The use of compressed air can be found in almost any industry and is often referred to as a “fourth utility” next to water, gas and electric. The generation of compressed air accounts for approximately 1/3 of all energy costs in an industrial facility, in many cases, it’s the largest energy user in an industrial plant. With an average cost of $ 0.25 per every 1,000 SCF used, compressed air can be expensive to produce so it is very important to use this utility as efficiently as possible.
Utility companies recognize the benefit of using engineered products to reduce compressed air usage, like the ones manufactured by EXAIR, and offers rebate incentives for making a switch. Our local utility provider here in Cincinnati, Duke Energy, offers a $ 20 incentive for each replacement engineered nozzle.
In their specification, the nozzle must meet a certain volumetric flow rate (SCFM) at 80 PSIG operating pressure for a given pipe size. For example, when looking at a 1/4″ nozzle, the flow rate must be less than or equal to 17 SCFM when operated at 80 PSIG. Our most popular nozzles for “general” blowoff applications would be our Model # 1100 (1/4″ FNPT) or our Model # 1101 (1/4″ MNPT) Super Air Nozzles. These nozzles require 14 SCFM @ 80 PSIG so this would be the ideal solution to reduce the air demand and take advantage of the rebate.
Here at EXAIR, much of our focus is to improve the overall efficiency of industrial compressed air operating processes and point of use compressed air operated products. If you’d like to contact one of our application engineers, we can help recommend the proper engineered solution to not only save on your compressed air usage but also assist with possible energy rebates available in your area.
On November 2, 2017 at 2 PM EDT, EXAIR Corporation will be hosting a FREE webinar titled “Optimizing Your Compressed Air System In 6 Simple Steps”.
During this short presentation, we will explain the average cost of compressed air and why it’s important to evaluate the current system. Compressed air can be expensive to produce and in many cases the compressor is the largest energy user in a plant, accounting for up to 1/3 of the total energy operating costs. In industrial settings, compressed air is often referred to as a “fourth utility” next to water, gas and electric.
Next we will show how artificial demand, through operating pressure and leaks, can account for roughly 30% of the air being lost in a system, negatively affecting a company’s bottom line. We will provide examples on how to estimate the amount of leakage in a system and ways to track the demand from point-of-use devices, to help identify areas where improvements can be made.
To close, we will demonstrate how following six simple steps can save you money by reducing compressed air use, increasing safety and making your process more efficient.
This video highlights the value and benefits of an engineered blow off solution. We take a homemade open pipe blowoff and replace it with an EXAIR model 1100 Super Air Nozzle. This air nozzle is then controlled through our Electronic Flow Controller, allowing for intermittent On/Off of the compressed air flow. And, these solutions are wirelessly monitored via Zigbee network using our Wireless Digital Flowmeter. Implementing these solutions results in a compressed air reduction of over 90%!!!
Full calculations along with supporting flow values (pulled from the same data shown in the video above) are shown below.
The open pipe:
The first compressed air flow values to show up on the EXAIR Logger are for the open pipe blow off. At 1 BAR operating pressure, this “solution” consumes 22.3 SCFM of compressed air. At a cost of $0.25 for every 1,000 cubic feet of compressed air, this nozzle will cost $695.76 to operate 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, 52 weeks per year.
The engineered EXAIR Super Air Nozzle
Model 1100 EXAIR Super Air Nozzles consumes 4.7 SCFM at an operating pressure of 1 BAR – a reduction of 79% compared to the open pipe. These savings prove out in terms of operating cost as well – $146.64 per year, compared to $695.76.
The engineered EXAIR Super Air Nozzle with Electronic Flow Control (EFC)
By controlling the “ON” time for this application with an EFC, we are only blowing for 32% of the time for each minute of operation which changes the required compressed air flow from 4.7 SCFM to a peak value of 1.5 SCFM. This control saves an additional 68% of compressed air flow. And, these savings are compounded by eliminating the need for constant compressed air flow. Total annual operating cost for the EXAIR 1100 Super Air Nozzle with Electronic Flow Control is just $46.80.
Implementing an engineered solution can have a TREMENDOUS impact on energy costs and operating costs in your facility. Compressed air is the most expensive utility to produce and consume, making the impact of proper solutions of high value to any business. Let us help you utilize engineered compressed air solutions in your facility by contacting an EXAIR Application Engineer today.
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 personal 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
Gain from investment could include many factors, such as energy savings, reduced scrap savings, cost per part due to increased throughput savings, and many more. It is important to analyze the full impact and to truly understand all of the savings that can be realized.
Cost of investment also could have many factors, including the capital cost, installation costs, downtime cost for installation, and others. The same care should be taken to fully capture the cost of the investment.
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 $37, assuming a $5 compression fitting and $50 in labor to install, the result is a Cost of Investment of $92.00. The ROI calculation for Year 1 is-
ROI = 1,759% – a very large and positive value. Payback time is only 13 working days.
Armed with the knowledge of a high ROI, it should be easier to get projects approved and funded. Not proceeding with the project costs more than implementing it.
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.
No one likes paying their bills at the end of the month. But, if you can save yourself some money, it helps to make it a little easier. For this customer, he received a monthly bill for his compressed air.
An industrial facility consisting of four separate manufacturing plants and a power company that supplied all of them with utilities, i.e. hot water, natural gas, electricity, and compressed air. The parent company decided to reorganize and sell the entities. At the end of it, the power company was controlled by a different organization than the manufacturing plants. The power plant was contracted to still supply the utilities to the individual plants, but now they would be charged individually on a monthly basis.
