May 2022, in Sweden. Arguably the most beautiful month of the year, when plants and animals rush to prepare for the summer and build up energy to survive the next winter. For us in Europe, we might face the next winter without Russian gas, on top of already sky-rocketing electricity prices. Similar price increases are also being seen for industrial compressed air so there has never been a better time to attain a new level of control for this important medium for transfer of energy in industrial processes. Which other production system of yours receives so little attention?
The fact that compressed air driven tools and machines are cost-effective and easy to maintain might also be the underlying reason why the whole compressed air system can be so neglected.
Electricians are experts on electricity. They know which cables to use in different environments. They also have to understand the dimensions of the cables to be used and which regulations to follow during an installation, related to cable channels, pipes, ducts and connectors.
Learn from the experts
Who is an expert in compressed air? And who knows the standards that should be complied with in order for compressed air to be safe, robust and cost-effective?
Well, the answer is unfortunately that very few people know about these things. That is why we offer training, not only for those maintaining compressed air systems but also for the general staff at a site. Knowing basic facts about the cost of compressed air, its strengths and weaknesses, empowers the staff to make better decisions and step by step improve its standards for generating and using compressed air.
But this is not enough. When making decisions and prioritizing, we need facts. These facts are for compressed air data from sensors that measure pressure, dew point, electrical power and so on. This is the reason why monitoring the compressed air system is an absolute necessity. And with the modern technology out there, it is not even hard. At Enersize, we have the expertise to interpret the data using smart software and AI, automatically generating decision support. This is the way to go if we want to tap the huge savings for real. The estimated savings, in 2020, from industrial compressed air correspond to a staggering 150 million households’ consumption of electricity.
Tips and tricks
I will end with a few examples of what our technicians have found working on-site, and hopefully, it will give you some aha-moments:
- A tool has a manometer and a regulator. The regulator is set to maximum pressure. Why? Because the operator does not know which pressure is “good enough” and does not want to risk malfunction.
- Electrical cables neatly stored in a cable channel on the wall, and loose compressed air hoses hanging all over the place. Hoses that have been repaired numerous times by putting in push-in connectors where the hose breaks.
- Hoses that break over and over again due to wear or elevated temperatures, when there are hoses suitable for different environments.
- Dirty spots on the wall indicating where compressed air leaks out and bombards the wall with oil droplets.
Have a great summer, and don’t forget to make a promise to yourself. After vacation, I will start improving our compressed air system!