Compressed Air Particle Counting

Measure Compressed Air Quality Efficiently

It is necessary to measure air quality in modern compressed air systems. One part of this is to measure the particle concentration in the supplied air. The common problem that occurs is that most particle counter operate only at the ambient pressure. This means that pressure needs to be reduced.

Reducing pressure without a major impact on the counted particles is hard to achieve. Users should always consider what solution is offered by the particle counter supplier. 

The ISO 8573-4 regulations state that a standard flow control or ball valve should not be used to reduce the pressure prior to the point of measurement because this could cause a lowered measurement value. Furthermore, it stated that pressure regulators should never be used in front of the measurement equipment. Pressure regulators and their materials are typically not suited to be used due to particle shedding. 

Laser Particle Counter for Compressed Air

The S130 is a new generation laser particle counter optimized for applications in compressed air or compressed air gases. With quality in mind and with the knowledge of customer needs this instrument is designed for continuous 24/7 operation. Depending on the selected model there is sensitivity available from 0.1 … 5.0 m. The S 130 can fulfill the requirements stipulated in the compressed air standard ISO 8573-4.

The measurement values represent the particle counts per ft3, l or m3 or alternatively g/m3. Settings can be done through the integrated display, an external SUTO display or through the service software If you’re interested in learning more about SUTO and how it might impact your operations, or you’re just interested compressed air efficiency in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime! We offer free quotes on our compressed air solutions, and would love to help you achieve your goals of energy efficiency.

Compressed Air for Vehicle Body Painting

Compressed Air for Efficient Vehicle Body Paint Job

Contaminants in compressed air

The compressed air produced by the compressor, contains the same substances as the ambient air. This means, among other things, that the water vapor contained in the air, is compressed and the compressed air therefore has a high humidity. Compressed air from an oil injected screw compressor also contains small oil residues from the compressor lubrication system. The average value, for screw compressors oil content, is about 3pm. When the compressed air is to be used for eg body painting, there is a higher demand for air quality, than in many other applications. The requirements referred to above apply in particular to what is accepted in terms of contaminants such as water, particles and oil.

Removing contaminants for vehicle body painting

We recommend that the humidity is always to be reduced by drying. This is easiest and cheapest done with a refrigerant dryer that gives a pressure dew point of about 3 degrees Celsius. We also recommend installing particle filters, to reduce the amount of particles that come into the compressed air. In addition to particle filters you should also install an oil separating filter, that removes the residual amount of oil, that always comes with compressed air when you have an oil injected screw compressor. If you want to be absolutely sure, that no oil will be included in the compressed air, you can complete the filters above with an activated carbon filter. When supplementing other filters with an activated carbon filter, one achieves a quality called “technical oil-free” compressed air.

Please feel free to call or email us to let us know about your application, At Airtec, we are happy to help you.

Reduce Pressure Drops in Your Plant

Save Energy, Avoid Unnecessary Pressure Drops

Did you know that pressure drops and leaks are the two largest areas of energy loss on your air compressors? It’s easy to understand why a leaking pipe or fittings creates energy loss. Pressure drops are not quite as noticeable, since you cannot hear them.

What are Pressure Drops?

According to Compressed Air Best Practices, “Pressure drop is a term used to characterize the reduction in air pressure from the compressor discharge to the actual point-of-use. Pressure drop occurs as the compressed air travels through the treatment and distribution system.”

Did you know that a small undersized filter would result in unneeded pressure drops in your system? Do not go for the cheap option because you will make up for that cost in energy consumption.

What causes Pressure Drops?

The 3 most common reasons for unexpected pressure drops in your Compressed Air System.

1. Leaks
2. Improper sizing or maintenance of your Filters
3. Piping configuration

How to Reduce Pressure Drops?

1. Unsure of your filter size? Go up a size. It will pay off in the long run.
2. Use OEM filters from your manufacturer. Also, most manufacturers publish pressure drop data- request it to ensure you understand the differences.
3. Undersized piping can cause pressure drops. Make sure your pipe is large enough to handle your flow.
4. Reduce the distance the air travels through the distribution system.
5. Check for leaks! Air leaks can will result in using more power than necessary to supply compressed air & contribute to the system’s air drops.
6. Increasing the size of your pipe, even from 2” to 3” ,can reduce pressure drop up to 50%. Shortening the distance that air has to travel can further reduce pressure drops by about 30%!

Did you know? Air leaks cause machines to cycle more frequently and by doing so can increase the running time of the air compressor. More running time leads to additional maintenance requirements and possible increased unscheduled downtime.

