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The versatility of the air compressor

 
Range of Air Compressors

We spend a lot of time talking about the benefits of compressed air to all sorts of clients from all sorts of business backgrounds. We know how versatile compressed air systems can be, but it’s only when you analyse where your clients come from that you realise just how versatile.

We took a snapshot of the customers we supplied with air compressors, receivers and separators over the summer, and the results were something of an eye-opener.

Breaking down the figures

As you might expect, manufacturing and industrial processes make up the lion’s share of our market, but within that market there’s a huge diversity of businesses. Over summer, our air compressor equipment went to companies as diverse as tool manufacturers, industrial engineers, steel fabricators and CNC equipment manufacturers.

There’s a huge variety in the scale of the processes too, and in the air power required to accomplish them. For every modest air compressor required to power the manufacture of workwear or process special steels, there’s a far larger air compressor being put to work in the aggregates sector.

At the more unusual end of the manufacturing spectrum, some of our compressed air equipment is now busy manufacturing silverware. Some of it is even helping to make figure skating blades.

Beyond air compressors

It hasn’t been all air compressors. As an example, we’ve sent a desiccant dyer to a crankshaft manufacturer, an oil/water separator to a steel fabricator, a fridge dryer to a refractory manufacturer (that makes high temperature materials for kilns and reactors) and a vacuum pump to a building products manufacturer.

Beyond manufacturing

We’ve already mentioned the aggregates supplier, but there are plenty of other applications for our air compressor equipment beyond manufacturing. Over summer, we’ve supplied bus stations, universities and printers too, to name but a few.

We’d love to supply your air power too. So if you’re part of any of the industries listed above, or you work in something else entirely but want help in creating the right compressed air system for you, call us now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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

Can I put motor oil in my air compressor?

 
We speak to lots of customers who, when Googling questions about their air compressor, have been directed to a forum. Ask Google about air compressor oil and you will inevitably come across forums full of compressor users who have been happily pouring motor oil into the equipment for years without a problem.

They’re lucky. Automotive oils contain detergents and additives. In a car engine those additions help prevent corrosion, wear, foaming, sludge build up and more. Put them in an air compressor, however, and they will result in the build-up of harmful carbon deposits. Add water to the mix (as screw compressors inevitably do) and the oil will emulsify, effectively reducing or removing its protective and lubricating qualities.

And that’s before we consider the issue of the manufacturer’s warranty, and the fact that no manufacturer will uphold a warranty on an air compressor that has had motor engine oil in its system.

How compressor oils differ from engine oil

Air compressor oil is detergent, sulphur and additive free, so it won’t cause damaging build ups on the compressor’s valves and other surfaces. An air compressor manufacturer will always recommend a specific brand of oil, and if you are changing the oil yourself we would encourage sticking to this recommendation to avoid invalidating your warranty.

Oil changes are part and parcel of our maintenance service contracts, so if your business relies on an air compressor, talk to us about a service plan that will keep the oil topped up (with the correct oil) and keep every other part in good working order. Call us now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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Can you mount an air compressor upside down?

 
For many workshops, space is at a premium, so it can be tempting to find innovative ways of storing your equipment to free up a little more usable space. That was the challenge for one of our clients recently who asked whether mounting their small air compressor upside down and out of the way would cause problems.

On the face of it, it was a perfectly reasonable question. Theirs is not an air compressor that uses oil, so there could be no issues with lubricants collecting in the wrong parts of the compressor. And just to add to their reasons, they felt they had more freedom for their air compressor lines with the compressor inverted. Yet even with an oil-free compressor, mounting should always be the right way up.

This is for a number of reasons. An upside down compressor can place unexpected stress forces on parts of the machine and cause additional wear. An upside down motor can cause heat dissipation issues, and risk overheating. And even on its side, you’ll find greater piston ring wear.

So, if you are struggling for space and want to explore your air compressor mounting options, have a read of this piece, which covers the optimum siting of air compressors in the workplace but ensure your compressor remains orientated the right way up. Then, if you are still struggling to find the ideal position to site your air compressor equipment, call us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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What’s the best place for your air compressor?

 
On the face of it, it seems like the simplest of questions. Surely, your air compressor needs to go where there’s space and where no one is likely to be obstructed by it. But there’s rather more to choosing the prime position for your compressor than that:

1. Room temperature

For the coolant in your air compressor to do its job, the compressor needs to operate in an environment between 4° and 40°C. At or beyond those extremes, your air compressor coolant is likely to be unable to work effectively enough, and the machine may shut down. It will also require more maintenance to compensate for the increased wear.

Ideally, therefore, your air compressor should be sited in a cool area.

2. Air circulation

Air compressors generate significant heat, and they can quickly heat the area around them. That’s especially the case when the air compressor is in an enclosed space, where the hot air vented from the compressor is likely to be sucked back into the machine, creating a heating cycle that can cause the problems noted above.

Ensure your compressor has the air space suggested by the manufacturer, and if you are unsure what that is, talk to us.

3. Accessibility

Your air compressor is going to need regular servicing and, over time, it’s likely that some fairly significant components will need replacing. That requires space to work, ideally around three feet on every side.

4. Noise

Air compressors aren’t quiet, and if employees are in the vicinity all day it could be a source of frustration and even harm. One solution is to site the compressor away from the workforce; another is to provide ear defenders for those closest to the compressor. And a third is to create a soundproof booth or room and place the compressor in there.

5. Proximity

You don’t have to place your air compressor at the heart of the production floor, especially if any of the above will cause problems. However, the more ducting you introduce the more power your air compressor needs to generate and the larger the overall system in terms of maintenance and fault-finding. In larger operations it is perhaps inevitable that there will be significant distances between a compressor and the various tools it feeds, but it is important to eliminate as much needless distance as possible.

Need help finding the right place to site your air compressor equipment? Call us now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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Why does my air compressor need a filter?

 
Why does my air compressor need a filter?

It may not be immediately obvious, but each cubic foot of compressed air can contain millions of dirt particles, water and oil. This contamination of the air is most noticeable when you are using your compressor for something which demands a fine finish – paint spraying, for example. Unfiltered (or when your filter isn’t performing as it should) you’ll notice the spray finish has a dappled appearance, caused by dirt and water in the air flow. Filter such particles out, and you’ll find the finish improves enormously.

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But filtering isn’t only required where the application demands a fine finish. Particles in the air can cause additional wear on the compressor and your air tools. They can coat valves and other parts of the machine. They use more energy and cost more to run (because the motor has to work harder to force the air around the system). And they increase the likelihood of a breakdown and/or the frequency of servicing.

Filtering solid particles

We have spoken about separating oil and water from your compressed air system previously, so in this piece we shall focus on filtering solids (although a filter may also remove some oil and condensate).

     Particulate (or coarse) filters scrub the air of contaminants measuring 5 to 40 microns
     Fine and micro filters remove particles smaller than 1 micron
     Activated carbon filters capture oil vapours
     Sterile filters scrub the air of germs and would typically be used in pharmaceutical, medical, food or beverage applications

As you might expect, the tiering of filters is important. Place a micro filter upstream of a coarse filter and it will immediately become clogged, restricting air flow and reducing the effectiveness of the compressor. Instead, the coarse filter should come first in the air stream, collecting the larger particles before enabling the micro and other filters to do their jobs.

Maintaining the filter

Like the filter in your coffee machine or vacuum cleaner, as particles gather, so the machine performs less effectively. It’s important, therefore, to replace filters periodically. Precisely how often the filter will need replacing depends on the compressor, the filter and the application. You compressor may be fitted with a sensor which may monitor air flow at the filter and alert you when pressure starts to drop due to clogging.

Our maintenance service contracts ensure filters are replaced before they become clogged enough to reduce performance, or impact energy costs and compressor wear. To talk to us about keeping your air compressor equipment in prime condition, please call us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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Spray painting an oil drill

 
Over the years, our air compressors have powered lots of paint sprayers in a wide range of indus-trial (and other) settings. They’ve been spraying cars, walls, and even coating foods and pharma-ceuticals. But a recent air compressor installation was designed to feed a paint pump of a different scale.

The client had been using a prior pump to add a protective coating to oil boring drills via flexible hose. The new compressor was to be installed away from the spraying bay, which required our en-gineers to break into the ring main and run galvanised pipework to the paint pump. The new sys-tem would create a more robust and reliable system for delivering the paint, ensuring optimal air flow and, in turn, a more consistent paint finish.

As ever, we agreed the strategy with the client before we started work, and ensured work was completed in the time we promised.

Paint Pump Galvanised Pipework Installation Paint Pump Galvanised Pipework Installation

However your business uses air power, let Algar Air help you use it better. Call us now on 0114 243 2347.

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The ducting upgrade solution

 
It’s often the case that problems with air flow aren’t the fault of the air compressor. Ductwork is a vital yet often overlooked part of the system. Too narrow a duct, too many tight angles or too many junctions can restrict air flow, creating pinch points that affect the performance of the air tool.

The same principle applies to all ductwork, whether it is supporting an air compressor or an extraction system. So when one of our regular clients contacted us about problems with the extractor unit that removed dust from their circular saw, we were only too happy to help.

Once onsite, our engineers’ inspection revealed the problem was not with the extraction fan, but with the ductwork. The volume of suction was simply too great for the existing duct to cope with, and dust extraction levels had dipped as a result.

Eclipse Ducting Upgrade Solution

We agreed to upgrade the ductwork and installed test points that would monitor suction levels in the future to prevent the same problem arising again. We also agreed the location of, and installed, inspection hatches in the ductwork of a nearby CNC machine.

Eclipse Ducting Upgrade Solution

The ‘go to’ air people

We are proud of the fact that we are the ‘go to’ supplier for all things air related for this client, and as ever we completed the work to the agreed time scales, to the customer’s satisfaction and in compliance with the appropriate standards, which in this case were the Pressure Safety Systems Regulations 2011 including a written scheme of examination, testing of the air receiver; servicing & maintenance of their air compressors and associated equipment.

On completion of the work, David Smith, General Manager Purchasing, had this to say about us:

“We have developed a professional working relationship with Algar Air due their high standards and great workmanship. You need to be able to trust your suppliers to do what they say they will, and this has always been delivered by everyone at Algar Air. They are our go-to supplier and have consistently delivered both on cost and quality. All the staff are friendly and approachable and clearly at the top of their game. I look forward to enhancing the relationship in the future.”

If that’s the sort of relationship you would value with your air power and ductwork supplier, talk to us on 0114 243 2347.

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The air compressor in the bus station

 
Ducts serve a number of purposes in any building, but one of the most vital is that in the event of a fire they can help channel smoke away from occupied areas of a building. The challenge comes when a building loses power, because you need the vents to remain open.

NUAIR 4.4kw Air Compressor

That was our reason for installing a new 4.4kw Tandem Air Compressor in a bus station recently. The compressor controls the vents at the roof, but operates counter-intuitively. The default position is for the vents to be open at all times. The compressor is used to close them. Should the power fail, the compressor stops, enabling the vents open like a flower and vent smoke and fumes away from occupied parts of the building.

We were asked to supply, install and commission the new air compressor, which is fully operational and now helping to keep the bus station’s staff and passengers safe.

NUAIR Air Compressor in Bus Station

Need help in choosing the right air compressor for your application? Talk to Algar Air, the compressed air specialists, on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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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.

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

What is pressure and how much pressure does my air tool need?

 
Air pressure is the force with which the air generated by your air compressor is delivered by the air tool. It’s important to be able to control the pressure – think of the warnings on the air tools at your local garage, telling you not to try using them on your child’s bike tyres or paddling pool. That’s because the pressure is far greater than those items can withstand. Try using the air tool to inflate a child’s rubber ring, for example, and it won’t blow it up; it’ll blow it apart.

Air Compressor Pressure Gauge

Pressure is measured in psi or atmospheric pressure (Bar). 1 Bar is roughly 15 psi and most air tools operate between 2 and 6 Bar (22-35 psi). Many heavier duty air tools will operate at the upper end of that range – with sanders, drills and the like frequently requiring 6 Bar.

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Sprayers, however, typically require considerably less pressure. Too high, and the air compressor will atomise the spray to too great a degree, so the paint never reaches the surface of the application.

Pressure vs consumption

The energy efficiency of your air compressor is affected by a number of factors, and the pressure at which the compressor is required to work is a major one. The higher the pressure, the harder the air compressor motor has to work and the more energy it will use.

To reduce costs, consider a variable speed air compressor, which will automatically adjust its performance depending on usage, so there’s always airflow and air pressure when you need it, but without operating at full capacity when there’s little or no demand on the system.

Need help finding the right air compressor for your business? Call Algar Air now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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

What is an oil free air compressor and why might I need one?

 
Most air compressors use oil to help prevent the motor from overheating. Generally speaking, that doesn’t cause a problem. If you’re in a garage environment, the fact that there’s a little air compressor-generated oil vapour floating around really doesn’t matter when there’s oil in virtually every other element of the business too.

Air Compressor Pressure Pumps

But sometimes, the presence of oil in the atmosphere can be a problem. Where oil is used as a coolant in your air compressor, it’s inevitable that some of that oil will escape into the system. Traces of it can find its way into the air your compressor generates, and if your end product is food, drink or pharmaceuticals, a contaminant such as oil can pose serious risks.

  >  Talk to us about servicing your air compressors

It’s a similar position with spray finishing. Oil may not contaminate a paint finish in a ‘threat to health’ sort of way, but if it’s present in the atomised spray, then it can pose a danger to the effect of the finish. Rather than a seamless, pristine coating, oil or water in a spray finish can deliver a tell-tale ‘orange peel’ effect. And you don’t want that on your new car.

Oil free benefits

There are numerous ways of filtering oil from the air compressor system, but no method is as fool proof as the compressor system that doesn’t use oil at all.

Oil-free air compressors make compliance simple. There’s no need to worry about the potential for oil contamination in your food business when you completely remove oil from the equation. So there’s a peace of mind benefit to installing oil-free compressors, and it’s easy to meet even the strictest international regulations when you know your risk of contamination is zero.

But there’s a practical benefit to choosing oil -free air compressors too. That’s because, in an oil-based system, the only way to scrub the oil would be through using active carbon filters. Even the cleanest filters provide a barrier to the free flow of air. And as filters become dirtier their effect on airflow and pressure (and, therefore, efficiency) becomes even more pronounced. So oil-free enables you to maintain higher, more efficient air pressure, as well as cleaner air.

To find out more about whether oil free air compressors would be the right choice for your business, talk to Algar Air now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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

Do I need to drain the air tank?

 
There’s no getting away from it, your compressed air system is going to generate water – it’s a natural and inevitable by-product of squeezing air molecules together. Air can collect at virtually any part of the compressor system, including in the tubes and at the air tool itself, but the most common area for moisture to collect is in the air receiver (the tank).

Factory Air Compressor Pump System

Why is moisture a problem?

Water in the compressed air system is a problem for two reasons. First, it can become a contaminant, affecting the products you’re trying to create using compressed air. In foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, or in precision work like dentistry or paint spraying, adding water to the mix can cause problems.

The second problem caused by water in the system is corrosion. Left undrained, water in your air receiver can corrode the tank from the inside out, risking greater contamination problems and, ultimately, system failure. Your compressed air system simply won’t generate the required pressure when there’s a rusty hole in it.

  >  Talk to us about servicing your air compressors

Leave your air compressor undrained for so long that the tank fills with water and you’ll no longer be pumping air round your system; you’ll be pumping water.

Draining the water

There is a simple solution to the problem of water in the air receiver and that is to drain it. We would recommend draining the tank once a day.

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Draining is a simple process. You’ll find a drain valve on the tank, usually (although not always) at its lowest point. The drain may look like a screw or a ring pull. Pull or screw open the valve to its fullest extent to allow all the water (and trace oil and other contaminants) to drain out. Once fully drained, remember to replace the valve.

If there’s a likelihood that draining will be forgotten, talk to us about installing an auto-drain system that can ensure your compressed air system gets the frequent and regular draining it needs. Call us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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

GDPR – still want to hear from us?

 
GDRP

This May, it won’t have escaped your notice that the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into force, changing the way businesses collect, use and store data.

You will probably have been just as affected by this as we have and, like us, you were probably mailing your clients ahead of the deadline asking them to consent to your continuing to send them emails, newsletters and the like.

Of course the problem with that is, once the deadline had passed, we were no longer able to contact those who may have intended to reply and give us their consent, but just didn’t get around to it.

So, if you received our mail but didn’t get around to actioning it. If it disappeared into your junk and was never seen again. Or if you simply want to stay in touch with us from this point on – please get in touch. Thanks.

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*Please note photos are for illustrative purposes only.

When air compressor engineering becomes so much more

 
Air compressor engineering is an unusual expertise. It’s unusual because it involves so many skills. Over the course of a single compressed air system installation our engineers will typically apply electrical, plumbing, joinery, pipe and ductwork and project management skills. So when, as frequently happens, a client presents us with a “can you just…?” challenge completely unrelate to compressed air, the answer is usually “yes we can”.

Engineer With White Safety Hard Hat

Almost exactly a year ago, we covered the story of what happened when a longstanding prosthetics and orthotics client needed help in assembling a ramp for testing prosthetic legs on gradients. It was a perfect example of a relationship that still has air compressor maintenance at its core, but has expanded to include so much more.

Recently, we were back again, helping the client recover from a flood. Ironically, the air compressor was one of the few items unaffected when an upstairs toilet malfunctioned, flooding the lab below. To make matters even more frustrating for the client, this happened over a bank holiday weekend – but we were on hand to help.

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The Sunday and Monday were spent on a (literal) mop up operation. We identified the problem and isolated it and started the process of salvaging what we could and ripping out damaged equipment, carpet and ceiling tiles.

Over the following week we repaired the toilet, replaced ceiling tiles, replaced carpet and more to put the lab back in the condition it had been prior to the flood.

There was downtime – the flood was too great for there to be no impact on the business. But by acting swiftly we were able to limit the damage caused, which enabled us to have the lab back up and running far sooner that might otherwise have been the case.

And besides, who needs bank holidays anyway?

If you need help with your compressed air system – or general on-site maintenance, electrical installations and more, talk to us 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.

The air compressor that lost its cool

 
Earlier this year we were called out to one of our client’s air compressors which, the client told us, was running hot. This was February and the temperature outside was -8° C to -10° C – not exactly the obvious time to find a compressor overheating.

When our engineers arrived on site, they quickly realised that the compressor coolant had vanished, a problem caused by one of the cooling fans taking a flying trip into the cooler, damaging a number of cooling tubes from which the coolant had drained.

Large Portable Diesel Compressor on Van

We quickly arranged for a large portable diesel compressor to be delivered to site and connected it so that our client could get back into production.

We then set about locating a portable Air Blast Cooler capable of cooling the glycol (antifreeze) required for the compressor, which we brought in on hire.

There was only one slight drawback to this: we had to site the cooler inside the factory, which meant that we would have to remove a part of the side of the building to put it in place. With assistance from the client’s engineering staff we manoeuvred the cooler into position. Once in the building we were able to modify the pipework, fill the unit and the compressor with glycol mix and bring their compressor back on line. Once back up and running, we removed the temporary diesel compressor.

Large Portable Diesel Compressor

Our client’s engineering department set about repairing the original, damaged Air Blast Cooler and, once the repair had been carried out, we returned to site on a Friday afternoon. With assistance from two of our client’s engineers we shut off the air supply to the factory, disconnected the hire cooler, reconnected their repaired existing cooler and put the air supply back on.

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Following the successful repair work, we are very pleased to announce that the client has asked us to supply and install a 37kW rotary screw compressor together with a 55kW compressor and make the necessary upgrades to some of the company’s pipework and filtering systems.

That work is now underway.

Have a challenging air compressor problem you need help with? Talk to us now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us

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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

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*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

My air compressor’s running hot. Is that a problem?

 
Talk about extremes. We’ve already explored the challenges of a frozen air compressor this month. Now we’re at the other end of the spectrum.

High temperatures are never good news for an air compressor. The act of compressing air creates heat (just think of how hot the nozzle of your air tool or joints in the pipework can get) so inviting even more heat into the equation is never a great idea.

That heat can come from numerous sources, including the ambient temperature, or from clogged and dirty parts which can restrict airflow and add to friction.

  >  How to prepare your compressed air system for winter

The problems with hot air

 
An air compressor that runs too hot too long creates lots of issues. Most obviously, it can overheat and breakdown. Yet often before that happens, damage will have been caused in a variety of other ways. Many air tools need cool, clean air. Hot air creates moisture and moisture causes rust when it remains in the machine, and can ruin end products when it’s spat out of the air tool. That would have been particularly damaging in this case as the businesses dealt with food containers. Keeping them contaminant-free was essential.

Keeping the air cool and dry is aided by refrigerant driers, but these can only operate effectively within certain tolerances. Like blowing a hairdryer into your refrigerator at home, when the air’s just too hot, attempts at cooling simply won’t work.

And then there’s the issue of wear. An air compressor that’s running hot is working harder than it should. That means it will burn though its oil coolant faster, and parts are likely to wear quicker. So in addition to risking breakdown, it’ll be costing you more to run.

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

Taking the heat off

 
Our client was running two air compressors, one 75kW and one 45kW, that had been in place for around seven years. Naturally, taking both offline at the same time wasn’t an option as that would have meant production downtime. So instead we hired out a 55kW air compressor to take the place of each compressor as we removed it for maintenance.

Once the rental unit was in place we decommissioned the 75kW air compressor, removed it from site and stripped it down for a full chemical clean. Once the clean was finished we put everything back together and reinstalled it on site, before repeating the process with the 45kW air compressor.

The process took several days, but all the while our 55kW compressor was ensuring that the company always had the cool, clean air power it needed.

Are your air compressors running hot? Talk to us now about the maintenance and air compressor hire that can keep production running. Call Algar Air now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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

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

How not to dispose of your air compressor

 
There are lots of reasons it might be time to say goodbye to your air compressor. Perhaps the business is growing and you need air power that can cope with increased demands. Perhaps your air compressor is showing its age and its time to opt for a newer model. Perhaps it simply doesn’t offer the pressure and airflow your new air tools require.

It’s worth considering your options when it comes to discarding an air compressor. If you’re buying a newer model, your air compressor supplier may be able to take the old one off you and use its value to offset some of the cost.

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

For air compressors well past their best, it may be that junking or recycling are the only options. If you’re considering the scrap metal option over your local waste recycling centre, however, bear in mind that any oil or condensate still in the system will need removing – so choose a reputable dealer who’ll do that for you.

The one thing you definitely shouldn’t do when discarding an old air compressor, is bury it. Aside from the potential contamination issues, there’s always the chance someone will dig it up at some point in the future and think it’s an unexploded bomb.

That’s what happened at Yokota US Air Base, in Japan recently, when a large area of the site went into evacuation mode on discovery of what appeared to be some unexploded ordnance.

Three hours later, the all clear was given once it was established that the UXB was really an IDAC (inconsiderately dumped air compressor).

If it’s time to upgrade your air compressor, talk to us about a part ex, or supply of new or used air compressor equipment. Call Algar Air 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

Wind turbine maintenance – the air compressor application you never thought of

 
Paint spraying. Bottle labelling. Pharmaceutical making. Even theme park rides. You’d expect compressed air to be an integral part of an almost endless list of processes. But there’s one even we hadn’t heard of before.

As Windpower Engineering & Development reports, compressed air is a key element in keeping the blades of land and ocean-based wind turbines rotating.

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

The key part here is the slip ring, used for power and pitch control. It acts as a sort of intermediary in the power generation process, feeding power to the turbines blades and sharing data from the blades with the hub to optimise power generation. Each slip ring gets through a lot of work – up to 10 million revolutions in a year – and it’s important that the slip ring stays clean and dust free to extend the ring’s life and reduce the requirement for repairs and downtime.

One key element in that dust removal is compressed air. Using an air compressor, engineers can blow dust particles away from power or signal transmission circuits ensuring electricity and data can flow to and from the blades. And when factored in as part of a regular servicing check, this compressed air cleaning method keeps efficiency high.

Our air compressor applications tend to be more dry land and low altitude-based, but if you’ve a business that could benefit from harnessing air power, talk to Algar Air on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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

Reciprocating air compressors – sales go up as noise goes down

 
Air compressors aren’t exactly what you’d call whisper quiet. Every air compressor produces noise, but some produce more than others.

The noise levels produced by reciprocating air compressors (that is, the type of air compressor you’ll come across most frequently and the one that will probably be in your fridge at home and your HVAC system at work) are tightly controlled.

In the UK, the HSE sets the lower limit at which protective equipment must be provided at 80dB average daily or weekly exposure and 135dB peak, with an absolute upper limit of 87dB average and 140dB peak.

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

As the standard reciprocating air compressor will produce noise levels of 40-90dB, there’s a small but very real chance that larger or aging air compressors may breach upper limits.

Globally, limits are becoming even tighter. In the US, portable air compressors must not produce noise levels that exceed 76dB.

For air compressor suppliers, the ever more exacting standards mean increased ingenuity is required in insulating and installing the compressor. For some air compressor manufacturers, that may also mean increased costs as they work to develop air compressors that meet the new noise level requirements. And yet, according to Global Market Insights, the reciprocating air compressor market is only set to grow.

In particular, the report suggests home applications for air compressors will increase by up to 70% as the compressor escapes its one prime use in the fridge and becomes a garage staple that feeds jet washers, tyre inflators, fence-paint sprayers and more.

It’s worth noting that the UK legislation regarding noise does not relate to personal use of air compressors – it applies to the workspace only, but it’s not likely that air compressor manufacturers will develop noise reducing technology for the industrial compressed air equipment sector alone. So at home or work, the next decade is likely to see more, quieter air compressors in use.

Need a quieter air compressor? Talk to Algar Air now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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

Rise of the Internet Enabled Air Compressor

 
You’ve probably heard of the phrase ‘internet of Things’ (IoT). It describes the internet-enabled products that can act intelligently to create faster, simpler, more streamlined experiences.

The typical applications might by the IoT enabled smart meter that sends meter readings to your electricity supplier automatically, or the IoT enabled printer that orders its own ink.

Yet whilst these are the domestic, everyday applications, industry is enjoying its own IoT revolution with a new generation of smart assembly components that tell the robots what to do with them. As compressed air is behind around 10% of global manufacturing, it’s natural that the IoT is set to impact the world of the air compressor too.

Self-diagnostics

 
Perhaps the greatest challenge in any air compressor system is keeping track of the parameters that matter most, and which can be the first sign of trouble: pressure, flow, motor speed, filter efficiency etc.

There are already systems which can monitor these but at present they’ve tended to be data gatherers they haven’t acted on that data. So, when you air compressor pressure drops below a certain level, for example, the system may alert you and you’ll call your compressed air maintenance people (people like us).

The next step is for the system is to alert your air compressor specialist itself, removing the need for your involvement – something that would be relatively simple to engineer for any client with an ongoing service plan. There’s real potential here to address issues before they become problems.

Such a system could, for example, detect a clogged filter before you might notice it. Or it may spot a cold weather risk of condensate freezing and order a service call to fix the problem.

AI AC

 
Finally, there’s the ultimate stage of air compressor artificial intelligence: the sort that not only self-diagnoses but self-repairs, adjusting pressures and air flows to optimise performance.

Thankfully for every compressed air maintenance specialist, we’re not quite there yet!

Talk to Algar Air about ways to make your compressed air system smarter. Call us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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

A bespoke engineering case study

 
Our client is a plastics manufacturer. The production process requires the use of an air compressor which, until recently sat in a heavy mild steel frame.

Gary Waller of Ranmoor Health & Safety was uncomfortable with the weight and scale of the compressor seat and asked if we could produce an alternative.

“From an ergonomics point of view,” says Gary, “my objective was quite clear. I wanted us to halve the weight of the frame units to make them easier and safer for our operatives to handle.

“Having dealt with Algar Air over the years I contacted them to assist with a review of our seat moulding process. The process and equipment are bespoke so we required a bespoke and innovative solution. We also required a degree of patience as the process would undoubtedly require an amount of trial and error.”

  >  Do you need help with a bespoke project? Get in touch

Following the review, Gary made the decision to replace the existing heavy mild steel frame with one constructed from a lighter alloy material. On paper, this was a relatively simple request. In reality, however, things were rather more challenging.

“Stability was a concern, along with the general robustness of the finished article,” Gary explains, “due to temperature differences when curing the plastics.”

We therefore created a number of small model frames to test for stability and weld integrity. With a few tweaks, Gary was confident to begin construction of a full-size replacement.

“The new frame was installed with no loss of production,” Gary continues, “and the outcome was above and beyond my expectations, whilst meeting our initial objective of halving the weight of the frame. It was a complex process with an aggressive goal – and it was successfully delivered.”

Can we help you with your engineering challenges? Call us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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

Spotting the oil leak early

 
Unless it’s an oil-free air compressor (typically used in the food manufacturing and pharmaceutical sectors), oil will be an integral part of the smooth operation of your air compressor.

It will be busy lubricating moving parts to reduce friction. It will cool and seal. And it will help collect and clean away any dust particles that find their way through the air filter. So an oil leak is bad news, because without oil, compressor parts wear faster, friction and heat build, and dust clogs parts and/or makes it to the business end of your air tool.

So it was fortunate that our engineer spotted the oil leak on this 22kw oil compressor and was able to change the drive seal and the collar on the air-end (the compressor screw element that’s at the heart of every rotary screw-type air compressor).

  >  Does your air compressor need a service?

We carry out routine air compressor inspections twice a month for this client, and it was during the latest inspection that we spotted the problem. As you’ll see from the video, the problem wasn’t hard to spot, but unless someone’s checking regularly, it’s easy for such things to go unnoticed – and that’s when damage spreads and downtime mounts.

If you haven’t had your air compressor serviced in a while, ask us to take a look now. If there’s a problem, it could be the best value decision you make all week.

Call us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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

Servicing with a smile

 
Your air compressor may only need servicing once a year but, like all annual bills, it’s probably something you’d prefer to spread to avoid damaging your cashflow. That’s what our client, and the owner of this Hertz screw air compressor, does.

We visit the client once a year and service the compressor to ensure it stays in prime condition. The client pays us in 12 small instalments. Which makes everyone happy – as you can see from this shot!

Hertz Screw Air Compressor

Servicing essentials

If you operate air compressors in your business, you’ll know how essential servicing is. Without it, you risk breakdowns, expensive downtime and reduced efficiency.

Our servicing contracts are completely flexible and tailored to your business needs. So if you have multiple pieces of equipment, or you place demands on them that require a more frequent servicing plan, just ask us and we’ll create a servicing contract to suit – with monthly payments to make life easier.

Call us on now about your air compressor servicing on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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

A simpler way to handle waste oil

 
In the motor trade, oil is a problem. Disposal regulations are increasingly stringent, leaving garages with the responsibility of collecting all the engine oil they drain, and sending it for correct disposal or recycling.

But air compressors can help, as this latest installation for an upmarket car marque’s service bay recently demonstrated. Our air compressor engineers installed an oil pump which sends the drained, used engine oil to the blue tank in this image. Once the service is complete (or the tank is full), garage mechanics pump the contents off to a large storage unit ready for waste collection, recycling and/or disposal.

The beauty of the system is that there’s virtually no contact between mechanics and oil, creating a cleaner, more efficient working environment. It also means there’s virtually no effort involved in ensuring the business complies with its waste oil environmental obligations.

Discover how compressed air equipment can help you work more productively, efficiently and compliantly.

Call us now on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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

Multi-site servicing with Algar Air

 
This week, we renewed a bi-annual compressed air equipment servicing contract for a client in Doncaster. During the renewal conversation, the company mentioned the air compressor at its second site, in Newark. Would we be able to place the air compressors at each site on the same servicing contract?

The simple answer was yes.

Multi-site servicing contracts enable you to protect all the air compressor equipment across your operation with one contract. It doesn’t matter that the equipment differs across your sites (in this case, one air compressor was an Atlas Copco Screw 50kw; the other a Worthington 30kw). It doesn’t matter that the associated compressed air equipment varies from site to site. It doesn’t even matter if you’d like to agree different servicing schedules for different sites (in this case we’re servicing the compressor at the Newark site annually and Doncaster 6-monthly).

  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

When you entrust your air compressor servicing to one supplier across your business, you spend less time booking service calls, less time managing things like site clearance and passes, and there’s usually more opportunity to find economies of scale.

What’s more, by building up a relationship with just one engineering company you help the engineers understand your business more completely – and enable them to know your air compressors inside out. That can prove of real benefit, because the better the understanding the greater the chance we’ll be able to spot any problems immediately, and the easier we’ll find it to work with you to carry out servicing, maintenance and repairs in a way that keeps any downtime to a minimum.

  >  Do your air compressors & equipment need servicing?

Across Sheffield, Doncaster, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Birmingham, Coventry and beyond, if your business operates from multiple sites, we’ll be there to help.

Call us now about your air compressor servicing requirements on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

A word about our reviews

 
Whatever your line of business, it seems there’s a review platform for it. Engineers are no different, and when it came to setting up our own online review page, there were a number of competing platforms we could have gone with.

We chose ReferenceLine because it digs a little deeper than a simple overall score out of 10. Our review does have an overall score out of 10 (at time of writing we score a 9.7) but frankly we tend to feel that general scores like this are fine as a crude measure of good vs not so good, but not very helpful when it comes to, for example, distinguishing how responsive one company is over another.

Our ReferenceLine review page digs rather deeper, enabling clients to leave comments and providing a score out of 10 for specific elements of the service we provide. We also like the fact that, in addition to scoring us on how well we perform the core of our job – supplying, designing and maintaining air compressor systems (we’re a 9.8 on that) – we’re also scored against the other things that tell you not simply whether we have air compressor expertise, but what it’s like to work with us.

That’s why ratings for things like our advice, responsiveness and the way we help our clients meet their legal requirements mean just as much.

Your comments

 
Naturally, your comments matter enormously, and we’re grateful to everyone who takes the time to leave us a considered review. We’ve republished the latest review here as an example of the sort of comments you’ll see on our review page. At time of writing this is our latest review, which is why this is the one we’re publishing here:

“Algar Air has provided site maintenance services for Blatchford’s for several years. We have always been very satisfied with the service provided. They will attempt to resolve any mechanical or electrical issues and have a good team of technicians who understand our business needs. Contracted maintenance requirements are always completed in a timely manner. Always quick to respond to any emergencies or unscheduled events preventing disruption to production schedules and services. I can confirm that all health & safety requirements are met when working on site. I am satisfied with the service received from Algar Air and hope our partnership will continue to be a successful one.”

Would you review us?

 
Since we started this review system in 2016 we’ve had several dozen reviews but we’d love to have more. So, whether it was a last minute air compressor repair callout, a bit of advice or the supply of a 15kw Super Silenced Screw air compressor (the very latest air compressor to leave the workshop) we’d love you to tell us about your experience.

Thank you.

Contact Us

 

Pipework for Advanced Alloys

 
The aerospace, exploration and medical industries need a constant supply of nickel and cobalt-based alloys to work with. Advanced Alloys are Sheffield’s suppliers of high temperature raw materials and pure metals, delivering a bespoke service that includes cutting, degreasing, re-melting and testing metals to deliver the precise alloy compositions their customers require.

As you might expect, it’s the sort of high tech craft that relies heavily on its plant machinery and Algar Air is proud to be Advanced Alloy’s source of compressed air and pipework engineering excellence.

  >  Is your compressed air pipework up to scratch?

Our latest project for the company has been the installation of pipework to the new shredder/washer plant, and we’ve installed an additional hose reel.

Waste Shredding Machine

Inevitably, pipework isn’t the sort of thing that grabs headlines. Even in this image, it’s the shredder that takes centre stage, not the pipework to it. But our engineers are happy that that’s the way it should be. After all, if you’re plant’s pipework is a constant source of comment, chances are there’s a problem with it.

Do you need pipework for new plant equipment? Or is your existing pipework causing concern? Talk to Algar Air’s engineers now. Call us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us.

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

Do air compressors really need servicing?

 
It’s easy to ignore the need for air compressor servicing. As long as the pressure’s there and the air tools keep working, it’s tempting to kick the can of servicing and maintenance so far down the road that eventually you forget about it altogether.

That was the case for this Coventry-based client. Even when they first contacted us, it wasn’t for air compressor servicing; it was for a Written Scheme of Examination, one of the outcomes of which was our identification that the air compressor had never, ever been serviced.

  >  Does your air compressor need servicing?

So what does an unserviced air compressor look like? Well, here’s a perfect example. As you can see from these 3 images, it’s parts were clogged with oil and assorted guck to such an extent that our air compressor engineers were amazed it was still running at all. Happily, things are looking a lot healthier (and running a lot more efficiently) now.

« 2 of 3 »

That efficiency is one of the key factors in air compressor servicing. Yes, your compressor may continue to operate well enough for you to get the job done. But without regular servicing the pressure will drop and the air flow will decrease. Eventually, the compressor (and your production) will seize up entirely. But even if that doesn’t happen for years (as in this case), the motor is having to work harder to generate power – and that’s costing you money now in terms of energy and costing you money in the future in terms of worn out parts.

  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

So just because your air compressor is still cranking up every morning and doing its job, don’t assume that it wouldn’t be able to do it a whole lot better – and more efficiently – if you gave it a service once in a while.

Call us on 0114 243 2347, or contact us, and let’s get your air compressor booked in.

What We Do

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

Scaling up the air tools

 
We had a call from someone recently who used an air compressor for airbrushing. Could they, they asked, use their existing compressor for other tools?

Our answer was that it depends. If they were using a standard air compressor then yes, providing the air pressure and air consumption of the tool they were going to buy was within the delivery capabilities of the compressor, they would be able to use any tool.

The problem, however, was they were actually using a small air compressor specifically designed for airbrushing. Whilst that might be fine for additional low key activities like inflating a bike tyre or paddling pool, it simply wouldn’t generate the pressure and airflow necessary to power larger tools.

So now, they keep the airbrushing compressor for airbrushing alone, and they’ve got a new, 24l, 9.6CFM air compressor to handle their workshop tools.

To find out more about choosing the right air tools for the right air compressors, talk to us now on 0114 243 2347.

What We Do

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

Why is my air compressor so loud?

 
Your average air compressor isn’t whisper-quiet. But over time you get to know your air compressor, so you’ll notice when the volume levels are a little higher than normal.

Often, the natural assumption is to think the problem is mechanical and call out the air compressor repair people. But sometimes, the fault can be far less technical than you might think. So before you call us out, do check the following:

Casing is loose
A noisy air compressor gets even louder when there’s a loose casing.

Confined spaces
Air compressors need space. Place them in confined areas with low ventilation and you’ll a) force the compressor to work harder, increasing the volume, and b) potentially experience an echo from whatever enclosure the air compressor is in. Try moving it so its clear of other equipment, and not in a confined space.

Wrong place, wrong time
Not long ago we were called out to a client who had moved the air compressor and was complaining about the noise it was generating. We immediately spotted that the compressor was sat on a metal service hatch, and the resulting vibration was the case of the extra noise.

Expert advice
A noisy air compressor doesn’t always mean there’s a fault, but if these simple solutions don’t help, we will. For air compressor repairs, please call us on 0114 243 2347.

What We Do

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

How to prepare your compressed air system for winter

 
Cold weather and air compressors aren’t best friends. When the temperature drops, the oil in your system becomes more viscous and the condensate within the system can freeze. Both can be bad news for your compressed air system.

       Viscous oil or coolant can prevent the air compressor from switching on or cause it to trip
       Condensate (that is, condensed water and oil) will collect at the lowest parts of the system and freeze, blocking airways, filters and dryers, potentially placing too much stress on the compressor, and damaging other downstream components

  >  Air compressor repairs & remedial work
  >  Do you need breakdown cover for your compressed air equipment?

A frozen air compressor, therefore, can damage multiple components and bring production to a halt – but here’s how you can avoid the cost of a callout:

       Drain all air receivers, condensate drains and electronic drain valves of water. The less condensate in the system, the less chance it will freeze, and the less damage it will cause if it does
       If possible: insulate any oil/water separators that are exposed to the elements
       Cover all rotary screw air compressors or install small cabinet heaters within them to prevent the ambient temperature dropping below freezing. If you need advice on this, just call us
       Service regularly: servicing delivers lots of benefits, but one of the less obvious ones is that it prevents a build up of water within the lubricating oil. Too much water within the oil and it will freeze

If you need more advice in preparing your compressed air system for winter, or you want to arrange a service or additional heating, please call us on 0114 243 2347.

  >  My air compressor’s running hot. Is that a problem?

What We Do

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

The waiting game

 
“I’ll give it another year.” How often do you say that when considering maintenance work? Perhaps it’s a result of feeling ‘sold to’ when you go and get your puncture repaired at certain fast fix car garages. You know the sort of thing – you go in for a puncture patch up and come out having been told you need a full set of shocks and brakes.

The upshot is that when you’re told similar things in other scenarios, you react the same way. Just over a year ago, we were asked to give a quote to repair an air compressor for a client who manufactures tools.

We explained that the motor needed rebearing – a job that, parts and labour together, would cost £560. Now, no business wants to carry out maintenance work needlessly so, perhaps burnt by previous experiences elsewhere, the client asked if it was an urgent job.

This is always a bit of a tricky one – you can’t see into the future – but we explained that the bearings were starting to fail, that they wouldn’t fail tomorrow, but that they needed fixing soon.

Actually, the bearings lasted a little longer than we might have expected – they limped on for another year. But by the time they failed for good they had also damaged the motor overload/breaker. With the additional parts, labour and the cost of hiring a replacement compressor to cover the downtime of their own equipment, costs trebled to £1,677.

  >  Air compressor repairs & remedial work
  >  Do you need breakdown cover for your compressed air equipment?

The moral of the story? Repairing your air compressor sooner rather than later is almost always cheaper, almost always simpler, and almost inevitably involves less hassle.

Want us to give you a quote for keeping your compressed air equipment in prime condition? Talk to us now on 0114 243 2347.

What We Do

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

The emergency orthotics service

 
For some years now, we’ve been working with an orthotics manufacturer. What started with compressed air has progressed to the point that we are the default people to call for pretty much any electrical or engineering-based issue. But our last call was more urgent than any previous one.

Orthotics is all about precision. Each device is custom made to support or correct the positioning of bones. Most commonly, you’ll find them as shoe inserts although they can be used elsewhere too. But like any business, you can’t demonstrate precision unless you have the tools for the job.

Our customer was ready to welcome a potential major new international client who had travelled from Egypt to review the company’s operation. The company needed to be able to show the capabilities that made it a leader in its field. Then, on the morning of the visit, a band saw and a plaster multi-cutter picked the perfect moment to break down.

  >  Flexible air compressor servicing to your schedule

Rather panicked, they called us. Our engineers headed to site immediately and quickly identified an electrical fault which they managed to repair on the spot.

Equipment back up and running, the visit went seamlessly, with the client blissfully unaware of the morning’s stresses.

  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

Need air compressor or electrical engineering repairs in the Sheffield, Nottingham or Rotherham area? We’ll be there fast.

Discover why more companies rely on Algar Air. Call us now on 0114 243 2347.

What We Do

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

ACM Bearings reviews our service

 
It’s always great to receive positive feedback not just about what you do, but the way you do it. So we’re grateful to ACM Bearings who have given us a glowing review following a couple of recent callouts.

