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Industry, Manufacturing

Common Compressed Air Myths in Manufacturing

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Before you invest in a compressed air system, let’s clear the air of common misconceptions. There’s plenty of information out there about compressors, but some of it is simply inaccurate. So how do you filter through the clutter? Today, we’ll demystify some of the most common compressor myths. Here are the facts you need to make an informed decision. 

Myth: Variable Speed Drive (VSD) always delivers the most efficient option.

Reality: If a compressor’s load requirement is outside the air end range of optimum tip speed, the compressor operates at less efficient points so a different control may be a better fit. The CAGI data sheet for each compressor will show the efficiency curve for each VSD compressor. The drive also emits additional heat, especially if running at lower speeds, that existing package coolers may not be designed to handle, which causes overheating shutdowns.

Myth: Compressed air is a cheap source of energy.

Reality: Compressed air is expensive. It can cost an estimated 10 percent of all electricity consumed. Given its costs, it’s especially important to maximize efficiencies through properly sizing your compressor to match application demands.

Myth: When looking for a compressor, the pressure range is all that matters.

Reality: Both flow and pressure are important. Pressure provides the force needed to perform the application while flow is the compressor’s ability to continue performing the task. Increasing pressure won’t necessarily do anything to change the pressure per square inch that you receive at the air end.

Myth: Air quality only matters in food and beverage production.

Reality: There are numerous applications and industries outside of food and beverage that require quality, oil-free air for end use and production processes. Oil-free air offers high quality paint finishes for auto manufacturers, pure products for pharmaceuticals, less wastage for the textile industry and more.

Knowing the facts about your compressed air system is extremely important in avoiding costly repairs and machine replacements. Do you have a compressed air question that’s been racking your brain? Leave us a comment below, and an Atlas Copco expert will help debunk any misconceptions or myths. You can also reach out to us on our Contact Us page.

 

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