Return on Investment (ROI) is a measure of the gain (preferably) or loss generated relative to the amount of money that was invested. ROI is typically expressed as a percentage and is generally used for financial decisions, examining the profitability of a company, or comparing different investments. It can also be used to evaluate a project or process improvement to decide whether spending money on a project makes sense. The formula is shown below-
A negative ROI says the project would result in an overall loss of money
An ROI at zero is neither a loss or gain scenario
A positive ROI is a beneficial result, and the larger the value the greater the gain
Example – installing a Super Air Nozzles (14 SCFM compressed air consumption) in place of 1/4″ open pipe (33 SCFM of air consumption consumption) . Using the Cost Savings Calculator on the EXAIR website, model 1100 nozzle will save $1,710 in energy costs. The model 1100 nozzle costs $42, assuming a $5 compression fitting and $45 in labor to install, the result is a Cost of Investment of $92.00. The ROI calculation for Year one is-
ROI = 1,759% – a very large and positive value. Payback time is only 13 working days!
If you have questions regarding ROI and need help in determining the gain and cost from invest values for a project that includes an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
Since air compressors use a lot of electricity to make compressed air, it is important to use the compressed air as efficiently as possible. EXAIR has six simple steps to optimize your compressed air system. Following these steps will help you to cut your production costs and improve your bottom line. In this blog, I will cover the sixth step; controlling the air pressure at the point of use.
One of the most common pressure control devices is called the Regulator. It is designed to reduce the downstream pressure that is supplying your system. Regulators are commonly used in many types of applications. You see them attached to propane tanks, gas cylinders, and of course, compressed air lines. Properly sized, regulators can flow the required amount of gas at a regulated pressure for safety and cost savings.
EXAIR designs and manufactures compressed air products to be safe, effective, and efficient. By replacing your “old types” of blowing devices with EXAIR products, it will save you much compressed air, which in turn saves you money. But, why stop there? You can optimize your compressed air system even more by assessing the air pressure at the point-of-use. For optimization, using the least amount of air pressure to “do the job” can be very beneficial.
Why are regulators important for compressed air systems? Because it gives you the control to set the operating pressure. For many blow-off applications, people tend to overuse their compressed air. This can create excessive waste, stress on your air compressor, and steal from other pneumatic processes. By simply turning down the air pressure, less compressed air is used. As an example, a model 1100 Super Air Nozzle uses 14 SCFM of compressed air at 80 PSIG (5.5 bar). If you only need 50 PSIG (3.4 bar) to satisfy the blow-off requirement, then the air flow for the model 1100 drops to 9.5 SCFM. You are now able to add that 4.5 SCFM back into the compressed air system. And, if you have many blow-off devices, you can see how this can really add up.
In following the Six Steps to optimize your compressed air system, you can reduce your energy consumption, improve pneumatic efficiencies, and save yourself money. I explained one of the six steps in this blog by controlling the air pressure at the point of use. Just as a note, reducing the pressure from 100 PSIG (7 bar) to 80 PSIG (5.5 bar) will cut your energy usage by almost 20%. If you would like to review the details of any of the six steps, you can find them in our EXAIR blogs or contact an Application Engineer at EXAIR.
When EXAIR started to manufacture compressed air products, we created a culture in making high quality products that are safe, effective, and efficient. Being leaders in this industry, we created a program, the Efficiency Lab, to compare blow-off devices with EXAIR products in noise levels, flow requirements, and force measurements. With calibrated test equipment, we compare the data in a qualified report to share with our customers. This information can be helpful to determine the total amount of air savings and safety improvements that EXAIR products can offer.
In conjunction with the Efficiency Lab, we created a Cost Savings Calculator. It is a quick way to view payback periods and annual savings when using EXAIR products. As an example, I used a 1” Flat Super Air Nozzle, model 1126, and compared it to a 1/8” open pipe. (The reason behind the comparison is that the model 1126 can screw onto the end of the 1/8” NPT pipe.) With an operation of 24 hours/day for 250 days a year, the amount of air used by an 1/8” open pipe is near 70 SCFM (1,981 SLPM) at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar). The model 1126 has an air consumption of 10.5 SCFM (297 SLPM) at 80 PSIG (5.5 Bar). By putting the information in the Cost Savings Calculator, it determined that the ROI was in 2.1 days. The annual savings was $5,355 USD per year. Imagine if you replaced ten blow-off spots in your facility, the amount of money that could be saved. Here is the worksheet below:
The people that started to notice the savings were the utility companies that make electricity. Depending on your location, electrical suppliers initiated a rebate program to use engineered nozzles in your facility. Similar to other energy saving rebates, like LED light bulbs and high efficiency furnaces, the electrical providers notice a big savings when using EXAIR products. If you qualify, the total cost to purchase and implement the EXAIR Super Air Nozzles are reduced.(Even if a rebate program has not been implemented in your area, the idea of saving energy and compressed air makes it very profitable and environmentally sound in changing over to EXAIR products).
To see if your utility offers rebates on compressed air optimizations, go to the DSIRE database. This database is easy to search and informative.
For Example, here in Ohio Duke Energy has a Prescriptive Incentive Program for its customers. The Prescriptive Incentive Program makes it easy for Duke Energy customers to receive an incentive for their natural gas and electric energy efficiency projects. Prescriptive Incentives are energy efficient measures paid per-unit, reimbursing the customer up to the total cost (including materials and labor) after the measures have been installed. See the image below for their incentives for using Engineered Nozzles;
To discuss your application and how an EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air Product can help your process and save you money, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or one of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.
Two basic methods to set up a compressed air operation for turning off is the ball valve and the solenoid valve. Of the two, the simplest is the ball valve. It is a quarter turn, manually operated valve that stops the flow of the compressed air when the handle is rotated 90°. It is best for operations where the compressed air is needed for a long duration, and shut off is infrequent, such as at the end of the shift.
The solenoid valve offers more flexibility. A solenoid valve is an electro-mechanical valve that uses electric current to produce a magnetic field which moves a mechanism to control the flow of air. A solenoid can be wired to simple push button station, for turning the air flow on and off – similar to the manual valve in that relies on a person to remember to turn the air off when not needed.
Another way to use a solenoid valve is to wire it in conjunction with a PLC or machine control system. Through simple programming, the solenoid can be set to turn on/off whenever certain parameters are met. An example would be to energize the solenoid to supply an air knife when a conveyor is running to blow off parts when they pass under. When the conveyor is stopped, the solenoid would close and the air would stop blowing.
The EXAIR EFC (Electronic Flow Control) is a stand alone solenoid control system. The EFC combines a photoelectric sensor with a timer control that turns the air on and off based on the presence (or lack of presence) of an object in front of the sensor. There are 8 programmable on/off modes for different process requirements. The use of the EFC provides the highest level of compressed air usage control. The air is turned on only when an object is present and turned off when the object has passed by.
By turning off the air when not needed, whether by a manual ball valve, a solenoid valve integrated into the PLC machine control or the EXAIR EFC, compressed air usage will be minimized and operation costs reduced.
If you have questions about the EFC, solenoid valves, ball valves or any of the 15 different EXAIR Intelligent Compressed Air® Product lines, feel free to contact EXAIR and myself or any of our Application Engineers can help you determine the best solution.