When it comes to your business, compressed air represents a significant operating cost. Between the compressor, system, installation, and maintenance it can cost in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, when it comes to operating costs many businesses waste thousands of dollars per year and may not even be aware of it. In fact, the operating costs can exceed the purchase price of an air compressor within 12 months much of which can be reduced. In this article, we will go over common compressed air system mistakes and solutions to reduce your operating expenses.
Mistake 1: Energy Cost
A lot of factors go into the entire cost of compressed air systems not just the initial price of compressor. These factors include the lifespan of the compressor, maintenance costs, frequency of maintenance, and energy usage. These costs will far outweigh the price of the compressor so it is important to purchase a high-quality and reliable compressor that is easy to maintain.
Mistake 2: Air Leaks
Whether you are unaware you have an air leak or you are ignoring it, it will cost you thousands. Your compressed air system will work overtime to keep up with demand which increases wear and tear on your compressor. Ensure you do not have air leaks by performing ultrasonic leak detection.
Mistake 3: Infrequent Inspections
Your compressor receives scheduled maintenance but this does not always cover everything. Wear and tear, dirt, and broader maintenance needs may be causing your compressor to run longer to meet air demand. By performing inspections, variables such as temperature, humidity, dust, and wear and tear on your compressor will be managed which will improve efficiency.
Mistake 4: Compressed Air Pipe
Certain piping material can promote contamination, leaks, and pressure drops. Regardless of the material, the pipe will eventually need to be cleaned of debris and eventually replaced. Failure to clear this debris can lead to inefficiencies and additional issues for air tools and your compressor. SmartPipe+ by Kaeser does not promote contamination which increases the lifespan of the piping and system.
Mistake 5: Air Demand
It is very common for companies to overestimate or underestimate air demand. Often times this leads to needing new equipment. By performing a demand analysis you will be able to identify the exact amount of air you need even across different departments. If your equipment has already been purchased and is not meeting demand, oftentimes you do not need to replace your compressor. Upgrading tank size and reducing inefficiencies with an air management system will provide additional air at a lower cost, helping you meet the required demand.
Mistake 6: Training Staff
At some facilities, machine operators are less experienced and less knowledgeable of the compressed air system than management. Providing additional training to operators will help provide more air at a lower price, help spot maintenance issues before they arise and reduce stress on your compressor.
Mistake 7: Data Collection
Being able to spot issues early will prevent issues from becoming worse, downtime repairing the machine, and time spent figuring out what went wrong in the first place. Collecting data on your compressed air system with help identify future issues. Once again having well-trained staff and collecting data will help identify potential issues before they get worse.