First, we attended the company’s Rotherham site to fix a dryer. ACM were concerned that it was continually freezing up. It didn’t take long for our compressed air system engineers to trace the fault to low refrigerant gas. This was specialist refrigerant engineer work, which few can tackle, but as specialists across every element of the compressed air system, we were able to top it up and get things working normally again.

  >  Flexible air compressor servicing to your schedule
  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

Not long after, we returned to ACM for a 12,000 hour service on an Avelair 18.5kw air compressor. The job also included changing filter bags on the oil/water separator. It was this second visit that resulted in the client giving us the following testimonial:

“As always, an excellent service. Stephen always gives outstanding support to ACM… which is second to none.

“Joe is always professional, efficient, tidy and meticulous.

“Excellent service as always from Algar – wouldn’t use anyone else.”

Thanks to ACM Bearings for their lovely review – we really appreciate it. If you have an air compressor repair or service you’d like us to tackle, give us a call on 0114 243 2347.

What We Do

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

Prison Break(down)

 
Service contracts can be figurative (and occasionally literal) lifesavers, but still there’s no getting away from the fact that when you’re deluged by work, they’re all too easy to put off to another time.

But a recent servicing appointment for a South Yorkshire prison highlighted just how vital a service contract can be. It was during routine maintenance of the machinery used to produce furniture like desk and cupboards in the prison workshop that our engineer found an electrical fault on the compressor.

He investigated and traced the problem back to a faulty starter button. Left undetected, the button would have failed and (because these things always fail at the most inconvenient time) the prison would have lost the use of its CNCs, beam saw, sander and edge bander, just when the prison inmates were in the middle of production. That would have resulted in an urgent call out, lost production and a frustrated set of prisoners (not usually the ideal group of people to upset).

  >  Flexible air compressor servicing to your schedule
  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

Instead, the issue was spotted, solved and fixed. There was no downtime, no loss of production, no inconvenience. And no angry prisoners.

That’s why service contracts make sense.

So, if you’ve been meaning to get around to arranging your air compressor servicing contract, do it now. Give us a call on 0114 243 2347.

What We Do

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

The compressed air system re-installation

 
Moving business premises is never a simple matter. It’s even tougher when you’re contracted to meet certain deadlines. Because if anything about the move doesn’t run smoothly, then you’ll miss your deadlines, which means the client will miss their deadlines, and you’ll be left a) playing catch up and b) paying the penalties and fines for failing to meet your end of the contract.

Any move that involves a compressed air system immediately adds an extra level of complexity – but at least that was something we could help with.

Our client supplies cut, speciality metals to the aerospace industry. The process involves a range of air-powered tools, including Cutmasters, hand grinders and horizontal grinders, all of which needed removing and reinstalling at the clients’ new premises

Time was incredibly tight. We needed to remove the client’s existing air compressor equipment, decommission an air compressor that was being retired, then transport the rest to the new site.

Once there, we supplied, installed and commissioned a new air compressor together with the rest of the equipment we’d brought from the old site. Because one factory is never like another, we needed to design and install a new pipework installation that would supply a constant flow of air throughout the factory. Finally, we installed and levelled the tools and equipment at the end of the compressed air lines, ensuring the cutters and grinders were fully operational.

Meeting our deadline meant starting early and working late, but because we delivered, our client was able to deliver to their client too – something they were delighted about.

Need help with your relocation? Talk to us about transporting and reinstalling your compressed air equipment on 0114 243 2347.

What We Do

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

Servicing to your schedule

 
It can be a tricky thing, timing the servicing of your air compressor equipment. On the one hand, you know that servicing your air compressor will keep things running smoothly and help protect against breakdowns. On the other, there’s never a good time to switch the machinery off and allow the engineers to do their ‘thing’.

  >  Flexible air compressor servicing to your schedule
  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

That was the case for a client in Lincoln recently, who asked us to carry out a major service on a 55kw Hertz HSC55 air compressor. Their issue, however, was that they couldn’t afford the downtime caused by us arriving during a production period. So we timed the service to coincide with their lunchtime break.

We sent two engineers to ensure the work would be covered in the allotted time. As staff headed off for lunch they set to work, and as staff were returning to their stations our engineers were packing tools away, job all done.

It’s something the client really appreciated, because it meant that the service of the air compressor equipment didn’t cost them a moment of valuable production time.

Can we do the same for you? Ask us about air compressor servicing to suit your schedule on 0114 243 2347.

What We Do

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

Repairs – why it’s important to focus on what you can do

 
If you’ve ever called out someone about a repair to your car, washing machine or computer, you’ll know there’s a kind of common language of repairs. There’s the rubbing the chin and wincing while the engineer says “It’ll cost you.” There’s the “we can’t be with you until sometime next year” issue, and there’s the perennial favourite: “you can’t get the parts.”

Whichever you get, it can leave you pulling your hair out and questioning your faith in whoever it is you’ve called.

  >  Air compressor repairs & remedial work
  >  Do you need breakdown cover for your compressed air equipment?

So here’s an example of an approach we took with a customer recently that illustrates just how hard we work to create a different perception.

We were called by a tool manufacturing company. The client was having problems with a Hydrovane HV15 air compressor, which had broken down and had put a halt to production. Our engineers attended quickly and discovered a broken spider coupling and a separator that was passing oil.

This really was one of those occasions where we needed to order new parts to complete the repair and, as you might expect, no air compressor repair company can carry every part for every air compressor.

But there was something we could do.

We carried out a quick, temporary repair. It wouldn’t last forever, but it did at least enable production to continue safely until we could return with the right parts.

And that’s the difference between our approach to compressed air system repairs and others you may have come across. Instead of throwing up our hands and saying there’s nothing to be done until the right part arrives, we explore what can be done.

And if that sounds like your sort of compressed air engineers, give us a call on 0114 243 2347.

What We Do

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

‘Tis the season for… refrigeration dryers?

 
It’s funny how jobs seem to run in cycles isn’t it? Recently, for example, we seem to have had a run on replacement refrigeration dryers, supplying three new ones (110cfm, 159cfm and 210cfm units, if you’re counting) in the last month alone.

Like any piece of equipment, dryers have a finite lifespan. Regular servicing and maintenance will extend that life, but eventually it will be time to replace – and it’s vital that replacement happens fast.

  >  Do you need breakdown cover for your compressed air equipment?
  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

That’s because, for many industries, a constant, regular supply of compressed air isn’t enough. From food to pharmaceuticals to paint spraying and precision air tools, the quality of the air matters every bit as much as pressure and flow.

In compressed air systems, ensuring quality effectively comes down to removing contaminants (usually oil and water) and that’s where your filters, separators and dryers play their part.

Refrigeration dryers work by cooling the warm air generated by compression until it condenses, where the moisture can then be trapped and removed. Without drying (and filtration and separation) the moisture remains in the system until it is spat out at the business end of the system by your air compressor tools, where it can damage paint finishes or contaminate food.

Even if your compressed air system uses dryers that have years of life left in them, it’s important to ensure they’re working properly. So for servicing or replacement refrigeration dryers, talk to us now on 0114 243 2347.

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

Are electric cars threatening a better way?

 
Hybrid Air

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ll know all about hybrid cars. But what about Hybrid Air? PSA Peugeot Citroen have developed a new type of hybrid car system that uses compressed air to boost internal combustion. It’s clean, low cost and could offer an answer to the mileage/battery issues that still bedevil electrical hybrids.

Except, if things continue as they are, you’ll never drive a Hybrid Air car. That’s because, according to Carlos Tavares, the boss of PSA, the heavy subsidies being thrown at electrical cars, added to the potential ban on internal combustion engines, may mean it never sees the light of day.

That’s not just bad news for PSA and air compressor companies. It could be bad news for consumer safety. “I want to be very clear here,” said Tavares, as reported in The Telegraph. “We are moving from a technology-neutral era into an instruction to go electric. From now on, the scientific responsibility is in the hands of governments. So if, in 20 or 30 years, there are health or safety issues [with electric vehicles], they will be in the hands of governments.”

We’re excited by innovative uses of compressed air, and if there’s a way of using it to make cars cleaner and greener (and deliver hybrid capabilities without the drawbacks of electric) we’d love to see it.

In the meantime, our air compressors are performing the jobs you might expect (we’re not moving into car production yet!). If you need a hand with yours, you know who to call.

What We Do

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

When my air compressor cuts-out, air escapes. Why?

 
Every air compressor has its cut-in and cut-out points to regulate pressure and ensure it keeps working safely. But when your system cuts out, you may notice escaping air and wonder where it’s coming from, and why.

The culprit is the unload check valve. This regulator kicks into action when the compressor cuts out, helping to vent air in the line between the pump head and the tank (around the compressor piston). Without the valve, trapped air could damage the compressor motor when it restarts, blowing a fuse or circuit.

Far from a problem, the unload check valve helps protect your air compressor and prolong its working life.

  >  Do you need breakdown cover for your compressed air equipment?
  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

It shouldn’t take long to vent the air from the compressor piston area, after which time the air should stop escaping. If it continues, there’s a problem, and you’ll need to contact your compressed air engineer.

If you have problems with your air compressor, talk to us on 0114 243 2347.

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Is compressed air dangerous?

 
Cars (and vans, trucks and buses) killed 1780 people in the UK last year. Actually, that’s not true. 1780 people died on people’s roads last year. Many cars were involved. But the car was at fault in only a fraction of them. It’s a similar story with air compressors.

Whether it’s an internal combustion engine or an air compressor, the thing itself is rarely at issue. Where problems arise, it’s invariably a result of one of the following:

       Incorrect installation
       Poor / no training
       Poor / no servicing or maintenance
       Airborne particulates

  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract
  >  Do you need breakdown cover for your compressed air equipment?

Every year or 12,500 miles, whichever arrives sooner, I have to take my car for a service. I know I could leave it, but to do so would increase the risk of more serious (and expensive) issues. It makes the car that bit more efficient, so some of what I spend on the service I recoup in greater efficiency. And I protect my warranty.

Following the right procedures is just as vital with an air compressor. First, it needs correct installation by compressed air experts who can ensure that, from pipework to electricals to tools and connectors, all is as it should be.

Installing the right filters protects product quality and scrubs particulates from the air. Maintenance and servicing protects airflow and pressure, and ensures filters keep performing.
And proper training ensures that correct operating procedures are followed, that issues are spotted, and that users know the limits of their understanding – so they avoid problems caused by tampering and ‘having a go’ at repairing issues.

What we’re saying, in this roundabout way, is that air compressors are not dangerous, but people – or at least, their decisions – can be. So to keep your air compressor safe, get it professionally installed, keep it well maintained, and don’t let anyone use it who isn’t trained.

For installation, servicing and maintenance of your compressed air equipment, call us on 0114 243 2347.

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

Why isn’t my air compressor cutting out?

 
Somewhere in your air compressor, there’s a pressure switch. There are a few types, but essentially they all perform the same task. When the pressure in your compressor is too low, the pressure switch tells the compressor to kick in. When it reaches full pressure, the pressure switch is what makes the compressor motor cut out again.

