To accurately assess compressed air systems, it is best to gather as much information as possible, for as long as practical so a clear picture of the operation of the system can be formed. The basic equipment needed includes pressure and amp/power data loggers, but in the past decade some excellent advances in instrumentation design has made very affordable flow meters available. This article discusses using flow meters for an example compressed air assessment.
Have you ever had a failing dryer in your compressed air system, ruining your production output, but it was not noticed until it was already too late? Dry compressed air is one of the most important quality parameters when it comes to process safety. When ambient air is compressed, the ratio of the humidity to the air volume will rise drastically. Therefore the higher concentration of humidity in the compressed air leads to a higher dew point temperature and the humidity is more likely to condensate at higher temperatures.
Moisture can freeze in compressed air systems and cause rust and pitting in pipes and components. It can also flush out the lubricant resulting in accelerated tool wear and damage to valves and cylinders. Moist air is also a rewarding breeding ground for bacteria, which especially in the food and pharmaceutical industries can lead to product rejection and costly production downtime. It is therefore strange that many companies limit themselves to measuring only basic quantities such as pressure, flow and (absorbed) power.
By monitoring compressed air consumption using smart pneumatic sensors, companies can reliably reduce energy use and emissions.
The digital transformation of pneumatic systems is one critical way that companies can improve operational sustainability. Advanced airflow-sensing technology provides compressed air monitoring and valuable insights that allow companies to control and significantly reduce the energy used to produce compressed air as well as related carbon emissions.
Would you believe the same technology used in the launching and controlling of a space rocket is also used in your compressed air system? Yes, in some cases, “rocket science” helps to solve problems in compressed air systems and ensures the performance of the installed units. In this article, we are going to explain the technology called the “Sonic Nozzle”, that combines a space rocket thruster and your compressed air system. Additionally, we are going to walk through a case study, step by step, to show how it works.
In this article we clarify how the main KPIs can be monitored, and we will have a closer look at a few key KPIs: efficiency, pressure loss and leakage.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are variables or measures by which the performance of organizations, machines and/or processes can be measured and analysed in a targeted manner. For example, a KPI can be a certain production number per time unit, but also the amount of profit a company makes on a specific product.
Micro-aerosolized droplets are how many members of the microbial world become cross-contaminants via the air mode of transmission. Food borne viral pathogen Hepatitis A and the ubiquitous Norwalk are very often transported via micro- aerosols. It is well known that many viral or bacterial pathogens or spoilers are transmitted via respiratory bursts [coughs/ sneezes] from people or air handling system, condensate, and splash back from floors. Strict cGMPs can limit and control transmission in terms of personal & environmental hygiene.
In manufacturing and packaging facilities that rely on pneumatics, there’s a four-letter word worse than virtually any other: leak. Unidentified air leakage and unexpected maintenance in pneumatic systems are significant sources of revenue and productivity loss but identifying the cause of leakages and preventing unforeseen downtime is typically a challenge.
Compressed air contamination can come in various forms, including particles, water, oil, and microorganisms. Non-viable particle contamination is specified in ISO 8573-4:2019 as one of the major contaminants in compressed air to be monitored. Troubleshooting particle contamination with Laser Particle Counters (LPCs) is the focus of this article.
Wherever compressed air is used, accurate and continuous monitoring of the dew point temperature is advisable. The dew point provides information about the absolute humidity content of the compressed air. A too high humidity content can have negative effects on the quality of the final product, lead to problems during the manufacturing process, or even result in complete system shutdown. Therefore, operators of compressed air systems should address this issue before it causes serious and costly issues. The following explains the basics of dew point measurement and what is important in practice.
Dew point is simply the temperature to which air must be cooled for the water vapor within to condense into dew or frost. At any temperature, there is a maximum amount of water vapor that the air can hold. This maximum amount is called the water vapor saturation pressure. If more water vapor is added beyond this point, it will result in condensation.