Compressed air is one of the biggest consumers of energy in the industry. About 20% of all electric power is consumed by air and/ or gas compressors.
However compressed air is a utility that is hardly to avoid in production processes.
It is therefor very important to have a critical look at the compressed air consumption.
This could not only save lots of money but could at the same time reduce your carbon footprint as a company. And help you to reach your goals on carbon emission reduction.
There are a couple of ways to reduce compressed air consumption.
Let me mention 3 of them
1]Changing your production process. This means change some of the components that use compressed air and turn them into electric operated components if possible. This is sometimes expensive to do and needs both investments and downtime of production. It could be done during a plant stop to avoid loss of production. Still it takes a lot of preparation, engineering and investments in time and money. The result is that these (small) sub processes and components change from using air to not using air. This can mean a huge reduction of air consumption.
2]Undergo a search of system leaks in your entire production facility. From historic facts we know that this can save about between 10 and 20% of the total air consumption. This could be a massive reduction of absorbed power of your compressor in your company. It is easy to investigate theses leaks. It is also easy to repair them. Overall this is “low hanging fruit”, it saves you both compressed air and thus absorbed power and will in the end save you a lot of money and reduce your carbon footprint.
3]Investment in late technology air compressors. The different manufacturers of compressors have not been sitting still and made progress in energy saving technology over the past years. But when it comes to the correct advise on your compressed air system it is not always reducing carbon footprint that is on top of mind. Sometimes it is the manufacturers goal to sell as much as possible instead given the end user the best possible advise and solution. Make sure you talk to multiple people about your new compressors. Not only sales people but other experts in the industry. Late technology compressors can save energy and money but for sure needs a big investments in your compressed air system.
Divestment of old compressors could help, see our article on selling your old machines To BLOG
My advise as an expert is to seek help from outside compressor sales organisations. This way you will get a clear and independent picture of your compressed system and situation.
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