaminants before it becomes clogged, reducing the need for frequent filter replacement. A large filter surface area allows for more contaminants to be trapped, while also allowing for a higher airflow rate. A low resistance to airflow means that the filter element does not impede the flow of air too much, reducing the pressure drop across the filter. Changing the filter elements on a frequent basis will help keep the pressure drop low.
2. Inspect the Tubing
Tubing is a common source of problems that cause pressure drop. Loose fittings at the ends of the hoses, harsh bends in the hose, and even developing wear or holes can lead to pressure drop. The internal surface of the hose, especially if it’s rough or abraded, can interfere with pressure. Regularly check the tubing to ensure it’s airtight throughout its length and at any fittings. Look for cracks, detectable airflow, and rust formation (which can indicate developing damage and vulnerability).
3. Check for Any Worn Hoses
Examine hoses for leaks, especially developing leaks that may escape casual notice. Also, ensure hoses are arranged with as little external stress as possible.
4. Consider the System Connections
Connectors, valves, and other components should be tightly fit into place and in good condition without rust or cracks. Also, facilities with overly complex systems that have multiple connectors will benefit from a simplified system with fewer failure points.
5. Check the Regulators
The pressure regulators may be faulty and cause pressure drops without any damage to the actual system. Prevent air compressor regulator pressure drop by resetting the regulators and ensuring they’re taking accurate readings.
6. Check the Lubricators
It may be time to replace lubricators within the compressed air system to maintain the right flow rate.
The Benefits of Reducing Pressure Drop
Pressure drop poses a real risk of inhibiting high-quality performance and wasting a lot of energy. Consider these benefits of addressing and reducing pressure drop:
Improve System Performance
Boost your pneumatic system’s performance by stopping leaks and pressure drop. Your employees can use the compressed air system more efficiently, with fewer delays and errors. Completely addressing pressure drop issues can also reduce unscheduled downtime and costly parts replacement.
Reduce Maintenance and Unscheduled Downtime
Unplanned maintenance and repairs are expensive. Not only does your facility have to pay emergency rates, but you lose production hours. This can put you behind schedule or force you to pay SLA fees. But proactive monitoring and maintenance ensure you catch problems in a timely manner. The problems are smaller, less expensive to repair, and faster to resolve. Investing in newer or more resilient equipment can reduce downtime even more.
Lower the Operating Costs
Pressure drops, as well as the potential gaps and leaks causing the pressure drop, leads to higher operating costs and wasted energy. Addressing the problem reduces operating costs on a day-to-day basis. For every 2 PSIG pressure drop equals one percent less energy. Lowering your plant pressure 10 PSIG gives you a five percent energy savings.
Reduce Facility Emissions
Decreasing energy usage also has the broader effects of reducing your facility’s carbon footprint and energy waste. You will reduce your facility’s overall generation of greenhouse gases.
Start Reducing Pressure Drop With Support From Compressed Air Systems
Pressure drop is expensive, wasteful, and potentially damaging to your production levels. But resolving pressure drop with maintenance and monitoring is simple, cost-effective, and better for your company’s ESG goals. Turn to Compressed Air Systems for support in repairing, maintaining, and improving your compressed air systems. Contact us today for more information.
Posted by Compressed Air Systems, Inc. on | Comments Off on 5 Ways a Blower and Vacuum Pump Can Help With Your Production
Industrial blowers and vacuums help regulate airflow in warehouses, factories, and other production facilities. One common application of blowers and vacuums is cleaning—using air to remove debris, dirt, water, and other contaminants. They also remove stale and contaminated air from industrial settings. But compressed air blowers and vacuums can serve other purposes, too.
Here are five ways a blower and vacuum can help with your production.
Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) technology helps extend the shelf life of fresh food. It involves removing the atmospheric air inside a package and replacing it with a protective gas mix. This gas—usually consisting of nitrogen—maximizes the freshness of the product.
Though both MAP and vacuum packaging require compressed air and vacuum pumps, MAP differs because it doesn’t always have to remove oxygen from the packaging. Instead, MAP involves adjusting oxygen and carbon dioxide levels within the package to the required values. The vacuum pump makes the final seal to ensure the gases remain intact in the container.
