KPIs & Your Air Compressor

We have blogged about the many types of air compressors, ways to maintain your compressed air system, and how to increase compressed air efficiency by utilizing engineering compressed air products. All of these topics spawn from our knowledge and understanding of what it takes to operate and effectively service the products that we design and sell. When it comes to our products we know exactly what we need to convey how good they are, Key Performance Indicators if you will. To go along with those, I thought it would be good to outline some Key Performance Indicators for the air compressor within a system.

A Rental Tow Behind Air Compressor

So what performance values are critical for an air compressor? Well, power and efficiency are two main KPIs that I would be concerned with. This all connects to the bottom dollar of the cost to operate. So let’s add some more levels in there and get to the list I would list the KPIs as:

Pressure Loss
Leakage Rate
Dew Point
SCFM Output
Cost/Production Unit Output

These are not necessarily in a top to bottom list of priorities, They are however some that can be easy to monitor and will ultimately lead you to understand the current state of your compressor and the air you are supplying to your facility. Now let’s break these down further.

Pressure Loss – This phenomenon can be prevalent in aging air systems or systems that have been rapidly expanded over the years causing higher demand than the original design of the system permits. Think of when a new housing development opens on a two-lane country road and adds another thousand cars to the road in that area. Rather than a 4 way stop you generally start to see routes expand and intersections improve in order to supply the new demand. Losing pressure throughout the system can be caused by too much demand on a section from new equipment or even failure of old equipment that results in artificial load. Understanding where the pressure loss is occurring or when helps to troubleshoot.

Leakage Rate – Leaks can often account for up to 30% of a system’s capacity/demand. This is not only costly, it also ties to the pressure loss variable we discussed previously. Leakage is a constant battle and something that needs to be checked for every so often on systems that are established. This again results in artificial demand on the system and steals supply from other processes.

Dew Point – The amount of moisture within the compressed air system and the temperature at which it will condense at is a critical point to understand and affects the output quality of the compressor. Moisture can cause lots of quality issues and create maintenance nightmares for machinery if not kept in check. A low dew point helps to keep the compressor operating at an efficient level as the moisture content is low. Should you be located in a very high-humidity climate, then post-compressor equipment like refrigerant dryers can help to reduce this and keep your system operating at an optimal level.

SCFM Output – This can easily be measured with a Digital Flowmeter and is very easily one of the most useful data points to monitor your compressor’s output as well as baseline and improve your supply side. Understanding if your air compressor is operating at a higher percentage of output will help to determine when system expansion is needed and when demand side issues need to be addressed, and also help you to determine the ROI on equipment that utilizes compressed air.

Cost/Production Unit Output – Lastly, understanding the cost of using your compressed air and how that correlates to the output of the facility can help to see just how important a small leak is. It gives insight into the importance of using the compressed air that is generated efficiently and keeps the compressor operating at peak performance rather than putting off maintenance or overloading an undersized system.

If you would like to discuss any of these KPIs for your air compressor or to see how you can increase performance within your system, contact an Application Engineer today.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Marketing Metrics

What I Do

I’ve blogged before about having a fantastic wife and three smart and rapidly growing daughters. Our nightly routine is one that gets to be cumbersome and sometimes painful, at the same time, I wouldn’t change a single aspect as it gives both my wife and me one on one time with each girl. Even my pre-teen daughter still wants this one-on-one time when we just sit and calm down from the day by talking or singing in her case. I know it won’t last forever, so I always try to stay present. Here lately all three of my daughters on different days have asked me what I do at work during the day. It caught me off guard all three times.

They know that I work for EXAIR, and they know we make “stuff”, they’ve been to the company parties and even had lunch with me here in the office, they still didn’t know what I did, and at the time each one asked, even I didn’t know what I did. The answers I gave were all fairly similar. I help people figure out how to fix stuff by using the stuff we make. If they have something from EXAIR that isn’t working then I help them figure out why it isn’t working, and we try to get it fixed. Then they would ask things like, if their car is broken they call you, no that’s only when I’m at home. I tell them I also get to test products and see what they can do, even make videos of what our stuff does. Of course, they wanted to know if I made TikToks and I proudly informed them I do not and that most of this stuff is on a website or on YouTube.