At one end of the range the pressure switch ensures your compressor has a consistent pressure that enables it to perform. At the other end of the range it ensures the pressure doesn’t build to dangerous levels.

  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract
  >  Do you need breakdown cover for your compressed air equipment?

So what does it mean if your air compressor never cuts out?

There are three likely explanations for this, and two result in the same answer: get your compressor serviced or repaired.

1. Continuous operation
Continuous operation air compressors are used where there’s a constant requirement for air, or where your compressor is likely to start and stop more than 12 times per hour. It’s important you know whether your air compressor is a continuous operation model because of what follows, so if you’re unsure, call us and check.

2. Failing to make pressure
A constantly running compressor could be a sign that it never reaches full pressure. That’s not dangerous – the pressure’s not high enough for that – but it could be damaging the quality of your finished products and it will definitely be causing significant wear – reducing the life of your air compressor.

3. Pressure build up
The alternative – and even more worrying possibility – is that pressure is continuing to build. Every air compressor has a pressure relief valve and if this is venting excess pressure in combination with a constantly running compressor (that’s not meant to run constantly) it’s a sure sign of trouble. Switch it off and call your compressed air engineers for repair.

Worse still, should the relief valve fail, you’ll be in a situation where the pressure continues to build with no release. That’s a potentially catastrophic scenario so it’s vital that someone in your operation is regularly monitoring your air compressors, and that you call for a repair when they identify a problem.

For air compressor supply or servicing, repair and maintenance, talk to Algar Air on 0114 243 2347.

What We Do

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

Five Unusual Uses For Air Compressors

 
Let’s take a look at some of the more unusual uses for air compressors.

Art Work

Air compressors are commonly used in garages and auto shops but not just for pumping tyres. Their versatility makes them very useful when it comes to more cosmetic work. Spray painting is much simpler with an air compressor and you get a much evener coat of paint.

While this is undoubtedly useful for cars and other vehicles air compressors are now getting more of a following in the art world. They can be used to paint furniture and be used on canvas as well, all you need is a spray gun attachment and you can use your air compressor in a whole new way.

Cleaning

You wouldn’t normally associate cleaning with an air compressor, would you? But while it might not seem like it, an air compressor can be a cleaning marvel on all sorts of objects and in all kinds of surroundings. With a blow gun attachment, you can transform your air compressor into a powerful cleaning device, with just a squeeze of the handle you can blow dust, dirt, and grime away.

This is very useful for cleaning machinery and getting into small spaces but it can also be used to clean up wood shavings and much more. You might be able to achieve similar results with a pressure washer but the intensity of the water can easily cause damage, so a gentler compressed air cleaning method can be the better option.

Gardening

At first glance, an air compressor might not seem like the best gardening tool and while you can’t use it to plant flowers it certainly does have its uses. We’ve already talked about how an air compressor can be used for painting and while it will certainly make painting your fence easier an air compressor can also help with another important gardening job.

With the right attachments, you can use an air compressor to blow away leaves and debris which can be a huge help and save you money on a leaf blower. This can also be used indoors to sweep up and clean floors as well.

Inflation

OK, so inflation might not seem like an unusual choice, after all, we all know air compressors can be used to inflate tyres. But why stick to just tyres? Most people don’t realise that they can also use their air compressor to inflate a range of other items.

Inflatable toys, furniture, mattresses and swimming pools can all be inflated with an air compressor and it’s a much quicker and less tiring way to do it as well. You might need a regulator attachment in order to inflate certain items safely especially if it’s for objects like balloons which will burst if the pressure is too high.

Snow Machines

Saving the most unusual to last! Snow machines can be all sorts of fun at parties and special events and with an air compressor, you won’t need to hire one. Now getting everything together to create your own mini-snowstorm will take a while and some practice but there are plenty of guides online for you to take a look at.

Want help in finding the right air compressor for your application? Talk to Algar Air on 0114 243 2347.

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

Should you choose variable speed air compressors?

 
Variability was always something the air compressor industry was keen to eradicate. After all, variable pressures and flowrates tend to add to production time and rework. So it seemed counter-intuitive that variable speed air compressors would ever make their mark in the compressed air sector. But actually, it makes perfect sense.

Traditionally, air compressors have been on or off. They’re either giving you 100% or they’re giving you nothing – there’s no middle ground. That’s dramatically different from, for example, your car which, in addition to ‘off’ or ‘full throttle’, delivers a range of power depending on how heavily you plant your foot on the accelerator.

  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

  >  Do you need breakdown cover for your compressed air equipment?

It’s a similar situation with a variable speed drive (VSD) air compressor, which can adjust its motor and elements to match the demand. That could be a big deal for organisations relying on air power, especially when 70% of an air compressor’s cost is energy. VSDs could cut air compressor energy consumption by 35%. And since there’s less requirement for compressors to run flat out, there should also be a corresponding improvement in lifespan.

There is a catch. Variable speed air compressors are more expensive than their simpler, more traditional counterparts. Yet those businesses that have used them find the additional cost is more than covered by the savings in energy costs.

So, is it time you made the switch? To discuss which air compressor system is right for your business talk to Algar Air 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

Could graphene save your air compressor?

 
You know graphene. It’s the flexible, carbon based material that’s 200 times stronger than steel, yet is just one atom thick (thereby also making it the world’s only 2D material). Now, researchers at the US’s Purdue University have developed a new type of non-liquid lubricant that uses graphene to reduce friction and wear.

As The Engineer reports, the lubricant’s applications range from missile systems to air compressors. Whilst we’re not any sort of authority on missile systems, the air compressor benefits look exciting.

“It [graphene] has superior thermal conductivity, high strength and provides ultralow friction,” said Vilas Pol, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Purdue University.

  >  Do you need breakdown cover for your compressed air equipment?

  >  Cut the risk & cost of downtime with our service contract

Friction is a perennial problem in compressed air. It’s there in the motor bearings. And it’s present in every hose, nozzle, joint and connector as the molecules of compressed air rub against the metal or plastic around them.

Remove friction and you remove heat and wear. You also reduce the amount of oil required as a lubricant in many current compressed air systems. Which means graphene could be the key to improving air compressor performance and reliability, whilst removing the risk of oil contamination from finished products.

As graphene lubricants may be some years away from commercial air compressor application, talk to us about the compressed air system that’s right for your business. Call Algar Air 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

Air power

 
Last year, the global air compressors market was valued at $30.86 billion. Now, a new report predicts that by 2022 that figure will have grown to almost $39 billion. To put that in perspective, $39 billion is greater than the GDP of Morocco.

What’s driving the growth? Happily, the report by Zion Market Research and snappily titled “Air Compressors Market by Technology (Reciprocating, Rotary and Centrifugal) by Lubrication (Oil Filled and Oil Free) Market for Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Home Appliances, Energy, Oil & Gas, Electronics, Manufacturing and Others Application: Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis and Forecast, 2016 – 2022” has some answers.

The sheer flexibility of air compressor equipment is what leads them to occupy a pivotal role in so many workspaces. The fact that a report into the market needs 43 words to describe itself gives just some indication of the range and variety of roles air compressors are playing across industry.

Until now, the report notes that rotary-type technology has dominated the air compressor market, but the survey suggests a shift towards centrifugal technology over the next few years. To find out more about why that may be, check our post on the advantages of centrifugal air compressors.

The report also looked at trends in compressor lubrication, where it discovered (unsurprisingly) that oil-free air compressors are the natural choice for industries such as electronic assembling, food & beverage, and pharmaceuticals, where products need protection from contamination. Yet the oil-based air compressor market shows no signs of slowing and by the end of the reporting period in 2020 oil-based should still dominate the market.

Finally, the report explores sectors, with the largest growth areas for compressed air equipment to date having come from manufacturing – especially in boom territories such as Asia-Pacific and Latin America. For the future, the report suggests food & beverages will be the major compressed air growth segment, driven by a global move to improve food safety and health standards.

Want to talk about how your air compressor system could develop over the next few years? Call 0114 243 2347 or contact us.

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Advantages of centrifugal air compressors

 
A recent report by Zion Market Research explored current trends in compressed air technology and identified a shift from traditional rotary-type air compressors to centrifugal. Not all the advantages will be critical for every business, but for some, there are good reasons to switch:

Oil-free: As the report identified, not every market is worried about oil contamination, but some – food manufacture, brewing, pharmaceuticals etc, most definitely are. Centrifugal air compressors are 100% oil free, removing at a stroke the need for oil separators and filters.

Low maintenance: A rotary air compressor will need regular maintenance and replacement of things like piston rings, gland packing and valve plates. Fewer wearing parts means there’s less requirement for maintenance downtime, and less risk of component failure with a centrifugal system.

No pressure fluctuations: Traditional compressed air systems need to reduce pressure fluctuations; centrifugal air compressors don’t.

Compact: Centrifugal air compressors pack more air into smaller spaces, so you need less room for installation compared with a rotary model.

Virtually vibration-free: Particularly in larger air compressors, creating the right foundation to minimise vibration, and ensuring that vibration is not transmitted to neighbouring equipment, can be a challenge. Centrifugal air compressors create far less vibration, so the installation issues and impact on other equipment are less.

Which air compressor system is right for your business? For expert advice, talk to Algar Air on 0114 243 2347 or contact us.

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Air compressors in the dental industry

 
You know the value of air compressors to your dental practice. They power such a wide array of handpieces that it’s hard to imagine life without them, but if you’re looking at replacing your compressed air system – or thinking of switching to air power for the first time, there are a few things you need to consider.

Any old air compressor won’t do

Air compressors produce moisture as a natural by-product of squeezing all those air molecules together. Given that your business is built on hygiene, in-system water contamination is an absolute no-no. That’s why dental air compressors lower the ‘dew point’ of the compressed air, ensuring more moisture can be captured and removed by the inline filtration system.

Oil free is an essential

Another by-product of many air compressors is oil vapour. A little oil floating around the system matters little if you’re using your compressed air to inflate car tyres or power a workshop drill, but it’s a serious issue in dentistry.

That’s why the Dental Compressor Regulations require dental surgeries to only use “compressed air… generated by an oil free compressor with an integral dryer, internally coated air receiver and a breathing air and bacterial filter downstream of the compressor.”

   >  We’re trialling a new way of recycling oil that cuts waste and increases space.

The compressor’s not the only part that counts

A steady, reliable flow of air is essential for any dental tool, but it’s not just the air compressor that’s responsible for delivering that steady flow. Pipework, connectors, filters and the handpieces you use can all influence the consistency of the air flow.

That’s one reason why the regulations also require your pipework system to be free from leaks, located away from any potential damage, and with appropriate isolation valves.

Right size?

We don’t simply mean does your air compressor deliver the reliable air power you need now. What about the future? If you don’t want to be upgrading your air compressor every time you add new tools, it’s important to build some flexibility into your compressed air system. That means choosing not only the right air compressor, but the right receiver tank too.

