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“I don’t suppose you could…?”

 
Working with compressed air requires a wide range of skills from our engineers. In many ways, understanding air compressors and air flow is just the start of a skillset that also includes electrical engineering, plumbing, fabrication and more. So it’s hardly surprising that when our clients are faced with an engineering task they don’t quite know how to resolve, they tend to call us.

That was the case recently, when a client who operated a steelworks called to ask whether we’d be able to modify their small cutter. Our engineers went to investigate.

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The first thing that hit them was that steelworks operate on a different level of scale when it comes to describing their equipment. It may have been their small(er) steel cutter, but to any other business it would still have been considered vast.

The cutter was ageing, and that had given the client two options: modify it, to modernise the unit and make it more user friendly. Or replace it. The difference in cost amounted to tens of thousands of pounds.

That’s why, right now, the unit is sat in our workshop, getting some much needed TLC and a significant base unit modification that should keep it fit for purpose for plenty more years.

Have an engineering challenge and don’t know who to ask for help? Give us a call on 0114 243 2347 or contact us.

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A new approach to oil recycling

 
Work in the compressed air industry and you’ll find oil is a double-edged sword. We need it to lubricate machinery. But at the same time, oil in the pipes of your compressed air system can compromise performance and damage your finished products. It’s fair to say that much of our time is spent eradicating oil from compressed air systems.

If you’ve ever had problems with your compressed air installation, you may know all about the disruptive power of oil. But once it has been removed from the system and you’re back up and running, you probably don’t consider what happens to the oil we remove.

   >  Do you need a new compressed air system?
   >  Do you need your oil removed or equipment serviced? Get in touch.

What happens is this: we have to store it, and then dispose of it. Traditionally, we store oil in 20 litre cans, which take up a lot of floorspace. Some are full and awaiting collection, but they’re heavy to transport, costly to dispose of and complicated to recycle. Others are empty and waiting to be filled. In either case they’re still gobbling up valuable room that could be used for something better.

So we were delighted when one of our suppliers came up with a way of replacing the can. Right now, we’re trialling a new ‘wine box’ for our waste oil. Like a wine box, it’s a simple cardboard container that houses a liner into which the oil is poured. In the workshop, empty boxes weigh practically nothing and take up far less space than empty cans.

Once full, they’re lighter and easier to transport, and simpler (and cheaper) to dispose of.
It’s a switch that makes it easier for us to meet our environmental obligations, and one that helps us keep costs down for our clients.

To find out more about the environmental considerations of installing or maintaining a compressed air system, please call 0114 243 2347 or contact us.

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Fixing the factory fans

 
The thermometer in our workshop was nudging 30°C last week – most definitely not the time for the fans that keep your workforce cool to shudder to a halt. But that’s what happened for one local manufacturer, who saw temperatures on the factory floor start to spiral and the workforce start to wilt.

The fact that our Sheffield electricians were able to get to the factory in question fast, diagnose the problem and fix the fault was a godsend. But as the fans started spinning again, their work wasn’t finished.

   >  What to do if your equipment needs a service

One of the engineers was grabbing a quick drink from the water cooler when he noticed a build-up of limescale. Left unchecked, he knew that the water would gradually turn cloudy and taste tainted – and potentially lead to blockages, restricted flows and breakdowns. So the engineers contacted the manufacturer to organise clean-out kits, so the units could be returned to their former glory supplying crisp clean water.

This isn’t an unusual situation. Whether we’re installing a compressed air system, wiring up a new piece of equipment or fixing the pipework, if we spot an additional problem that needs fixing, we’ll fix it.

If you’re a business looking for a South Yorkshire electrical engineer you can rely on to go the extra mile, call us on 0114 243 2347 or contact us.

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First Aid, Algar Air-style

 
Everyone says “safety is our biggest concern.” They say it so often that it’s easy for it to become a sort of meaningless statement. We didn’t want our commitment to team safety to fall into that category, so we commissioned a very different sort of first aid training.

This was first aid tailored to the sort of risks our engineers face day in, day out on compressed air installations: what do you do if you get stuck in a scissor lift? How do you give CPR in confined spaces? How do you treat the effects of electrocution?

We haven’t (thankfully) needed the training to date – but that’s the point about first aid training, isn’t it? You never want to use it, but you never want to need it and not have it either.

Simone Kidd, Director of Algar Air says: “When you’re part of any engineering business, health and safety really does have to come first. That’s why we took a proactive approach to our training and sourced a course that would protect our people, our standards and our reputation.

“Completion of the course meant we all received a certificate in Emergency First Aid at Work. It also means that, as prospective clients expect ever more of suppliers, we’re in a great position to show what being part of a committed family business really means.”

Thanks to Alison Parker RGN for carrying out the training.

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Water, water everywhere?

 
Forklifts have a habit of bumping and denting walls and racking. But one local door manufacturer was particularly unlucky when their forklift caught and punctured a main waterline. Cue a major leak that swiftly brought the workshop to a standstill.

The real problem (aside from the unwanted indoor water feature) was that every passing minute was another minute of production lost. So the customer needed more than a callout; they needed a really speedy response. And when they called Algar Air, that’s exactly what they got.

Decades spent installing air compressor equipment has meant that our engineers are also qualified electricians and plumbers, with huge experience in pipework. So it wasn’t simply the fact that our engineer was on site within minutes that the customer really appreciated. It was that fact that the required repairs were completed within half an hour.

Water and pipework problems that need fixing fast? Call 0114 243 2347 or contact us.

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A last minute compressed air installation

 
It’s enough to bring you out in a cold sweat. We were called by a roller shutter door company recently and asked for urgent help. A new washer, dryer and spray booth unit was due for delivery the following week, but our customer had spotted a major problem. Their existing piston air compressor didn’t have the capacity to supply the company’s new machinery.