The fact is that they know I love to work with my hands and see my work around the house or at other people’s homes on their cars or on their projects. They know that I value my experiences and I always try to have them recall an experience they may have already had when they are struggling with something. The best is when my oldest is learning about heat transfer. First, we did an experiment with my trusty Zippo lighter, so she experienced that holding your hand six inches over a flame you can feel the warmth but underneath you can’t. Then I showed them Vortex Tube Videos. They didn’t find it as cool as I do. (DAD PUN INTENDED!)

Lucky for me, when people are contacting me at work, they generally get excited about seeing compressed air turned into hot and cold air streams without moving parts and being able to solve heat transfer issues quickly and easily. The exact opposite reaction of young children, which helps me not feel like such a nerd.

The point of this story is that I am here to help, it’s one of the key responsibilities I hold as an Application Engineer here at EXAIR. With that, I share all of my experience that comes with over 15 years in the industry and always keep my eyes and ears open when I don’t know something. If you are at a wall with your point-of-use compressed air system or a process in your manufacturing, contact us and see how our bank of experience can help you to determine the best path moving forward.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Two Types of Ion Air Guns

Right now in many parts of the US, Winter is causing lots of dry air in manufacturing facilities. This dry air can be a large contributing factor combined with production speeds being increased to meet deadlines that are constantly being pulled in all result in static charge. This static charge, can be detrimental to production and operator morale. The good news is, your operators don’t need to feel like they could power a light bulb. More importantly, there are two options that will fit the process needs in your facility.

That’s right, EXAIR offers two different static eliminating air guns. The first, is ideal for precision/delicate work and is rated Class 5 for clean rooms and controlled environments per ISO 14644-1. The goal of the IntelliStat Ion Air Gun is to reduce static charges and leave a balance on the surface that is below +/- 30 Volts.

This ergonomic safety air gun operated of 120/240 VAC power supply that outputs 24 VDC to the gun through a 10′ long cable. The compressed air supply is cataloged for 30-125 psig inlet pressure. When operating at 30 psig inlet, the gentle breeze of air from the engineered nozzle will eliminate a 5kV charge in 1.2 seconds and only utilize 2.7 SCFM of compressed air. If a more forceful blast is needed, at 80 psig inlet pressure the same 5kV charge will be eliminated in 0.6 seconds and only utilize 5.8 SCFM of compressed air. This gun is ideal for clean room, intricate assembly, and precision work. If you need more impactful air in a more industrial environment, then our Gen4 Ion Air Gun may be the better solution.

A powerful blast of static eliminating ionized air, literally at your fingertips.

The Gen4 Ion Air Gun provides ionized air that is ideal for industrial assembly or manufacturing areas where operators are seeing issues with production cause by static. The gun can eliminate a 5kV static charge within 0.18 seconds when operated at 80 psig inlet pressure. When operated it will utilize 22 SCFM of compressed air and give a forceful blast to remove material that is stuck on with static cling. The Gen4 Ion Air Gun includes a 10′ high voltage power cable and requires an external Gen4 Power Supply. The Power Supply is offered as a 2 outlet or 4 outlet version so multiple units can be plugged into a single power supply.

If you want help determining which static eliminator is right for your application, please contact an Application Engineer today.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Video Blog: The Versatility of a TurboBlast Safety Air Gun w/ Gate Valve

Today’s video showcases just how easy it is to take a TurboBlast Safety Air Gun from a gentle breeze to a forceful blast of air. This can easily be done on the fly and compliments just how easy this safety air gun is to use. If you would like to discuss which options are right for your facility, contact us today.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF