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Rotary air compressor or reciprocating air compressor?

 
There are far more than two types of air compressor available on the market, but in terms of basic ‘operating system’ the choice effectively comes down to rotary or reciprocating. Here’s what that means.

Selection of Air Compressors

Rotary and reciprocating air compressors

Rotary air compressors generate pressure using two interlocking screws (rotors) which take the air coming through the inlet valve, and generate pressure by reducing its volume. Reciprocating air compressors generate pressure by using pistons rather than rotors.

Which is better?

Confusingly, it depends. If you’re operating in a workspace which needs its air compressors to work 100% of the time, rotary or screw air compressors are likely to be a far better bet, because they’re better able to work without a break. Reciprocating air compressors are a better choice for intermittent duty cycles, but even here, a rotary system could be the more efficient in terms of energy consumption.

Design matters

The crucial deciding factor in determining whether a rotary or reciprocating air compressor will be more effective for your business is system design. It’s very easy to lose the theoretical efficiency advantages of a rotary system in an inefficiently designed system. That’s why it’s essential to seek expert compressed air system design.

Talk to us about your compressed air system

Algar Air has been designing energy efficient, high performance compressed air systems across Sheffield, Nottingham and beyond for more than 30 years. To explore your new or expanded system, talk to us now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

  >  Breakdown cover 24/7? We’ve got you covered
  >  Keep your air compressor running with a good service

*Please note photos are for illustrative purposes only – we may not stock / provide these exact models.

Do you need a backup air compressor?

 
This isn’t a scientific measure, but a rough count of the clients we’ve worked with over the past couple of years reveals a rather surprising fact: only around 20% of them have a backup air compressor.

Engineer Checking Air Compressor Pump

The explanation for this isn’t unreasonable – the air compressor is often one the most ‘under the radar’ pieces of kit on any factory, workshop or garage floor. Frequently the only time it gets attention is when it’s not doing something it should. And yet there is value in always having a backup on hand – not least because a backup can be the difference between being able to continue with business as usual and everything grinding to a halt. So here are a few ways to make that happen without going to the expense of buying two identical, brand new air compressors when most of the time you only need one.

  >  Discover what to do if your air compressor breaks down

Keep your old air compressor

Every air compressor has its day. Like everything else in life, eventually it will need replacing as an aging motor struggles to deliver the pressure, flow or reliability it once did.

But whilst your old compressor may no longer be able to shoulder the everyday demands of your business, it may still be good enough to act as backup. They key to keeping an old compressor as backup is to ensure it stays serviced and maintained. After all, there’s no point in having a backup air compressor that doesn’t work on the rare occasions you actually need it.

It may not be something to rely on for long, but it can certainly help you cover the short period while your main compressor is out of action.

Buy small

The air compressor you use every day may be a beast, but you may not necessarily need the same power in a backup – and that will cut the cost of ensuring that, should something happen to your main air compressor, you’ll still be able to continue to operate with some degree of normality.

Small Used Air Compressor Unit

The key to this decision is working out the essential requirements of your business and choosing a compressor that can cope with everyday demands, if not the peaks.

Buy used

A used air compressor will always cost less than a brand new model. We supply many used air compressors as primary units, so there’s no reason not to choose a used model as a backup.

It is vital to ensure the used compressor will be up to the task, so buying from established air compressor engineers is advisable, and keeping the unit well serviced is essential. You can find out more about our used air compressors here.

As ever, if you need help in deciding the best choice for your backup air compressor, talk to us on 0114 243 2347, or get in touch

  >  Keep your air compressor running with a good service
  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

*Please note photos are for illustrative purposes only – we may not stock / provide these exact models.

Air compressors for every purpose

 
Range of Air Compressors

Even after 30+ years in the air compressor business, we’re still surprised by the sheer range of jobs our air compressors are asked to perform.

Silent, oil free compressor

In just the last month, for example, we’ve supplied a number of 1.5kW air compressors, including one to a client in the fashion industry which is, as far as we can recall, the very first time we’ve worked with that particular sector.

The air compressor is a ‘silent’, oil-free model – silent so as not to shatter the peace of a creative studio (although not absolutely silent, you’ll find this compressor operates on a gentle hum that you can easily talk above); and oil-free so no contaminants escape to damage fabrics.

  >  Are you in need of a new compressor or equipment?

Compact compressor

In terms of power, a 3kW compact compressor was next on the list of items we supplied last month. A compact compressor takes all the elements you’d normally associate with a compressed air system: the filters, receiver and drier, and squeezes them all into one compact box. It’s the natural solution when space is at a premium, giving you the air compressor and all its accessories (with the exception of an oil/water separator) while reducing the concern of where you’re going to fit them all.

Blue Air Compressor

Variable energy compressor

Once you reach mid-range levels of power you’re talking about significant energy usage to generate airflow. A number of the 15kW compressors we supplied this month were variable flow units, which cut energy use, running costs and environmental impact.

They’re not suitable in every industry, but where demand fluctuates, a variable speed compressor will vary its output according to demand, rather than generating a constant, stable flow. Generally speaking, the energy savings can be enough to cover the cost of the air compressor in just a few years.

The 45kW

At the larger end of the spectrum we find the sort of air compressors used in heavy industry and high output manufacturing. 45kW is by no means the largest air compressor we’ve ever supplied (the biggest compressors on our books currently are 110kw) but it was the largest unit we supplied last month and is capable of delivering 180+cfm of air to a local crankshaft manufacturer.

