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In part 2 of our compressed air leaks 101 blog post series we look at the 3 main methods of compressed air leak detection, best practice for fixing leaks and how to manage leaks on an on-going basis.
While it may not be realistic to eliminate all leaks, it’s not actually that hard to greatly reduce them. There are 3 main ways you can detect leaks:
Once you have detected the air leaks the next step is to tag them – preferably with a bright and durable tag - so they can be easily found when it comes time to fix them. Information on each tag should also be logged in a spreadsheet including; location, cost of leak, potential cost savings of fixing the leak and so on. You can then prioritise the order in which leaks are fixed.
Believe it or not a number of companies will go to the efforts of undergoing a leak audit and then fail to action the findings. Without the follow-up, leak detection will become just another cost. The good news to consider is that the 80-20 Pareto Principle applies. By even just fixing 20% of the leaks, it is possible to reduce the total compressed air leakage by 80% or more.
Unfortunately leak detection and repair cannot ever be a one off event. As the compressed air system ages or changes with time it may need further attention. If you want long term results then you must consider leak detection and repair as an ongoing programme. The easiest way to ensure leak detection is not forgotten is to develop a continual improvement programme. As part of this you may consider speaking to your service provider about adding leak detection to your maintenance programme. An ongoing leak detection audit and repair program will quickly pay for itself through energy savings. And, as an aside, you will likely also benefit from reduced downtime and better running production equipment.
References: *McCorkle, M. Kaeser Compressors (January 2018): Compressed air system leaks whitepaper
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