Remember, unnecessary pressure drops will result in poor system performance and excessive energy consumption. Any kind of flow restriction, whether it’s a leak, poor piping configuration or a filter will play a huge role in a system requiring higher operating pressures than are needed, resulting in higher energy consumption.

Monitor Your Entire Compressed Air System with SUTO

From small machine shops to fully-equipped manufacturing lines, Airtec has long been in the business of providing efficient compressed air solutions that are powerful, reliable, and cost-effective. We make every effort to utilize our decades of industry knowledge to the benefit of our clients, using carefully-selected brands and products to create our solutions, because one of the most important parts of creating an efficient compressed air solution is knowing which products and brands yield the best, most efficient results. This means that we have our ear to ground constantly, eagerly awaiting new releases from trusted product manufacturers while also watching for new, innovative products on the rise. Among those we’ve noticed making waves in the world of compressed air is SUTO.

SUTO and its technologies represent the future of industry, using data to achieve previously unheard-of levels of efficiency for systems of all shapes and sizes. We’ve touched on Industrial Internet of Things technology in previous blogs, discussing the impressive list of possibilities unlocked by IoT technology, but SUTO takes IoT and its applications a step further, creating a completely modular system that can be set up in any system.

What Does SUTO Do?

Some of the most important and oft-overlooked parts of compressed air systems are monitoring systems. The readings and data from monitoring systems are the key to discovering where your system is performing best as well as where improvements can be made. The problem is that there are typically only a few points where data is gathered, providing only a limited picture of system performance.

SUTO’s modular monitoring system resolves this issue by gathering data from across your full system, revealing resource waste at previously unmeasured points. What’s more, the modules are all linked via Internet of Things technology, allowing you to view your full system all at once. Planning on adding new components or replacing old? SUTO’s modular system allows you to remove and add sensors as-needed, with new sensors feeding information into the same system as all the others. 

Taking the Reigns of New Technology

With SUTO’s monitoring system, you will gain the information needed to locate problem areas, the visibility needed to reveal where equipment updates should be made, and the ability to see and measure the impact of any and all changes you make within your system. If you are seeking new ways to use your compressed air resources efficiently, SUTO and their use of IoT technology provides you with a quick and sustainable way of viewing your system in action. Especially as data analysis and management become a more entrenched part of manufacturing operations, the information SUTO gathers will only increase in importance and value. 

If you’re interested in learning more about SUTO and how it might impact your operations, or you’re just interested compressed air efficiency in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us anytime! We offer free quotes on our compressed air solutions, and would love to help you achieve your goals of energy efficiency.

The Ion Air Knife: The Ideal Static Eliminator

Along with condensate buildup and compressed air leakage, static buildup is one of the most common problems found in industrial settings. Due to the constant motion and friction of heavy machinery, static buildup is bound to occur, causing a wide range of problem, such as electrical component malfunction, incorrect readings, attraction of contaminating particles from surrounding air, and, in some extreme cases, potential hazards to workers via static discharge. Fortunately, through the use of a static eliminator such as an ion air knife, you can reduce static buildup fairly easily and inexpensively, and in fact, the heightened levels of efficiency created by an ion air knife often actually leads to reduced operations costs.

Exair’s Gen 4 Ion Air Knife

There are few things we love more than making product recommendations that make a difference. Often, the addition of small, inexpensive, energy-efficient component, like Exair’s air knives, can make a significant difference in your operations.

We offer two Exair Air Knives, the Standard Ion Air Knife and the Super Ion Air Knife. Both of these air knives offer a sturdy yet compact design, a shockless, non-radioactive construction, and a rugged metal-armored and electromagnetically-shielded cable. An ion air knife works by taking in a steady stream of clean compressed air and directing and expelling the air through a precise, slotted orifice. Upon its exit, the compressed air is passed over Exair’s Gen4 Ionizing Bar, which pulls in surrounding room air and injects positive and negative ions into the compressed air. This ultimately creates a curtain of ionized compressed air that can be passed over materials such as plastics, webs, sheet stock and other product surfaces, both wiping the materials clean of particles, dust, and shavings and removing the static that builds up through the manufacturing process.

Selecting Your Static Eliminator

You may have noticed that Exair’s Gen4 line features both the Regular and Super Air Knives. While both of these products are outstanding in their own right, their subtle differences may make some applications better than others for each of them. Some areas may require the increased power of the Super, while others may require only the Regular Air Knife. We can help you explore your options and decide what is best for your point-of-use.

