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Reflections on Writing About Compressed Air


Scott Williams has been a contributor to the Atlas Copco blog and multiple magazines, whitepapers, and articles for more than 30 years. As he’s now retiring, we asked him for a few reflections on his 30 years of being part of the compressed air business.

First, compressed air really is everywhere! Topics I was assigned to write about were all over the map: semiconductor manufacturing, lobster sorting, mining, aircraft design, pharmaceutical packaging, guitar making, movie production, sea salt processing, architectural preservation, tea blending, wind tunnel testing, milk processing, snow grooming, NASCAR, aquaculture, bespoke hot-rod building, firefighting, portable emergency power, craft brewing, and obscure industries few people even know exist. (You’d probably want me on your trivia team). I informed and persuaded others through whitepapers, those thoughtfully crafted documents that integrate facts and data with well-reasoned opinions in support of a product, service or organization. I expressed the Atlas Copco Way writing about safety, sustainability, ethics, Water For All, leadership, teamwork, diversity, audits, financing, cyber security, corporate governance and more.

Through three decades of change, I have seen one constant: it’s tough to convince people to fix what they believe is not broken. Consider the contract manufacturer with a 12-year-old GA compressor. It had run flawlessly since commissioning, so the business owner never considered replacing it. Then, during a utility-sponsored lighting upgrade, a contractor suggested doing a compressed air audit because a compressor upgrade can pay for itself, too. An Atlas Copco sales rep had been offering to do a no-cost audit for a couple years, but the business owner repeatedly said no. You know where this story goes: the customer finally allowed an air audit, which revealed that the fixed-speed compressor was oversized, demand was variable, and the air network leaked. With energy savings proven by the audit and a rebate from the utility, the upgraded compressor paid for itself in a few months. Not broken, but fixed anyway.

Working with so many people at Atlas Copco, and their customers, for so long has been a continuing learning experience and I have genuinely had a great time doing it. So thank you for the opportunities and for all of the readers who have perused my work over the years.

Please remember that words matter. Signing off…

Scott Williams


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