Think the air compressor is the only important decision to make as far as your compressed air system is concerned? Think again.
It’s easy to assume that, when it comes to your air power system, the buck stops with the air compressor. In one sense, you’re right. Without the air compressor, your business will lack the essential power source your air tools need. Yet typically, an air compressor only accounts for around 65% of the total cost of your compressed air system – the lion’s share, perhaps, but a long way short of 100%.
The remaining 35% is covered by air treatment equipment, because if the air compressor is responsible for delivering the air, the treatment equipment is responsible for ensuring its quality. That means the decision making process behind your choice of separators, dryers and filters should be every bit as meticulous as the choice of compressor.
Here’s how to make the right decision.
What air purity do you need?
ISO 8573-1:2010 specifies purity classes of compressed air with respect to particles, water and oil. This will help you establish whether you need an oil free compressor (for example, for the production of foods or pharmaceuticals) and select the optimal dryer.
Refrigerant or desiccant dryer?
Both types of dryer help to remove moisture from your pipework; they just do their jobs in different ways. Desiccant dryers effectively ‘mop up’ moisture from the air using absorbent materials. Refrigerant dryers cool warm air so that the moisture reaches dew point at the dryer, where it can be easily drained away.
In applications where oil vapour may present a contamination risk to a process (for example, in paint spraying or CNC machining) a carbon filter will remove the oil before it has a chance to contaminate the end product.
Often overlooked, but every business is required to carefully control the substances it discharges into the sewer system. Any oil from receivers, compressors and dryers needs to be removed from waste water before it can be safely discharged, so oil separators will be an essential final piece of air treatment equipment to ensure you comply with waste legislation.
Need help in choosing the right air compressor treatment equipment for your business? Talk to Algar Air, the compressed air specialists, on 0114 243 2347.