Industrial Utility Efficiency

Compressed Air Efficiency & Reliability Showcased at the Best Practices 2023 EXPO & Conference

A record number of exhibitors and attendees came to the Best Practices 2023 EXPO & Conference.


In late October 2023, professionals from around the world gathered at the Best Practices 2023 EXPO & Conference at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois to source and learn about Sustainble, Safe and Reliable On-Site Utilities Powering Automation including compressed air, blowers, vacuum, pneumatics, motors and cooling water systems. 

“Recent energy price instabilities and our sustainability targets have accelerated our needs to improve energy efficiencies and better utilize our existing utility assets,” said Bing Cheng, Director of Global Utilities, Givaudan – a global fragrance and ingredients company, during his keynote presentation.

This report will recount the compressed air-related functions offered at the Best Practices EXPO & Conference, and recount press visits to the largest exhibitor displays (by sponsorship level, then alphabetically). This event was also co-located with a large food and beverage processing trade show.  

The Compressed Air & Gas Institute (CAGI), an Event Co-Sponsor, held its Certified Compressed Air System Specialist examinations on site. CAGI President Frank Mueller gave the opening keynote presentation titled Maximizing Energy Efficiency and Productivity with Compressed Air & Gas Institute’s Resources.

Frank Mueller, CAGI President, and President of Kaeser Compressors USA. 

Rob Haseley, Technical Consultant for the Compressed Air & Gas Institute. 


The Women in Compressed Air, Vacuum & Cooling (WCVC) Networking Group held its inaugural luncheon sponsored by Ingersoll Rand and Quincy Compressor on Day 1 of the event. At the end of Day 1, attendees enjoyed rooftop views of Chicago during the Networking Event, sponsored by BEKO Technologies, Sullair, Mikropor and Aggreko. In addition, Compressed Air Challenge held its Level 1 Fundamentals of Compressed Air Systems training on site.

The inaugural Women in Compressed Air, Vacuum & Cooling (WCVC) Networking Group luncheon was a success!


BEKO Technologies had an operating compressed air system at their booth to display their compressed air treatment solutions for manufacturers with stringent air quality requirements. The operating system featured an oil-free air compressor, then BEKO water separators, in-line filtration, a membrane dryer, BEKOKAT catalytic converter, a QWIK-PURE oil-water separator, refrigeration dryer, METPOINT instrumentation and sensor technology for dew point, pressure, flow and ambient oil vapor content. On the other side of the BEKO booth, were multiple desiccant and refrigerated air dryer models, including a 2,300 scfm BEKO XFe Series heated blower purge desiccant dryer with 3% average purge air consumption. “Over $3.2 billion in energy costs are wasted annually by compressed air systems in the U.S. alone,” said Tilo Fruth, President, BEKO Technologies. 

“BEKO Technologies continues to innovate our products built in the States, for the States,” said Sascha D. Niederhagen, Co-CEO & Chief Sales Officer, BEKO Technologies.

John Hays, Tilo Fruth, Sarah Porterfield Tippens, Sascha Niederhagen, and Luciano de Oliveira at the BEKO TECHNOLOGIES booth (left to right). 


Sullair displayed a new DS45 oil-free rotary screw air compressor with a two-stage Hitachi airend and enhanced Sullair Touchscreen Controller. The DS range comes in 45kW, 55kW and 75 kW footprints. Sullair is also launching a new range of heatless, externally heated, heated blower purge and modular desiccant dryers. Seen at the Sullair booth was a SA 500 cfm heatless desiccant dryer, plus an LS Series lubricated rotary screw air compressor, and tank-mounted ShopTek ST11 air compressor with an integrated refrigerated dryer. Brian Mann, Product Manager for Hitachi Global Air Power/Sullair presented Compressed Air Energy Savings at a Commercial Bakery during the Plenary Session. “We found the plant spends most of its time between 1,300 and 1,600 scfm - but peak capacity is about 2,100 scfm,” said Mann as he explained audit data analyses.

Adam Bitner, Chris Fredell, Benjamin Danielson and Joe Beyer at the Sullair booth (left to right). 


