Down in the Dungeon

Compressed air is the lifeblood of a manufacturing facility. Actuators, vises, sensors, etc. all use the convenient supply of shop air. When it comes to the air compressor that supplies all this power, it is usually relegated to some dark, dank, dirty, non-ventilated dungeon away from the general work area . If you’ve ever been in a compressor room, you know why it is not a popular place to hide from the boss.

I had brick making customer with dirty compressed air getting into our product and fouling it up. A quick visit to their compressor room made it clear why dirt was in the compressed air. Keep in mind the compressor breathes in air from the area it is installed. The quality of air in the room will have an effect on the air being delivered throughout the system. They were storing bags of powdered colorants in the room along with the compressor and it was getting into their air system. They could not move the compressor because they really needed the floor space so they ran ductwork to the outside for fresh air. Problem solved.

Another issue with compressor room environments is temperature. When air is compressed it creates heat warming the air in the room. The compressor breathes in this warm air and heats it up even further. If the room is not fully vented it becomes an endless cycle. When this warm compressed air is sent through the system it cools within the distribution lines. This cooling process causes the humidity to condensate out causing water problems at the point of use.

For a healthy compressed air system, your first line of defense is the compressor’s environment. Then a second line of defense is to install an EXAIR filter separators at the point of use. These will filter out dirt to 5 micron and separate out any condensate that has formed in your air lines.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer

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