Formal compressed air system audits are costly and can be quite involved,. Experts are available to do this with expensive equipment in very large factory operations. But what about smaller facility where the cost and time is hard to justify?
In this case a simple “Check the Line” walk for a visual check can both be adequate but informative. The person or persons would check items such as filters, piping structure and condensate drains for operation and especially leakage where up to 30% of air can be lost and wasted. A relatively low cost hand held ultrasonic leak detector can identify leaks. In choosing one you need to make sure it has a narrow ultrasound range so as to identify real leaks and quality head phones to drown our factory noise so you can “hear” the leak. (Walkman style headphones are great when working on your car but not for a factory environment.) Sealing identified leaks can save a tremendous amount of cost. Replacing worn out fittings and connections that leak save even more. Stuck automatic drains releasing air is another item to identify and repair.
The quality of the compressed air should be checked. Dirty air increases the frequency and cost of filter cartridge changes, and threatens production quality. If left unchecked it can lead to production downtime. If water is blowing out of air tools for example, then a serious check of the filter system should be made. The life of the tools will be negatively affected. Dirty and wet air blowing onto a product from an air nozzle detrimentally effects product quality.
Another thing to inspect is the piping system to identify high pressure drops. You can decrease pressure drops by re-configuring piping and looking at the system as to where, and how much air is used. You can then ensure that the facility has the right compressor for the job(s) being done. Depending on how and where the compressed air is used and how much it fluctuates, can allow you to determine if the appropriate type of compressor is used. Variable Speed Drive compressors for example may be appropriate and efficient for high fluctuating energy demands.
Demands on a compressed air system will change whenever there is a change to a manufacturing process in the use of compressed air. A simple “Check the Line” can determine if the system needs any adjustment to maintain optimal compressed air use.
Nex Flow Air Products manufacturers compressed air products for blow off, cooling and moving. If you have any questions on the use of compressed air please ask.