Atlas Copco Compressors displayed a new ZT 50VSD+ full-feature rotary tooth air compressor, a GA11VSDs rotary screw air compressor, and NGP10+ nitrogen generator. Both air compressors are equipped with Atlas Copco’s Neos Next inverter. “The efficiency of the ZT increased by about 15% compared to the previous version. Most drives are bought off the shelf and are typically designed for fans and pumps, not for an air compressor. Our proprietary Neos Next is designed for air compressors, can start up under pressure and meet all the demands we have for it,” said John Senay, Product Marketing Manager. The Neos Next is housed in a IP66 enclosure, protecting it from dust, debris and humidity. The GA11VSD is configured with a vertically mounted airend and motor. “There isn’t a bolt you can’t access, yet it has one of, if not the smallest physical footprints in this market,” said Paul Humphreys, Vice President of Marketing. Atlas Copco Compressors also displayed its enhanced process filtration portfolio. Michael Lewis, Atlas Copco’s process filtration specialist, presented Process and Sterile Filtration – Key to Minimizing Contamination and Protecting Brand Reputation during the Conference.

John Senay, Leslie Marshall, Jack Gusciora, Chris Dominick and Paul Humphreys at the Atlas Copco Compressors booth (left to right). 


Bobcat displayed six of its oil-flooded rotary screw air compressors, including 100hp and 50hp variable speed and fixed speed units, and belt-driven 10hp and 15hp units. “We’ve chosen to be very disciplined about introducing new air compressor models to the market. We ensure all models are integrated in our engineering systems, part manuals and operator manuals are made, and every single aftermarket part is on the shelf and ready to ship before we launch the first model,” said Patrick Jakeway, General Manager, Doosan Bobcat North America. “Uptime is the most important thing to industrial customers. At Bobcat, your productivity is our priority,” Jakeway told the audience during his presentation. For its channel partners, Bobcat guarantees great products, great support and long-term distributor relations – according to Jakeway. 

Neal Stephan, Cody Blythe, Jeremy Bailey, Patty Moffitt, Nick Redfearn, Patrick Jakeway and Kyle Schafer at the Bobcat booth (left to right). 


CS Instruments USA displayed its new OILCHECK 500 monitoring system for permanent, precise measurement of vaporous residual oil content, dew point and particulates in compressed air. Air quality is measured, and corresponding ISO 8573 classes are displayed on the OILCHECK 500 monitor in real time. Also displayed were their latest differential pressure wet and dry flow meters with options for controlled and harsh environments, UltraCam 500/510 ultrasonic leak detectors, and many other compressed air and gas monitoring solutions. 

Wolfgang Blessing, Enrico Capetanis and Martin Zeller at the CS Instruments USA booth (left to right). 


Hertz Kompressoren USA now serves over 100 channel partners in its seventh year in the United States. “Our IMPETUS two-stage oil-injected rotary screw air compressors from 125-430 hp have made a good impact on the market since their launch. At the beginning of 2024, we will introduce 30-100hp VSD two-stage rotary screw air compressors,” said Mert Alpagut, Country Manager. Hertz also displayed an HS Series 30hp oil-free belt driven scroll air compressor. The HS Series is available in single, double, triple and quadruple-stacked units ranging from 2-40hp (1.5-30kW), 115-145 psi (8-10 bar) and 5-120 cfm.

Mert Alpagut, Stephanie Hall and Clark Beal at the Hertz Kompressoren USA booth (left to right). 


Kaeser Compressors USA introduced Kaeser Measurement Technology (KMT), a suite of sensors for continuous monitoring of KPIs throughout the entire compressed air system, monitored and visualized through the SIMGA AIR MANAGER compressed air management system. The suite includes an advanced ambient analyzer; basic and advanced process analyzers (pressure, PDP, temperature, humidity); flow analyzers for readings (flow rate, velocity, cumulative flow, pressure, temperature) before and after air treatment; and an advanced energy analyzer monitoring voltage, current, frequency power and harmonic waves. The KMT was seen installed throughout the Kaeser Air System Enclosure on display. Also displayed was a 10hp Kaeser AIRCENTER rotary screw air compressor for 9-90 cfm flow rates in a quiet, space-saving package. Visitors also saw a 10hp Kaeser Air Center, and a 25-hp AS Series rotary screw air compressor with an integrated refrigerated dryer equipped with energy saving control and aluminum plate heat exchanger. 

Greg Ashe, Michael Camber, Chris Erickson and Frank Mueller at the Kaeser Compressors USA booth (left to right). 

Neil Mehltretter, Technical Director for Kaeser Compressors spoke in the standing-room-only CAGI Seminar during the Best Practices Conference.


