Industrial Utility Efficiency

Air Compressor and Dryer Innovation Unveiled at Best Practices 2022 EXPO & Conference

In early October 2022, professionals from around the world gathered at the Best Practices 2022 EXPO & Conference in Atlanta to source and learn about the latest on-site utilities powering modern plant automation including compressed air, blowers, vacuum, pneumatics, motors and cooling water systems. 

This report recaps a fraction of the event’s education curriculum and provides an editorial tour of sponsoring exhibitors’ machinery displays and product introductions. Editorial booth tours are sequenced by sponsorship level, then alphabetically. 

EXPO & Conference for Sustainable, Safe & Reliable On-Site Utilities Powering Automation

The Conference’s Opening & Plenary Sessions featured speakers from CAGI, Gentex Corporation, Georgia Pacific, Intertape Polymer Group, BEKO Technologies, Pattons, iZ Systems and Atlas Machine & Supply. 

The Best Practices Conference program featured a diverse group of speakers with hundreds of years of combined experience in compressed air, vacuum and cooling system assessment and specification – guided by the objective educational and proficiency expectations of Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine. 

The Keynote presentations featured corporate sustainability and operations executives from Gentex Corporation, Georgia Pacific and Intertape Polymer Group – as well as leading air compressor and compressed air treatment suppliers. The eight breakout Conference Sessions were organized in two tracks. Track 1 was titled On-Site Utility Sustainability: Energy & Cooling Water Conservation, and Track 2 was titled On-Site Utility Reliability, Safety and Quality.

The highest-attended Conference Session was the Compressed Air & Gas Institute (CAGI) Seminar - Case Studies in Compressed Air Efficiency. CAGI gathered engineering and technical managers from Ingersoll Rand, Kaeser Compressors, Quincy Compressor and Sullair (listed alphabetically), to present recent, challenging compressed air system assessments and installations, and share best practices in application of compressed air equipment to attendees. Mr. Chad Larrabee, CAGI’s Education Committee Chair, directed this session then delivered the Opening Remarks in the Opening Keynote Session.  There, Larrabee updated the industry on CAGI’s latest efforts to serve as the united voice of the compressed air industry. Its latest efforts include a new Blower Chapter in its Compressed Air & Gas Handbook, a new Rotary Air Compressor Selection Guide and more. The audience enjoyed a video Mr. Larrabee presented, of a Formula 1 pit stop in the 1950s, versus a Formula 1 pit stop today – which represented a hyperbole for the progress the compressed air industry has made over the years. 

Several attendees also left the event as a CAGI Certified Compressed Air System Specialist (CCASS), after passing the standardized exam offered by CAGI at the Best Practices EXPO & Conference.

Chad Larrabee, Bruce McFee, Jenny Oblock and Rob Hasely at the CAGI booth (left to right).

In the EXPO Hall, BEKO Technologies displayed a full gallery of its compressed air treatment equipment, and revealed multiple new product prototypes to in-person attendees exclusively. Standing tall on the show floor was a 2,300 scfm BEKO XFe Series heated blower purge desiccant dryer. The XFe Series is available in 11 models from 800 – 6,000 scfm. Its average purge air consumption of 3% is made possible by the integrated blower, heater and its BEKOTOUCH 2 controller with full-color, 7” touch screen display, data trends, spare parts lists, ambient humidity readings and more. Also displayed was a BEKOKAT catalytic converter for highly sensitive oil-free compressed air applications. Through catalysis technology, BEKOKAT generates oil- and germ-free compressed air with a barely measurable residual oil content of 0.01 mg/m3. BEKOKAT is available in seven sizes from 18 – 1,200 m3/h. The portfolio’s newest 18 m3/h size was on display – for point-of-use applications like laboratories. 

BEKO Technologies also contributed to the educational curriculum of the event. Its team held eight hours of technical sales and service experience training for its network, plus 18 different presentations at their booth. In addition, BEKO Technologies president Tilo Fruth presented in the standing-room-only Opening Session on efficiency, connectivity and reliability of modern compressed air treatment systems.

Jason Brister, Wes Carl, Adrian Fernandez, Tilo Fruth, Luciano De Oliveira, Jan Sielk, Joe Fecko, Josh Borrego, Marcia Gomes, Sarah Porterfield, Randall Corthouts, John Hays and Terry Hole at the BEKO Technologies booth (left to right). 

Yannick Koch, Co-Managing Director, presenting a Global Innovation Roadmap at the BEKO Technologies booth. 

