To say that compressed air is expensive is an understatement. For many manufacturing facilities, compressed air systems are the most expensive utility.
The advantages of compressed air systems may make them worth the expense but for optimal returns, operators need to find better systems or savings opportunities. Thankfully, users’ growing level of awareness and manufacturers’ design innovations are changing the face of compressed air systems, saving end-users millions of dollars.
Equipment design innovation
Manufacturers are taking advantage of newer materials and manufacturing procedures, allowing them to create compressors that offer better performance and reliability. There is also a shift towards lubricant-free compressors, benefiting industries that require highly clean compressed air.
Better manufacturer accountability
The growing number of third parties that validate manufacturers’ claims about their products are pushing producers to improve their equipment performance numbers. Organisations such as the Compressed Air and Gas Institute, for example, have performance verification programs that have helped consumers compare the performance of various systems before purchasing.
Evolving compressor controls
Compressor controls are continuously evolving and are now more sophisticated. The more advanced ones are now using artificial intelligence. There are controls that can be synced to handheld devices such as phones and tablets to provide data or real-time display of system conditions. There are also controls that are linked to the internet to send operators or maintenance personnel a notification in case of a system problem.
Improved system monitoring
There is a growing trend of continuous system monitoring around the world. Consumers now equip their systems with sensors that measure performance. This continuous monitoring has helped end-users identify saving opportunities.
Organised Consumer Education
Many organisations are helping consumers understand the ins and outs of compressed air systems with a focus on improving compressed air management. This has enabled many consumers to choose systems more carefully and has equipped them to resolve identified issues with their compressors.
Compressed air may be expensive, but the industry is looking to change this. End users have to keep their ears and eyes open to new developments for better air compressor systems, significant savings and better bottom lines.