Without the problem being rectified – and fast – they would need to rearrange the equipment’s commissioning, and that would mean heavy charges, lost time and lost production.

The solution wasn’t an easy one either. Delivering a compressed air system that could supply dry air to all the company’s equipment wasn’t simply a matter of switching a smaller air compressor for a larger one.

Instead, our engineers had to pull out all the stops, installing a full package including a 10HP air compressor, refrigerant dryer, 500 litre air receiver and connecting it all via 169m of 1” pipework.

With the clock ticking, our compressed air engineers worked long days to get everything completed on time. We even sourced and supplied second hand air compressor equipment to save the client money too!

Before you buy that new piece of air-powered machinery, check you have the compressed air to feed it. If you don’t, we’re ready to help. Please call 0114 243 2347 or contact us.

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The air compressor set to revolutionise diving

 
AirBuddy

There’s a long acknowledged problem with diving. Rely on a snorkel and you’ll never get more than a few inches beneath the surface. Switch to scuba and you’ll need to carry a lot of extra bulk. The alternative is AirBuddy, a floating air compressor that lets you dive up to 12 meters deep, free from any restriction other than the hose that connects to your regular regulator.

The Kickstarter-driven invention is virtually impossible to capsize and operates on a rechargeable battery than keeps you supplied with air for up to 45 minutes per charge.

AirBuddy Battery

As an air compressor specialist (and in no way connected to this invention) what’s great about Air Buddy is the way it takes existing air compressor technology and finds new uses for it. That’s something our engineers have been doing for years.

So if you have an application that compressed air could benefit and want to explore your options with compressed air engineers, talk to us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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*Photos courtesy of AirBuddy

The air compressor equipment behind the humble pint

 
Pint of Real Kentish Ale

At the last count, the number of breweries in the UK stood at over 1,700, around 1,500 of which were micro-breweries. There are over 80 in London alone, and the total number hasn’t been this high since the 1930s.

What’s driving the surge, up 8% in the past year alone? Partly it’s our love of a traditional pint. Partly it’s the novelty that many micro-breweries can add to their artisan ales. And partly it’s because the process of setting up your own brewery has never been easier.

Key to that simplicity is compressed air. You’ll find compressed air equipment hard at work in breweries across the UK, performing tasks that range from powering conveyors to bottling and labelling; cleaning pipes to aerating yeast.

If you’re planning of launching a micro (or massive) brewery, or if you’re looking to find new ways to improve production in your existing facility, talk to us on 0114 243 2347.

You can find out more about our compressed air equipment for breweries here.

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*Photo courtesy of Flickr

The biggest movers in the automotive air compressor market

 
Air compressors have long been a feature of the automotive production process. So it’s no surprise to find that the market for air compressor accessories such as hose reels, pressure gauges and air filters is buoyant. What is new is where demand is coming from.

New market research reveals that although Western Europe is the second largest air compressor accessories market, the real growth is coming from those just ahead and behind of Europe in the rankings.

In China and India – the so-called APEJ market that currently sits top of the global trends – rapid industrialisation has driven the automotive market. It’s a similar story in Latin America, where major manufacturers see opportunities for big expansion.

If there’s a lesson for Europe’s automotive air compressor suppliers (of whom Algar Air is one) it’s that no market can be relied on to maintain its position in the global hierarchy. Growth means exploring opportunities for international trade, and diversification into other air compressor-dependent sectors – something we’ve long been pursuing.

Want to explore air compressor options for your automotive business? Talk to us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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Do I really need an air receiver?

 
An air receiver is an essential part of any compressed air system. A receiver is basically a tank that acts like a reservoir that feeds your air compressor. When demand on the system is high, the air receiver ensures there’s enough air to keep supplying your air tools at the correct pressure and flow rate. When there’s a little slack in the system it provides a space for the excess air to go, again protecting consistency of air flow.

In addition, air receivers can help remove moisture from your compressed air system. Moisture is a natural by-product of the heating effect of squeezing air molecules together in a confined space. Without an air receiver (and without other filters and dryers), more of that moisture typically finds its way into tubes, tools and the finished product.

But the air receiver provides a low pressure area in which air can cool and condense, ensuring your tools receive a cleaner supply of air.

Which air receiver do I need?

The standard rule of thumb is that your air receiver tank capacity should be 6-10 times the flow rate of the system. So, for example, if your air compressor has a rating of 25 scfm, the receiver tank should be capable of storing a minimum of 150 cubic feet.

Every receiver tank should have a pressure gauge and a pressure relief valve (to vent excess air) which should be set at 10% above the working pressure of the system. And there should be a drain facility to remove condensed water from the system. Each of the air receivers supplied by Algar Air has a pressure relief valve and an auto drain feature.

To find out more about air receivers, or to discuss which is the right air receiver for your specific application, talk to us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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Myth busting compressed air

 
When you’ve been involved with compressed air as long as we have, you can find yourself confronted by the same old urban myths and conventional ‘wisdom’. So here, in no particular order, are the 4 compressed air myths we seem to spend most time challenging:

Compressed air is an inefficient source of power

Actually, providing your compressed air system is an equal match for the job you’re asking of it, it’s one of the most efficient sources of power for any business. Typically, where businesses have experienced problems with low pressure or inconsistent power, it’s because their air compressor is being asked to do too much.

The solution is to ask a compressed air consultant to design a system that will deliver all you need of it, rather than gradually building an ad hoc system that eventually becomes overloaded.

Compressed air is expensive

Leave your car engine running or the heating on 24/7 and costs will mount up. It’s the same with compressed air. As with any energy source, there is a cost, but you can keep those costs down with a well designed and well maintained system. From addressing issues of geography (i.e. not having your air compressor a mile away from the tools it’s powering), to addressing leaks, your compressed air system can be made to be as cost efficient as any other form of energy.

