Leaks and Why They Matter

Leaks can be discussed quite frequently around industrial environments. These can be refrigerant leaks, water leaks, gas leaks, even information leaks. All of these leaks have one thing in common, they all cost the company money in the end. I often think about several classic cartoons when I hear about leaks being fixed as they are found. They can become a little overwhelming like the “Squirrel” from the movie Ice Age 2.

1 – Ice Age 2 – Scrat – Mission Impossible

When it comes down to it, not many leaks create good results, that is why I want to take a second and educate on the costs your facility may be seeing from compressed air leaks. The leaks within an industrial environment can often account for up to 30% of the total compressed air generated.

So let’s take a look at that, the cost of compressed air is derived from the kWh cost the facility pays to the utility company. Here in the Midwest the average cost is around $0.08 / kWh. The equation to convert this to cost per cubic foot of compressed air is shown below. This formula assumes that the compressor generates four standard cubic feet of compressed air per horsepower of compressor. Again this is an industry acceptable assumption.

The size of a leak will determine how much compressed air is wasted, most of these leaks are not even to the audible range for the human ear which leads them to be undetected for long periods of time. A leak that is equivalent to a 1/16″ diameter orifice can result in an annual loss of more than $836.50 USD. While the scale of this number when compared to the annual revenue of a company may be small, the fact remains that this single leak would more than likely not be the only one. This isn’t the only way leaks will cost money though.

Leaks can also generate false demand which can result in pressure drops on a system. When the pressure on a production line drops this could result in unscheduled shutdowns. Often, when a pressure drop is observed the quick answer is to increase the header pressure which causes even more energy to be utilized and even more compressed air will be pushed out of these leaks. That increase in system pressure comes at a price as well. When increasing a system pressure by 2 psi the compressor will consume an additional percent of total input power. This again will hit the bottom line and result in lower efficiency of operation for the facility.

If you hear that distinct hiss of compressed air leaks when you are walking through your facility, or even if you don’t hear the his and you know that a leak detection action plan is not being practiced and want to find out the best ways to get one in place, contact us. We are always willing to help you determine how to lower the leaks in your facility as well as reduce the system pressure required to keep your lines up and running by implementing engineered solutions at the point of use.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

1 – Ice Age 2 – Mission Impossible Scrat – retrieve from YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-HniegbnFs

 

Video Blog: EXAIR Swivel Fittings

A brief video showcasing the full EXAIR Swivel fittings offering. Each of the 9 Swivel Fitting models offers a 25° from center line adjustment for a total of 50° full range of adjustment. The Swivel fittings are an ideal accessory for a variety of EXAIR products.  For more product details see our product page.  For any questions or fitment suggestions contact an Application Engineer.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer Manager
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

EXAIR Static Eliminators Surpass Passive Static Eliminators

The question comes up quite a bit around this time of year as to why an EXAIR Static Eliminator is better than using a passive static eliminator to eliminate the static.   To further the explanation of a passive static eliminator, it is typically called static tinsel and is found in a variety of forms. Passive eliminators are grounded wire or strap and must come in contact with the surface of a part in order to dissipate the static charge on only that surface.  This is generally found in the form of a bare wire or some type of conductive material (copper) that is strung across the path of your parts and must come into contact with the surface of your part.   A conductive material bar is shown below.

Passive Static Eliminating Bar
Passive Static Eliminating Bar

In order for this to eliminate the static on the part you must have the fabric actually contact the surface of your part.   There are several points that this can cause an issue, the first being this item drags across the surface of your product which can wear the conductive fibers down leading to the eliminators needing to be replaced.   Second, if you have a delicate, printed, or high gloss surface, you may not want anything to touch the surface and risk a blemish.   Third, these can collect dirt and debris which may become transferred to the product.   Last, complicated shapes cannot easily be met with the passive static eliminators, these are only going to work well with flat surfaces.

Active static eliminators, such as the Static Eliminators Product Line from EXAIR offers a variety of ways to actively eliminate the static on a surface without ever touching the product.   These are ideal for delicate surfaces, painted surfaces, complicated shapes, or even flat sheets.  The EXAIR line is available with or without compressed air assist which will not only utilize your compressed air efficiently while eliminating a static charge but also blow the debris or particulate off the part.   Units without compressed air operation can eliminate static charges up to 2″ away from a surface while a unit with compressed air will eliminate static up to 20′ away.

A Sample of EXAIR Static Eliminators
A Sample of EXAIR Static Eliminators

 

Because the units do not contact the parts there is no need for being concerned about contamination being transferred to the part, the eliminators will not wear down from dragging across a part or surface. EXAIR static eliminators are also low maintenance products.

To top it all off EXAIR will honor a 30 day guarantee to test the products in your facility.  As well as honor a 5 year built to last warranty on compressed air products and a 1 year warranty on any electrical component.

If you would like to eliminate your static problems, contact us. 

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF