When to Choose Variable Speed Drive or Fixed Speed Air Compressors

There is really only one key difference between fixed speed and variable speed drive rotary screw air compressors; the way the motor is controlled. There is very little variation in the way the machine compresses air. Basically, a VSD machine varies the frequency and voltage supplied to the electric motor, thus allowing the speed of the motor to be efficiently controlled with the demand for air at any given point in time. On the other hand, a fixed speed compressor gives consistent frequency and voltage to the motor, meaning that when the demand for air is lower, the efficiency is… Read more »

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What is Pressure Drop and How It’s Costing You Money

How does pressure drop cost me money? Every compressed air user needs to understand the importance of minimizing pressure drop. Pressure drop is costing you money if, in order to maintain the desired pressure at your point-of-use, you have to run your air compressor at a higher pressure than the minimum pressure needed to keep your factory operating. It takes more energy to produce air at a higher pressure, and energy costs money. To put it in context: If a machine only needs 90 PSI to function properly, but you have to operate your air compressor at 120 PSI in… Read more »

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10 Tips for Getting the Most Life From Your Air Compressor

You’ve made a sizable investment into your air compressor, so you’ll want to get the most life from it that is possible. Here are some simple steps that will help you achieve years of trouble-free operation. Follow instructions – It may seem obvious, but reading the manual for your air compressor is a small time investment with big payoff. You’ll learn the maintenance schedule as well as operating guidelines for your compressor. With this information, you can extend the life of your equipment and minimize downtime. Check oil levels daily – For compressors that use oil, check oil before every use…. Read more »

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5 Questions to Ask When Deciding on a Rotary Screw Air Compressor

1. How large is your demand? Rotary screw air compressors are especially durable and are able to handle large amounts of demand for extended periods of time. They are still more efficient and durable in smaller horse powers than piston compressors, but this is noticeable when getting into larger demands (i.e. 15 horsepower and more). Rotary screw air compressors are designed to run at 100% duty cycle, day in and day out. 2. Is lifetime cost important to you? While yes, a rotary screw compressor may have higher air compressor maintenance cost and/or initial capital cost, the lifetime expectancy is… Read more »

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Everything You Should Know About Inline Filtration

Inline filters are used to keep your compressed air clean and free of particulates and oils that are passed from your compressed air equipment into your system. These filters can technically be placed anywhere in the compressed air piping systems. Some of the most common placements are the following: Directly after the commercial air compressor Before and after the air dryer (refrigerated air dryers, desiccant air dryers) Just prior to point of use (i.e. on each compressed air drop) All of the above Or any other way that is specific to your system’s needs Keep in mind, the better the compressed… Read more »

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Do I Need a Refrigerated or Desiccant Air Dryer?

What are the main differences between refrigerated and desiccant air dryers? Refrigerated Air Dryers A refrigerated air dryer chills the compressed air to 33 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit at which water vapor is condensed into a liquid and is then expelled from the system via a water-trap and automatic drain. The cool dry air then is typically re-heated to around room temperature before exiting the dryer and going to your production lines. This helps reduce condensation on the compressed air piping. There are two types of refrigerated dryers; cycling and non-cycling. Non-Cycling Air Dryers: Non-Cycling air dryers allow the refrigeration circuit… Read more »

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How Often Should Rotary Screw Air Compressors Receive an Oil Change?

Changing the oil on your rotary screw air compressor is important for the life of the machine and can avoid large repair costs. On top of checking it regularly to ensure it’s topped off, you should change it at regular intervals. The length of this interval depends on the type of oil being used in your machine. Rotary Screw Air Compressor or Rotary Vane Air Compressor** Standard Oil every 8000 hrs or 12 months Food Grade Oil every 2000 hrs or 3 months If you don’t change your oil as above a few things can happen to your compressor: Buildup… Read more »

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10 Tips for Reducing Air Consumption and Energy Costs

I bet as a business owner, or even as a great employee, you are always thinking of ways to improve your company’s efficiency. Compressed air is used in many different industries all over the world for a variety of critical operations. Read on to learn 11 tips for reducing air consumption and energy costs. Remember, compressed air is not only your 4th utility, but also your most expensive utility. 1. Eliminate pressure drop: A few of the major contributors to pressure drop are inadequate pipe sizes, undersized and dirty filtration, excessive filtration, inadequate storage, and air compressor maintenance issues. 2. Install low… Read more »

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10 Expert Tips for an Efficiently Laid Out Compressed Air Distribution System

1. Loop type distribution system – In most cases a loop type distribution system is beneficial. Loop type compressed air systems allow the air to flow in any direction to get to the demand in the path of least resistance. Typically you can multiply the capacity of straight line piping by 1.5 for loop type compressed air distribution systems. For example: If a 2” pipe is rated for 500 CFM at 125 PSI that same length of pipe in a loop system would be rated for 750 CFM at 125 PSI. 2. Feed the loop type piping from a dry… Read more »

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How to Choose the Right Size Compressed Air Piping and Why It’s Important

There are 2 key aspects to sizing your piping correctly: max system CFM requirements and minimum required operating pressure. Max CFM A study needs to be completed to determine what the max demand in the system (in CFM) is going to be. This needs to be a worst case scenario, with even momentary uses being considered Momentary uses of compressed air are considered any usage of your air for a period of time that is less than a minute. Examples of these momentary uses are; dust collector blow down valves, large air cylinder/ ram actuation, sometimes diaphragm pumps, and etc.These… Read more »