Compressed air is dirty

Only in a poorly designed system. It’s true that moisture and oil vapour tend to be natural by-products of using compressed air, and left untreated that could have an impact on anything from food production to paint spraying.

But with the right filters and dryers in place, and with a regular regime of servicing and maintenance, compressed air could help give your products an exceptional finish, entirely free from contaminants.

Compressed air is complicated

It doesn’t have to be, especially when you have an expert team to help. So if talk of airflows, pressure and purity leave your head in a spin, ask us to design, supply and maintain a compliant compressed air system that does everything you need of it, simply.

To make a start, call us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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Is it normal for my air compressor to get hot?

 
If you’ve ever touched the air compressor head or any of its various pipes and tubes after it’s been running for a while, chances are you won’t do it again. Things can get pretty hot before your compressor reaches cut-out. But why is that? And is it normal?

To answer that second question first, yes, it’s completely normal. The reason for that is your air compressor has two major heat generators. The first is the electric motor, the heat from which will be conducted to other parts of the compressor.

The second (and most powerful) source of heat is the act of air compression itself. Squeezing air molecules together creates friction, and a by-product of friction is heat. Friction is the reason rubbing your hands together creates warmth. And it’s the reason matches light when struck against a matchbox.

The act of forcing air together creates a lot of friction and a lot of heat, which is conducted through the air compressor’s metal parts. Providing your air compressor cut out is operating as it should, there should be no issue with the heat generated, as it will dissipate during cut out.

Only if your air compressor isn’t cutting out after its regular duty cycle should you seek help. If that’s the case, or if you’re worried about any other aspect of your air compressor equipment, please call us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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How much air power do you need?

 
Whether you’re a small workshop running a single air tool, or a large manufacturing business running an entire factory floor’s worth of tools from an industrial compressor, there’s one simple fact of life in choosing the right equipment for the job. You need to be able to generate more air power than your tools require.

But how do you calculate the required air for your application(s) without overengineering things to such an extent that you end up paying to generate airflow you don’t need?

Follow these steps as a general guide only. For specific applications, call us first:

Q: Are you running one tool at a time from your air compressor, or several?
If you’ll be running one tool at a time, check the required CFM (cubic feet per minute) ratings of each of the air tools you’ll be planning to use. You’ll find the information in product descriptions (if you haven’t yet bought the tools) or in the instructions (if you have). For the purposes of this exercise, go with the highest CFM figure.

If you’ll be running more than one tool from the same compressor, you’ll need to add all the CFM figures together and multiply by 1.2 to account for the power loss inherent in running more than one tool simultaneously.

Q: Will you be running tools continuously?
The CFM ratings you’re working to will usually be averages, calculated on the assumption you’ll be using air compressor power in short bursts. That’s fine if you’re powering something like a nail gun, but not if you’re running something continuously, such as a conveyor belt.

So for tools requiring continuous running, multiply their CFMs by 4.

Q: Are you using extension hoses?
The closer you can place the tool to the air compressor, the less chance there is of losing any significant amount of air flow through hoses, connectors, filters etc. If you’re operating on a large scale, with tools some distance from the central compressor, you’ll need to factor in airflow lost over distance.

As that figure will vary depending on the hoses and connectors used, call us on 0114 243 2347 for help in calculating your requirements.

Tank size?
Now, you should have a CFM figure, telling you how much air flow you’ll need to be able to produce. To equate that to air compressor tank size, multiply the figure by 6, and opt for the air compressor with the tank size that meets or is closest to (but above) it.

Need help finding the right air compressor for your application? Talk to Algar Air’s engineers now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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My air compressor won’t switch on. Help!

 
1. Plug your compressor into the wall socket

Is your air compressor using a power brick or extension cable? Plug the compressor directly into the nearest wall socket to ensure it’s not the extension cable that’s at fault.

2. Check the on/off switch

Yes, we know it’s blatantly obvious but checking there’s power to the unit removes another potential source of the problem. It doesn’t however, guarantee that power is reaching the motor.

3. Check the pressure

Most air compressors have cut-in and cut-out points, that is, the pressure minima and maxima beyond which the compressor won’t work.

If the pressure in the tank is lower than the cut-in pressure it won’t start. Unplug the air compressor and try one or both of the following:

  • Lower the cut-in pressure to see if that sparks the compressor into life, or
  • Drain the tank and start afresh. To drain the air compressor, open the tank drain valve (which will also remove water), or pull the pressure relief valve ring. Draining the tank also removes trapped air (which could be another reason for your air compressor not starting).

If you’re not confident tackling the above steps, or if the above fail to resolve the issue, you’ll need support. For expert advice, and to arrange a repair, please call us on 0114 243 2347 or contact us.

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What is ‘wet air’, and how do I prevent it?

 
If you’ve used air compressors to any extent, chances are you’ll be familiar with the gurgling and spitting that happens at the business-end of the machine as your compressor produces water as well as air. You may also be familiar with the way moisture can, for example, throw tyres off balance, ruin your paint spraying or sandblasting, or simply reduce the air pressure.

Water is bad news for compressed air, but where does it come from, and how can you get rid of it?

In all but the most arid places on earth, water is a frustrating by-product of compressing air. It occurs because the air your compressor sucks in includes water vapour. The act of compression causes the water vapour to heat up, filling your airlines with steam, which then condenses as it cools.

Filters will remove some of the moisture, but for precision applications like paint spraying, that frequently won’t be enough.

The power of dryers

 
Dryers remove far more moisture than filters. We operate two types:

Refrigerant dryers (almost counter-intuitively) accelerate the cooling process. They ensure more water vapour condenses quickly, where it can be collected and removed before it has the chance to reach the drills, sprays, guns and conveyors at the end of your air lines.