Kaishan Compressor USA displayed its new two-stage oil-free rotary screw air compressor at the show. “This is the only oil-free rotary screw air compressor that has been designed, engineered and manufactured completely in the USA,” said Dave George, President, Kaishan Compressor USA. In early 2023, Kaishan began manufacturing two-stage oil-free units in Loxley, AL and exporting them overseas. Now, units are available in 125-200hp sizes in the Americas. Development for 60-100hp sizes is underway, then development for units above 200hp will follow. “Kaishan continues to grow, expanding our products and workforce. Next month, we’re breaking ground on a plant expansion to double the size of our manufacturing, assembly and warehousing capabilities of our Loxley, Alabama facility, which we’ve outgrown in just four years,” said George.

John Schmitt, Brandon Dial, Andy Bell, Paul Blake and Dave George at the Kaishan Compressor USA booth (left to right).


Aerzen Rental remains specialized in temporary blower and air compressor solutions below 50 psi. Its rental fleet includes new high-speed turbo units, positive displacement and rotary lobe blowers, single-stage rotary screw air compressors and ancillary products. “In response to our recent growth in the wastewater market, we’ve developed aeration grid platforms meant to be mobilized and de-mobilized quickly for operating wastewater tanks on an emergency and 24/7 basis,” said Scott Werner, Business Development Manager.

Scott Werner and Meghan Babineaux at the Aerzen Rental booth (left to right).


Altec AIR displayed its refrigerated and desiccant dryer products and filtration solutions. “We’ve integrated the Engineered Air Products team into our sales force following the acquisition, and we’ve expanded our manufacturing capacity by building some of their products at Altec AIR headquarters in Colorado,” said Jim DiMaiolo, Sales Manager, Altec AIR. Joe Rodenbucher and Greg Lesniewski found time in between speaking with prospective and existing distributors to enjoy snacks made at another exhibitor’s food processing line.

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


Comate Intelligent Sensor made its debut at the Best Practices 2023 EXPO. Comate offers CAE compressed air auditing tools and an air compressor efficiency analysis system. Feeding these solutions with data are Comate’s thermal mass, differential pressure and vortex flow meters. 

Ray Fang, Hansheng Ye, Yu Gu, Brenda Mercado, Amanda Madison and Zhimei Li at the Comate Intelligent Sensor booth (left to right). 


FS-Curtis/FS-Elliot displayed its R2000 Control Panel, and an airend for the new FS-Curtis ECO-Turbo centrifugal product range (185-250kW). “With FS-Elliot’s centrifugal product line spanning 300hp and above, the FS-Curtis ECO-Turbo is expanding our group’s centrifugal offerings down to 125hp,” said Matt Smith, VP of Sales & Marketing, FS-Curtis. The ECO-Turbo can also be air-cooled, preventing the need for purchase of a cooling tower if a customer is adding or converting to centrifugal technology – or provide a solution for customers with local water consumption regulations. 

Russel Warner, Mark McCarthy, JD Schroeder, Shawn Drwal, Matt Smith, Danielle Denton and Jimmy Tang at the FS-Curtis/FS-Elliot booth (left to right). 


Mikropor America displayed an MTD-US Series High Capacity Turbo Dryer, a water/glycol- or air-cooled refrigerated air dryer (5,000-17,500 cfm) with a screw refrigeration compressor capable of operating in four different speeds, preventing excessive start/stops, optimizing efficiency. Mikropor also displayed the new MMD-VP-US modular vacuum regenerated desiccant dryer with 2% purge rate. “This is the most energy efficient solution below 1,000 cfm. In general, for a system above 1,100 cfm, blower purge becomes more efficient,” said Volkan Ayhan, Mikropor. 

Dave Lange, Volkan Ayhan, Jeff Crutchfield, Aaron Duke, Ryan Loeffler, Stephanie Glassman and Chris Wells at the Mikropor America booth (left to right). 


Sauer Compressors USA added 40,000 square-feet of manufacturing space in its facilities this year, doubling warehouse space in the process. Sauer displayed a WP221LM Breeze Series 100-hp air compressor with new remote monitoring capabilities they pulled right from Sauer’s rental fleet. “For our rental business, we’re constantly reinvesting back into our North American fleets with new compressors, dryers, stand-alone filtration skids, and ancillary components to provide a complete solution,” said Jim Riley, Rental Sales Manager.

Dawn Ryan, Adrian Espinoza, Crystal Wilson, Daniel Garcia and Anthony Harris at the Sauer Compressors USA booth (left to right). 


