After the busy and enjoyable long weekend I have found myself looking back through some logs and have compiled a brief list of the most common issues we receive from Consultants on their customers’ compressed air systems. The list is also what we commonly see and hear as issues from direct customers also. The list is below.
- Pressure drops in the compressed air system
- Lack of measurement for flow / pressure within the system
- Contaminants / moisture within the air
- Lack of engineered point of use solutions
That is a pretty short list that can cover a large amount of issues within a compressed air system. So let’s see if we can shine a little more light on these issues.
Pressure drops in the compressed air system are more often than not a piping system issue. The pressure drop could possibly occur when the point of use device is consuming more air than the supply pipe or system can give it, or when you have a piping system that is undersized for the length of pipe that is installed – For instance, 50′ of 1/4″ schedule 40 pipe can only flow approximately 11 SCFM. The best solution I can recommend is to ensure you are always utilizing an Intelligent Compressed Air® Product at all applicable points of use. EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Products are engineered to reduce air volume at the point of use and conserve as much compressed air as possible. So keep your compressed air supply lines properly sized and rely on engineered solutions at the point of use to keep your end use product running as efficiently as possible. Pressure regulators can also be added to fine tune the incoming pressure to a lower pressure or just enough pressure for a successful application.
The lack of measurement devices for flow and pressure within the system can be easily solved by installing flow meters and pressure regulators with gauges. EXAIR Digital Flowmeters, pressure regulators, and even just pressure gauges are readily available and in stock ready to ship direct to your facility. The Digital Flowmeters are available for 1/2″ iron pipe through 4″ iron pipe (copper also available) to fit nearly any of the hard piping you may have within your system. These flow meters require only 2 small holes into the compressed air pipe and provide a readout or data logging capabilities to monitor your compressed air. Pressure regulators with gauges can keep your end use pressure to minimum in order to conserve compressed air and the gauge provides the valuable measurement so you can remain aware of legs/areas you may be able to lower overall pressure. Knowing how much air is flowing through the system along with what pressure your point of use devices are at can make optimization of the system a lot easier.
Contaminants and moisture in the air can easily be remedied by utilizing one of the EXAIR auto drain filter separators as well as an oil removal filter. By using the auto drain filter separators the units will only dump the waste material once they have reached a certain level within the filter bowl. This means no need for a timer based drain system which can become costly if there is no moisture to dump at that time. Keeping the supply air clean and contaminant free will also prevent wear of the end use products and keep them operating at peak performance.
Leaks are always hard to find. This is why EXAIR offers the Ultrasonic Leak Detector, this device will help you pin point the compressed air leaks in your piping system. The easy to read LED indicator as well as the adjustable sensitivity scale make the handheld device very easy to use. Remember, just because you can’t personally hear the leak doesn’t mean that a leak is not there. An Ultrasonic Leak detector can identify leaks we are unable to hear so you may locate and repair them which will further optimize your system.
The lack of engineered point of use solutions is even easier to troubleshoot. Simply contact an Application Engineer here at EXAIR and we will help you determine which product from our selection is right for your situation. Engineered products are designed with maximum efficiency and safety in mind. Whether you are coating, conserving, cooling, conveying, or cleaning with compressed air, chances are we have a solution for you.