Desiccant dryers use ultra-absorbent materials to remove even more moisture, creating near-zero humidity by removing moisture to -70°C dewpoint.

To find out which drying system is right for your air compressor application, call us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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Spray guns: will any air compressor do?

 
In paint spraying, often the first time you know something’s wrong with your compressed air equipment is when your carefully prepared surface ends up with that tell-tale orange peel effect. By which time, of course, it’s too late to do anything other than strip it all and start again.

The perfect paint finish requires a team effort. It’s not all down to the gun, the air compressor, the hose or connectors; it’s the result of each of them working effectively together.

So, to give yourself the best chance of a finish to be proud of, follow these steps:

1. Start with the gun
Your spray gun of choice will tell you the required air volume and operating pressure. Naturally, choosing an air compressor that lacks the capacity to deliver what the gun requires is setting yourself up to fail.

2. Choose your air compressor
A clean, dry, constant supply: that’s the magic formula for a great spray paint finish. So, compare the requirements of your gun with the capability of your air compressor.

The gun will require a certain operating pressure (given in psi) and air volume (given in cfm) and, theoretically at least, providing the capabilities of your air compressor outmatch the requirements of the gun, all should be well.

But things aren’t quite that simple. First, the compressor needs to deliver its air cleanly. Oil or water in the mix can damage the finish irrespective of compressor power, so filters need to be fitted and clean.

Second, an air compressor’s ability to deliver its stated pressure and volume can diminish depending on the accessories used.

3. Check the accessories
Too long a hose, or a damaged hose, can dramatically reduce the ability of your air compressor to deliver the required amount of air to the gun at the right pressure. The same is true of the fittings used to connect the hose to gun and air compressor.

Pressure loss can vary greatly, from making minimal difference, to being sufficient to drop the psi below the levels required by the gun.

An air regulator can help keep things constant (although it can also contribute to pressure drops) so to find the right combination of gun, hose, fittings and air compressor for your application, you’re best seeking expert advice.

For help in designing the right air compressor system for your paint spraying application, call us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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Is it really ok to buy a used air compressor?

 
The short answer to that question is yes. There’s no reason why used air compressor equipment shouldn’t be perfectly capable of doing the job you need of it, safely, efficiently and successfully for years to come.

The issue isn’t so much the quality of the equipment, but the quality of the seller. By law, all air compressor equipment used within the workplace should be well maintained and have been examined (and certified as such) by a competent person. The problem comes when you can’t be sure either of those things has happened.

So the first step in buying used air compressor equipment is understanding the provenance of the equipment itself. If you have the evidence of certification and maintenance then, as with the log book of a used car, you should be able to buy with confidence.

One way of ensuring the used air compressor equipment you buy is safe and reliable is to buy it from an engineer like Algar Air. After all, there’s no simpler way of ensuring your equipment passes muster than by buying from people who a) are the “competent people” the law requires to certify such equipment, and b) have the experience and know-how to keep it well maintained.

You can find out more about our used air compressor equipment here.

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Can I rely on my air compressor’s horsepower rating?

 
The air compressors we supply and install are designed for a range of uses, and as a result they have a range of power outputs, providing enough horsepower for a single tool, or for a whole factory floor of them. But horsepower in the air compressor industry has proved to be a rather unreliable measure, so how can you ensure the equipment you choose has the power you need?

The uncertainty stems from years of manufacturing practises that saw the horsepower quoted in the product spec as a measure of peak power output, not constant power. Another common source of confusion was to quote the volume of air a compressor could deliver at a lower pressure than the industry standard (thereby artificially inflating the stated power of the equipment).

So if you can’t rely absolutely on the stated horsepower of the machine, what can you rely on? Well, start with the standard measurement, which is SCFM (ie the volume – in cubic feet – of compressed air delivered in a minute, at sea level, 35% humidity and at 68°, compared to the discharge PSI. At least when you compare the SCFMs of two competing air compressors, you should be comparing like with like.

Even then, if you’re to guarantee being able to generate all the air you need, our advice is to overestimate your air requirements by 40%. That way, you’re certain not to find yourself with a brand new air compressor that’s unable to deliver during your peak demand periods.

If you need help ensuring that the decision you make is the right one, we’re here to help. Give us a call on 0114 243 2347 or contact us.

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Do you really need a callout?

 
Ask us to repair your air compressor equipment and we won’t charge you a callout fee, but we will run through some simple troubleshooting over the phone to ensure the problem isn’t something you can resolve yourself.

With all the tips below, if they don’t solve the problem, or if you don’t know how to carry out our suggested checks, give us a call on 0114 243 2347.

•  Air compressor won’t turn on

Has a safety cut out tripped? Check the overload relay and reset if necessary. Make sure the emergency stop is out.

•  Compressor is running but not producing any air

The air is supplied via an inlet valve controlled by a solenoid valve. Whilst you may be able to check whether the valves have power, you’ll probably need to call us to fix the problem.

•  Compressor is not getting up to pressure

Could be caused by a variety of problems including leaks somewhere in the system or problems with inlet filters. Before you call us, check that the level of demand isn’t outstripping the air compressor’s capacity. If it is, it will be new compressor equipment you need, not a repair.

•  Compressor keeps cutting out

Check that your air compressor has the recommended levels of ventilation to ensure it’s not overheating. Check the oil too, and top it up if necessary.

•  There’s water in your compressed air

It’s completely normal to have a little water coming out of your compressed air system as it’s a natural by-product of air compression. But if you check the condensate trap or the manual drain and there’s lots of water there, give us a call.

If the above suggestions haven’t solved the problem, or if your problem is not on this list, please call us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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Why is my air compressor making that noise?