Kaeser Compressors USA displayed the capabilities of its Kaeser Air System Enclosures (KASE). These are fully configured compressed air systems delivered ready to operate in a sheltered, weatherproof enclosure. These units are rated for 110 mph wind loads and 50 lbs/ft2 of snow loads. Ventilation and temperature control comes standard – providing better operating conditions than many traditional compressor rooms lacking ventilation. Thermostatically controlled ventilation and external fans facilitate fresh air flow, while captured heat of compression and external heaters maintain proper temperatures in colder conditions. The piping and electrical systems are both preconfigured, connecting conveniently to the plant for efficient installation. Kaeser Compressors USA stocks five KASE configurations from 125 – 300hp with appropriate air treatment and storage, but also offers custom engineered air system enclosures for users with precise compressed air flow, pressure and quality requirements.

Neil Mehltretter, Greg Ashe and Joe Dorazio at the Kaeser Compressors booth (left to right). 

On display at the hertz Kompressoren USA booth was its latest innovation, the IMPETUS Series two-stage, oil-flooded rotary screw air compressor. The IMPETUS Series is available in eight VSD or fixed speed models sized from 90 – 315 kW (125 – 430 HP), and achieves flows up to 2,242 scfm, pressures ranging from 100 – 175 psi (6.9 – 12.1 bar) and noise levels ≤ 80 dB(A). Features contributing to the CAGI performance verified energy efficiency of the unit include: IE4 efficiency class motors, the two-stage air end reducing the compression ratio of each stage, VSD technology keeping starting current lower than full load current, VSD controlled aftercooler fan, separate oil cooling circuit, optional integrated heat recovery exchangers and more.

David Carpenter, James Anthony, Stephanie Brockman, Clark Beal and Bob Groendyke at the Hertz Kompressoren USA booth (left to right). 

The Mikropor America team displayed its MNG-US Series PSA nitrogen generator, M-CHILL Water Process Chiller, MK-US Series refrigerated air dryer, Mia Air indoor air purifier and compressed air filters. The MNG Series PSA nitrogen generator is available in 28 sizes. With nitrogen gas purity set to 99.999%, the MNG-US Series achieves flows from 1.2 – 1,089.3 scfm. When the nitrogen purity set point is down to 95%, the MNG-US Series achieves flows from 3.3 – 3,005.2 scfm. Nitrogen purity levels and energy consumption have a positive correlation. If you don’t need 99.999% purity for your process, you will save on energy costs if lower purity levels can meet the needs of your application. Mikropor also sponsored the Welcome Reception.


Ken Schiefer, Mike Kinnucane, Volkan Ayhan, Evren Yazici, Ryan Loeffler, Allan Hoerner and Jeff Crutchfield at the Mikropor booth (left to right). 

The Altec AIR team displayed its range of refrigerated and desiccant compressed air dryers and filtration. Sales Manager Jim DiMaiolo spoke with attendees in the New Technology EXPO Classroom about Altec AIR’s point-of-use desiccant air dryer technology. Through Altec AIR’s MDH (0.4 – 3.2 scfm), VSA (2.8 – 12 scfm) and HR (3 – 50 scfm) series heatless desiccant air dryers, customers can achieve a -40°F/C outlet dew point (ISO 8573.1 Class 2) at the point of use, saving space with their compact, mountable configurations. Altec AIR’s desiccant air dryer offering ranges from 0.4 to 6,000 scfm. It’s non-cycling and energy saving refrigerated air dryer offering ranges from 10 to 2,000 scfm.

Robert Ruskaup, Gregg Lesniewski, Bob McKay and Jim DiMaiolo at the Altec AIR booth (left to right). 

Applied System Technologies (AST) has offered aluminum piping systems for distribution of compressed air, vacuum and inert gases since 2005. AST’s large- and small-diameter pipe offering is suitable for any business – from a high-tech manufacturer to a home garage. Its design and engineering team invests bandwidth into offering a product with fast, safe installation to save installers time and money. 

Chris Canipe, Bill Duffell and Bill Kirkpatrick at the Applied System Technologies booth (left to right). 

BOGE America, based in Powder Springs, GA, offers lubricated and oil-free rotary screw compressors and piston compressors, scroll and turbocompressors, as well as compressed air treatment equipment and accessories. The BOGE team displayed a C 9 PM rotary screw, oil-lubricated, frequency regulated air compressor. The C PM Series (5.5 – 11 kW) is equipped with a permanent magnet motor which combines improved energy efficiency and a low noise level. The nine models in the C PM Series achieve pressures from 109 – 189 psig. Area Sales Manager Pam Tetterton presented in the New Technology EXPO Classroom on compressed air dryer refrigerant and environmental sustainability. Tetterton provided an overview on the state of refrigerant regulations, and BOGE’s refrigerated air dryers converting to non-flammable R-513A (GWP 573).

Brice Shultz, Wolfgang Strobelt, Pam Tetterton and Luis Cantu at the BOGE America booth (left to right).