Filling and Closing Machines
Vacuum systems have a pivotal role in the beverage industry. They help evacuate air and other contaminants to ensure consumers receive quality goods. Vacuuming also prolongs the shelf life of various products. Filling and closing machines use vacuum systems to seal:
The oxygen content in bottled beer must be kept low. That is why breweries employ different bottle-filling methods. They may flush the bottles with CO2 and fill them with beer using a long tube filler. However, this method uses a significant amount of CO2. Another method involves evacuating the bottles and flushing them with CO2, which minimizes CO2 consumption.
Vacuum systems have a critical role in packaging. Generally, the pressure around a product has a mechanical impact on the product’s external shape. Therefore, the modified atmosphere packaging process is an ideal method across many applications, including food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics processing. By packaging products in a modified atmosphere and removing oxygen, MAP encloses the product in a blister package, places it in a vacuum chamber, and evacuates it. After injecting it with the modified atmosphere, the package is sealed with a protective film.
Dairy Processing and Milking
Yogurt-filling machines require a vacuum pump to position the lids on multiple pre-filled yogurt containers at once. The machines have suction cups that pick up the lids, separate them, and place them in the right positions.
Milking systems have vacuums that attach to the cow udder and transport the milk. Compared to conventional oil-lubricated pumps, side channel blowers and liquid ring pumps do not use oil and thus have fewer maintenance needs. Side channel blowers in particular do not need water connections and are available with frequency converters.
Get the Right Blower and Vacuum for Your Application
Compressed air blowers and vacuum pumps are valuable devices that enhance or, in many cases, enable production. High-volume blowers and vacuum pumps are available in different varieties, so Compressed Air Systems is here to help you choose the right system(s) for your commercial or industrial application. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.
Posted by Compressed Air Systems, Inc. on | Comments Off on Air Compressor Oil Water Separators: A Guide
Since 1963, Compressed Air Systems, Inc. has specialized in providing comprehensive, customized air compressor solutions for industries ranging from medical and pharmaceutical to electronics and aerospace. For your convenience, we have capabilities for in-house design consulting, equipment rentals, installations, and 24/7 maintenance services, with the goal of providing everything you need, be it a new turnkey system or repairs.
Additionally, our extensive equipment offerings include blowers, vacuum systems, nitrogen and process chillers, air compressors, and air compressor oil-water separators. In this case study, learn more about oil-water separators, how they work, and why they’re a vital part of an air compressor system.
What Is an Oil-Water Separator?
An oil-water separator assists in pulling water out of compressed air. As compressed air releases from the compressor’s storage tank, it often contains moisture that then condenses to create droplets of water. The oil-water separator will effectively eliminate the water droplets, which prevents them from building up. This reduces the risk of compressor damage, equipment contamination, and corrosion when utilizing the compressed air. Essentially, oil-water separators effectively extend the life span of your equipment.
Why Is There Water in the Compressor System?
An air compressor inherently captures water when it draws in air saturated with environmental moisture. When the air compresses, that moisture condenses, producing water droplets. Using compressed air that still contains water can degrade your tools and cause operational issues, like diluting paint in paint-spraying projects, for example.
What Is the Best Oil-Water Separator for Air Compressors?
Our air compressor oil-water separators are capable of maintaining as much as 98% efficiency down to half of the rated flow capacity. With varying weights, sizes, and capacities to best fit your individual application, we offer an extensive line of moisture separators and oil-water separators.
How Does an Oil-Water Separator for Air Compressors Work?
Oil-water separators utilize a coalescing principle or centrifugal design to remove condensate from an air compressor. The airflow in coalescing separators moves from inside the filter element to the outside, removing water droplets through the filter cartridge. Centrifugal oil-water separators rely on rotary motion, pushing the air, water, and other particles like dust to accelerate radially outward and through a filter element like polyethylene. This allows the water and other particulates to externally drain and collect in a bowl.
Where Do You Put the Oil-Water Separator on an Air Compressor?
The proper installation location for the oil-water separator is downstream from the compressor on its discharge line, as near as possible to the compressor itself. The separator relies on gravity to drain the water into the compressor tank, so installing it high on the discharge line is ideal and will help prevent condensate from entering the airstream.
