Compressed Air System Design Services

Compressed Air System Design Services

At Fluid-Aire Dynamics, we are the experts in compressed air system design in Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Detroit, Philadelphia and San Antonio. We design systems that are cost-efficient, reliable, and guaranteed to meet your demand for air 24/7/365. Not only do we offer expert system design and engineering skills, but we sell and service the equipment that we propose for your project.

How We Can Help with Air Compressor System Design

Modern compressed air systems are complex and delicate constructions that consume huge amounts of electricity. But for end-users, the biggest concern is reliability. Our Sales Engineers will identify your unique air demands, walk through your facility to assess your system components and piping, and then offer a well-crafted plan that will maximize compressed air reliability and minimize operating costs.

Our passion for compressed air done right also focuses on energy efficiency. Compressed air is a fantastic source of power in modern manufacturing, production and processing, but it is highly inefficient. When a system is right-sized, monitored, and managed effectively, we can harness the power of compressed air while controlling the cost of producing it.


The process begins with an assessment of your current system or a review of your proposed system. We check for the proper sizing of the compressor(s), dryer(s), filtration, moisture management, receiver tank(s), and the distribution piping that takes the air to each endpoint.


We also consider the compressor room and plan a clean, well-lit, accessible and user-friendly environment for this utility that you produce yourself. Our compressor room plans consider clearance for maintenance and cleaning, ventilation, ambient temperature, and strategies for exhausting or capturing and utilizing excess heat.


Next, we will schedule and coordinate installation with your production and maintenance management teams, plus any electrical, plumbing or mechanical contractors that might be involved. Formal plans are produced and the job is scheduled for installation and start-up.


Our team comes with all the tools and resources needed for the install. We go through a detailed start-up and training procedure with your team. Then, after the system has operated for a few days, we come back and check that everything is performing as expected.

Our Compressed Air System Design and Installation Solutions

At Fluid-Aire, we are the experts in compressed air system design and installation. We start by asking a lot of questions. We take the time to understand your goals, your operations and your budget. Then, we design a compressed air system around your unique needs and constraints.

We design your system around four key questions:

How much compressed air do you need?

It is important to “right-size” your air compressor so you’re not paying for capacity you don’t need and you’re not left stranded by a compressor that can’t keep up with your demand. We can help you properly size your equipment based on historical or baseline data or using engineering calculations based on the technical specifications of the equipment your compressor will power. We look at average and peak demand (flow), PSI requirements for your equipment (pressure), use cycles and the projected future demand for compressed air in your facility. Some of the questions we ask include: 

  • What is the minimum & maximum CFM needed? (Flow)
  • What is the minimum PSI that is needed? (Pressure)
  • What are the manufacturer’s CFM specifications for each piece of equipment?
  • What are the use cycles and the amount of time each piece of equipment cycles?
  • How many shifts are run and what is the demand per shift?
  • What are future demands in the next 1 to 3 years?

Do you need to dry your air?

How dry does your compressed air need to be? The dew point requirements and ISO ratings for your application are an important part of compressed air system planning. You never want visible moisture in your air. Moisture will lead to damage and rust in the end-use equipment being served by the compressed air system. Proper air drying through the use of wet tanks, inline filtration, refrigerated or desiccant drying, and point-of-use filtration will eliminate any detectable moisture. However, there are also special considerations if ultra-dry air is required or if the application will be operating in an environment that is below 38°F. We can help you choose the right air drying strategy based on your application dew point requirements and use environment. 

How clean does your air need to be?

Clean air increases system efficiency and is vital to many applications. How clean the air needs to be depends on your application and how and where the air will be used. Cleanliness requirements for powering pneumatic tools and other general applications will not be as stringent as applications such as food processing or medical. Compressed air can easily become contaminated by particulate and oil carryover from the operation of the compressor as well as contaminates in the intake air. Inline filtration is used to remove particulate and oil before air reaches its endpoint. Inline filtration can be placed before and after the dryer, plus at point-of-use for particular filtration specifications. The ISO rating for your use will tell you what micron count is acceptable.

How should you distribute your air?

The design of the air distribution system is as important as the choice of air compressor for an efficient compressed air system. A poorly designed distribution system will cause excessive pressure drop, requiring you to run your compressor at a higher PSI to compensate for the loss of pressure at the end of the runs. A well-designed distribution system conveys air efficiently to all endpoints with minimal pressure drop along the way. We look at a number of factors when designing your distribution system. 

Piping size: Undersized piping will result in excess pressure drop. Oversized piping will not cause any performance problems, but who wants to pay for more material than they need? We’ll help you properly size your compressed air pipes for your application. 

Layout: A loop-style distribution system is the most efficient option in most cases. We make every effort to eliminate excessive elbows and tees that are another leading cause of pressure drop. A loop system ensures that air can flow in any direction and multiplies the capacity of your system by 1.5 compared to a straight-line configuration. 

Material: The very best option for compressed air piping material is an aluminum piping system. This option is far less expensive than traditional copper piping, will not rust or corrode like black iron pipe, and is far faster to install than any traditional piping method. 

Storage: When planning an efficient compressed air system, you should consider the need for receiver and storage tanks. A wet tank is used before the dryer to remove the vast majority of the moisture in high-humidity air. Dry tanks are employed to act as storage for air to be used in high volume at sporadic times (like a baghouse).