At Airtec, we’ve long been in the business of providing industrial facilities with efficient compressed air solutions aimed at reducing costs in both time and money, increasing resource efficiency, and shrinking carbon footprints. Through strategic product recommendations, comprehensive audits, and application of our combined decades of compressed air experience, we are able to offer solutions that are beneficial for your bottom line, your workers, and the environment, all at once.

If you’re interested in increasing your efficiency, improving your operations, saving time, energy, and money, or improving product quality, please feel free to contact us. We offer free quotes on our efficient compressed air solutions and we’d love to help you meet and exceed your goals.

Getting Ready for Warmer Weather

Whether you are running a large-scale manufacturing line or a smaller, more specialized facility, the need to take good care of your equipment is a constant, and while the specific needs of your facility may vary, nothing is impervious to changes in the weather. With the winter months falling behind and warmer months ahead, there is no better time than now to prepare your system to perform through the heat of summer. One of the best ways of doing this is through the use of a high-quality cabinet cooler.

No matter where your facility is located, warm weather poses a threat to both day-to-day operations and long-term performance in your system. The biggest challenge in dealing with seasonal temperature change is the fact that you may not even notice anything is awry until it is too late. The mechanical components of your system may be rugged and built to withstand hard use, but in the summer, the biggest casualties to heat are found in the smaller, more delicate components, which is why problems so often go unnoticed. Common problem areas include various electronics, sensors, and controllers, which when malfunctioning, can lead to anything from incorrect readings to potentially causing your facility to come grinding to a halt. Needless to say, protecting your systems delicate electronics should be a high priority.

NEMA 4x cabinet cooler

Preventing Problems Using a Cabinet Cooler

Cabinet coolers do just what you think they would: keep your cabinet cool. But this doesn’t just mean that your electronics are kept safe from overheating. A well-placed cabinet cooler can prevent buildup of common contaminants, like condensate buildup, in areas that are particularly vulnerable. Condensate buildup poses a problem in most systems, so having a cabinet cooler as a “last line of defense” for your electronic equipment certainly comes in handy.

As useful as a cabinet cooler may be in reducing contaminants, its primary function is keep your electronics from reaching unsafe temperatures. The high-quality coolers we recommend are able to be set to specific temperatures, so you can fine-tune to meet the specifications of your electronic components. Once set, your cabinet cooler will hold steady to the appointed temperature with a great degree of accuracy.

NEMA cabinet cooler

Efficient Operation

Cabinet coolers only use a minimal amount of resources to operate, require little more than a steady flow of compressed air. Using vortex tubes, the compressed air is cooled down and ejected over its target, keeping the area cool and component operating at their peak. Additionally, cabinet coolers feature a durable but simple design that can easily last over a decade if dry, clean air is supplied, ensuring that you get your money’s worth.

At Airtec, we offer a wide variety of different cabinet coolers in different sizes and configurations to fit systems of all sizes and all manner of applications. We use our decades of industry experience to select only the best cabinet coolers for almost any budget, and we have the compressed air system expertise needed to help you find exactly what your system needs. Contact us for a free quote today!

Large-Scale Air Conveyors

If you operate or have ever operated a large-scale facility in the food or drug industry, you know how much goes into the safe, consistent manufacture of consumable products. There is next to no margin for error, as even a small contamination can result major consequences.  Even if you take contamination out of the equation, ensuring that you have the proper amount of every necessary material is paramount to the creation of safe products. The need for safe, clean material transport is well-established, so we at Airtec spend a great deal of time and energy searching for the best possible material transport solutions using efficient compressed air. That’s why we often recommend Exair’s Air Conveyors.

When it comes to getting small materials used in the composition of products from point A to point B, there’s really no better way than through the use of an air conveyor. Using a powerful vacuum, air conveyors (often also called ‘line vacs’) utilize suction to move materials through pipes or tubes, sending them wherever they’re needed. For food and drug industries, this is particularly useful, as materials used to make products are often miniscule and difficult to transport. Additionally, food and drug manufacturing facilities must maintain incredibly high standards for cleanliness, making products like Exair’s 316 Stainless Steel line vac an excellent and sanitary option.

Air Conveyors for Food, Pharma, and Chemical

Exair’s 316SS line vac is a relatively low-cost addition capable of drastically increasing the efficiency of your manufacturing line, whether you’re operating in the food industry, pharmaceutical industry, or even in chemical. The 316SS is specifically designed with these industries in mind, boasting the natural corrosion- and chemical-resistance that stainless steel construction offers. It performs outstandingly in high and low temperatures alike, and is built to last with a robust construction that all but guarantees a long service life with little maintenance.

