If your compressed air system hasn’t been audited recently, you could be missing out. Cost savings, injury prevention, and system efficiency are just three reasons why regular audits from a manufacturer or certified distributor are essential.
Whether you’ve just purchased a new compressor or you’ve been working with the same system for a long time, it’s likely that your compressed air setup could use an audit. Regular auditing can save you money, improve workplace safety, and identify inefficiencies in your system.
Here are three reasons to regularly audit your system:
1. You could be saving money.
The cost of compressed air installations begins with the hardware, but energy costs make up the overwhelming majority of lifetime system costs. In fact, as much as 80% of the expense associated with your compressed air system can be attributed to the electricity it takes to operate.
If your compressed air system hasn’t been audited recently, it’s probably not optimized for maximum energy efficiency. In other words, you could be losing profits.
One of the primary goals of a compressed air system audit is to strategically evaluate your system’s energy consumption and identify areas for improvement. Even minor adjustments can significantly reduce energy consumption and operating costs. And organizations with a “triple bottom line” approach stand to improve their sustainability as well.
The optimal use of your machine will largely depend on your facility’s unique requirements. A professional audit from a distributor or manufacturer will analyze your compressed air needs, determine your organization’s exact air demand, and establish the optimal regulation system, in addition to any system adjustments and retrofits that would make financial sense.
2. Safety is paramount.
Without regular audits, you might be missing safety issues that could endanger your workforce and damage your facilities.
Damaged or frayed air hoses in your compressed air system present one of the very largest safety risks. and it may not be immediately apparent when a hose is damaged. A professional audit can spot damage to air hoses, allowing you to repair or replace them before they rupture and put workers at risk of injury. Damaged or undersized hoses can also cause system pressure to drop, which can cause air tools and air operated devices to underperform or cause expensive damage to other components.
Pressure gauges should also be inspected regularly; Faulty pressure gauges can mask a buildup of pressure in the tank, which could burst if left unchecked.
Lastly, electrical components within the system, including the electrical wires can be damaged through abrasion or with repeated cycling. They too should be inspected regularly to preclude the potential for electrical hazards.
Audits can ensure that your compressed air system meets industry safety standards, but organizations should hold regular refresher sessions on best practices for your workers in order to minimize the likelihood of injuries in the workplace.
3. There could be a better system for the job.
Though audits can identify inefficiencies and safety risks, they can also help you determine whether a different type of compressor system could better suit your needs. While the best air compressor for any given application largely depends upon overall compressed air demand, considering the unique differences in capability between rotary screw and rotary vane technologies can help to further narrow your choice.
Rotary vane compressors utilize a single off-set rotor supported by two white metal bushes while turning at 1,800 rpm or less, causing several blades (or vanes) to slide in and out of the rotor creating compression pockets. This simple design is engineered for 100,000 hours of service and runs quietly at slow speeds while providing the most cfm for the least amount of energy. Vane technologies tend to provide better reliability due to the rotor’s slower speed.
In contrast, a rotary screw compressor consists of a set of parallel rotors that are supported by 6 bearings. Belts or gears turn the screws at high speeds. A heavily insulated cabinet serves to deaden the noise. The bearings have an average service life of 35,000 to 40,000 hours, after which they must be replaced. As a result, rotary vane compressors last longer and are a more cost-effective investment for businesses looking to reduce operating and overall lifetime system costs.Whichever system your organization is currently running, contact your local Mattei distributor for an audit of your compressed air system. Mattei technicians can provide solutions that could help reduce your energy consumption, lower operating costs, bolster workplace safety, and ensure that you’re running the compressed air system that best suits your needs.