I will now attempt to compare compressed air flow measurement to my recent endeavor to shed a few pounds, wish me luck…
Over the years EXAIR has grown and added to our in-house compressed air system. Little by little the length of compressed air pipe has increased, the diameters have increased, the number of fittings have increased and the number of connections have increased. Simply adding a new pipe drop from the header or another tool to the compressed air system seems harmless.
Needless to say, if everything about the compressed air system was working fine, we paid little attention.
In the same way, over the years I have grown, little by little a pound here a pound there. I am still able to get the job done, keeping up with my kids (they are still young) and generally move around OK so there is really no issue. As long as I was doing alright, I paid little attention.
Then the doctor told me to lose weight, eat better, exercise etc… So I started counting my calories using a nifty app on an I Touch. It provides feedback about the number of calories in foods and has given me a target caloric intake per day in order to lose weight. What I found was I had no problem eating twice what this app recommended for someone my size and age. I was shocked, but the simple feedback set me down the right path.
Much is the same about gathering feedback from our compressed air system. Once EXAIR installed some digital flow meters we were provided with good feedback about our air consumption habits. We first learned that when we stopped working, the compressed air system was still consuming air!? Realizing it was leaks in the system, we began to identify and fix them.
Flow meters can also help you identify the largest air consuming processes in the plant when they are installed at multiple branches of the system. They will also help to identify the air savings once the process has been optimized with efficient blow off products, leaks are fixed and pressure is reduced.
Flow meters can also keep general awareness of the compressed air consumption at the forefront. If air flow values change significantly from one day to the next it may point to a broken component or leaking valve etc…
It is the feedback provided by the flow mater which allows you to have a starting point to reduce air consumption, it also allows you to put a value on the air you have saved after you have put forth the efforts necessary. A flow meter keeps the subject of air consumption relative to the process on an ongoing basis and helps people understand the importance of keeping the system efficient.
That is also the case with the my feedback about calories – It helps keep me in line, know where I stand, and pay attention to an important subject which is easily overlooked.