Remember, an overworked system may produce a less reliable flow of air and could produce more moisture, compromising patient safety. For help in choosing the right compressed air system for your dental surgery, talk to us.

Ready to replace?

Like any component, air compressors don’t last forever (although regular servicing and maintenance can extend their life hugely). When an air compressor or its filters start to show their age, you may notice air pressure drop or become inconsistent. Over time, contaminants may begin to escape the filters and you should check for this regularly. Hold a mirror up to any air powered handpiece and switch it on. If any moisture, dirt or debris appears on the mirror surface, call a compressed air engineer.

Want help or advice about the compressed air system used in your dental surgery? Call 0114 243 2347 or contact us.

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What’s in Clara’s box?

 
Every now and again you find yourself being challenged to tackle projects that don’t quite fit the compressed air mould. Often, we find that’s because our clients trust us to tackle all sorts of projects. So what begins as a relationship all about compressed air, gradually becomes something broader.

Take Clara’s box. We had a call from a client who manufactures orthotics and prosthetics. They’d just taken delivery of a crate and were eager to open it and get the contents installed. But whilst they were keen for us to get the contents of “Clara’s box” (as it quickly became known – Clara was the Orthotic Clinician) up and running fast, we remained a little unclear as to what we’d find when we got there.

Undeterred, our engineers prioritised the job and swiftly headed off to the client. When they arrived, they found the box contained pieces of a ramp. It may not have had the remotest connection to compressed air, but it was needed urgently, because the client wanted to use it to test its prosthetic legs and feet.

As we were told, it’s one thing for a disabled person to test drive their artificial legs/feet on the flat; it’s quite another to be able to navigate hills. The ramp would enable them to do that, and there was a fitting due imminently.

So our engineers unloaded the ramp and installed it ready for its first use.

Challenge us to install your compressed air system. Or challenge us to install something else entirely. Talk to the ever-flexible engineers at Algar Air. Give us a call on 0114 243 2347 or contact us.

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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.

   >  Does your business equipment need servicing?

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.

What We Do

 
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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.

What We Do

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

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.

What We Do

 
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.

Fighting Fit!

13580521_504369079753805_4809338068009774783_o

We are proud  to announce the upcoming fight of Dale Young one of our assistant Compressed Air Engineers! He’s doing the Charity Box Challenge at Sheffield United Football ground to raise money for a Charity close to his heart; Help the Heroes.

His match is on Saturday 6th august and the Algar Air team will be there to support him! We wish him all the best as we know he’s working hard training. COME ON DALE!!!!!!

  help the heros logo

New FAQs Page!

FAQsAs part of our efforts to employ our new mission statement we have been working hard on how we can improve our services to you. As part of this we agreed that a frequently asked questions page would help save you time ringing or emailing us. So here you go take a look and let us know what you think. Hope it helps!

Welcome to our new recruit!

954673_873391189379415_5815297963408567696_n Welcome to our newest member Chris Brownlow! He is in charge of workshop maintenance as well as being an assistant engineer. Chris has an engineering background with 9 Years experience servicing artilliary in the British Army. Through training provided by BA he qualified as an FGas J11 Cat1 Engineer and since leaving the Army has been working in commercial Ventilation/ Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. We are looking forward to working with Chris and employing is excellent skill set within the team.

New Mission Statement

Our mission statement was employee lead. After several strategy meeting where we focused on our goals, strengths, our vision we have finally put together our mission statement. The whole team had input and this is our final version; our mission!

“At Algar Air our mission is to create a better/easier life for our customers in industry by providing reliable and affordable compressed air services and access to well designed compressed air equipment. We will do this by responding quickly to their problems if they arise; questioning assumptions and thinking deeply, the focus must be on the details while using the knowledge gained from our 30 years plus of working in this field.
We look to attract new customers and retain all our customers by working hard to achieve good relationships. Other factory maintenance is offered to our customers to encourage them to look upon us as a ‘one-stop shop’.
We believe in taking our workforce along with us, including them in decision making and problem solving. Providing training on a continual basis and having regular meetings both about work and also socially.”

Welcome to our new recruit!

dale

New Engineer – Dale Young

We welcome into the Team Dale Young our new Assistant Engineer/Trainee Compressed Air Engineer. Dale comes from an 8yr Mechanical Engineering background in which he served in the (REME) in the British Army. His duties included repairing a variety of specialist vehicles and equipment under the most testing of conditions. The equipment worked on ranged from generators right through to HGV vehicles. We are excited to add such a well trained member to the team and are looking for to work with him.

Assistant Engineer(s) required

We are Hiring

We are Hiring

Exbanding the Team again so we are looking for an Assistant Engineer or two! Please see details below:

Overview:
We are a Compressed Air Engineering Company requiring an Assistant Engineer to be part of our excellent Service Team.
We are looking for a proactive individual with a committed and professional approach to their work. The right candidate will be able to work well in a small team as well as left to work individually with the ability to multi-task and problem solve. We are looking for a solid all-rounder, with a wide range of abilities and attention to detail. This person will have had a similar role, which will have involved working on/assisting with maintaining site Equipment, Pipework & Machinery. This position is full time subject to a six month trial period.

Multi Skilled Duties to include:
• Work will be mainly carried out on our Client’s Sites.
• Assist Compressed Air Engineers with ‘Two Person Jobs’.
• Pipework & Ducting installations.
• General on-site machinery inspections and maintenance including Extractors cleaning.
• Oil monitor.
• Assist with vehicle checks and workshop maintenance when neccesary.
• Face-to- face liaison with Customers.
• Other duties will be involved.
Personal Specifications:
• Experience of a range of heavy engineering and manufacturing industry experience (Ideally).
• Experience of General Maintenance activities.
• Experience of pipework installations (Ideally but training can be given).
• Clean/ Low points Driving License.
• Personable with the ability to fit into a small team.
• Self motivated and able to undertake training in additional skills.
• Flexibility – normal working hours are 8am-5pm with out of hours, weekend and away work required infrequently.
• Basic Health & Safety knowledge (Ideally CSCS Certified).
• Forklift Truck/Scissor Lift/ Booms License (Ideally).

Salary:

£17,750 starting wage with overtime.

Please contact

info@algarair.co.uk for future information.

Telephone swap over

Today we go live on our new Vodafone Onenet Telephone System so we may have some distruption this morning. If you can’t get through on the landline please call 07779139801. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Improving our service to you!

vodafone onenet

Vodafone Onenet here we come! We here at Algar Air pride ourselves on our excellent customer service records. Signing up to the Onenet system means we can take our customer service to the next level. We are excited to announce our go live date as 1st December! Our new telephone system means that day or night whether you have a breakdown or simply want your Compressor Servicing you can get straight through to someone who can help you! Hitting our aim for never missing any calls, from the important people, you; our treasured customers!

one net

Rememberance Day – Compressed Air Uses

poppyToday we remember those who gave their lives in Wartime for our freedom. While taking the time to think today about the fallen hero’s I started to wonder about how Compressed Air would have been used over the decades.

So with the use of google I managed to find a Japanese Flamethrower that was powered by Compressed Air back in 1939; torpedos that were used by the Americans were propelled by Compressed Air assisting the engines to get the torpedos to travel upto 40 miles an hour (Ref Inventions of the Great War by Alexander Bond).japanese flamethrower

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.

Compressed Air Engineer Required!

We are Hiring

We are Hiring

We are looking for a Compressed Air Engineer – is that you?

We are a Compressed Air Engineering Company requiring an Engineer to be part of our excellent Service Team.
We are looking for a proactive individual with a professional approach to their work. The right candidate will be able to work well in a small team as well as individually with the ability to multi-task and problem solve. We are looking for a solid all-rounder, with a wide range of abilities and attention to detail. This position is for a full time engineer subject to a trial period.

Duties to include:
• Service and maintenance of Compressed Air Equipment.
• Breakdown problem solving.
• Training other staff.
• Compressed Air Pipework installations.
• General on-site maintenance.
• Face-to face liaison with Customers.
• Other duties will be involved.

Personal Specifications:
• Clean/ Low points Driving License.
• Engineering qualification (Ideally)
• Experienced in Compressed Air with knowledge of Piston and Screw Compressors.
• Electrical Knowledge (qualifications Ideally)
• Excellent communication skills; written as well as verbal.
• Flexibility – normal working hours are 7.30am-5pm with out of hours, weekend and away work required at times.
• Basic Health & Safety knowledge (Ideally CSCS Certified).
• Forklift Truck/Scissor Lift/ Booms License (Ideally).

Salary

Negotiable.

Please email us at info@algarair.co.uk or use the contact form.

Top Ten Tips!

Top ten tips from BCAS (British Compressed Air Society) for Compressed Air users:
1. Understand your electrical usage.
2. Assess usage regularly.
3. Check if the demand is fixed or variable.
4. Decide on your air quality requirements.
5. Make sure the location of Air Compressor is ideal.
6. Test noise levels.
7. Check for Air leaks regularly.
8. Ensure regular Servicing and Maintenance.
9. Use Compressed Air Safely.
10. Recover heat.
For more details see the attached exert from this year’s BCAS Compressed Air Technology Guide

BCAS Member Logo JPG_gray

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.

Merry Christmas

Algar Air would like to wish all of its Customers and Suppliers a very Merry Christmas!

We are here if you need us as always – please ring the landline as usual which will give you the on-call engineers mobile number. The office will close on Wednesday 24th December at 12pm and re-open on Monday 5th at 8am.

See you all in the New Year! Let’s have an amazing 2015!

Children in Need

 

children-in-need

Algar Air Compressed Air Engineers got into raising money for the Charity Children in Need this year by getting family, friends and customer’s to sponsor a onesie wearing day where we raised over £400 for them.

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.

What do you know about The Society?

We are renewing our membership with The British Compressed Air Society this month. Here is some basic fact about the society:

  • It was founded in 1930.
  • It was founded at the instigation of the British Government.
  • It is the only UK Technical Trade Association open to manufacturers, distributors and end users of compressed air products, portable air compressors and services.

Society and its members have the following aims:

  • To promote the use of safe and reliable power
  • To improve the services they offer industry
  • To encourage and help members to develop their professional competence.
  • To bring the experience of members to bear on the conduct of business in industry for the common good.

The Society actively represents the interests of members and the compressed air industry to both United Kingdom Government, European and overseas Institutions. For more information or leave a review about us please visit www.bcas.org.uk

(Info taken from BCAS website correct as at 12.06.15)

Out with the Old and in with the new….

After years of servicing a local Sheffield Steel Firm, looking after their old Broomwade V Major Air Compressors; they have decided to retire them and replace them with brand new Rotary Screws. We are supplying a Hertz Kompressoren Compressor package comprising of 2 off 55kw Rotary Screw Fixed Speed Air Compressors and 1 off 55kw Variable Speed Air Compressor complete with Controller. To follow is an introductory video to Hertz Kompressoren.