 
It’s not unusual for an air compressor to make a bit of noise, but you quickly notice the difference between business as usual and ‘something’s not quite right’. Odd noises don’t necessarily point to a major problem, but they are worth getting to the bottom of, not least because minor issues tend not to stay minor for very long.

My air compressor is:

 
Squealing briefly on start-up:
Don’t worry – this is quite normal.

Clanking:
Often a sign of a loose part, which means your compressor will need a swift service if it isn’t to result in a breakdown.

Hissing:
Can be a sign of a refrigerant leak.

Screaming:
Could be sign of extreme internal pressure. Switch the compressor off immediately and call us.

Clicking:
Often a sign of a faulty or failing thermostat.

Humming:
If it’s coming from the electric motor it could be a sign that the capacitor is on its way out. Call us for a repair.

Buzzing/Crackling:
If the noise is coming from around the fan motor it could be a sign of loose wiring, an arcing connection or a failing motor.

If your air compressor equipment is making a noise, don’t ignore it. Talk to use about servicing and repair that will keep your workforce safe, and production moving. Please call 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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Servicing | Service Contracts | General On-Site Maintenance | Repairs / Remedial Work | Breakdowns | Pipework Installations | Electrical Installations & Work | Removal, Transportation & Reinstallations

Using Compressed Air Safely

Working safety with comp air cardAnybody who works with Compressed Air should know how dangerous it is. However if you have new staff or need a refresher BCAS offer a Working Safely with Compressed Air Course. Here’s a handy document from BCAS listing the dos and don’ts.

 

“Air at 1 bar can ‘pop’ an eyeball from it’s socket”

 

For those who wish to use the compressed air to clean we offer a JetBlack BlowerJetBlack-Nozzle-OSHA-Nozzle-Assembly  which regulates the pressure to a safe level. This means that you can have worry-free compressed air for any de-dusting tasks.JetBlack-Wall-Mounted

For more information please contact us on 0114 243 2347 or complete our online form.

“0.25 Bar of air can rupture a bowel, lungs or intestine”

Insist on BCASBe Compliant And Safe!

 

Maintenance Work

Not only do we look after every aspect of Compressed Air; we also carry out general maintenance for several of our customers. Here’s a newly painted exclusion area for disabled access.

Disabled Access Required - No Parking Area.

Disabled Access Required – No Parking Area.

Are you leaking money?

That’s the case if you have air leaks in your Compressed Air Pipework. Depending on the size of your compressed air pipework system you could be pouring thousands of pounds into the atmosphere. Though compressed air is free the electricity to power the Air Compressor is not.

Pipework
Case study:
Papermill – DS Smith Ltd in Somerset
The mill was running out of air. Our engineer Geoff had said that he believed that this was due to, in the main, air leaks rather than the introduction of new equipment. They are currently running 3 off Atlas Copco 90kw Air Compressors and having turn on their back-up Compressor(s) Broomwade VM500 to run the plant. Geoff proposed that we carry out an air leak survey. We tested and labelled leaks while logging each leak to be able to calculate the total loss. When we put the final report together they were losing 556 cfm which equates to approximately £76,000 at 8p per kw per annum.
So next time the financial director comes to you asking how to save money – tell them to have a leak test survey carried out! Contact us now on 0114 2432347

A sawing success for sheffield snooker!

sheffield-snooker

There was a lot of excitement around the office last week as we received a phone call from Sheffield Theatres to say that one of their Saw had gone down and they needed it fixing urgently. We’d have to work around the Snooker World Championship matches that were being held in Sheffield’s Crucible.  Our engineer shot straight down to check over the Unit, tracing the wiring from the Distribution Board to the Isolator and finding a faulty 25amp Overload Relay. On his return visit with the replacement part he was on his way down to the ‘Green Room’ to grab a coffee when he stopped to where he was collared by an “Excuse me – are you allowed in here?” He turned around to find that it was the one and only STEVE DAVIS! Haha they had a good chat and he obviously explained his presence! They walked down to get coffee together where he then met Shaun Murphy as he was about to start playing. He wished him good luck and shook his hand. Star struck and coffee in hand he went back and got the Saw back up and running.

Servicing!

stephen-algar-servicing

Here’s Stephen Algar carrying out a 20,000 Hour Service on an Avelair 7VSD75 Air Compressor, changing the Air and Oil Filters, Separators and Oil. We also include checking over and re-tensioning the Drive Belts; checking over all electrical and pipework connections; cleaning out Cooler; generally cleaning down and inspecting machine, running-up and testing. We service all sizes of Air Compressors. Give us a call for a quote!

Factory Extraction

We are pleased to offer our customer’s other services; this month we supplied and installed bespoke Extraction Plenum Chambers for Glue and Solvent work, Extracting to outside of building through Filters. After various consultations with the customer and ourselves we pinned down the exact requirements to suit the customer’s needs for their new department and the correct spec for dealing safely with flammable/toxic gases. We then put together a package that serviced their needs exactly and they now have a non-toxic environment for their staff to work in.

Saving £££ – Interested?

We tend to find that the Air Compressor is the most neglected piece of equipment in any business. They are ignored and unloved by most but consider the crisis that ensues when the trusty Air Compressor does breakdown. Servicing your Compressed Air Equipment regularly significantly decreases the likelihood of breakdowns. Just like with a car if you have it regularly maintained then any faults that occur can be prevented from becoming terminal. For example; our engineer picks up that the Motor on an 11kw Air Compressor is starting to sound noisy. We change the bearings £350 (Parts & Labour) instead of the Motor running until it seizes which would result in a new Motor £695 (Motor only) the saving is plain to see. We are pleased to are offer servicing on all types of Air Compressors from small Piston Industrial Air Compressors 1.5kw upto 7.5kw on manufacturers like ABAC, Clarkair, Fiac, Fini, Nuair, SIP Industrial, for example. For the Larger Screw Industrial Air Compressors from 4kw to 160kw on manufacturers like Atlas Copco, Avelair, Broomwade, BOGE, Compair, Demag, Fini, Fluidair International, Grassair, Hertz Kompressoren, HPC, Hydrovane, Ingersoll Rand, Smart. We can develop a servicing schedule to suit your working environment and the manufacturer’s recommended servicing schedule.

