Pneumatic systems & components

Stop wasting energy!

1st Quarter 2009 Pneumatic systems & components

Energy costs are escalating rapidly and engineering staff are under pressure to reduce energy consumption. As air compressors are one of the major consumers of power in many factories, the ability to identify the volume wasted by system leakage is crucial.


Engineers are demanding accurate information on air usage and leaks within their pneumatic systems to help them to:

* Rectify leakage.

* Design additions or alterations.

With these thoughts in mind a new Compressed Air Audit Division was recently launched in South Africa providing clients the latest in compressed air performance monitoring equipment.

Mobile measuring system

The DS 300 system provides accurate information on any compressed air system and provides information on:

* Compressed air, gas or vacuum flow.

* Compressed air leakage.

* Pressure dew point.

* Power consumption.

* System air pressure up to 50 bar.

* Air velocity.

* Compressed air temperature.

* Oil carry over.

The mobile system has the ability to log up to 1 million bits of information, which can be downloaded and displayed in multi-axis graphs for presentation to and evaluation by clients. The ability to hot-tap into an air system means that there is no plant downtime associated with auditing.

The data can be captured and related to Standard Temperature and Pressure (STP) sea level at 20°C, or it can be captured at the actual site conditions.

Performance evaluation

The DS 300 system can be used to evaluate air compressor performance or for identifying air consumption rates for production areas within a plant. Armed with accurate figures, the compressed air consumption and maintenance costs can be allocated department by department within the plant.

A refrigeration dryer’s performance is not determined by Freon gas suction pressures or air temperatures, but by air dryness, known as dew point.

A dryer’s fascia panel may give every indication of normal performance when it is actually passing over wet compressed air into the system as a result of a fractured heat exchanger.

Dryer control panels indicate either Freon suction temperature or air temperature within the air/Freon exchanger. They cannot tell operators that 99% of the air is bypassing the main condensers. There are many refrigeration mechanics that cannot recognise this fault, which can be quickly identified with mobile dew point test equipment.

When dealing with a chemical dryer’s absorption, media performance and purge air flow controls can be quickly established and re-set when necessary, eliminating unnecessary compressed air wastage and giving indication when adsorption media replacement is required.

Dryer service crews should always operate with mobile dew point monitoring equipment as the ability to test an air dryer’s performance is crucial, eliminating any doubt on a dryer’s dew point or condensate drain performance.

Mobile oil carry over monitoring is also now available to prove the effectiveness of inline air filtration: essential in preventing air distribution system contamination. It is better to routinely test the effectiveness of coalescing air filters’ oil removal performance than to suffer system contamination that is almost impossible to clean out once infected.

For larger systems, a permanent instrumentation package can be installed to provide a monitoring system that tracks the air systems on flow and pressure performance 24/7. Alarm points may be set using user friendly software.

The cost of a compressed air audit is cheap when compared to the cost of compressed air wastage and sub-standard compressed air treatment. The ROI period can be counted in days not months!

For more information contact Allen Cockfield, Artic Driers International, +27 (0)11 425 3484, [email protected],


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