Jon Jensen, SMC Corporation of America’s Energy Conservation Group Manager presented about SMC’s new Air Management System (AMS) in the New Technology EXPO Classroom. The AMS performs energy saving functions such as automatic regulation and isolation of compressed air provided to a machine to improve efficiencies during periods of inactivity. SMC’s booth had live-pressurized demos of its latest innovations in IoT connected pneumatic system precision, reliability and energy efficiency. 

Sahith Sanike and Parker Beck at the SMC Corporation of America booth (left to right).


Sullivan-Palatek’s enhanced its SP13 (40-60hp) oil-flooded rotary screw air compressors to enhance energy efficiency, durability and simplicity. They are also developing a new SP11 model. “We’re undergoing a lot of product development, and we’ve made a tremendous improvement in market share with our portable products. The Kohler engines, low vibration and ease of towing, and dual pressure capabilities (100-150psi) are features of most portable models,” said Bruce McFee, CEO. The Sullivan-Palatek plant is installing a new rotor grinder, expected to double capacity. Also, the Saylor Beall plant is adding a new crankshaft grinder. In addition, Bruce McFee presented Upcoming Department of Energy 2025 Regulation of Rotary Air Compressor Isentropic Efficiency in the New Technology EXPO Classroom. 

Horace Douglas, Bruce McFee, Grant Hebert, James Freligh, Josh Ward, Austin Wilkins and Dave Guth at the Sullivan-Palatek booth (left to right). 


Alkin Compressor & Aykom Compressor showcased its Alkin medium- and high-pressure boosters, and Aykom nominal pressure reciprocating air pump, motor and belt packages. “Alkin & Aykom Compressor, active in 130 countries worldwide, is fully planted and prepared to support channel partners in North America,” said Nitin Shanbhag, President, Alkin Compressors. Alkin specializes in breathing air for military and first responders, nitrogen boosting, and other specialty medium- and high-pressure air and gas applications. 

Nitin Shanbhag, Emre Tujumet and Aydin Dereci at the Alkin & Aykom Compressor booth (left to right).


Fluid-Aire Dynamics introduced UnipipeEZ – featuring pipe lengths with factory-formed male and female ends. Pipe lengths join together, then are secured with a stainless-steel double-bite clamp ring and all-aluminum hinged coupling, then locked together with one bolt. Size and material required of the all-aluminum hinged couplings have been reduced.

Brandee Taylor, Brad Taylor, Derrick Taylor, Joshua Ayres, Daniel Schopf, Giovanni Calabrese, Fred Garcia, Lance Frederick, Joe Burke, James Bowers, Tim Martin and Ed Diener at the Fluid-Aire Dynamics/PneuTech USA/Unipipe booth.


Applied System Technologies displayed its TruLink aluminum compressed air piping system. Bauer Compressors shared its mid-pressure reciprocating, direct-driven compressor range achieving 20-70 bar (435 - 1,450 psi). BOGE displayed its air compressor products and presented Oil-free Air in the Technology Classroom. Scott Ripatrazone, Vice President of Global Vac & Air discussed their Mobile Engineered Solutions for custom-packaged skid and container vacuum and compressed air systems. UE Systems displayed its latest Ultraprobe 15,000 ultrasonic leak detector.

Todd Zarins, Josh Price and Bill Duffel at the Applied System Technologies booth (left to right).


Eric Phelps, Jason Pruss and Tony Corletto at the Bauer Compressors booth (left to right).


Scott Ripatrazone and Ally Baker at the GlobalVac & Air booth (left to right).


Jeremy Bey and Dean Wolever at the UE Systems booth (left to right). 


On Day 1 and 2, attendees from manufacturing plants, distributors and engineering firms participated in the Daily $1,000 Energy Treasure Hunt Raffle. Lucky winners included:

  1. Julio Marquez, Solaire Compresores
  2. William Qualls, Teknor Apex
  3. Sean Ferris, Universal Creative
  4. Jacob Key, Nissan
  5. Abdulaziz Dulaijan, Saudi Aramco
  6. Bridgette Graham, Compressed Air & Equipment

Roderick Smith (Best Practices Expo) congratulates Jacob Key (Energy Engineer, Nissan) for winning \$500 at the Daily EXPO $1,000 Energy Treasure Hunt Raffle!


Over 1,000 attendees attended the Best Practices 2023 EXPO & Conference. Stay tuned for technology-segmented article sequels highlighting more exhibitors and event recaps. The Best Practices 2024 EXPO & Conference occurs October 29-31, 2024 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, GA. For more information about participating, visit