Have a Plan and Stick to It: Common Compressed Air Drawing Symbols

Mike Tyson once said “everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth”. I do believe it’s always important to have a plan, but hopefully your line of work does not involve anyone punching you in the mouth. If this plan is a Piping & Instrumentation Diagram (or P&ID), you’d be best served to follow it to the exact letter (or symbol). Otherwise, you might end up finding some facility or maintenance manager that is of the same mindset as good ol’ Mike.

The Piping & Instrumentation Diagram is a great way to illustrate the layout of your complete system. Different symbols, created by ANSI or ISO, are used to identify the specific items in the diagram and lays out the entire system, installation, and process flow.

Air compressors are the heart of the pneumatic system and have a variety of different types of symbols that can be used based on the style of compressor that you have. Below are some examples of the symbols used to denote an air compressor on a P&ID:

On the left is a generic symbol that can be used for any style of compressor. Moving towards the right we have specific, unique symbols for each: centrifugal, diaphragm, piston, rotary, and screw compressors. As the 4th utility in any industrial environment, air compressors are a critical piece of equipment in the facility. From the compressor there will be a line drawn to denote the distribution system or piping that connects the supply side (air compressors) to the demand side.

On the demand side are a variety of different available symbols for each type of equipment. EXAIR recommends installing filters and regulators at the point-of-use to keep air clean and dry as well as operating at the minimal pressure for compressed air conservation. The symbols below are used for particulate filters, oil removal filters, and pressure regulators:

The symbols on the left denote the EXAIR products on the right: Automatic Drain Filter Separator, Oil Removal Filter, and Pressure Regulator

They’re laid out in this order for a reason which is why it’s important to follow the drawing exactly as shown when installing the equipment. The particulate filter must come before the coalescing filter in the supply line. Since we can experience pressure drop across filters, it makes the most sense to include the pressure regulator AFTER the air exits the particulate and oil removal filters for the most accurate representation of point-of-use line pressure.

Oftentimes, you may encounter a situation where the product you’re looking to use doesn’t have a specified ANSI or ISO symbol. In those cases, what is recommended is to choose any shape you wish and call it out specifically by name. For our Super Air Knives, this would look something like this:

Having a plan is one thing, but it’s important to make sure this plan has been well-thought-out prior to doing any installation work. It’s not that Mike Tyson is going to come around throwing haymakers or biting off ears if you don’t, but you run the risk of wasting quite a bit of time (and money!) by not adhering to the original plan.

If your plan includes using some of EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products, give us a call. We have a variety of products ready to ship same-day from stock to help you get the most out of your compressed air system.

Tyler Daniel, CCASS

Application Engineer

E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com

Twitter: @EXAIR_TD

Mike Tyson photo courtesy of Abelito Roldan via Flickr Creative Commons License

Construction Site Compressed Air Use

On our website we have an amazing tool we refer to as the Application Database! This is a library of applications that are sorted by industry and application! All you have to do is create a account on EXAIR.com and BAM you have access!

Now, lets look at a few applications in the Construction sector!

The first customer used our line of Air operated Conveyors!

Customer is installing border fence for the US Department of Homeland Security. They cannot use a posthole digger because they are in sand and the hole collapses. So they hammer drill the post in. Then they need to remove the sand from the interior of the pipe, so they can fill it with concrete. This is to prevent intruders from sawing off the post. The Model 150200 2″ (51mm) Heavy Duty Line Vac easily removed the sand and small rocks. Being made of hardened alloy steel, it held up to the abrasion of the sand and rock.

Removing Sand From a Post hole

Super Air knives are used in the manufacture of one of the most used, wood material in home construction!

A company manufactures Oriented Strand Board (OSB). They were having a housekeeping issue at various places within their OSB press. They were only able to run 10-15 minutes at a time before they would have to clear material from the press to keep from damaging the finish on the product yet to be pressed. They purchased a Super Air Knife to blow off the press area to keep debris from piling up and affecting the finish.

Maintaining A Consistent Appearance On Oriented Strand Board

These are just a few of many applications we hear and work with every day! While we have a good amount of applications on the site, we have even more in our heads. So if you don’t see anything on the site that matches what you are looking for, give us a call. We have a team of application engineers ready to discuss your application specifically and determine how our products can best help you be more efficient in your processes!

Jordan Shouse
Application Engineer

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Twitter: @EXAIR_JS

Check Out EXAIR’s Knowledge Base for All Your Compressed Air Needs

At EXAIR, we want to ensure our customers have access to as much technical data and information as possible. This helps to assist in identifying solutions to common industrial problems and provide you with the resources necessary to make an informed purchase. A big part of that effort is displayed here on the EXAIR Blog. But, did you know that our website is home to a wealth of information ranging from Case Studies, Videos, Webinars, Installation Guides, Catalog Sections, CAD Models and much, much more?

Once you’ve registered for an account on the website, you’re able to access all of the content housed in our Knowledge Base, including 3D models and CAD drawings, case studies, application examples, webinars, and .pdf file downloads of installation and maintenance guides or catalog sections. Have a question on a particular product? Check out the FAQ section, created by our Application Engineers, the FAQ section contains a variety of commonly asked questions from customers.

Misplaced your installation sheet? No problem! All installation and maintenance guides, in addition to product catalog sections, can be found in .pdf format for download under “PDF Library”.

With 15 different product lines, EXAIR has products capable of addressing a wide range of industrial process issues. Not sure where in your facility you may have an opportunity to improve? EXAIR’s Application Search Library allows you to narrow down your search. Categorized both by specific process or by industry, we’ve highlighted a variety of different specific applications that our products can serve.

EXAIR hosts a yearly Free Webinar covering a variety of topics related to industry and compressed air. After the webinar has been sent out to all registrants, we include a recorded video of the webinar as well.

It doesn’t just stop there. The Knowledge Base also contains calculators and general compressed air related data in addition to PowerPoint presentations for each product line. Click here to register for the website and begin accessing all of this valuable content!

Tyler Daniel
Application Engineer
E-mail: TylerDaniel@EXAIR.com
Twitter: @EXAIR_TD