HSE to amend the ACOP on the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

HSE to amend the approved codes of practice (ACOP) on the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) The Consultative Document sets out proposals from HSE to amend the approved codes of practice (ACOP) on the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) (L22); Safe Use of Power Presses (L112) and Safe Use of Woodworking Equipment (L114). This is a light-touch review of the PUWER ACOPs with the aim of removing time-limited material and, where appropriate, simplifying the text http://www.hse.gov.uk/consult/condocs/cd268.htm?eban=govdel-equipment-at-work&cr=31-Mar-2014

Labourer/Assistant Maintenance Engineer

Overview:

We are a Compressed Air Engineering Company requiring a Labourer to be part of our excellent Service Team. We are looking for a proactive individual with a committed and professional approach to their work. The right candidate will be able to work well in a small team as well as left to work individually with the ability to multi-task and problem solve. We are looking for a solid all-rounder, with a wide range of abilities and attention to detail. This person will have had a similar role, which will have involved working on/assisting with maintaining site Equipment, Pipework & Machinery. This position is full time subject to a six month trial period.

Multi Skilled Duties to include:

  • Work will be mainly carried out on our Client’s Sites.
  • Assist Compressed Air Engineers with ‘Two Person Jobs’
  • Pipework & Ducting installations.
  • General on-site machinery inspections and maintenance including Extractors cleaning.
  • Responsible for general cleanliness and tidiness of our workshop.
  • Stock taking of Pipework Fittings monthly.
  • Checking Fleet Vehicles.
  • Face-to- face liaison with Customers.
  • Other duties will be involved.

Personal Specifications:

  • Experience of a range of heavy engineering and manufacturing industry experience (Ideally).
  • Experience of General Maintenance activities.
  • Experience of pipework installations (Ideally but training can be given).
  • Clean/ Low points Driving License.
  • Personable with the ability to fit into a small team.
  • Self motivated and able to undertake training in additional skills.
  • Flexibility – normal working hours are 8am-5pm with out of hours, weekend and away work required infrequently.
  • Basic Health & Safety knowledge (Ideally CSCS Certified).
  • Forklift Truck/Scissor Lift/ Booms License (Ideally).

Salary

£17,750 starting wage with overtime.

Pleaase send CVs to info@algarair.co.uk

Have you revised your Written Scheme recently?

We received a frantic phone call this month from someone who’d just received a fine for not having their ‘Compressor Certificate’ which in actual fact was the Air Receiver/Tank Certification. The Compressed Air is stored in the Air Receiver/ Air Tank, so it is the most dangerous part of the Air Compressor if it is not regularly inspected (which is a visual and ultrasonic inspection) and regularly drained of condensate, to be correctly disposed of through an Oil/Water Separator System.

We talked the Garage through the legislation (Pressure Safety System Regulations 2000) surrounding Compressed Air Installations, explaining the Written Scheme of Examination and directing them tohttp://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg178.pdf for more details. We then organised the production of a Written Scheme and are now on with the Ultrasonic testing of the Air Receiver. If the garage had been a customer of Algar Air’s already we’d have made sure they knew about the legislation and helped them comply with it.

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.

Need more Air but don’t want to buy another Air Compressor?

There are certain cases when we can extend pipework and include an Air Receiver/Air Tank to provide air to a part of the factory where the pressure might drop off. This month we did just that for a Lift manufacturer. We installed a full 2” Galvanised Steel Ring Main in an extension to their factory using 2” Pipe, Bracketing, Fixings & Fittings, including Isolation Taps. We installed a 1000 Litre vertical Air Receiver to store Air due to the Air Compressor being situated at the other side of the Factory. We connected into the old Ring Main at 2 different points to give an even flow of air into the new Ring Main. We will always listen to your requirements and try to come up with a solution to any problem.

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.

Spring Time and new beginnings.

We welcome onboard 2 new major customers, one a Large Quarry and the other a Large Metal (Steel & Chrome) Processor.

The first, providing them with a new Compressed Air System including a 30kw Variable Speed Air Compressor complete with a 5 Year Warranty (subject to terms & conditions). The Variable Speed option uses a special drive to control the speed (RPM) of the unit, which in turn saves energy compared to a fixed speed equivalent. Depending on the application the use of a VSD Air Compressor can save a factory a considerable sum in electricity costs.

The second, removing some existing ½” pipework using our IPAF qualified pipework engineers and installing a new 1” pipework as required. Followed by Servicing of their Air Compressors and assisting with Insurance Inspection of said equipment.

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.

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.

New Year – New Start!

Happy new year everyone – May we wish our Customers and Suppliers alike a very Happy new Year – may it bring you happiness, health and with any luck fortune!

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.

British Compressed Air Society’s (BCAS) Spring Conference.

We gleaned some excellent information we can pass along to you the customer touching on subjects like:

  • Legislation and Standards update including the upcoming ISO11011 which though has no official date as yet will eventually effect all Compressed Air Systems Energy Efficiency.
  • Changes to how the Carbon Trust operates giving it’s losing its funding from the Government but will still continue to operate as a non-profit organisation helping improve the energy efficiency of your business.

If you’d like more information on either of these subjects please do not hesitate to contact us on info@algarair.co.uk“.

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!

Wrap up and keep warm!

Advice for your Compressed Air Systems through the winter period. Don’t forget to prepare your building and Compressed Air equipment ready for the cold snap.

We can all take measures to prevent damage and breakdowns to our Air Compressors and associated equipment caused by extreme cold temperatures. Here are a few tips from us.

  • Drain all Air Receivers, Condensate Drains and Electronic Drain Valve etc of water to prevent ice forming
  • If possible; insulate any Oil/Water Separators that exposed to the elements
  • All Rotary Screw Air Compressors need to be covered or have small heaters installed inside so they don’t drop below freezing. Please contact us for further information about an installation
  • We’d be happy to assist you by carrying out a site survey for your specific circumstances
  • If you need any De-icing Salt for the icy conditions to come please contact the office for a special offer price of £9.95 (exc Vat) per 25kg bag. Please call 0114 2432347 and quote NOV09

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation!

This month we have completed a major re-location of Compressed Air Equipment for a Customer of ours who pride themselves on producing precision machined components.

Predominantly supplying to the petrochemical power generation, aerospace and construction industries. As experienced Compressed Air Engineers we were able to manage every step of the relocation work required; supplying the 10ft Steel Container (the new Compressor House); installing 1” pipework from the Ringmain to the new location within the 10ft Steel Container ready for the Avelair Air Compressor and installing Ducting for the ventilation of the exhausted warm air coming from the Air Compressor with weather Louvre to allow Cool air to the Air Compressor.

Opening Times over the Christmas period

We will be closing on Friday 23rd December until Tuesday 3rd January. We will still be offering our breakdown service to any customers who will be open over the festive period so do not hesitate to contact us with any problems and we will get a Compressed Air Engineer to you asap.

New Online Banking System

Good news for our suppliers, we are updating our online banking which means all payments we send will go by the Faster Payment Scheme rather than by BACS. The new System will be fully up and running in January.

New Staff

We are happy to welcome a new member to the Servicing Team. We have a new Compressed Air Engineer who has his 17th Edition and specialises in Refrigerant Dryer Servicing. It’s great to welcome another highly experienced engineer to Algar Air.

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.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas

Everyone at Algar Air would like to wish all our Customers, Suppliers and our website visitors a wonderful Christmas and a very prosperous 2012! We look forward to continuing/establishing new working relationships during the coming year. Thank-you for all of the on-going support.

Construction Skills Certification Scheme Renewal

All the Engineers who needed to renew their CSCS Certification have in October and November being taking the relevant examinations, Peter & Gary – Operators, Mark Supervisor and Stephen Algar Managerial & Professional; Congratulations to each of them as they have all passed their Construction Skills Health & Safety Examinations.

We Are Recruiting

We are looking for a Maintenance Engineer/Electrician to be part of our excellent Service Team. We need a proactive individual with a professional approach to their work. The right candidate will be able to work well in a small team as well as individually with the ability to multi-task and problem solve. We are looking for a solid all-rounder, with a wide range of abilities and attention to detail. This position is for a full time engineer subject to a six month/ year trial period.

Duties to include:

  • Electrical installations of Compressed Air Equipment
  • Inspections & Testing of Electrical Systems
  • Breakdown problem solving
  • Compressed Air Pipework installations
  • General on-site maintenance
  • Face-to face liaison with Customers
  • Other duties will be involved

Personal Specifications:

  • Clean/Low points Driving License
  • 17th Edition (Ideally)
  • Knowledge of Compressed Air
  • Excellent communication skills; written as well as verbal
  • Flexibility; normal working hours are 7.30am-5pm with out of hours, weekend and away work required at times
  • Basic Health & Safety knowledge (Ideally CSCS Certified)
  • Forklift Truck/Scissor Lift/ Booms License (Ideally)

Salary

Negotiable

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

Proud BCAS Member

We’ve been accepted and are now proud members of our Trade Association BCAS, the British Compressed Air Society Ltd. The *Society and its members have the following aims.

  • To promote the use of safe and reliable power
  • To improve the services they offer industry
  • To encourage and help members to develop their professional competence
  • To bring the experience of members to bear on the conduct of business in industry for the common good

In the Compressed Air Industry where safety, reliability and compliance are essential we are happy to be approved and surveyed to show all our customers and suppliers that we conform to the highest standard. In due course, we will be sending out surveys to all our current customers so help us achieve this.

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!

We Are Recruiting

Algar Air is once again on the lookout for another member for our excellent workforce. We are recruiting for a Compressed Air Engineer. So if you think you are (or know someone who is) a proactive individual with a professional approach to your work; you are able to work well in a small team as well as individually with the ability to multi-task and problem solve; we are looking for a solid all-rounder, with a wide range of abilities and attention to detail.

Please read on for more details of the position:

Duties to include:

  • Service and maintenance of compressed air systems & equipment
  • Breakdown problem solving
  • Compressed Air Pipework installations
  • General on-site maintenance
  • Face-to face liaison with Customers
  • Other duties will be involved

Personal Specifications:

  • Clean/low points driving license
  • Engineering qualification (ideally)
  • Experienced in compressed air with knowledge of piston and screw compressors
  • Experienced in electrics or general maintenance (ideally)
  • Excellent communication skills; written as well as verbal
  • Flexibility, normal working hours are 7.30am-5pm with out of hours, weekend and away work required at times
  • Basic health & safety knowledge (ideally CSCS certified)
  • Forklift truck/scissor lift/ booms license (ideally)

Please contact Mrs Simone Kidd by email or via the contact page.

New Company Logo

After months of work Algar Air has launched its new Logo. Having used the existing Logo for the last 27 years the Partners felt it was time for a revamp. We hope the new logo carries the same weight as the last one giving the professional and strong imagery we would like to portray with a more modern feel.

Let us know your thoughts; email us through our contact page.

logo

New Website Launched

Welcome to our new look Website! Many thanks to Dan Wrigley at Both Realities for putting up with all my alterations and for his hard work at renovating the site. We now have a new sleek and more efficient site which will be more user friendly. We’ve added the news page so please keep coming back for regular equipment, news and legislation updates.