Heat Recovery make more of your Air Compressor

The external BOGE DUOTHERM heat recovery system saves you real money because it can recover up to 72 percent of the input energy used in compression in the form of heat. This can be utilised to supplement your heating or for pre-heating water for use in an industrial process.
The DUOTHERM system is engineered for retrofitting existing screw compressors with a heat recovery system. A generously dimensioned high quality heat exchanger can be connected with a few simple steps to either the oil system of the compressor or the customer’s water system to provide hot water for heating purposes or pre-heating industrial water at no charge. The oil-water heat exchanger alone is capable of recovering up to 75 percent of the energy — thus cutting costs and protecting the environment. For more information please do not hesitate to call.

NEW – Low Noise Air Compressors

We are pleased to offer a NEW range of NuAir LowNoise compressors that have been designed to offer higher technical features to meet the specific needs of professional customers. This series is a compact version of the world’s most successful reciprocating air compressor, with easy access for maintenance that can be installed easily in any suitable location:

  • Single Phase, 13 amp supply
  • Portable
  • Larger Handles & wheels
  • Unique “Tech” Control Panel
  • Genuine B2800 Pump Unit (Belt Driven)
  • 2 year warranty (T & Cs apply)

Please contact us if this would be something that you’d like to know more about.

Can you service me?

The core of our business is servicing and we are pleased to say we service all types of Air Compressors from small Piston Industrial Air Compressors 1.5kw upto 7.5kw on manufacturers like ABAC, Clarkair, Fiac, Fini, Nuair, SIP Industrial, for example. For the Larger Screw Industrial Air Compressors from 4kw to 160kw on manufacturers like Atlas Copco, Avelair, Broomwade, BOGE, Compair, Demag, Fluidair International, Grassair, Hertz Kompressoren, HPC, Hydrovane, Ingersoll Rand, Smart. We can develop a servicing schedule to suit your working environment and the manufacturer’s recommended servicing schedule.

Algar Air also supply a wide range of Gas Compressors / Blowers including Boosters for all types of power generation (this includes the usage of Natural Gas & Landfill Gas.)

Savvy Customer’s fight the rate in Crime!

September also saw Algar Air carrying out a major electrical works for our Customer who manufactures Bespoke Doors and Screens;

  • We replaced the old double light fittings in 2 of their workshops and fitted 32 extra lights including Trunking, Cable and associated Fittings.
  • We also installed 6 off power points above main centre doors on both sides for their CCTV cameras, running 2.5mm, 3 core, SWA Cable back to the Fuse Boards and installed CCTV Cameras.
  • Cleaned and replaced low bay lamps where required in all Units/Workshops.

We offer servicing on other types of Plant

This month an overhaul and repairs was carried out on a Cutmaster Gearbox for an Alloy Processing Customer. The Gearbox was collected, stripped and cleaned. A full report was sent to the customer and the following parts were changed; full set of Bearings, Set of Oil Viton Seals, Set of Fasteners, Breather, Set of Shims and Synthetic Oil. The Stator was re-laquered. To sleeve and machine Rotor Bearing Housing. To also manufacture and install Output Shaft, Output bearing Housing, Front Gearbox Cover Plate, Inner Bearing Housing Cover Plate, 41 Tooth Pinion and 68 Tooth Gear Wheel.

Suction for the NHS?

We are proud to be working with a local NHS Unit to assist with the design and installation of a new orthotics manufacturing room. Working closely with the specialist specifications of the NHS we produced a proposal designing and building a 6 Station Vacuum Rig with Isolation Valves & Drain Legs complete with the Vacuum Pump and Filtration.

New Projects/Contracts for our Customers!

Expansion is on the cards for a Joinery Customer after winning a large contract for Bespoke Doors. It’s always a pleasure to supply new equipment but even more so when it’s due to a company being able to expand. This company assisted by Finance organised for a 11kw/15HP Air Compressor giving 60cfm at 7.5bar on a 500 litre Air Receiver complete with Fridge Dryer, Pre And After Filters and a separate Oil/Water Separator. Working with their schedule of expansion we had the Compressor to them on a 2-3 week delivery, installed it on arrival and they have never looked back since.

Expanding? Let us reduce your stress!

We are in month 2 of 3 of a major project for one of our Orthotics Customers creating a new Department within their factory. Assisting them with removing and relocating machinery and ducting, installing new Sub Board and building new Benches, running in power and air pipework to each location as required. It is important that we can provide an all encompassing service for our customers; it saves on having numerous contractors on site and all the logistics that goes with organising more than one company.

That nightmare moment!

We’ve all had that nightmare moment when you’re desperate to complete a job and something fails on you. In this case, a new Customer made contact when their Air Compressor had stopped working. As a Garage, they needed to use their pneumatic tools and blow up tyres everyday so we soon arrived on site with our hire compressor to get them back up and running. This gave us time to weigh up the option for replacement, taking into consideration the location of the compressor (environmental conditions & proximity to staff) and application. We provided them with three options. We soon had an order and a 4kw Air Compressor was supplied and installed within a few days. We’ve now added this customer to our servicing schedule and will be back in touch with them in due course. This is part of our commitment to our customers to be your memory! You never need to remember when your compressor is due for servicing – we’ll do that for you.

Oil/Water Destroyers – Do you know the facts?

