Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Show Report: FABTECH 2016 Compressed Air and Nitrogen Generation Technology

Trulaser Fabtech Festo Fabtech
The TRUMPF Trulaser 3030 relies on Festo Compressed Air Regulation and Preparation modules.

FABTECH 2016, North America’s largest collaboration of technology, equipment and knowledge in the metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing industries, welcomed 1,500 exhibiting companies and a total of 31,110 attendees from over 120 countries last week to the Las Vegas Convention Center.

FABTECH’s expansive exhibit space spanned more than 575,000 net square feet, giving attendees ample opportunity to see manufacturing’s latest innovations, interact one-on-one with key vendors and learn about new industry trends. Throughout the three-day event, attendees also had access to more than 100 education sessions and expert-led panel discussions. A variety of special programming was featured as well, including a powerful opening keynote from boxing legend and entrepreneur Sugar Ray Leonard and an appearance from cast members of the hit reality TV show “Counting Cars.”

“We are so grateful to our exhibitors, attendees, special guests and the City of Las Vegas for helping make FABTECH 2016 such a resounding success,” said Mark Hoper, vice president of expositions & media, FMA. “The enthusiasm and commitment displayed by everyone at the show to improve our industries were contagious. By participating in FABTECH 2016, attendees now have stronger, more diverse business networks and increased knowledge on manufacturing’s top trends and best practices.”

Hundreds of live product demonstrations showcasing manufacturing’s most cutting-edge equipment and technologies took place daily on the exhibit floor. These demonstrations allowed FABTECH exhibitors to present their current product offerings to targeted buyers and generate quality sales leads.

“FABTECH for us is all about networking,” said Angus Catterson, president, KAAST Machine Tools Inc. “Year after year, this event is a great venue to strengthen our relationships with current customers and help us meet potential new ones as well – all while promoting our new product lines and letting more people know about who we are as a company.”

Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine was pleased to be in the literature bins at FABTECH 2016!


Compressed Air  and Nitrogen Generation Technology

Kaeser Compressors had their booth full of different rotary screw air compressors. A unit popular with metal fabricators is the rugged AS Series. The AS Series features a new airend deisgned specifically for it along with a standard TEFC motor, magnetic Wye-Delta starter and belt drive with automatic tensioning system. The sound attenuated cabinet keeps sound levels as low as 67 dBA and has a receiver tank inside! An integrated refrigerated dryer is an option one can choose. It’s a module in a separate “bolt-on” cabinet so it’s not exposed to preheated air or contaminants from the compressor package. The AS Series comes with Sigma Control Basic for convenient pressure control and system monitoring. The flow range is from 64 to 143 cfm at pressures from 80 to 217 psig.


Kaeser Fabtech

Josh Wagner, Zach Jackson and Bruce Lidie (left to right) next to a Kaeser AS25T rotary screw air compressor.


Based in Atlanta, BEKO USA has become a major supplier of desiccant air dryers. Manufactured in their Atlanta headquarters with ASME pressure vessels, their DRYPOINT® X family of desiccant dryers covers a full range of heatless and heated dryers. The family of products covers pressures from standard 100 psig plant air all the way to special high pressure applications up to 7000 psig. The flows range from small compact units to heated units handling up to 6,000 scfm. The BEKO booth personnel were talking about the DRYPOINT® XF heated desiccant dryers-particularly the XFi unit featuring “ecoIntelligence”. This system takes demand-control energy savings to another level by syncing with the air compressor and using sensors (on both inlet and outlet) to drive down energy consumption while ensuring dry compressed air.


Beko Fabtech

Jim Tomczyk, Adrian Fernandez and Eric Johnson (left to right) presented the new BEKO Drypoint® XF hyper-intelligent heated desiccant dryer.


COAIRE was at the show displaying their CHSA Series, direct-coupled, single-stage, lubricated rotary screw product line. There are five models ranging from 30 to 100 horsepower for a flow range of 109 to 441 cfm (at 100 psig). The sound attenuation packages are very effective, for the 30-50 horsepower models, at 63-65 dBA.  This line complements their established lineup of oil-less scroll air ends and D, M, and S Series Scroll enclosure units ranging from 3 to 50 horsepower.


Coaire Fabtech

Mike Steinke and Red Lopez (left to right) next to a COAIRE 30 hp VSD rotary screw air compressor.


MTA USA was present displaying their cycling refrigerated compressed air dryers. The DEiTech series offers thermal mass performance-without the mass. This innovative system matches the performance of their long-established DE thermal mass dryers, while reducing the unit footprint and weight by as much as forty percent (40%). The patented innovation centers around an all-aluminum 3-in-1 heat exchanger design using “pulse technology” which is a suction-side refrigerant flow control system. This refrigerant control system allows the dryer to “unload” as required and to cycle on and off when demand is low.


MTA Fabtech

MTA USA has expanded the size of their U.S. field sales force. Pictured left to right are Enrico Callegarin, Craig Thorsen, Matt Broxterman (Blackhawk Equipment), Tim West, Howard Kielar, Angelo Mastrangelo, Dan Rogowski and John Medeiros.


Purification Solutions (nano) has established a joint venture with CTA SAS (from Chaponost, France) for refrigeration products. The joint venture will focus on chiller and refrigerated dryer technologies. The refrigerated dryers will be brought to the market by nano and feature an improved NXC thermal mass and a new NDX direct-expansion refrigerated dryer technologies. The CTA Americas team will focus the CTA brand on chillers for primarily OEM opportunities.


CTA Fabtech

Emmanuel Perez, Don Joyce and Todd Alison (left to right) at the CTA Americas booth.


SMC USA displayed their pneumatically-driven NAMS power clamps designed to help metal fabricators. SMC’s Scott Maurer explained how their pin clamp cylinders, angular style air grippers and VQC pneumatic valves all help optimize the product. SMC offers a range of point-of-use refrigerated dryers and chillers to complete a production solution for the client.


 SMC Fabtech

Scott Maurer in front of the NAMS Power Clamps display at the SMC booth.


Nitrogen Generators

The Parker GSF Division had a booth educating the metal fabricators (particularly those using lasers) about the benefits of generating nitrogen from their compressed air systems. The Parker domnick hunter line of NITROSource nitrogen gas generators benefits from over 30 years experience in the market and over 50,000 gas generators installed globally. The environmental, the cost, and the quality benefits (over supplied gas options) are truly very important and it’s good to see the market acceptance of nitrogen generators continue to grow. I have long been impressed by the application knowledge at Parker GSF. Applying the proper nitrogen purity specification (avoiding often unnecessarily high purities) is the key to maximizing the efficiency of the technology. Parker GSF helps clients test different purity levels for their applications before settling in on the specification. An excellent reference table, within an article titled “Selecting Purity Levels with Onsite Nitrogen Generators” was written by Parker GSF’s David Connaughton and is available on our website at


Parker Fabtech

Mike Kinnucane, from Parker GSF, discussing their NITROSource nitrogen generator.


Gas Control Systems is a Michigan-based packager of both PSA and Permea membrane nitrogen generation systems. Established in 1982, the Company also supplies a line of oxygen generators designed to meet central pipeline requirements-such as those required by their partnership with Can-Gas Systems. While visiting the booth, Bryan Cook told me they are selling into a wide range of applications including laser cutting, plastic injection molding and food packaging. It’s clear to me they have extensive packaging capabilities for customized skids.


GCS Fabtech

Gas Control Systems displayed PSA and Permea Membrane nitrogen generators


For more information about FABTECH 2017, taking place in Chicago on Nov. 6-9, 2017, please visit

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