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.
When evaluating processes that utilize compressed air and adhering to the Six Steps to Compressed Air Optimization, intermediate storage proves to be a critical role coming in at step number five. Intermediate storage tanks may already be in place within your facility and often times can be implemented as modifications to aid existing lines that are struggling to maintain proper availability of compressed air to keep the line at peak performance.
When determining whether or not a production line or point of use compressed air operation would benefit from a receiver tank/intermediate storage we would want to evaluate whether the demand for compressed air is intermittent. Think of a receiver tank as a capacitor in an electrical circuit or a surge tank in a water piping system. These both store up energy or water respectively to deliver to during a short high demand period then slowly charge back up from the main system and prepare for the next high demand. If you look from the supply point it will see a very flattened demand curve, if you look from the application side it still shows a wave of peak use to no use.
One of the key factors in intermediate storage of compressed air is to appropriately size the tank for the supply side of the system as well as the demand of the application. The good news is there are equations for this. To determine the capacity, use the equation shown below which is slightly different from sizing your main compressed air storage tank. The formulate shown below is an example.
V – Volume of receiver tank (ft3 / cubic feet)
T – Time interval (minutes)
C – Air demand for system (cubic feet per minute)
Cap – Supply value of inlet pipe (cubic feet per minute)
Pa – Absolute atmospheric pressure (PSIA)
P1 – Header Pressure (PSIG)
P2 – Regulated Pressure (PSIG)
One of the main factors when sizing point of use intermediate storage is, they are being supplied air by smaller branch lines which cannot carry large capacities of air. That limits your Cap value. The only way to decrease the V solution is to increase your Cap. The other key point is to ensure that all restrictions feeding into the tank and from the tank to your point of use are minimized in order to maintain peak performance.
Sound levels and ROI don’t immediately link together in a quick thought. Unless you are me and things seem to link up that don’t always go together, like peanut butter and a cheese burger. (Trust me, just try it, or if you are near West Lafayette, Indiana just go try the Purvis Burger across the street from Purdue University.) The truth behind tying sound levels being reduced and ROI together is actually pretty simple.
For this example, I am going to stay fairly high level as we could get into some pretty deep measurements of what exactly could be a cost savings. If we reduce the sound level being generated by point of use compressed air products that is easiest to do by implementing engineered blow off products as well as reducing the operating pressure. Let’s use this example: A 1/4″ copper tube that is being used as a blow off will give off a noise level of over 100 dBA from 3′ away. The table below shows that at an 80 psig inlet pressure the same tube will also consume 33 SCFM of compressed air.
By installing a model 1100 1/4″ FNPT Super Air Nozzle on the end of this copper tube, we reduce the noise level generated by the blow off to 74 dBA. This measurement is at the same 80 psig inlet pressure and from 3′ away, which is well below the OSHA standard for allowable noise level exposure. This also gives a broader more defined pattern to the air stream which may permit a reduction in compressed air pressure.
The other factor this changes is that the air consumption is reduced by 19 SCFM of compressed air which then results in energy savings. This ultimately ends in a simple ROI equation where we are simply using the compressed air reduction as the only variable for the return.
By reducing the air consumption of a process that operates 24/7, 250 days a year that equates to a savings of 6,840,000 SCFM per year and that equates to $1,710.00 USD. This does not account for any reduction in paying for hearing protection that may no longer be needed, or increase in production because the application functions better.
So you see, reducing noise levels in a facility can easily amount to a sizable cost savings in energy going towards compressed air consumption. If you would like to walk through any potential applications, please contact us.
So where exactly did compressed air come from? How did it become so widely used and where will it go? Both of these are great questions and the answers lie below.
Compressed air can be traced all the way back to the classic bellows that were used to fuel blacksmith fires and forges. These started as hand pumped bellows, they then scaled up to foot pumped, multiple person pumped, oxen or horse driven and then eventually waterwheel driven. All of these methods came about due to the demand for more and more compressed air. These bellows did not generate near the amount of air pressure or volume needed for modern day practices yet they worked in the times. These early bellows pumps would even supply miners with air.
With the evolution of metallurgy and industry these bellows were replaced by wheel driven fans, then steam came about and began generating more industrial sources of power. The main issue with steam was that it would lose its power over longer runs of pipe due to condensing in the pipes. Thus the birth of the air compressor was born. One of the largest projects that is noted to first use compressed air was in 1861 during the build of the Mont Cenis Tunnel in Switzerland in which they used compressed air machinery. From here the constant need and evolution for on-demand compressed air expanded. The picture below showcases two air compressors from 1896.
The compressors evolved over time from single stage, to two-stage reciprocating, on to compound, rotary-screw compressors, rotary vane, scroll, turbo, and centrifugal compressors with variable frequency drives. The efficiency of each evolution has continued to increase. More output for the same amount of input. Now we see a two-stage compressor, considered old technology, and wonder how the company can get any work done.
All of the technological advances in compressor technology were driven by the demand sides of the compressed air systems. Companies needed to power more, go further, get more from less, ultimately increase production. With this constant increase in demand, the supply of compressed air increased and more efficient products for using compressed air began to evolve so the air was used more efficiently.
Enter EXAIR, we evolved the blowoff to meet the increasing demands of industrial companies to get the same amount of work done with less compressed air. We have continually evolved our product offering since 1983. It all started with just a few typed pages of part numbers and has evolved to a 208 page catalog offering of Intelligent Compressed Air Products® for industry. We will also continue to evolve our product designs for continued improvement of compressed air usage. This is all to better help companies retain their resources.
If your company uses compressed air and you aren’t sure if it is efficiently being utilized, contact an Application Engineer. Thanks for joining us for the brief history lesson, we look forward to hearing from you and seeing what the future brings.