We have installed a new 1500cfm Oil/water Separator this month for one of our Safety Fence manufacturers but did you know you need one? The condensate produced in the process of Compressing Air and then Filtering/Drying/Storing it, needs treatment. These units are designed to meet the emissions limits as laid down in the 1991 Water Resources Act. This is in accordance with ISO 14001.

Hi-sep Benefits:

  • Works with: Any compressor, vane, recip, turbo or screw
  • Any oils – synthetic, mineral or vegetable oils
  • Any drains – even timed solenoids or steam traps
  • Any system – galvanised, stainless, plastic or aluminium pipework
  • Smaller – smallest possible footprint
  • No mess! – No oil containers to empty
  • Lighter – Polyethylene Moulding
  • Stronger – Roto-moulded for maximum structural strength
  • No overflowing / no weirs
  • No stagnant water volumes / no bacteria build up
  • No emulsions or “pizzas” on top of condensate – no static water
  • Longer lasting cartridges / bags than conventional oil / water separators
  • Fitted with 4-way .” BSP inlet manifold as standard
  • Re-handable inlet ports – or up to eight .” BSP inlet ports
  • Condensate cleaners up to 7,000 cfm available, price on application.

Vacuum Pumps!

We are a supplier/servicer of Bambi, Becker, Busch and Gast Vacuum Pumps. Today we installed a new 1.5kw Vacuum Pump complete with DOL (Direct Online) Starter for a new customer who is a specialist in Bespoke Shoes.

11th – 28th Overhaul on 30kw Screw Air Compressor

Ever wondered what is involved in an overhaul? Here is an example. The work to follow was carried out at a National Waste Recycle Plant.

To carry out remedial work required on the 30kw Air Compressor. To disconnect and remove the Air Compressor from its location; including disconnecting pipework & electrics; removing the internal ducting from the Air Compressor & 2nd Atlas Copco Air Compressor and also removing end of Metal Compressor House. To install 1 off Hire-In Air Compressor. To transport Compressor back to our workshop for repairs, stripping down Compressor at our workshop, removing Airend, Motor and Cooler from Cabinet and prepare for transportation. To industrially clean Cooler. To split, clean out, rebearing and re-seal Airend. To inspect and rebearing Motor. To carry out major service changing Oil, Air Filter, Oil Filter, Separator, Suction Box and Check Valve Seals and Springs, checking all electrical connections and cleaning out Cabinet. To reassemble Air Compressor with Motor, Cooler and overhauled Airend,. To clean down and inspect machine, run-up and test. To transport Air Compressor back to site.

TLC for an old V-Major!

February the month of love, well, one of the 90kw Air Compressors at a Refractory Manufacturer has certainly had plenty of TLC. Our engineers carried out remedial work to the Air Compressor as it was reported to not be working correctly, checking over Compressor, we found the HP side had flamed out, stripping Unit for further inspection, finding Non Return Valve not working, Valves broken, Piston Rods, Piston Rings and Packings worn, all reported back to our customer for approval of remedial work to start.

We measured up Cylinders, Piston Rods and Crossheads to make sure tolerances were within limits and transported Piston Rods & Piston Heads back to our site for re-chroming. (stripping off seized Piston Rods for HP and LP Pistons, cleaning off Carbon and polishing Piston Heads, removing Rings and re-chroming.)

Then the engineers returned to install re-chromed Piston Rods. To cut Piston Rings to size and install Pistons with correct clearance settings. To install Oil Scrapers, Packings, Piston Plate Cover Kits, Big-End Nuts, Bolts and Washers, all associated Gaskets and Seals and grinding out ridges in Cylinders. To install LP Head, finding HP Head blocked, attempting to clean on-site, unable to clean. To transport HP Head back to our Chemical Cleaning Specialists to chemically clean, polish out air ways and water ways. To collect HP Head, transport back to site, install HP Head and full set of Valves complete with Coppers and Rubbers. To remove NRV Unit, cleaning out and installing new Valve, cleaning out sight glasses, running-up and testing.

Time for an Overhaul?

This month we have carried out an 8000 hour service and the following overhaul work to a 90kw Air Compressor at a Papermill. Here’s what’s involved! To remove Cabinet, strip and remove Air-end and Gear-box from the Compressor, to transport away for the following work to be carried out:

  • To steam clean unit.
  • To dismantle and clean (using ultrasonic or solvent).
  • To crack detect & lap/grind bearing faces as required.
  • To clean/polish rotors & check dimensions as required.
  • To rebuild in clean area using all new SKF/FAG/RHP Bearings, Seals, Joints.
  • Steel/brass cages used wherever possible.

To return unit to site, reassemble compressor, with associated gaskets & seals, carry out servicing of the compressor, changing oil etc., cleaning down and inspecting machine, running-up and testing.

Installation of New Ring Main

Due to the Major relocation of a Percussive Down Hole Rock Drilling equipment Manufacturer, our engineers have had 2½ months of on-site co-ordination; seeing the completion of a Large Scale Compressed Air Pipework System with over 299 metres of 2” & 1” Galvanised pipe and working with all on-site Contractors to maintain efficiency and customer output during a difficult manufacturing period. We have supplied hire equipment when required and connected up machinery as and when it had been transported to the new works.

Have you revised your Written Scheme recently?

Completed the revision of a Commercial Upholstery/Furnishings Manufacturer’s Written Scheme of Examination. We’d recently done a few changes to their Compressed Air Pipework so our Chartered Engineer revised the Written Scheme of Examination in line with the new layout. If you need any further information about if you need a Scheme or who is able to carry out such work please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg178.pdf

Extraction!

Compressed Air Engineering isn’t all we supply to our customers –for instance, we have had manufactured, per our specification, Lamination Booths for the process of Chemical Carbon Fibre Products complete with Filtrations, for use at an Orthotics Specialist.

