The cost of compressed air equipment is ever-increasing and the need to economise on equipment and power consumption has become critical. Suto-iTec Germany, available locally through Artic Driers International, offers a broad range of monitoring equipment to advise and inform operational staff about the compressed air systems performance. The systems may include a wide variety of devices, for instance:
• Air and vacuum flow of the compressed air or gas.
• Air velocity in pipes.
• Air or vacuum pressure.
• Dew point.
• Particle counts.
• Oil carry over.
• Power monitoring (kW, V, A, etc).
The information from multiple instruments can be taken back to a wall-mounted static or mobile touch sensitive display or data-logger, and onto a central scada system via 4-20 mA, RS-485 or Ethernet connections. Cloud-based data capture and storage solutions are also offered through the Suto-iTec CSM-2G system.
The ability to monitor the compressed air system and prevent contamination before it happens is a major benefit to any services manager. When water contamination gets into a compressed air system it takes weeks to clear, or evaporate, even when the dew point is rectified. The cost of monitoring is easily recouped by an instrumentation airline that remains dry and clean, ensuring equipment service and availability.
Air leaks are costly
It is estimated that 25% of an average manufacturing plants’ power is spent on compressed air, some 20% of this leaking to the atmosphere. Using either actual flowmeter results, or the Suto-iTec software, the cost of air leaks can be reduced substantially.
Artic Driers offers a wide range of ultrasonic leak detection equipment for end-users, or it can hire out technicians by the day to evaluate system air loses and ultimate cost to company. On occasions, system permitting, it will take flow readings in conjunction with ultrasonic testing to ensure that all leaks are located.
These services have been honed over the last decade. The company is able to provide costs per air leak along with the actual air flow per leak. This is presented on a spreadsheet to allow the sorting of leak locations by priority.
Air-flow meters, fixed or static, also allow for accurate selection of new compressed air ancillaries on existing plants, allowing engineers to make informed decisions on the type of equipment to purchase. This ensures optimum selection and performance on site.
Dew point monitoring is always a good idea. It can be done through a standalone unit that monitors the system’s water content, or it can be part of a bigger and more comprehensive instrument set. A dew point probe will give a pre-alert for a wide range of faults, e.g. bypass valves left open, blocked dryer drains, dryers that have tripped or with faulty Freon compressors, and even fractured heat exchangers. With cost-effective dew point monitors now available, users should not be without these essential instruments.