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.
If you have ever looked through our catalog, website, blog, twitter feeds, or even our Facebook page, you will see that we can almost always put a dollar amount behind the amount of compressed air you saved by installing EXAIR’s Intelligent Compressed Air Products. No matter which platform we use to deliver the message, we use the same value for the cost of compressed air which is $.25 per 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet of compressed air. This value is derived from average commercial and industrial energy costs nationwide, if you are on either coast this value may increase slightly. On the positive side, if your cost for compressed air is a bit more, installing an EXAIR product will increase your savings.
So where does this number come from? I can tell you this much, we didn’t let the marketing department or anyone in Accounting make it up. This is a number that the Engineering department has deemed feasible and is accurate.
To calculate the amount we first look to what the cost per kilowatt hour is you pay for energy. Then we will need to know what the compressor shaft horsepower of the compressor is, plus the run time percentage, the percentage at full-load, and the motor efficiency.
If you don’t have all of these values, no worries. We can get fairly close by using the industry accepted standard mentioned above, or use some other general standards if all you know is the cost of your electricity.
The way to calculate the cost of compressed air is not an intense mathematical equation like you might think. The best part is, you don’t even have to worry about doing any of the math shown below because you can contact us and we can work through it for you.
If you prefer to have us compare your current compressed air blow off or application method to one of our engineered products, we can do that AND provide you a report which includes side by side performance comparisons (volume of flow, noise, force) and dollar savings. This refers to our free Efficiency Lab service.
If you already know how much air you are using, you can use the Air Savings Calculators (USD or Euro) within our website’s knowledge base. Just plug in the numbers (EXAIR product data is found on our website or just contact us) and receive air savings per minute, hour, day and year. We also present a simple ROI payback time in days.
Now, back to the math behind our calculation. Cost ($) =
(bhp) x (0.746) x (#of operating hours) x ($/kWh) x (% time) x ( % full load bhp)
bhp — Compressor shaft horsepower (generally higher than motor nameplate Hp) 0.746 – conversion between hp and KW Percent Time — percentage of time running at this operating level Percent full-load bhp — bhp as percentage of full load bhp at this operating level Motor Efficiency — motor efficiency at this operating level
For an average facility here in the Midwest $0.25/1,000 SCF of compressed air is accurate. If you would like to attempt the calculation and or share with us your findings, please reach out to us. If you need help, we are happy to assist.
This weekend, myself and many others are going to be participating in an event held all over the country, the Go Ruck Light event. This test of toughness (mental and physical) is put on by former military personnel and it is based around one of the things they do a lot of at the beginning of their military training. This is a 7 to 10 mile event that will take up to 4 hours to complete. It is not like a race or any other obstacle event that we have ever done. This is an event where the leader, or Cadre, will lead you through the miles and many physical exercises along the way all while carrying a 20 lb weight in a ruck sack on your back. This not only tests individuals but it also requires the entire group to work as a team to ensure everyone finishes and everyone is together.
While I feel that I am under-prepared for this event physically, my mind is prepared to find out just how much I really can do and it will be at the end of the test that I realize the benefits.
Not many of the tasks I am responsible for at EXAIR require that kind of physical toughness and some of them require the mental toughness. But one instance I am always prepared for is the customer that calls and thinks they have the weirdest application and that there is nothing to solve it. We actually have this experience quite a bit and it helps make what we do more interesting and fun. With our diverse background and extensive knowledge, chances are we have experienced the application or we have seen something that is very close. This helps us to be specific when recommending a solution.
EXAIR feels that the best solutions can also provide information on air and dollar savings as well. The best savings information can be provided if our customers are willing to provide us details about their current application, and there is no better way to provide us the details than to take advantage of our Efficiency Lab. It is a free service letting you to send in a sample of your current blowoff product (typically homemade nozzles, open tube or pipe, snap together coolant hose, etc.), in return we will test it for you with our calibrated equipment and provide you a detailed report on air volume, force and noise. Then you will know the specific benefits of your recommended solution.
The fact is, we go into every conversation with the mentality of only providing solutions. If we can’t provide it, we will try to direct you to someone that can.
Being an Application Engineer at EXAIR you tend to do a good amount of return on investment (ROI) calculations. This is mainly to tell customers just how fast installing an EXAIR product on their system is going to pay its purchase price back and start saving them money.
In order to do these calculations there are several variables we must know. The list is below.
Current Product Consumption (If this is an unknown, we will test it for free!)
Cost of Compressed Air / 1,000 SCF (This is the most common unknown.)
With these four variables we can calculate the amount of air and the amount of money the EXAIR product will save over an existing non-engineered blowoff. Let me address the two variables which have to come from you, the customer.
Current Product Consumption – If this value is not known please don’t guess at it. We offer a free service which we refer to as our Efficiency Lab where you send us in your existing blowoff device and we will test it for force flow and noise level. If you don’t know what pressure you are operating the piece at we will help you find out how to get that and then we will test our products at the same pressures. This way you get a true apple to apples comparison. Then, once we are done testing, you will get a recommendation from us in a formal report as to what EXAIR product will best replace your existing product. Then we will pay for return shipping of your blowoff device back to you. So, if you don’t know how much air you are currently using then give us a call. We will figure it out for you.