Benefits of Most Efficient Air Compressor System Design

1. Reliability

When a compressed air system is properly designed, it will serve you well for many years. A properly designed system will keep your unexpected downtime to a minimum and ensure a reliable supply of clean, dry compressed air for all of your air requirements.

2. Energy Savings

Compressed air is the fourth utility—and the most expensive utility that a modern manufacturing, processing, production or service facility uses. It is just as critical to an operation as electricity, water, and natural gas. We design your system to be as energy-efficient as possible, so you can keep energy bills for your compressed air to a minimum.

3. Ease of Maintenance and Repair

Regular preventative maintenance cycles and repairs are faster to perform when the equipment placement has been well planned. The location of the compressor room and the clearances allowed for access to the compressed air equipment not only allows it to stay cooler, but also allows for convenient access.

4. Control Future Costs

We help you control future costs by planning for the long term and helping you maintain your system after installation. We help you control costs by 1) measuring and monitoring system performance to ensure maximum efficiency; 2) regularly detecting and fixing leaks in the system; 3) adhering to manufacturer warranties; and 4) leveraging energy incentives and rebates for equipment upgrades that save electricity.

Why Our Clients Think That We’re the Best Air System Designers in Chicago

  • Experience. We’ve seen it all and have designed compressed air systems for hundreds of unique application challenges. Our Sales Engineers have deep experience and the technology to design exactly the right system for your operation.
  • Right-Sized Equipment. We make sure that your system is right-sized, from the compressors and dryers to the piping that gets the air to the point-of-use. Bigger is not always better.
  • Energy Incentive and Rebate Experts. Let us help determine the energy incentives that are available in your area. We work regularly with:

·  ComEd (Chicago and Northern Illinois)

·  Xcel Energy (Minnesota)

·  Focus on Energy (Wisconsin; partners with local utilities)


We can lead you through the process to greatly improve the energy efficiency of your compressed air system and even do the paperwork for you.

Why Our Clients Think That We’re the Best Air System Designers in Chicago
Ask Our Expert

Ask Our Expert

Is your compressed air system serving you well? We can lead you through the design process to greatly improve the energy efficiency and make sure you always have clean, dry, reliable and efficient air. Contact us today and let’s talk about your air!

Contact us

Clients Reviews

The variable speed drive air compressor helps us because we don’t have any regulators on our equipment in the building. When a technician is using an impact that’s rated for 90 PSI, I turn the compressor down to 90; when we’re using the bead blaster, I walk up to the compressor and bump it up to 105. The bead blaster only puts our compressor under about a 30% load. It’s so quiet—the bead blaster is 100x louder than the air compressor is! The VSD compressor saves me time and money.

Ron S. - Deutz Corporation

Elgin, Illinois

The salesman was able to answer EVERY question I asked. The delivery was prompt and the set up fulfilled my needs. Your service tech was excellent in his knowledge of the product, cleaned up after the service and gave us a few tips on how to care for the unit to prolong its life.

Ken P. - Pullman Sugar

Chicago, Illinois

I would recommend Fluid-Aire to anybody. Your guys stand up for the work you do and the equipment you put in our facilities, and you’re always very easy to work with.

Felix M. - Plant Manager, Bolke-Miller Company

Waukegan, Illinois

Fluid-Aire isn’t tied to any one compressor brand. They will give you the best overall solution for your operations. They aren’t going to try to upsell you on something that you don’t need. With a lot of companies, once you buy a compressor, you never see them again. I like that Fluid-Aire is local and family owned. I know if I ever have a problem, they are going to be here for me. Fluid-Aire Dynamics is receptive, proactive, and they are a family-owned business, like us. I appreciate the care and personal attention they give us.

Ryan W. - VP of Operations, Wiegel Tool Works

Elk Grove Village, Illinois

Clients Reviews


How do you make a compressor room?

The placement and design of the compressor room are important to the overall efficiency and ease of use of your system.
The compressor room needs to have adequate ventilation and free space around the compressor to avoid overheating. It also needs to allow easy access to the compressor, air dryers and other equipment for maintenance and cleaning.
A centralized location will allow for shorter piping runs to endpoints, minimizing pressure drop and material costs.
Make sure you have enough room for all of the auxiliary equipment needed for your compressed air systems, including air dryers, heat exchangers, receiver tanks, oil/water separators, etc.
Have a plan for handling excess heat generated by the compressor. Heat can be exhausted from the compressor room or captured and reused for other applications in your facility.
Finally, consider the cleanliness and temperature of the ambient air. A temperature-controlled room with adequate filtration for intake air will reduce strain on your compressor and extend the life of your inline filters.

How long does it take to design air systems?

The design process will depend on the size and complexity of your system. In general, compressed air system design will take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, depending on the size and complexity of the project. Our Sales Engineers use a proven, repeatable design process to ensure that everything goes as quickly and smoothly as possible. And our efficient, expert installation services will have you up and running in record time.

How much does the design and installation of air equipment cost?

Costs for compressed air system design and installation will depend on the size and complexity of the system. We work with you to right-size your equipment and keep costs to a minimum. Contact us to talk to one of our Sales Engineers about your requirements, and we will put a project estimate together for you.