When used correctly, an air compressor can dramatically streamline operations and greatly reduce maintenance costs. We're here to help you operate your machine more efficiently than ever. 

shutterstock_466890863.jpgAir compressors can be an invaluable addition to your company, but without the proper know-how, you might struggle to operate and maintain them. Fortunately, we’re here to outline some informed practices that can help you get the most out of your system, ensuring that your business runs at peak efficiency.

1. Decide on quality needs

Before you purchase an air compressor, do some research into air quality requirements within your industry and take some time to consider whether a given model can help you comply with them. While demand for oil-free compressors has greatly increased in recent years, keep in mind that oil-free air can also be achieved with a traditional lubricated compressor if the proper protocols are in place.

2. Understand cost distribution

Air may be a “free” resource, but compressing it won’t be. Just because you’ve invested in a quality air compressor doesn’t mean that you won’t need to spend more on it later. An air compressor’s initial costs account for a mere fraction of lifetime costs, which can include everything from maintenance to the actual energy needed to compress air. In fact, 75% of an air compressor’s operating costs in the first five years of its life cover electricity alone.

3. Understand fixed speed vs. variable speed

Air compressors are offered in fixed or variable speed orientations. Because they adjust air supply according to demand, variable speed compressors are often regarded as more efficient, but they aren’t necessarily preferable to fixed speed compressors that are most efficient when they maintain a steady, set-volume flow. Tracking your usage patterns can neatly quantify your needs and help you determine which orientation or, even a combination of both, is better suited to your company.

4. Make sure your compressor is installed correctly

A poorly installed air compressor won’t function as highly or efficiently as it should, so always ensure that your system is correctly installed. An air compressor should enjoy a constant stream of cool, unrestricted, relatively clean air that’s free from solid and gaseous impurities. Use a short air hose if possible, since air increasingly loses pressure as it travels. Determine what size your pipes should be according to your air delivery capacity, and eliminate any kinks or bends in them.

5. Make safety a priority

Since compressed air can cause blindness, deafness, and a number of other serious injuries, take a moment to educate yourself and your team on the dangers of working with compressed air. Use proper safety equipment and clothing, follow safe operating practices, regularly check for leaks, and never use compressed air for unregulated purposes such as dusting off equipment or clothing.

6. Conduct periodical assessments

Data logging programs can provide you with helpful metrics regarding your business, from how much air you consume to the cost of maintenance and electricity. Your data should always include statistics on your facility’s total air consumption over a one-week period, information about compressor efficiency, and any anomalies or planned process changes. a commercial energy audit or the ISO 11011:2013 standardized air compressor assessment can help you compare the efficiency of your machine to industry standards and remain compliant with federal regulations.

7. Improve efficiency

Be as proactive as possible whenever you use your air compressor. Use your system’s storage and automatic controls to anticipate demand, and always turn off air supply whenever a compressor isn’t in operation.

Topics: Air Compressor, air compressor industry, best practices

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