How Does a Desiccant Air Dryer Work?”
In addition to moisture separators, desiccant air dryers remove moisture from incoming air to improve compressor air quality. Desiccant air dryers, which are similar in design to water trap filters, rely on dual pressurized tanks and small desiccant beads to absorb water droplets from the air. They switch back and forth between drying and regeneration cycles. Pressurized air moves through the desiccant bead vessel to remove droplets until the air reaches the optimal dew point, at which time it releases. A heating process after that depressurization then eliminates moisture from the beads, and vessel repressurization occurs to prepare for the next drying cycle.
How Do You Dispose of the Condensate/Water From an Air Compressor?
Oil is a lubricant for a compressor’s internal components. Since 1972, the EPA has enforced regulations on air compressor condensate to reduce drinking water pollution. According to the EPA, wastewater from an air compressor should not exceed 40 parts per million of oil. Typical air compressor condensate contains oil at roughly 300 parts per million, so an oil-water separator is necessary to:
Meet EPA regulations for your facility
Prevent end-product contamination
Decrease environmental impact
Air Compressor Oil-Water Separators From Compressed Air Systems
Oil-water separators are important components for air compressors to not only safeguard your system but also to avoid contamination and EPA violations. Compressed Air Systems of Tampa, Florida, is backed by nearly 60 years of experience in delivering high-performance air compressor solutions, and our team is ready to help. For more information, you can contact us directly or read our guide on moisture content in compressed air.
Posted by Compressed Air Systems on | Comments Off on Oil-free Air Compressors
What is an Oil-Free Compressor?
When selecting an air compressor, it can be difficult to determine which type of compressor will be best for your application. While many factors play into this decision, users must ultimately decide whether an oil-lubricated or oil-free air compressor is the appropriate solution for their specific need.
In the oil vs. oil-less air compressor debate, many companies are beginning to recognize the benefits of using oil-free compressor models over their standard oil-lubricated air compressor counterparts.
Oil-Free Air Compressor Advantages
Oil-free air compressors offer a number of advantages over oil-lubricated models. Without standard oil usage, oil-free compressors provide significant cost-savings on filter costs and used oil disposal. While the gearbox takes a long-term lubrication solution, oil-free compressors eliminate the need for oil changes or fills during maintenance cycles. Additionally, because the oil-free compressors do not require increased force, they reduce related energy costs.
Even with these differences, oil-free compressors don’t sacrifice efficiency and can typically unload within two seconds at about 18% full load horsepower.
How Oil-Free Air Compressors Work
Oil-less air compressors work a little differently than oil-lubricated compressors, as they don’t require a lubricant to cool air. Instead, they go through a six-step process to compress and cool the air, as follows:
Intake Oil-free air compressors draw in air from the outside via an unloader valve. The air then passes through one or more filters to filter out any particulates, such as dust or dirt.
Initial Compression Once the air is drawn in through the unloader valve, it passes into a chamber where oil-free elements compress the air while keeping it free from lubrication contamination.
Initial Cooling The air is cooled for the first time at this stage to avoid unnecessary heat damage to internal compressor components. In pumps operating with two stages, air may also be compressed at a much higher PSI. Intercoolers also come equipped with filters to remove any condensation that rises from the cooling process.
Second Compression Once cooled, the air returns to the main chamber, where it experiences a high-pressure compression process.
Second Cooling Once fully compressed, the air passes through an aftercooling stage. This stage further cools the air into a form in which it can be properly stored.
Automatic Detection Oil-free air compressors offer an automatic refill technology. Sensors monitor the level of air within the storage tank, and the compressor will turn on and begin the process of refilling the tank with pressurized air once the stored air reaches a pre-set level.
Oil-Free: The Right Choice for Dentists
Dental offices are a prime example of an application that has greatly benefited from the use of oil-free air compressors. While some dentists fear that an oil-free compressor will be too loud for use in an office, noise suppressors can be fitted to the filters to cut down on the noise generated by the compressor. Oil-free air compressors also tend to be lighter and smaller, so they are better suited for use in small spaces, such as a patient area.
