Many industries use compressed air in some way. Some processes will even stop if something goes wrong with the compressed air system. However, they use a lot of energy. They use as much as 10% of the industrial electricity cost in Australia.
Investing in an energy efficient system makes good business sense. It makes even more sense to make sure it works well all the time. If your high-pressure pipe fittings and other components are faulty, you can expect a significant increase in your operating costs. Here are some common mistakes made with compressed air systems that you should avoid.
Compressed air means high pressure. You can easily develop air leaks, and you’ll not even know it. A single tiny hole in the system costs as much as $600 a year if you use the system for 2,500 hours. Multiply that by 10, and you can see how bad that can get. The best way to avoid leaks is to check all the pipes and pipe fittings regularly. Make sure you use pipes and fittings rated for the specific pressure you use.
You want to keep your system at a steady pressure to save on electricity. If the pressure drops, you have to increase power to bring it up to the right level. If you notice that this often happens, you probably have a problem with the flow of the air. Find out what is causing the pressure drops as soon as possible. It could be an inefficient ring system, or you could have too many dead ends or turns that are too tight. Your pipes might also be too small for your needs.
It’s very important that you use pipes and pipe fittings of the right size and material to avoid circulating contaminants in the system. These contaminants can make your system less efficient, and may even damage it. Pipes that are too small or rusted make the air go faster, pulling dirt, liquids and rust along with it. Replace rusted and too small pipes as soon as possible. Stainless steel, copper and polymer are good options because they don’t rust.
High-pressure pipe fittings and pipes are important for the efficient operation of compressed air systems. Keep this in mind when purchasing parts for your system.