Being that compressed air is one of the most expensive utilities, the general manager of a solid-state electronic plant really noticed the charge on his bill. He did an estimate on the amount of air that his equipment was using, and he compared it to the charges. There was roughly a 20% difference in the figures. Because of the excessive amount of money, he contacted EXAIR to see what we could offer.
In discussing their system, the compressed air was supplied through one 6” schedule 40 black pipe. The pipe came into the facility in the ceiling and it branched off to supply the entire shop with compressed air. He was looking for something to measure the compressed air flow with the ability to measure a cumulative amount. He could use this amount to compare to his monthly usage. He was also concerned about cutting into his compressed air line as this could cause him much downtime and additional costs. He needed something easy to install, accurate, and versatile.
I suggested our 6” Digital Flowmeter with the Model 9150 Summing Remote Display. EXAIR Digital Flowmeters are designed to measure flow continuously and accurately. You do not need to weld, cut, or disassemble pipe lines to install. With a drill guide, the Digital Flowmeter can be easily mounted onto the 6” black pipe by drilling two small holes. After that, they just had to insert the Digital Flowmeter into the holes, and tighten the clamp around the pipe. The total procedure took less than 30 minutes, so downtime was minimal. The EXAIR Digital Flowmeter measures flow by comparative analysis with thermal dispersion; so, the accuracy is very high and recalibration is not required.
With the option of the Summing Remote Display, they could attach it to the Digital Flowmeter and display the flow remotely up to 50 feet away. They mounted it on the wall next to his office for the operational functions. With a simple press of a button, it can show the current flow rates, daily flow rates, and cumulative flow rates. So, during the billing cycle, he was able to get the cumulative measurement to compare the results, and reset the counter to zero for the next month.
Believe it or not, the power company was correct in their measurements. But, not to waste an entire blog, I did have him turn the compressed air supply off after business hours to watch the flow rate. He did find his 20% difference in compressed air leakage. The Digital Flowmeter was able to measure low flows to target other problem areas in your compressed air system. Now he had another chore in leak detecting and pipe fixing.
EXAIR Optimization line has different products that can help you to get the most out of your compressed air system. With the customer above, he was able to measure his compressed air flow with the Digital Flowmeter, as well as detecting other issues. I will now have to talk to him about our Ultrasonic Leak Detector.
EXAIR’s model 1126, 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle received an honorable mention from Green Manufacturer magazine for the 2013 Product Innovation Awards. This competition was open to technology developers and manufacturers who have introduced new products designed to ensure environmental sustainability between January 1, 2012 and April 1, 2013. Green Manufacturer magazine includes a diverse range of products from biological building materials to welding tools, each with a unique set of qualifications and applications.
The competition focuses on the greenness of the product and how sustainably it is manufactured, as well as the ecopractices of the company. The claims were verified through judging which relied on third party testing and certification, reports to published databases, provision of specific metrics/quantitative information, and customer testimonials with quantitative data.
Our engineered air nozzles, when compared to open blow off or traditional commercial nozzle designs, reduce compressed air consumption and the associated costs of producing compressed air. The lower compressed air volume required from EXAIR’s engineered air nozzles results in less electricity to generate the compressed air. Engineered air nozzles also reduce noise pollution better than traditional solutions and reduce noise exposure levels for personnel.
The model #1126, 1″ Flat Super Air Nozzle is available in a zinc/aluminum alloy suitable for most environments or 316 stainless steel when a higher level of corrosion resistance is necessary. The zinc/aluminum alloy used for this nozzle generally requires less energy
than similar materials to transform into finished products, release no pollutants and no toxic residues during the work cycle, and are fully recyclable at the end of their useful lives.
EXAIR’s whole line of Flat Super Air Nozzles also utilize an internal shim which restricts large amounts of compressed use. The design entrains additional surrounding air in order to provide added volume and force for each application.
EXAIR also takes responsibility for our own processes and manufacturing facility by adhering to our own sustainability plan. This plan helps us reduce waste, recycle more material, reduce energy consumption, reduce water consumption, and keep our employees informed and responsible.
Thanks to Green Manufacturer magazine for recognizing our efforts to keep energy consumption low and sustainability high.
Now that the holidays are over and we have come down from our sugar highs, it’s time to get serious about eating right and shedding those extra pounds gained. I have never been good about dieting because I love to eat and hate to exercise. This year I have extra resolve, the doctor said that if I do not get my sugar levels in check I will need to go on medication. I am currently on a carb restricted diet to keep my levels in check.
When was the last time you did an audit of your compressed air system? Is it time to put your air usage on a diet? It is much simpler than you may think to restrict compressed air consumption which helps keep your energy levels in check. It can be as easy as retrofitting open tube or pipe with an engineered air nozzle or replacing a pipe with a series of drilled holes along its length with a Super Air Knife. Sometimes it is hard to convince operators that they do not need open air lines at system pressures to get the job done. The problem is more than likely they have not been offered an effective alternative. Their objective is to do their job. If you can offer them something that uses less compressed air and still gets the job done, they will most assuredly embrace it.
EXAIR’s core business is the conservation of compressed air. The unique design of their products draws in surrounding ambient air providing a greater volume of air on the target than the volume of compressed air used. Amplification can be a much as 40 times more! If you are ready to go on an “compressed air diet” and improve your energy consumption’s overall health, call 1-800-903-9247 and ask to speak with one of our application engineers.