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Inappropriate Uses of Compressed Air

We all know what it is to go from room to room at home turning off all the lights that the kids left on. We are sensitive about the thermostat setting at home during the winter, keeping it lowered at night or when not home for an extended period. We fix the drippy kitchen faucet, or the toilet that runs continually. These are examples of cost cutting measures to keep our utility bills more affordable. But what about your compressed air system at your place of business? Compressed air is your fourth, and most expensive, utility. Minimally, it costs you electricity to… Read more »

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Checklist: How Often to Service Your Compressed Air Equipment and What It Should Include

Have you ever been down for what seems like “no reason whatsoever”? Even if you haven’t, ask yourself if you have you been doing regular service on your compressed air system. Servicing your compressed air system is important because it helps prevent downtime and having decreased productivity for reasons that could have been avoided. Air compressor maintenance is simple, necessary, and inexpensive in comparison to the downtime and repairs needed on a machine and/or system that hasn’t been maintained. So how often should your air compressor(s), dryer(s), and oil/water separator(s) (air compressor oil separator) be serviced and what does that… Read more »

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How to Prevent Water from Getting into Compressed Air Lines

How to Prevent Water from Getting into Compressed Air Lines

Have you ever dusted yourself off with compressed air and ended up getting power washed with water instead?! Where did that water come from and does it belong there? How did it get there? As learnt in science class, the air we breathe contains water in a gaseous state. The amount of water is measured in the compressed air industry by dew point and relative humidity. The hotter the air, the more water the compressed air can hold which is why we see so much more water in our compressed air on a hot summer day after it just rained…. Read more »

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Whitepaper: How Do I Know If I Need a Desiccant Type Compressed Air Dryer?

It’s a common belief that refrigerated type compressed air dryers are a great piece of equipment that will remove all the moisture from compressed air keeping your distribution system dry. While this is true when the dryer in good working order, condensate can still develop if the temperature of the compressed air drops below the dew point it was originally dried at. Refrigerated compressed air dryers are designed to reduce the dew point of compressed air to a normal range between 33 and 42 degrees depending on the application and operating condition. This means that all the raw liquid and… Read more »

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Maintaining Your Air Compressor

Updated Dec 9, 2016 Your air compressor is vital for keeping production in operation and key equipment running, so handling preventative maintenance in a timely manner is important. By scheduling regular air compressor maintenance with a reliable local service company, you prevent lost productivity and downtime that comes with not doing regular upkeep of your compressed air system and equipment. Check out our preventative maintenance plans! There are also checks that you can do yourself to help save you service costs and prevent the need for emergency repair. Daily: Check oil levels Check oil pressure Inspect for air and oil… Read more »

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How to Get Rid of Water in Your Compressed Air System

Air includes water, so moisture is always present in your compressed air to varying degrees depending on humidity and temperature. An accumulation of water can cause moisture to get pulled back into the compressed air stream. This can be especially problematic when you are using a compressor to spray paint because water can cause negative visual and texture effects on the finish sheen. Other uses where moisture is a real nuisance include sand and other material blasting, pneumatic tools, CNC machining centers, robotics, air cylinders, valves, and many other applications. When a compressor draws in air, the air is compressed… Read more »

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Rotary or Reciprocating – How to Choose the Right Air Compressor

If you are shopping for a new air compressor, you might be overwhelmed by the different types and options. The first and most important choice you will make is whether to buy a rotary or a reciprocating compressor. Many people don’t know the difference between them, so let’s look at these two types. Reciprocating air compressors compress the air with pistons that move up and down inside the cylinders. Rotary screw air compressors have two rotors that turn in opposite directions. The air is trapped between thus causing compression to occur. Their manner of compressing air is not the only… Read more »

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Is Your Compressed Air System Ready for Summer?

Now is the time to verify your equipment is in top running condition. Compressors generate a tremendous amount of heat on their own. Everything possible needs to be done to help them keep their cool. Your mission today is to take action to avoid any unnecessary shutdowns, motor failures, excessive condensate in your plant air, or other issues. Downtime is very costly. There are a few key areas to look at in regards to getting your equipment ready for the higher ambient temperatures. Below are a few bullet points of the most common things to look for. Safety First –… Read more »

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Is My Air Compressor Really Delivering Full Capacity?

This week’s discussion addresses what seems to be an unknown to most users of compressed air. Many calls come in from customers who say their compressor system no longer keeps up with plant demand. Of course, this could be due to many factors such as added production equipment, air leaks in the equipment and/or distribution piping, or the need of maintenance to the air compressor itself. To troubleshoot your plant pressure issues, we recommend beginning with the source of your compressed air. Is the compressor delivering its rated Actual Cubic Feet per Minute (ACFM)? ACFM is the air delivery rating… Read more »

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Air Compressor Overheating Newsletter

Is Your Air Compressor Overheating? Do you experience excessive downtime due to your air compressors shutting down on high temperature? Does downtime cost your company money? Here are a few reasons your compressor may be shutting down with high temperature alarms; Dirty or clogged coolers (air/oil) Low on oil Clogged Oil Filter(‘s) and, or Air/Oil Separator(‘s) Faulty Thermal Valve Faulty HAT(High Airend Temperature) sensor Excessive ambient temperatures If compressor is ventilated, ducting may be undersized or need a booster fan Compressor oil may be varnishing causing excessive friction in the pump

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