Some oil-free compressors can generate the same pressure and airflow as their oil-lubricated counterparts, and it’s important for dentists to choose the correct model. However, oil-free compressors are chosen in many medical applications for one primary reason—they drastically reduce the risk of lubricants contaminating the air supply.
Contaminated air can be extremely harmful to patients, so the benefits of oil-free models in this type of work cannot be understated.
Common Applications for Oil-Free Air Compressors
Of course, dentists aren’t the only professionals seeing benefits from oil-less air compressors. These compressors have also been shown to benefit a wide range of other applications, in industries such as:
Automotive Workers in automotive applications will benefit from reduced exposure to oil-contaminated air. In addition, oil-free compressors have been proven to provide high-quality finished paint jobs, and the less frequent maintenance cycle of an oil-free compressor ensures that processes run smoothly.
Chemical In chemical manufacturing and processing, product purity is an utmost priority, so using a purer supply of air is ideal. Oil-free compressors are also safer, since there is less risk of lubrication contamination reacting badly with other chemicals. With no need for oil changes or fills, there’s also less waste involved.
Electronics Electronics manufacturing often requires extremely sanitary conditions to ensure that products are fabricated contaminant-free and of the highest quality. The uncontaminated compressed air from oil-free compressors contribute to the ultra-clean conditions required by these processes.
Food & Beverage Air contaminated even slightly by lubricants can affect the end quality and flavor of food and beverages. In food and beverage manufacturing, oil-free compressors contribute to a healthier, cleaner final product.
Oil & Gas Oil-free compressors only require monthly maintenance to check parts for wear and don’t need oil changes or top offs, which contributes to error-free control systems and processes. The cleaner air provided by oil-less air compressors also contributes to increased safety and better quality final product in these applications.
Pharmaceuticals One of the most sensitive manufacturing processes, pharmaceutical relies on high-quality cleanroom conditions to guarantee the health and safety of its patients. Oil-free compressors contribute to pure production, reduced contamination risk, decreased waste, and more efficient overall processes.
Textiles Efficiency is a key factor in textile production, so the reduced maintenance and repair costs associated with oil-free compressors have been a boon for this industry. Oil-free compressors also contribute to higher textile quality and reduced wastage.
In business since 1963, Compressed Air Systems offers a wide range of air compressors, vacuum systems, and blowers. We also run our own installation, service, and rental departments. Backed by 55 years of industry experience, our team can help you address any compressed air challenge you may face.
Posted by Compressed Air Systems on | Comments Off on Top Tips for Energy-Saving Air Compressor Maintenance
Globally, the air compressor market is quickly growing due to the versatility and cost-effectiveness of air compressor units. Between 2020 and 2028, the market is expected to grow at a rate (CAGR) of 3.4% annually. However, despite the wide adoption of air compressors, many businesses don’t prioritize air compressor maintenance, resulting in increased expenses due to costly repairs or replacements and the associated downtime. Air compressor maintenance offers you many benefits, such as time savings, safety enhancements, and reduced production costs due to less energy consumption. See our guide to inline clean air treatment here.
Top 5 Energy Saving Tips
Regardless of your specific industry or application, a well-maintained air compressor plays a vital part in reducing energy consumption. Here are five top tips you can implement to increase the energy savings from your air compressor:
Cost Saving Advice: Hoses, Fittings, and Waste
Check your fittings regularly, ensuring they create a tight seal. Loose fittings are a significant cause of leaks in air compressor units. If the fittings seem corroded or worn out, you should repair or replace them immediately. Consider inspecting hoses since they act as the system’s key connection points, and any damage to the hose could disrupt the entire system. Hoses usually get damaged during cold weather or bent, resulting in corrosion or cracks. Additionally, drain your unit’s receiver tank to avoid suboptimal operation due to a lack of storage capacity.
Apply Proper Controls to Multiple Compressor Units
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Proper controls maintain steady system pressure and ensure that only the required compressor units are brought online. This eliminates the inappropriate use of compressed air and ensures each unit is operating at peak efficiency. The controls are also helpful in turning off compressor units that are not needed or not being used.
