FABTECH 2023, a leading event for metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing, successfully wrapped up its four-day run at Chicago's McCormick Place, achieving significant milestones for attendance, exhibitors, and show floor size. The 2023 show floor, spanning an impressive 825,325 square feet across three exhibit halls, featured an extensive showcase of over 1,500 world-class suppliers.
Vane motors can run at much higher speeds (2000 rpm and up), but piston motors tend to turn much slower – less than 1000 rpm. For slower speed applications, vane motors are mated with a gear reducer and called a gearmotor. The gearmotor can produce the higher torque and slower speed needed for some applications, but the gear reducer can add some drivetrain loss. While a piston air motor may not be able to replace a vane motor where high speed is needed, it can be a good choice for high torque/low speed applications.
Their system was designed and built to achieve premium performance, yet in a recent compressed air assessment the numbers showed their system had surprisingly poor performance, and worse, their staff was unaware of the problems. This article discusses some of the challenges faced and some future solutions that could get their system back to higher performance levels.
Compressed air is used in all the company’s plants and is often the single largest energy end use within them. As a result, compressed air energy-saving measures are often replicable across the company and offer significant positive impacts. One area of focus is with compressed air leaks since they are “the best low hanging fruit to focus on and they always keep popping up and waste energy”.
Nitrogen is used in many facilities for a variety of purposes. The most common source of N2 is through the use of bulk liquid storage. A plant owner was recently surprised to learn that a large portion of his N2 was disappearing, without ever being used by his production process. This article discusses where it went and what we could do about it.
“I’ll say this politely. At the end of the day, we shouldn’t have to worry about compressed air, right? We’ve got more important things to worry about,” English said, adding how a recent partnership with Atlas Copco Compressors and other decisions associated with compressed air have hit the mark. “Without clean, compressed air we wouldn’t be able to complete our day-to-day activities. We’re relieved it’s something we don’t need to worry about.”
Since completion of the system upgrade in the fall of 2020, PC Forge is on track to save an average of 1.9 million kWh and $266,000.00 per year in energy costs – and increase the production capability of its forging operation by 40%. The project also achieved a one-year payback with a \$245,000 incentive from Government of Ontario’s utility Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).
Manufacturers familiar with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Energy Treasure Hunts initiative know it’s a great way to save energy and natural resources – as long as it’s done right – which is why some are turning to perhaps their best asset to achieve success: their unionized workforce.
One topic up for discussion in the metal fabrication industry is the assist gas used for laser cutting. The assist gas is fed into the laser head, and surrounds the laser as it cuts the work piece. The assist gas is intended to facilitate a smoother cut, increase cutting speeds and productivity, and to prevent discoloration, oxidation, scale, burred edges and other defects that can arise from the hot cutting temperatures. Since Nitrogen is an inert gas, it is used as an assist gas on many laser cutting systems to prevent oxygen from coming into contact with the metal while it’s being cut. Nitrogen is supplied to users in traditional cylinders, and with on-site nitrogen generation.
Reverse pulse type dust collectors often represent a challenge to compressed air energy efficiency, and sometimes throw a wrench into the works by causing huge air pressure fluctuations, high transient flows and just plain large leaks. This article discusses this type of dust collector, often installed in food processing plants, and gives some real-life examples of problematic installations. Some suggested measures are mentioned to ensure your dust collectors keep running in a trouble-free manner.
With an eye toward strengthening its competitive edge, GKN opted for a new approach for the compressed air it uses to power metal molding machines in addition to a variety of other applications at its manufacturing facility. After careful analysis and planning with the Total Equipment Company located in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, GKN opted to move beyond its aging compressed air system – and instead – outsource compressed air as a utility. Doing so allowed it to free up valuable floor space, while also achieving peace of mind since it can now count on a fixed cost for a reliable compressed air supply for years to come.