Saving money on compressed air is as simple as replacing current, inefficient products with engineered products which are made to be efficient and OSHA safe (for noise and dead end pressure).
Sections of pipe with drilled holes along the length are a common find in industrial environments as they are made of relatively inexpensive materials and simple to make. Where the cost begins to add up is on the operation side as these types of homemade blow-offs waste a ton of compressed air offsetting their cheap purchase price and making them expensive to operate.
For comparison, lets look at a 12″ section of pipe with (23) 1/16″ diameter drilled holes. Referencing the table below, each hole will flow 3.8 SCFM @ 80 PSIG for a total of 87.4 SCFM.
With an average cost of $ 0.25 per every 1,000 SCF used (based on $ 0.08/kWh), it would cost $ 1.31 to operate this blowoff for 1 hour. (87.4 SCFM x 60 minutes x $ 0.25 / 1,000)
Now let’s run the numbers as if we look at replacing the drilled pipe with our 12″ Super Air Knife. A 12″ Super Air Knife will consume 34.8 SCFM (2.9 SCFM per inch) when operated at 80 PSIG. Using the same figure of $ 0.25 per every 1,000 SCF used, it would cost $ 0.52 / hr. to operate this knife. (34.8 SCFM x 60 minutes x $ 0.25 / 1,000)
Just to better lay these out, let’s review the operating costs.
Drilled pipe operating costs:
$ 1.31 per hour
$ 10.48 per day (8 hours)
12″ Super Air Knife costs:
$ 0.52 per hour
$ 4.16 per day (8 hours)
$ 10.48 per day (drilled pipe) – $ 4.16 per day (Super Air Knife) = $ 6.32 savings per day
Over the course of one year, one shift per day, and 250 working days per year – the Super Air Knife saves $1580 annually. Obviously, that will increase if you are running more than one shift.
While the drilled pipes always appear to be a quick an easy solution that carry low cost of ownership, remember to look at the total cost of operation. This is where engineered solutions surpass their drilled hole alternative.
If you would like to discuss drilled pipes within your facility or want to see how an engineered solutions may fit the needs you see, contact an application engineer today.