Secret Adjustment Location for a More Efficient Compressed Air System

Dec. 14, 2014

Hint:  You can see this location using a simple mirror

People are often looking for the one key thing that can improve their compressed air system to save operating costs.  I often tell them the best place to make an adjustment is “between the ears of their personnel”.  Awareness training of your people is the best way to start the improvement process.

An untrained person can easily believe compressed air is a free resource to use in unlimited quantities for whatever they want to connect to the system.  Untrained people look past inappropriate uses and waste of compressed air because they don’t see the cost to the organization.  Unschooled people feel free to set air compressors and dryer in poor control modes and at very high pressures because they don’t realize the cost or the effect on the system as a whole.

Awareness training shows people that compressed air production is a naturally inefficient process where the energy coming out at the compressed air machine is much less than the energy input at the air compressor.  People with training recognize compressed air as an expensive utility that should be wisely managed by controlling leakage and inappropriate use, lowering system pressure, controlling compressors and air dryers, and maintaining the system for better, more reliable operation.

Recently I was reminded of the power of newly acquired knowledge when I visited a few plants operated by students of a compressed air awareness training seminar.  One food products plant has upgraded their system based on the energy measures learned and were passing the 60% savings level on their system.  They have found and repaired over 150 significant leaks and used components they already owned, surplus storage receivers, filters and air dryers from an old plant to achieve a simple payback of under 2 months.

Another automotive parts plant had realized during the training that they were running too many compressors, never shutting them down, even on weekends and holidays.  They started experimenting by turning off units, lowering the pressure, and started fixing the hundreds of leaks in the plant.  Presently they have been able to turn two of their 5 compressors off during plant production, and all of their compressors during weekends.  These improvements cost almost nothing to implement. They have now reported a 42% energy savings and are still looking to improve their system.

Awareness training works by altering the mindset of your people, so that they can see the real picture.  Compressed air is an expense utility that should be managed carefully.  For more information about the power of training see the Evaluation of the Compressed Air Challenge Training Program at our website.

School your people by sending them to a Compressed Air Challenge Fundamentals of Compressed Air Systems seminar.  Our calendar of trainings is here.

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