The FS-Curtis & FS-Elliott teams recently introduced the ECO-Turbo Series water-cooled/air-cooled centrifugal air compressor, and the FS-Connect remote monitoring system. The ECO-Turbo Series is equipped with two-stage compression by titanium impellers, dual carbon ring seals, three energy control modes, inlet and unloading valves, high efficiency coolers and more. The water-cooled ECO-Turbo models are available in four sizes (1,241 -1,541 acfm) ranging from 248 – 335 HP (185 – 250 kW), reaching discharge pressures of 100 – 125 psi and decibel levels of 75 dB(A). The air-cooled models are available in four sizes (1,242 – 1,512 acfm) ranging from 248 – 335 HP (185 – 250 kW), reaching discharge pressures of 90 – 115 psi and decibel levels of 82 dB(A).

Mark Harmon, Scott Folsom, Matt Smith, Justin Johnson, Madison Kelly and Kourtney Stallings as the FS-Curtis and FS-Elliot booth (left to right). 

Sauer Compressors USA rental sales manager Jim Riley presented High Pressure Air & Gas Applications to Meet and Exceed Your Customer’s Needs, encapsulating the capabilities of Sauer Compressors USA. It has recently introduced new helium compressor models. Since helium is a finite natural resource, helium recovery and leak prevention have been critical in the development of Sauer Compressors helium machines for the last 50 years. Sauer’s helium compressors are equipped with either a double lip seal at the crankshaft or a magnetic coupling drive for hermetic gas-tightness, gas-tight hoses, and a gas tight oil-lock to the crank case. Sauer’s Charley Kowalyshyn can describe many helium compressor applications.

Pat Lamon, Charley Kowalyshyn, Adrian Espinoza and Jim Riley at the Sauer Compressors USA booth (left to right). 

SMC presented its Air Management System (AMS). To be concise - it’s a combined point-of-use solution for smart air pressure regulation up to 105 psi, and KPI monitoring, as air enters pneumatic circuits. Its motto is solution for sustainability, predictive maintenance and digitalization. Pressure regulation during non-production or reduced capacity reduces CO2 emissions, then its compact metering provides readings to the AMS Hub’s digital twin to establish baselines for compressed air demand profiles of production machinery. 

Jon Jensen, Butch Baker and Nathan Eisel and the SMC Air Management System (left to right). 

Sullivan-Palatek manufactures electric and diesel-powered air compressors for industrial, construction, portable, offshore and utility mount applications here in the USA. Its industrial electric rotary screw air compressors are performance verified by CAGI. Its largest HP range, the SP32 Series lubricated air compressor, ranges from 300-450 HP achieving flows from 1,480 to 1,730 cfm, and pressures up to 125 psi. The SP32 is equipped with a large side-by-side air-cooled oil cooler and aftercooler, microprocessor controller for up to eight machines and more. It's also available in a cabinet enclosure or standard open configuration to meet the user’s maintenance accessibility preferences.

Austin Wilkins, Josh Ward, Bruce McFee, Larry Colley, Grant Hebert, Horace Douglas, Justin Dick and Gerret Tengblad at the Sullivan-Palatek booth (left to right). 

BAUER Compressors presented its BMP Medium Pressure air compressor. The BAUER BMP Series air compressors are sized from 20 - 175 HP (15 – 128 kW) with flow rates from 27 – 247 scfm (46 – 420 m3/hr). It’s also available in a two-stage design to achieve final pressures up to 580 psig (40 bar), or three-stage design to achieve final pressures up to 1,450 psig (100 bar).

Kristen Meredith and Eric Phelps at the BAUER Compressors booth (left to right).

Mattei displayed its Rotary Vane Xtreme Inverter (RVXi) Series variable speed drive, lubricated air compressor, and its Rotary Vane Direct-Drive (RVD) single-stage, tank mounted lubricated belt drive air compressor. The RVXi is available in 75, 100, 125 HP (55, 75, 90 kW) models, and the RVD is available in 10 and 15 HP (7 – 11 kW) models.

Bill Kennedy, Dale Mays, Jon Sanders, Justo Valenzuela and Bobby Sczech at the Mattei booth (left to right).

Rogers Machinery displayed a KRV Series single-stage, lubricated rotary screw air compressor. A KRV Series air compressor comes as an enclosed unit, with a fixed-speed or VSD option, an air- or water-cooler option – sized from 25 – 350 HP, 23 – 1,604 scfm, achieving pressures from 40 – 200 psig.

Jason Jones and William Sprouse at the Rogers Machinery booth (left to right).

In conclusion, the Best Practices 2022 EXPO & Conference reaffirmed its role as the leading North American event for Sustainable, Safe and Reliable On-Site Utilities Powering Automation. Next year, for the first time ever, the Best Practices 2023 EXPO & Conference will co-locate with Process EXPO – the global food equipment and technology show – October 23-35 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. For more information, visit Add to calendar.

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