Steps to Success: Assess Your System Before Compressor Replacement.

In our Effort & Reward: Is it worth taking on a compressed air project, now article, we talked about how significant the savings of a compressed air project could be to an organization. Then, our Metrics Matter: In compressed air projects, baselining is essential article outlined how to collect the baseline metrics needed to conduct an effective assessment of your compressed air needs and your system’s ability to meet those needs. Once you’ve armed yourself with data and a thorough map of your compressed air distribution system, what’s next? Here are a few guidlines to help with your compressor replacement.

Start with common sense compressed air system repairs.
Troubleshoot the root causes of air pressure drops throughout your compressed air system and get them resolved.

  • Eliminate, or at least minimize, restrictions
  • Replace potentially costly temporary fixes with more efficient, permanent solutions
  • Repair air leaks
  • Replace compressed air power at the point of use with more appropriate and cost-effective technology wherever possible (grinding and drilling tools, cleaning, cooling and drying equipment, etc.)
  • Replace uncontrolled drains with no-air-loss or timed drains

The more air pressure drops you address, the less likely your compressed air system and those costly compressors are to be overtaxed. Incorporating compressed air leak detectors by all point-of-use equipment makes it easy for equipment operators to know when leaks occur and to help avoid the need for compressor replacement. Simply by writing up a work order, they become a proactive part of your ongoing system efficiency process.

Make demand-side improvements to increase compressed air system efficiency.

  • Install integrated compressed air shutoff valves on equipment to prevent air from leaking out when equipment is not is use
  • Incorporate leak detectors near all point-of-use equipment
  • Add tanks near heavy air uses to help balance out the system
  • Include FLR (filter, regulator, lubricant) units by equipment
  • Set and lock regulators to the air level required by the equipment

These solutions help balance out supply requests with required demand.

 How to get the most out of existing compressors.

The goal is to balance true production demands against supply-side capabilities to eliminate air system gluts and gaps that can negatively impact component life and production. Here are five of the most frequently used tools to help balance compressed air systems:

  1. Create smart solutions for individual compressors or multiple compressors to ensure smoother, ramped starts and stops
  2. Add more storage tanks and include dynamic control devices to turn them into storage tanks capable of compensating for start-up spikes
  3. Install interlocks to your FLR units to effectively turn the line itself into a storage tank
  4. Reposition PSI sensors further away from the compressor to help eliminate a lot of unwanted starts and stops
  5. Add insulation to the lines (before and after dryers) to bring dew points down

Once you’ve taken these steps, it’s time to see just how much progress you’ve made.

Reevaluate your entire compressed air system.

At this point, it’s time to reinstall the data logging equipment and conduct a two-week evaluation of the entire system. Be sure to notify production so you can gather all necessary production data that corresponds with your compressed air system data gathering. By comparing current data with the baseline metrics you gathered earlier, you’ll be able to determine if the system is performing as needed for efficient production moving forward. If not, you’ll be armed with the technical data necessary to justify the purchase of new compressors.

Either way, you have the opportunity for one of the fastest and largest paybacks you’ll ever generate. For a more in-depth look at compressor replacement, or compressed air systems in general, be sure to sign up for our complimentary ebook: How to Breathe New Life Into Aging Compressed Air Systems.

Learn how our turnkey compressed air system services can improve your bottom line by contacting Wasmer today!