KAESER Know How blog post
KAESER Know How Blog

In this blog we look at 6 key factors which can contribute to the long-term reliability and cost-optimisation of a typical compressed air system.

6 factors to review today!
KAESER Know How Blog

In this blog we look at 6 key factors which can contribute to the long-term reliability and cost-optimisation of a typical compressed air system.

6 factors to review today!

How do I achieve long-term compressor system reliability?

6 factors to review today!

KAESER Know How blog post: How do I achieve long-term compressor system reliability?

October 2015

Heightened electricity costs experienced over the past few years have increased the requirement to keep all operating costs to a minimum, not least those generated by running a compressed air system! It is good to know then, that by operating an efficient compressed air system, it is possible to increase its reliability, thereby significantly reducing power consumption and the associated costs. In this blog we look at 6 key factors which can contribute to the long-term reliability and cost-optimisation of a typical compressed air system.

  1. Maintenance
    Advanced internal compressor controllers and compressed air management systems will provide detailed information on the scheduled maintenance requirements of the compressor(s) in question. Following such prescribed maintenance schedules will ultimately lower maintenance requirements and costs whilst increasing efficiency and reliability.

  2. Compressed air consumption versus actual demand
    Any changes in production processes should be considered. Whilst it is normal for the compressed air demand to vary in a manufacturing facility from shift to shift, any changes in production processes may result in the compressors operating either below capacity or not even being able to cover demand. An expansion in production would also impact the compressed air systems ability to efficiently meet the compressed air demand. It is therefore advisable to precisely measure and document the air consumption of the existing compressor system in order to gather enough detailed information to economically modify or expand the air supply system to produce the higher capacity needed.

  3. Reliability of the air supply
    Compressed air systems will usually include a standby compressor that is available when another compressor is being serviced or repaired, or in order to meet occasional demand peaks. It is important that such a reserve capacity is matched by a reserve capacity in the air treatment equipment.
    When air consumption rises, the standby compressor will cut in. However, it is highly likely that the compressed air quality will deteriorate if there is not additional air treatment capacity. It is therefore important to have a treatment unit - for example, dryer and filter - for each standby compressor.

  4. Changes in air quality
    Where a need arises for higher air quality, the subsequent air treatment requirements should be reassessed. If this impacts the entire compressed air station, it may be necessary to also clean or renew the pipe work that has transported the lower quality air. In contrast, if just an area of the compressed air system is required to deliver higher air quality, local air treatment that can supply the quality required is recommended. This will ensure that an increase in demand above that for which the devices are intended does not result in degradation of air quality.

  5. Leak management
    Unfortunately leaks occur in every compressed air distribution network. From wear on tools, hose connections and machine components, whatever the cause, compressed air leaks can lead to considerable energy losses. Keeping track of such problems and taking prompt action, as well as regularly measuring and eliminating leaks, is therefore key to minimising the associated leaks.

  6. Air-consuming equipment
    When selecting any new air-consuming production equipment, it is worth considering the pressure of the air needed. In fact, this may be just as important as the electrical power supply! As an example, it is extremely possible that the costs of generating pressure higher than the standard 6 bar would quickly rise above the extra cost of selecting a more efficient machine that operates at a lower pressure.
    It is recommended that guidelines are written for the purchase of production machines which considers both electrical power and compressed air supplies. 

Cost management ensures efficiency
By searching out potential savings and making energy efficiency a priority, the closer you will be able to get to achieve long-term compressed air system reliability and cost-optimisation; good for the balance sheet and the environment! 

For further information fill in the form below to download a complimentary copy of the Kaeser guidebook 'Compressed Air Engineering; Basic principles, tips and suggestions'.

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