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Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Models of Industrial Air Compressors

Industrial air compressors are used by many industries and manufacturers; some even depend on them. An industrial one is much more powerful than the type of air compressors that you would find around the regular household.

They are also much more expensive than their lightweight cousins. These air compressor system choices come in both gasoline models and electric models. Most industries use the gasoline models rather than the electric models, as the gas models reduce the utility costs.

Most industries choose to use the two-stage model of industrial air compressors for their tough, heavy duty tasks. The two stage system can store unused air for future use.

This type of compressor is also much more energy efficient and runs on a higher level of horsepower. More horsepower with these devices means that they work better and longer than the other models. They also break down far less often, which means that fewer hours of maintenance is needed on these units.

When purchasing any type of industrial air compressor, both safety and quality standards need to be considered. Most industries are required to purchase such compressors and compressor parts that are certified by the ASME, also know as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In the past few years there has been growing concerns about workplace safety.

This has prompted companies to be aware that they are purchasing high quality devices which have been certified. Many of the manufacturer companies out there are installing a safety valve that is used in case excess air pressure builds up in the unit.

If this happens, then the valve allows the air to be released automatically, which will decrease the pressure if there is a power overload. If the device does not have this safety measure, then it can explode.

Industrial air compressors are used mostly for industrial purposes, as they are the kings of the its world. These industrial compressors have much more power than their more compact counterparts and can be used for a wider variety of tasks.

While they are more heavy duty, they are also pricier, but again are not really appropriate for home use. Portable air compressors are more suitable for home use and can be moved about with more ease, allowing you to use it in more areas.

Mike Selvon has some great air compressors articles. Find out more tips on industrial air compressors at his resourceful site. We appreciate your feedback at our air compressor parts blog.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a Portable Air Compressor

Air tools can make your work much easier and efficient, and a portable air compressor is a necessity if you want to use them. Air compressors are available in many sizes and capacities. Some of the larger ones have wheels and handles to help move them around. They have different horsepower and pound per square inch (psi) ratings. They are typically powered by gas, electric, or diesel. The nice thing about the electric ones is that they can be used in spaces where you don't want to deal with the fumes. Of course, gas gives a high degree of reliability for frequent use, and is perfect when you need maximum portability. There's just not always a current bush around when you need one.

When you are in the market for a portable air compressor you need to take a look at your requirements. For example, if you are planning on using it for airbrushing, then a five liter tank capacity and approximately 30psi would be sufficient. If you need a larger volume of air then you obviously need something with a larger capacity. Otherwise, you'll be standing around waiting for your tank to fill up and that will not only decrease how efficient your work is, but it will also drive you crazy. I use a small pancake unit that works great for my brad nailer, but is constantly kicking on and refilling when I use the air blower attachment.

A portable air compressor is, well, portable. That means that you can move it around. So ask yourself how you'll be using it. If you need to fix the shingles up on the roof then portable is great. If you really just want something to fill the tires in the garage then maybe a portable unit will work, but you may want something with a higher capacity. Either way, just make sure you consider the various uses you may have before you buy.

Another thing to consider is your power source. Most air compressors in the US run on 110 volt, but some of the larger ones do run on 240 volt. Make sure to check in advance of your purchase. You should also consider the pump type you need. A belt driven pump is great for heavy use, and a direct-drive is designed for light use. The belt driven pump is quieter but needs the oil changed from time to time.

It may go without saying, but knowing the requirements of your air tools before you buy a portable air compressor is essential. Then, add a margin of safety of 50 percent. Each tool you have will have its CFM requirement on the box. The great thing about air tools is that they deliver more power with less weight and generally have a lower cost than regular electric tools. Always use proper eye protection and consider using ear plugs, especially with the gas-powered units.

How much does a portable air compressor cost? Well, like most things it can vary quite a bit. A basic setup can cost a couple hundred bucks, whereas a more powerful compressor with all the bells and whistles can run you into the thousands.

MJ is a free lance writer for Click Shops, Inc., where you can find the perfect portable air compressor for your specific needs at

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Analyzing Your Compressed Air System

The first step in analyzing a compressed air system is to determine your compressed air needs. Compressed air needs are defined by the air quality and quantity required by the end uses in your plant. Assessing these needs carefully and understanding the difference between air quality and air quantity will ensure that a compressed air system is configured properly. Determining your pressure and demand load requirements are also important steps in analyzing your compressed air system.

Air Quality
Air quality is determined by the air dryness and contaminant level required by end uses. Learn the actual dryness level needed and the maximum contaminant level allowed for reliable production. Overtreating air beyond the required dryness and allowable contaminant level wastes money and energy.

Air Quantity
The required compressed air system volume can be determined by summing the requirements of your compressed air applications and process operations (taking into account load factors) and the duration of such volumes by those applications. The total air requirement is not the sum of the maximum requirements for each tool and process, but the sum of the average air consumption of each.

Pressure Requirements
The minimum required discharge pressure level must take into account the different pressure ratings of compressed air applications and processes as well as the pressure drops from components in the system. Too often, low or fluctuating pressure at end uses is misdiagnosed as not enough discharge pressure.

Pressure drop is a term used to characterize the reduction in air pressure from the compressor discharge to the actual point of end use. Pressure drop occurs as compressed air travels through the treatment and distribution system. Excessive pressure drop will result in poor system performance and excessive energy consumption. A pressure profile is a series of measurements of compressed air pressure at different points in the system, and allows identification of system components that are causing excessive pressure drop.

Demand Load Requirements
Another key to properly designing and operating a compressed air system is analyzing a plant’s compressed air requirements over time, or load profile. The variation of demand for air over time is a major consideration in system design. Plants with wide variations in air demand need a system that operates efficiently under part-load. In such a case, multiple compressors with sequencing controls may provide more economical operation. Plants with a flatter load profile can use simpler control strategies.

The following is a seven-step action plan from CAC Fundamentals of Compressed Air Systems to analyze and improve your compressed air system:

1. Develop a basic block diagram of your compressed air system.
2. Measure your baseline (kW, pressure profile, demand profile, and leak load) and calculate energy use and costs.
3. Work with your compressed air system specialist to implement an appropriate compressor control strategy.
4. Once controls are adjusted, remeasure to get more accurate readings of kW and pressures, and to determine leak load. Recalculate energy use and costs.
5. Walk through to check for obvious preventive maintenance items and other opportunities to reduce costs and improve performance.
6. Identify and fi x leaks and correct inappropriate uses – know costs, re-measure, and adjust controls as above.
7. Begin implementation of continuous improvement programs.


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