Good news – Companies still expanding despite recession.

We were pleased to see that our long standing customer, who produces Posters to be supplied all over the world, has bought new premises to accommodate their ever expanding business. We have put together a new Compressed Air System comprising of 15kw Air Compressor, suitable Refrigerant Dryer complete with Pre & After Filters to cool the air and remove moisture/contamination and an Oil/water Destroyer to deal with the condensate. All the Compressed Air Equipment is now installed by our first class engineers. Good job boys!

Have you heard of my Compressor?

The core of our business is servicing and we are pleased to say we service all types of Air Compressors from small Piston Industrial Air Compressors 1.5kw upto 7.5kw on manufacturers like ABAC, Clarkair, Fiac, SIP Industrial for example. For the Larger Screw Industrial Air Compressors from 4kw to 160kw on manufacturers like Atlas Copco, Avelair, Broomwade, BOGE, Compair, Demag, Fluidair International, Grassair, Hertz Kompressoren, HPC, Hydrovane, Ingersoll Rand. We can develop a servicing schedule to suit your working environment and the manufacturer’s recommended servicing schedule.

Size does matter!

We have specialist pipework engineers who aren’t just fitters. The engineering knowledge is vital to the correct sizing of Pipework Installations. This month we installed a full 1” Compressed Air Ring Main into a new factory with twenty three 1” drops in required locations for Hard Metal Machinery using 1” Pipe Galvanised, Isolation Taps, Bracketing, Fixings & Fittings & electrically installed 50 metres of 4mm, 4 Core, SY Cable & 2 off 32amp Isolators for both Air Compressors, ran-up & tested.

You name it – we can do it!

We have always prided ourselves on our ability to offer our customers an all encompassing service. The aim for us is to offer the best customer service possible while removing the stress of the customer having to manage the work. Our staff come from various industrial backgrounds each being able to service and maintain Air Compressors but also having another set of skills we are able to offer. As an example this month at one of our Customers; a Manufacturer and Supplier of Doorsets, Ironmongery and Screenshots:

  1. Supply & install Hi-Line CDA15 Fridge Dryer with Pre & After Filters.
  2. Relocate Fork Lift Truck Charger.
  3. Install 2 off Emergency Lights.
  4. Install Electrics for Glue Machine.
  5. Install Fuse board.
  6. Edge Bander repairs.
  7. Pipework from Compressor to new machines.

Is your Compressor Noisy?

It is important to keep regular checks on your Air Compressor. Any changes in noise can signify a potential expensive Bearing failure. This was the case with one of our local Prisons. Our contact on site notified us of the Air Compressor running noisier. We attended site straight away and on clearing security along with our escort the engineer soon discovered the fault was down to the Motor & Airend Bearings starting to fail. We arranged to remove the machine, install a temporary hire Compressor and carry out the relevant work to the Atlas Copco Air Compressor. Removing the need for the replacement of either the Motor or Airend or possibly the entire Air Compressor, if the unit had failed.

Check out this package!

One of our new Packaging Customers this month has taken a full Compressed Air System package from us; we have supplied and installed an 18.5kw Screw Air Compressor producing 110cfm complete with 500 Litre Air Receiver/Tank to store the Compressed Air, Refrigerant Dryer @ 120cfm to remove the moisture including Pre and After Filtration and an Oil/Water Destroyer to deal with the condensate from all of the drains. Good luck to them on their expansion!

Written Scheme of Examination Updates

Recently, current customers will have received their annual review form for their Written Scheme of Examination. If you haven’t already please return the completed form as soon as you can.

It is extremely important to keep your Written Scheme of Examination up to date so all your Compressed Air equipment is scheduled to be inspected at the correct intervals. If you don’t have Scheme already or haven’t received your review form please contact head office on 0114 2432347. If you would like more information on the regulations please visit our ‘Legislation Page’ on our website.

Waste Carrier Licence

New Waste Carrier Licence received! As per the Waste (England & Wales) Regulations 2011 we are certified for the next three years to remove your hazardous waste from site. Please remember as Hazardous Waste Producers you will need to Register** your business with the Environment Agency so we can remove the Waste Oil and any associated Oil contaminated Compressed Air Service Items. Please visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk for more information.

The sources of hazardous waste in compressed air systems are.

  • Condensate
  • Oil from servicing
  • Used oil filters elements
  • Desiccant
  • Air filter elements
  • Air end/pump items

Our Waste Carrier Licence Number for your records is CB/WM3184TH. If you’d like a copy of our certificate please email info@algarair.co.uk or each engineer carries a card.

**You may not need to register if you produce less than 500kg of Hazardous Waste per year

Health & Safety

“Health issues should be driven by the understanding that improved health and well-being can generate significant employee productivity benefits, resulting in higher levels of motivation”. According to research recently conducted by the Chartered Management Institute: The Quality of Working Life 2007.

Maintaining the health and well-being of employees can have the potential to benefit an organisation in the following ways:

  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Improved productivity
  • Losing fewer experienced staff through retirement on ill health grounds
  • Attracting and retaining the best staff
  • Improving staff morale
  • Improving employee relations

Here at Algar Air we work with all members of the team to promote health & fitness; actively encouraging exercise and healthy eating. Here are a few examples:

  • The Bank Holiday Friday for the Royal Wedding saw the 1st Golf Tournament for Algar Air. The second coming up this Saturday 18th June
  • Part of the Admin Team have had a massive achievement in their weight loss goals over the last year losing in excess of 8 stone!
  • Algar Air provides the Westfield Advantage Health Scheme
  • Most members of staff take part in regular exercise including regularly attending the Gym, 5 a-side League Football, Zumba/Dance Exercise Classes and one member of the Team who regularly walks the 8 mile round trip to work and back!