Adding Compressor Capacity Without Adding a Compressor?

OK, so exactly how can I add capacity back into my compressor system without actually buying a new compressor?  The answer is quite simple, you control the demand within the applications using compressed air. The way in which you do this is by using an engineered nozzle solution.

Take the following as an example; a CNC milling application uses 1/4″ Schedule 40  pipe aimed at the fixtured part to blow it off with extreme force at 80 PSIG inlet pressure after the machining process has taken place. The material being blown is a simple mix of coolant and aluminum chips.
A 1/4 ” Schedule 40 pipe can consume upwards of 140 SCFM under these conditions.

The simple act of screwing a model 1100 1/4 NPT Super Air Nozzle onto the pipe drops the air consumption down to 14 SCFM. Yes, that is 1/10th the air consumption of the previous scenario. The next simple step of installing a compressed air filter and pressure regulator will allow clean, dry air to enter the nozzle and lower the input pressure to something more reasonable, say 50 PSIG, which allows for the air used to drop below 10 SCFM.

So, with the addition of a single nozzle with filter and pressure regulator, you can drop the air consumption rate from 140 SCFM to 10 SCFM or less!  That is an air savings of 93%. In this scenario, that is 33 horsepower worth of air compressor. AND, this is the savings for just one nozzle. Imagine if there were 10 or more stations set up to be exactly like this one. The air savings just keeps compounding for each installation.

When you see applications within your own plant that utilize plain pipe or copper tube without any engineered nozzle on the end, these can be gold mine opportunities for saving your company on compressed air costs. You also get better performance from the revised system with nozzles because you are now choking the flow back to only that which is needed by the nozzle. In a way, it is allowing your compressor system to work smarter and not harder.

Neal Raker
Application Engineer
nealraker@exair.com

Leave a Reply