Contact Algar Air

Whatever you do, on whatever scale, there’s an air compressor that can help. To find the right air compressors for you, talk to us now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

  >  Keep your air compressor running with a good service
  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

*Please note photos are for illustrative purposes only – we may not stock / provide these exact models.

Callout to a poorly BOGE

 
For almost half a century, our customer has been behind the design and development of much of the equipment used in rock drilling. Their equipment is used globally for mineral research – including gold – and as you might expect, air compressors are a major source of power for their production.

The company’s Sheffield HQ is home to a BOGE CF30 air compressor, a belt driven compressor with an integrated frequency controller that matches energy consumption with air requirements. That brings our client numerous advantages: idle times are minimised, pressure fluctuations are levelled and smooth starts and stops help protect products whilst reducing wear on the compressor.

Yet the BOGE air compressor had developed a fault. We were called out to check it over and found that the motor bearings were noisy. We arranged for one of our stand-by compressors to be installed on site, allowing us to take the BOGE away, but still leaving the client able to maintain production.

  >  Discover what to do if your air compressor breaks down

Back at our workshop, the BOGE was stripped to find the motor bearings needed replacing and the end shields re-sleeving. Crucially, the heart of the variable air compressor – the air-end (aka the compressor screw element) – needed stripping and cleaning, so we removed it and sent away for overhaul.

Once the air-end was received back in-house, we reassembled the air compressor. The suction box, minimum pressure valve and thermostat were all stripped down and springs, seals and gaskets replaced. We also fitted new drive belts.

Once complete (and tested and cleaned) the air compressor was returned to our customer’s plant, where we reinstalled it, good as new.

Could we help you? If you want to be confident that your air compressor will keep working, talk to us about servicing and maintenance packages. Contact us now.

  >  Does your air compressor need servicing?
  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

We now rent air compressors

 
There’s no one type of business that relies on air compressors. For every major manufacturer which has contingency after contingency should an air compressor fail, there are at least as many smaller businesses relying on a single air compressor and no backup.

When they hit a real purple patch in production, or when the air compressor fails, they’re left struggling. And that’s one of the reasons we’ve launched our new air compressor hire service.

  >  Discover more about our range of equipment

Air compressor rental is actually something we’re been doing for some time, but until recently, the service was reserved for our servicing and maintenance customers. Whilst we removed the air compressor for stripping down and inspection, we could lease them a stopgap air compressor that would ensure there was no effect on production.

But we’ve realised it’s not just maintenance and breakdowns that can leave a business needing additional air power. So if you need an additional air compressor but you don’t need one permanently, hire it from us.

Find out more about our air compressor rental service. And to find out which rental units we have in stock right now, please call 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

  >  Does your air compressor need servicing?
  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

Air compressor hire

 
When your business can’t live without air power, you need air compressors you can rely on. Many of the businesses we work with have one or two core air compressors and then have (often older) backup models serviced and ready to go should a problem occur with one of the main units.

Boge C20 Air Compressor

But some don’t. So if you don’t have a backup and your main air compressor fails, what do you do?

Air compressor rental with Algar Air

 
If your air compressor needs a complete overhaul, chances are it will be out of action for several days. That’s why, for some years now, we’ve been offering alternative air compressors on a short term hire to keep production moving when the main compressor is offline.

  >  Does your air compressor need servicing?

Now, we’re expanding our air compressor leasing service, to help you cope not just with main compressor downtime, but also with peak season, rush jobs and any gap between an old compressor being decommissioned and a new compressor being installed.

So when a short term lease makes better economic and production sense than buying a brand new unit, rent air compressors from Algar Air.

To find out which rental units we have in stock right now, please call 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

  >  Are you in need of a new compressor or equipment?
  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

*photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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.

What We Do

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

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.

What We Do

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

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.

What We Do

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

*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.

What We Do

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

*Photo courtesy of Flickr

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.

What We Do

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

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.

What We Do

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

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.

What We Do

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

Used Stock!!!!!

Used air compressor

Ex-Stock ready for next day delivery our second hand Air Compressors range currently comprise of:
Screw Air Compressors:
• 11kw/15HP/10 bar Pressure Variable Speed Air Compressor – Receiver mounted
• 11kw/15HP/10 bar Pressure Variable Speed Air Compressor – Floor mounted
• 11kw/15HP/8 bar Pressure Variable Speed Air Compressor – Receiver/Dryer mounted
• 15kw/20HP/10 bar Fixed Speed Air Compressor – Floor mounted.
• 11kw/15HP/ 8 bar Fixed Speed Air Compressor – Receiver mounted.
• 5.5kw/7.5HP/ 8 bar Fixed Speed Air Compressor – Receiver mounted.
Piston Air Compressors:
• 2.2kw/3HP/10 bar Air Compressor – Receiver mounted (100/150/200 litres tanks available)
• 1.8kw/2.5HP/ 10 bar Air Compressor – Receiver mounted (50 litres)
Refrigerant Dryers:
• 282 cfm Dryer
• 214 cfm Dryer
• 159 cfm Dryer
• 48 cfm Dryer
For details of age, condition, running hours and costs give us a call on 0114 2432347 or use the Contact Form.

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.

New Year – New Compressor!

This month we have supplied a Printing Firm with a brand new 30kw Air Compressor ready for them to tackle the new challenges that this year will throw at them.

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!