Verification check

Nov. 26, 2018

Compressors are one of the largest energy users in a plant. You want to know whether your compressors are saving you energy and how much.

What’s your favorite seal of approval? Let’s face it: A lot of us feel better with verified products. Whether I have the American Dental Association® seal on my toothbrush or the Energy Star® logo on my home appliance, knowing that experts have certified my product is assuring. Compressed-air users are no different. Compressors are one of the largest energy users in a plant. You want to know whether your compressors are saving you energy and how much.

Many compressor and dryer manufacturers are voluntarily participating in a program to test and confirm their equipment performance. Why put a product through this kind of scrutiny? Because manufacturers know that being verified means trustworthiness to their customers.

The Compressed Air and Gas Institute’s (CAGI) Performance Verification Program is the standard for third-party compressor and dryer verification in the United States. To validate a manufacturer's performance claim, the CAGI-appointed third party selects a compressor or dryer at random and tests it in accordance with the published test standard. This occurs twice a year for dryers and three times per year for compressors.

The compressors are tested according to the ISO 1217 standard, which results in an efficiency ratio of power consumed (input kiloWatts) to the delivered air in cfm (free air delivered or FAD). Known as specific power, this ratio applies to 5- to 200-hp rotary screw compressors, including variable-speed and variable-displacement compressors. The test standard for dryers is ISO 7183, which verifies the pressure dew point at the manufacturer’s rated flow and pressure. All refrigerated dryers rated 200-1000 scfm are tested. In 2019, the program will expand to include dryers rated from 50-1000 scfm.

CAGI serves as the unbiased authority on all matters pertaining to compressed air. Its program makes sure that manufacturers of compressed air equipment that participate in the verification program publish accurate performance data.

There’s an old saying, “Trust, but verify.” Before third-party verification programs existed, customers could rely only on their faith to confirm air compressor performance. Sure, manufacturers provided data sheets with figures, but there was no external validation. Third-party verification helps keep everyone honest. Customers have more reason to trust verified manufacturers that meet the requirement of an audit.

Whether it’s a toothbrush, a home appliance, or a compressor for your plant, you want to know that an authoritative expert has backed it up, right? Let me know your thoughts or questions.

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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