Ensure Piping & Storage are Properly Sized
The problem with most systems is the lack of adequate storage and piping. When sizing piping, it should optimize the transfer of compressed air at the desired flow and pressure to the point of use. Having wider piping from two to three inches can minimize the pressure to around 50%. On the other hand, reducing the distance traveled by air can lower pressure by about 30%-40%. Having the wrong storage size can result in issues with production or increased costs due to wasted energy.
Change Your Air Filters Regularly
Air filters should be inspected monthly and replaced regularly. Drops in pressure as little as two psi can cost about 1% in compressor horsepower efficiency. Regular inspection and replacement maintain air quality and reduce the chance of pressure dropping. There are several point-of-use and air-line filters in a typical system, which should also be maintained regularly.
Reduce the Operating Pressure to the Lowest Possible Setting
A common rule for most compressors indicates that every 2-psi reduction in system operating pressure can result in 1% in compressor energy-saving efficiency. Continuously adjust the pressure setting to reach the lowest possible setting without compromising performance. Additionally, centralized systems using multiple compressors can be set to run using a central controller. Turning down the pressure on your compressor even 10 PSIG is a 5% savings in electrical costs.
Contact Compressed Air Systems for More Advice
Maintaining your air compressor is essential to ensure daily operations and equipment continue running without interruption. At Compressed Air Systems, we are proudly celebrating nearly 60 years of delivering superior equipment design and engineering, custom turnkey installations, compressed air leak detection and elimination, air compressor rentals and services, and more. We have partnered with Kaeser to create a long and productive business partnership as a proud supplier of Kaeser air compressors. Get in touch with us today for more information about our services.
Posted by Compressed Air Systems on | Comments Off on Compressed Air Applications
Air compressor systems are popular installations that can handle a wide variety of packaging, pumping, and material handling tasks. Compressed air is a reliable medium for transferring power to control equipment throughout manufacturing and non-manufacturing processes. Learn more about the applications of compressed air systems and how Compressed Air Systems, Inc. can help you build, rebuild, or optimize your system.
Compressed Air Systems
Compressed air systems give facilities access to pressurized air. These systems include a motor-powered mechanical device that compresses input air to a set pressure level for use in a variety of applications. In industrial compressed air systems, the compressed air passes out of the motorized unit into pipes throughout the plant. Depending on the applications and unique needs of the facility, the air system may also include a drying component that removes humidity from the air before it’s distributed.
Compressed Air Applications
Compressed air is used extensively throughout commercial and industrial processes. However, it is also vital in applications beyond manufacturing. Common industries that rely on compressed air include:
Agriculture. Compressed air is used for pneumatic tools, vacuum packing equipment, and conveying equipment, as well as general farming equipment.
Construction. Compressed air provides power for pneumatic tools and equipment on active construction sites.
Food and beverage. This industry uses compressed air for bottling and packing processes that preserve goods, conveying and product handling processes, and fluid pump systems.
Mining. The mining industry relies on compressed air to power drilling tools and provide processing power for filtering and separating applications.
Recreation. Amusement park rides and ski lifts use air-powered brakes, and hotels and other large-scale facilities use compressed air to control elevators. Other recreation-related applications include cleaning sensitive equipment, efficient sewage disposal, sprinklers for landscaping, and more.
Service industries. The service industry includes a wide range of services such as dry cleaners, hospitals, and more. These facilities use compressed air for climate control and laundry machines. Hospitals also use air compressing systems to control respiration systems for patients.
Key applications for compressed air include:
Food filling machines
PET bottle blowing
Working With Compressed Air Systems
No matter what processes you use compressed air for, it’s important to invest in a system you can rely on. At Compressed Air Systems (CAS), we’re the leading provider of reliable compressed air systems. We specialize in creating custom solutions for facilities across multiple different industries. Our services include:
Compressed air audits and leak detection
Compressed air leak elimination
Equipment and system rentals
Rotary screw rebuilds for motorized compression units
Turnkey design, development, and builds for compressed air systems
We serve clients throughout the following industries:
Manufacturing and Industrial
Food and Beverage Processing
For specialized air compression systems that interact with consumable goods such as pharmaceuticals, beverages, and food, we build our systems to comply with the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
To learn more about the applications of compressed air, or for more information about our capabilities, contact us today.