The 316SS is now available in two powerful new sizes, at 2-1/2 inch (64mm) and 3 inch (76mm). These two new sizes are designed to fit popular hose and tube diameters, expanding on Exair’s already-versatile catalogue of products. They are easily controlled via pressure regulator and come with the option of a bracket for easy mounting. The 316SS are exclusively powered by compressed air, has no moving parts, and doesn’t require electricity, further ensuring long-life through simple, rugged construction.

The addition of these two new sizes make for a total of nine sizes, ranging from 3/8 inch (10mm) up to 3 inch (76mm), allowing for strategic placement throughout the system. Like all other Exair line vacs, the 316SS is completely CE and OSHA  compliant.

How Airtec Expertise Can Help You

At Airtec, we pride ourselves on our ability to create custom compressed air solutions for facilities of all shapes and sizes. Part of how we do this is by offering only the finest compressed air products, like Exair’s 316SS. In addition to product recommendation, we offer comprehensive training sessions where we work with you to better operate an efficient system, as well as compressed air audits, where we pinpoint the best places to deploy compressed air solutions.

If you’re interested in attaining new levels of compressed air efficiency or learning more about Airtec and our recommended product, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Cold Weather Static Elimination

A tremendous amount of effort goes into building an optimized compressed air system. From generating the perfect amount of compressed air to locating and eliminating leaks, efficient system operation is a worthy challenge with tremendous awards. An efficient system saves you a great deal of time, money, and energy, while drastically improving your operations, potentially leading to greater output and higher productivity.

With all the effort that goes toward creating the ideal compressed air system, you want to be 100% sure that you’ve taken every potential snag or difficulty into account. Unfortunately, some obstacles exist outside of your control, one of the most common and overlooked being weather.

During periods of cold, low-humidity weather, the conditions are ripe for one of the biggest contributors to contamination and electrical malfunction: static. During the winter, the levels of static present in your production lines are significantly higher due to the dryness of ambient air. In some circumstances, static buildups can even become powerful enough to shock personnel

Especially during the dry winter months, taking steps to reduce static are very important, and implemented solutions will likely pay for themselves fairly quickly as they continue to enhance operations. One such solution we at Airtec recommend is the addition of a static-eliminating air wipe to your system, such as the Exair Gen4 Super Ion Air Wipe. The Gen4 Air Wipe uses a minimal amount of compressed air to send a powerful ionized air flow over materials as versatile as pipe, cable, extruded shapes, hose, wire and much more, significantly reducing static buildup where friction is most common.

Exair Gen4 Super Ion Air Wipe Eliminates Static

Exair products are frequent Airtec recommendations for good reason. Exair makes innovative, durable, high-quality products that are guaranteed to improve your system efficiency and effectiveness. The Gen4 Super Ion Air Wipe features a split design with a latch that can be fastened all the way around materials, allowing for easy installation and covering all materials without the need for multiple air wipes. The ionizing points, powered by a UL Component Recognized 5kV power supply, are completely shockless, creating a safe, steady air flow of positive and negative ions.

Additional features include metal-armored high voltage cable to protect against abrasion and cuts, a replaceable emitter point, integrated ground connection, and electromagnetic shielding.

Reduce Static, Remove Difficulties

Static buildup can lead to a wide variety of different problems within a manufacturing setting. By reducing static, the Exair Super Ion Air Wipe:

  • Cleans and neutralizes extrusions
  • Neutralizes pipe, tubing, and wire where friction causes static
  • Neutralizes containers

Beyond neutralizing static, the Super Ion Air Wipe clears surfaces from all manner of debris, such as chips, sawdust, shavings, and dust, greatly improving painting or coating operations

So why wait? Get started on reducing static buildup and improving operations today. Airtec has decades of experience in the compressed air industry and we are more than happy to assist you in any way we can.

Contact us for more information on Exair products and system efficiency today!

Draining Condensate and Keeping Your Air Clean

Condensate drains are among the simplest, most impactful, and most overlooked tools you can use to improve the quality and efficiency of your compressed air. A compressed air system, when operating efficiently, is a powerful asset, and a system functioning at its peak is a major contributor to cost-effective operations. One of the most common problems that inhibits efficient use of compressed air, increases potential product contamination, and leads to increased maintenance costs is the presence of condensate within the compressed air.

