Three measures to keep your company processes on time and budget
10 Oct 2018
While there are many approaches that aid us in keeping compressed air processes on budget and ensure a minimum of downtime, Gardner Denver’s Keith Atkinson has no doubt about his top three measures.
There are three predictive and preventative maintenance strategies that compressed air users should be implementing to help cut costs, improve operational efficiencies, reduce downtime, increase productivity and deliver peace of mind.
Digitally drive performance
High-quality energy at a cost-effective price continues to be a top priority for organisations. Industry 4.0 driving companies to share and analyse data every step of the way creates a real opportunity for compressed air users to consider how data can improve performance and help identify inefficiencies.
One of the biggest changes in Industry 4.0 is the move from closed, proprietary products to open ones. Traditionally, a product operates and connects to a brand’s own proprietary protocols and data transfer mechanisms.
This closed system can be problematic for those using compressors. Most businesses, over time and throughout various product lifecycles, will have purchased units from a range of brands.
To meet this need, Gardner Denver has introduced a new digital platform, iConn – a Cloud-based, air management platform which has been developed to deliver advanced analytics, enabling users to stay in control of their compressed air installation. The system provides historic, real-time, predictive and cognitive analytics, allowing users to rectify potential issues before they happen.
Crucially, iConn is an open platform, supporting ancillary and compressed air products from other brands. It can help provide a platform that delivers truly meaningful compressed air insights, no matter who the manufacturer is.
Use genuine parts
Non-genuine spare parts and lubricants are typically cheaper than a manufacturer’s original parts and, when organisations are trying to cut back on costs, it can be tempting to opt for these.
Nevertheless, it is widely accepted that using non-genuine parts can be detrimental to a system’s overall performance and can have a negative impact on efficiency and energy consumption.
In some cases, the wrong spare part can cause real damage to a compressed air system. This can potentially result in the machine failing completely. The outcome? Not only an expensive repair bill, but costly unexpected downtime too.
Of course, any system – whether new or existing – will need components such as filters, valves, seal and oil to be periodically replaced. But by replacing these with a non-genuine alternative, there can be no guarantee that the manufacturer’s warranty will be upheld.
Genuine parts will have been manufactured to meet the same standards as the compressor they are intended for. So, they will have passed the manufacturer’s stringent testing regimes, in a qualitycontrolled environment, to ensure the compressor continues to operate reliably.
Pipework leaks are a large factor in compressed air energy wastage, accounting for 35% of total air consumption. Causes of compressed air system leaks include shut-off valves and manual condensate valves left open, or leaking hoses, couplings, pipes, flanges and pipe joints. The Carbon Trust estimates one 3mm leak could cost a company over £700 a year in wasted energy.
Using a flowmeter is a reliable method of evaluating compressed air generation and downstream inefficiency costs.
Finding and repairing one 3mm leak could save enough money to cover the cost of purchasing one.
Keith Atkinson is EMEAI sales manager – Compressed Air Treatment & Gas Generation – at Gardner Denver