Cost of Compressed Air/ 1,000 SCF – This is more often than not, the unknown variable in the equation. The good news is there is a general standard assumption of twenty-five cents per 1,000 Standard Cubic Feet of compressed air. This works out to be around 8 cents per kW/hr. So even if you don’t know what you pay to compress the air, if you know what you are paying per kilowatt hour for your energy then we can calculate within reason what it costs for you to generate your compressed air. For reference, 8 cents per kilowatt-hour falls between the average US cost per kilowatt hour for commercial end-users (10.7/kWh) and industrial end-users (6.9/kWh).*
The best part of all is…EXAIR has a calculator available right on our website which provides air and dollar savings per minute, hour day and year as well as a payback in days for the EXAIR product purchase. On top of that, any step along the way that you aren’t sure of, we will help you out for free, even testing your product!
In case you would like to see the math, the formula used is below.
This past week was another celebration here at EXAIR, in case you didn’t notice, we like to do that here. This wasn’t a birthday, anniversary or someone leaving the team, it was another record breaker for the EXAIR team. I know we have talked about cookouts before and these only happen for special occasions. Nonetheless when you have the EXAIR management team, including the owner and President, grilling everyone’s lunch – it is a great day.
This builds so much camaraderie through the ranks of EXAIR that I don’t know any way to do it better. The entire time we had the cookout there was still no hiccup in our standard operations either, that means if you called in, you still got to speak to a live person and not a recording. That is the level of service that we provide every day, every week, every month, and every year. That is what sets us apart from any of our competition and allows us to continue to reach higher goals than we have ever reached before.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to go take a jog and try to work myself out of this food coma from the steak.
Growing up across the street from an old fashioned service station does have its perks. This was one of the old 76 gas stations that still had a garage where a mechanic would fix your car, as well as you could get gas if you needed to. They even had the rubber hose that would ring a bell when you drive over it. One of the other things this station had was a compressed air hose that ran to the outside of the building and offered free compressed air to any passer by so they could fill up their tires as needed. Normally it just had a very simple tire chuck on the end that would connect to the Schrader valve on your car tire. This station is still there, they no longer sell gas, and they have also removed the bell ringing air hose that runs outside. If you need a tire filled now, you have to either catch them during normal business hours or move on to the next gas station and hope they have some form of compressed air available.
The full service gas stations for the most part have been replaced by gas stations with convenience stores attached. They carry more junk food than they do products for your car and they have no need to own or operate an air compressor. Their customers still have that need though so there are now small stand alone compressed air stations. These range from small shoebox sized units that you pay a few quarters for, up to the unit I noticed today while filling up my car.
This unit takes credit cards, regulates the compressed air to the user selected pressure, and all you have to do is hook it to your cars valve stem. This is far from free, and the reason is, compressed air is a costly utility. If you don’t believe us when we repeatedly talk about how much money you can save on compressed air by installing our engineered compressed air nozzles, Super Air Amplifiers or Super Air Knives (among others), then accept a challenge from me. Contact an EXAIR Application Engineer to discuss any point of use compressed air applications that you have in your facility. While you are waiting to get the in stock, shipped same day, Intelligent Compressed Air Products® received, monitor your compressed air use and the energy use on your compressor. Install the EXAIR products once you receive them and continue to monitor your air and energy consumption. If you don’t see a decrease within these two areas, call me and return the items. We honor a 30 day guarantee on stock products just so you can make sure you are saving air, and getting the best performance out of your compressed air system.
The above title proved very true in a work experience of my father’s. After working in the mill for several years, he drew up a new piece of process equipment which would eventually turn in to something that they put in place on the production line. This was all done from his idea that he was able to place on a scrap piece of paper as a drawing. While he wasn’t the decision maker in the process, he was the person who saw what kind of impact this device could have and knew the people he had to get the information to.
That brings me to the topic of this blog, don’t ever think an idea is too small to warrant a reward. This can ring true throughout any type of application, including compressed air. There have been instances where a maintenance worker, or even a new operator, have called in to speak to me here asking what can they do to lower the noise in the work area when they are using the hand held blow gun the company supplies. After talking to them about what they are trying to achieve with the blow gun and how much air they are currently using, we generally find that they can save a good amount of compressed air, lower the noise level, and become OSHA compliant, all by changing this one simple tool. Once they have all the benefits that their company will see from implementing our engineered solution, they can then propose this to the decision makers.
For the most part, companies will at the very least entertain ideas like this. When you back that idea up with some relevant data on how much money the company will save, or the fact that is will make the work environment safer and more enjoyable, then you will more than likely get a little more attention. The main point is to ensure that you are getting that information to the correct person and that you have the correct information. That is one of the many reasons that EXAIR has a full team of Application Engineers who can help you identify how much air you might be using, what products will fit the need, and what kind of benefits your company will see. On top of all the information that we have available for free, we even offer the chance to get compensation for sharing application data with us.
That’s right, we will compensate you for sharing your cost savings, sound level reductions or application improvements, with us. This is all possible through our Case Study program. All you have to do to find out more is contact any Application Engineer. We simply need some photographs of the application and some quantitative data for the benefits you have gained. Don’t know what your current device is using, take advantage of our EXAIR Efficiency Lab, that will give us a good amount of information we need to then, help you solve a problem as well as produce a Case Study.
If you would like to discuss your compressed air systems or how we can help you, please contact us.