At Airtec, we specialize in the provision of cost-effective, efficient compressed air solutions that save you money both short-term and in the long run. Condensate drains are just such a solution, as they are relatively inexpensive but improve the quality of compressed air to such a degree that overall operations are improved.

The Effect of Condensate on Air Quality

The presence of contaminants and condensate are all but a certainty for a compressed air system, so it is important to take steps to minimize their presence and impact.. While air filters are perfect for catching fragments, lubricant, and smaller particles, condensate drains are necessary for the removal of condensate buildup. When condensate is not ejected from the system, it will saturate filters and eventually enter the system, greatly decreasing air quality and damaging the more delicate components of your system. Low air quality and saturated air filters can also contribute to decreased air pressure, putting effective operations at risk.

Condensate drains are an essential part of any complete compressed air system. Drains can be placed anywhere condensate buildup has proven to be problem and are often found at intercoolers, aftercooler, dryers, receivers, filters, drip legs, or even at point of use. We offer several varieties of condensate drains, including both timer drains and demand drains, that can be placed according to your system’s needs.

How Condensate Drains Maximize Efficiency

Whether you are running a new system with all the bells and whistles or an older, more basic compressor, the need for high quality compressed air remains paramount to your operations. Airtec typically recommends either a timer drain or a demand drain, depending on your system requirements and placement:

Timer Drains

  • Simple installation, inexpensive
  • Drain condensate at regular intervals determined by installer
    • Can be adjusted as needs change
  • Excellent short-term solution, but requires occasional maintenance and can lead to occasional drops in pressure as they expel condensate

Demand Drains

  • Also called “zero-loss drains”
    • Don’t cause pressure drops, only uses a miniscule amount of compressed air
  • Automatically keeps up with system changes, doesn’t require manual adjustments
  • More expensive up-front, but more efficient, reducing long-term costs

In addition to providing you with the perfect condensate drain to fit your system, we also offer consultations that will help you find the areas in your system that will most benefit from a condensate drain.

No matter the size of your system, Airtec offers effective, efficient solutions tailor-made for your compressor. We have decades of industry experience, and we offer free quotes on all of our solutions.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or are interested in improving the efficiency of your compressed air operations.

Choosing the Right Air Compressor

While there are many high-tech products and efficient solutions for nearly every stage of the compressed air system, there is absolutely no replacement for the perfect air compressor. Whether you’re running a small machine shop or overseeing a massive manufacturing facility, using the right compressor is paramount to successful operations.

Finding the Compressor that Fits Your Needs

When selecting a new compressor, there is a lot to keep in mind, but one of the best ways to start is by asking yourself the following questions.

  1. How much air pressure do I need?
  2. How much air flow do I need

Despite their apparent similarities, air flow and air pressure are quite different from one another, accomplishing very different goals:

  • Air Pressure (PSI = pounds per square inch) refers to how much power is needed to accomplish a specific goal at any given moment.
    • Example: It may take 10 psi to make a block move along a table. Anything less, and the block won’t move
  • Air Flow (CFM = cubic feet per minute) refers to how much air is needed to repeatedly accomplish a goal.
    • Example: Pneumatic cylinder uses 30 cfm of air to operate properly. Any less, and the cylinder won’t be able to operate with any consistency.

These concepts go a long way in choosing the correct compressor. One of the most common mistakes made when purchasing a new compressor is oversizing, leading not only to massive inefficiencies and resource waste, but also to many mechanical problems.

Because air compressors generally feed air intermittently at different levels, some degree of storage is usually in play. If a compressor is too large, the amount of air generated will not be entirely used after storage, so the compressor ends up storing up small amounts of compressed air and never using it. This isn’t just wasteful, it’s actually harmful to compressor and, over time, can lead to costly breakdowns that may even require replacement.

On the other hand, if the compressor is too small, the lack of performance leads to incomplete tasks and pressure drops throughout the system.

How Airtec Can Help

At Airtec, we work hard to provide perfect solutions for all of our clients, no matter their scale. Purchasing a new compressor is no small task, and we are more than happy to offer our years of expertise in the compressed air industry to help you find the perfect one. We offer free quotes, personal consultations, and custom solutions to provide you with anything and everything you need to operate your system with efficiency.

Additionally, if you want to learn everything you need to know to maintain your own system and make informed air compressor purchases, please feel free to ask us about our compressed air training program. No matter what kind of system you’re operating, you can learn how to make repairs and introduce new level of efficiency to your system.

Contact Airtec today for a free quote or with any questions!