Compressed air can be an expensive utility for many industrial facilities. The energy costs associated with the generation of compressed air can be high. Because of this, EXAIR manufactures a wide range of products geared towards reducing your overall compressed air consumption.
The best way to save compressed air is to simply turn it off when it’s not being used. As Step 4 in the 6 steps to optimizing your compressed air system, this might seem pretty simple. There may be processes in your facility where this couldn’t be achieved by just turning a valve. In applications where product is traveling along a conveyor, and must be dried, cooled, or blown off, there is likely some spacing in between the parts. It isn’t necessary to keep the blowoff running constantly if there’s periods of intermittent spacing. To help reduce the overall load on the air compressor, implementing a solution to shut the air off in between each part can have a dramatic impact. EXAIR’s Electronic Flow Control, or EFC, is designed to improve efficiency by reducing overall compressed air usage. It utilizes a photoelectric sensor that detects when the part is present. When it’s not, it triggers a solenoid valve to close and shut off the compressed air supply.
Let’s take a look at an example that shows just how much air (and $$) an EFC can save. We had a manufacturer of car bumpers that was using a Model 112060 60” Super Ion Air Knife supplied at 40 PSIG to remove dust prior to a painting operation. The bumpers were moving at about 10’/minute and had 1’ of spacing in between each part. The bumpers are only under the blowoff for 10 seconds, while 6 seconds passed with no part present. With a (3) shift operation, this translates to 1,440 minutes of nonstop compressed air usage per day.
A 60” Super Ion Air Knife will consume 102 scfm at 40 PSIG. Their current method was using a total of 146,880 SCFM.
102 SCFM x 1,440 minutes = 146,880 SCF
With the EFC installed, the air was shut off for 6 seconds reducing the airflow by 37.5%. With the EFC installed, the compressed air consumption per day was reduced to 91,800 SCF.
146,880 SCF x .625 = 91,800 SCF
As a general rule of thumb, compressed air costs $0.25/1,000 SCF. By saving 55,080 SCF per day, this manufacturer was able to save $13.77 per day. Since this was a 24 hour/day shift running 7 day/week, total savings for the year came in at $5,012.28. This easily recoups the costs of the EFC and then begins to pay you in less than 6 months.
55,080 SCF x ($0.25/1,000 SCF) = $13.77
$13.77 x 7 days/week x 52 weeks/year = $5,012.28
The EFC models available from stock can accommodate flows up to 350 SCFM. For applications requiring more compressed air, EFCs with dual solenoids are also available. If you have an application in one or more of your processes where intermittent compressed air use could help save you money, give us a call. We’d be happy to take a look at the application and help determine just how quickly the EFC could start paying YOU!