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The making of wine is a nuanced method that has developed in different ways over the years, across the world. While many types of wine have variations in their production processes, the basic steps remain the same, taking the wine all the way from grapes to glass. Each step requires certain equipment and special attention, depending on the product being made. Compressed air, at the correct pressure required, can save more than 50% of energy costs during the wine production process, making it an integral part of the winemaking practice.

The winemaking process begins with alcoholic fermentation. This is done by simply combining sugar, yeast, alcohol, and CO2.  From there, it’s time to start aging the wine. Most white and red wines are oaked, meaning they are placed in barrels and left to age. To make red wine, there are other options such as amphora, inox, and concrete. The typical age time for most wines is anywhere from six months – two years.

A large part of winemaking production is a result of the work of equipment and is dependent on its efficiency. Refrigeration, compressed air, and process equipment energy consumption account for almost 84% of overall energy consumption in large wineries. In smaller wineries, HVAC energy consumption is also heavily weighted, accounting for about 36% of energy consumption. During the wine production process, compressors play a key role in the production of grapes, accounting for and overall 10% of energy consumption. Compressed air is most commonly used to crush and press grapes, heat and cool the product, filter and dry the product, and for bottling purposes.

Ever wonder what gives some wines that distinct tart taste? That’s all because of the next step in the process, malolactic conversion. The tart malic acid is naturally present in grapes and is fermented to result in a lighter and softer tasting product, taking anywhere from four to six weeks overall. In addition to the conversion process, white wines and some reds are transferred to barrels to the “racking” our “soutirage” stage. This is basically just another way to complete the filtration process with the intention of getting out sediment and particles to make for the smoothest, refined product.

After this, the wine is ready to be bottled and stored, and enjoyed! Depending on the type, wine can be served and stored at different temperatures across the board, and everyone has their preference.


How to Work Safely With Compressed Air

Compressed air is a common and extremely versatile tool that appears in garages and workplaces across the nation — but it can also be dangerous if used incorrectly. What can you do to make working with compressed air safer and what sort of behaviors should you avoid?

Safety Is the Number-One Priority

Safety should always be your first priority when working with compressed air, no matter the setting. Air compressors are common in construction sites, factory settings and, of course, automotive garages. It may seem like a simple tool and you might be tempted to blast a coworker with a burst of air, or use the compressed air to blow dirt or dust away from your skin, but this is dangerous behavior.

Compressed air is under such pressure that even brief contact with protected skin can cause abrasions, cuts and other injuries. If the skin is broken, an air compressor can force air under the skin, causing organ damage or even potentially causing an embolism — an air bubble in the blood that can cause a cardiac event if it reaches the heart. In rare cases, impacts from compressed air have been known to cause traumatic organ damage.

To keep your employees safe, it is essential to follow all proper protocols for the correct use of air compressors.

Common Uses for Air Compressors

Air compressors are used for a variety of applications that include but are not limited to:

  • Cleaning: Compressed air is a useful tool for blasting dirt and dust out of, and off of, equipment and products during assembly. It can also be used to clean assembly surfaces and any other area that accumulates dust.
  • Painting: Compressed air-powered airbrushes are commonly used in the auto body industry to paint vehicles. Airbrushes can be used in other applications as well.
  • Powering Pneumatic Tools: Air-powered tools are used everywhere from construction sites to race track pit stops. They provide more power than hand-powered tools and more constant power than battery-powered models.
  • Transportation: Small pneumatic tubes can be used to move small individual parts — you’ve seen them at your bank’s drive through — while larger systems can be used to transport everything from vehicles to packaged and palletized products.
  • Production Services: Pneumatic systems can be used to power conveyer belts, clamps and other production items. The specifics will depend on the individual application.
  • Food and Beverage Processing: Compressed air is used during the filling and capping processes for food and drinks and can also be used to assist in fermentation.
  • Injection Molding: Compressed air is used during injection molding processes for plastics.

This is just a small sample of the applications you may see for compressed air. There are dozens of ways that this tool can be applied to any number of situations.

Safety Tips for Air Compressor Use

What can you do to ensure your workplace air compressor is used safely?

  • Keep your air compressor in a visible area so it can be constantly supervised and maintained.
  • Get everyone involved. Set up an open-door policy so your employees feel comfortable making suggestions or asking questions about the equipment.
  • Make sure the workers are fully versed in equipment safety and techniques to reduce the chance of injury or accidents on the job.
  • Keep the equipment clean and well-serviced by a trained professional.
  • Make sure employees are always wearing the correct protective gear, such as safety glasses, ear protection and other personal protective equipment.
  • Keep all equipment directions clearly displayed on the equipment.

Keeping your equipment in good working order and ensuring that all employees are trained and reminded of safety protocols can help create a safe work environment and prevent accidents on the job.

You Get What You Pay For

While it might be tempting to purchase a remanufactured or secondhand air compressor system, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Higher-quality or name-brand compressors might be more expensive, but having a more capable air compressor can help eliminate some of the risks presented by using old or secondhand equipment.

Buying a name-brand compressor can help reduce that risk even further by giving you access to approved service providers who are trained to maintain your specific piece of equipment. While using a different service provider for your equipment maintenance is one option, you aren’t guaranteed to be paired with a technician who knows all the ins and outs of your compressor’s idiosyncrasies.

An air compressor is a vital tool in many different industries. Choose a good one for your application and you won’t be disappointed. Safety begins with a high-quality air compressor and continues with your employees, so make sure everyone is trained in the use of the equipment and your compressor will continue to serve you well for years to come.

 

Owners of compressed air piping systems tend to focus on the compressor and think of the piping as less of a concern. However, just as hearts can fail due to clogged arteries, compressors can fail due to poor piping. And even if it doesn’t fail outright, power lost to faulty or inefficient pipes can cut into your profits. To manage your costs, you must pay attention to various aspects of your piping system, including the layout, installation and maintenance.

If you’re planning to design an air compressor piping system, look no further. By reading our handy guide, you’ll learn how air compressor piping systems work, the kinds of pipes you can use and tips on how to make your system more efficient.

How Do Air Compressor Piping Systems Work?

The purpose of compressed air piping systems is simple: to deliver compressed air to where it is needed. However, designing a compressed air system is more difficult than you might imagine — the compressed air has to be delivered with sufficient volume, good enough quality and enough pressure to power the components that require compressed air. If your compressed air piping design is not well done, your energy costs will go up, your equipment may fail, production efficiencies may be reduced and more maintenance may be required.

What Types of Pipes Can You Use With an Air Compressor System?

An essential first question when planning a new compressed air system is, “What type of pipe should I use for my air compressor?” You have two primary options: plastic and metal. Below, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each in detail and address some of the myths that surround each one.

1. Plastic Pipes

Plastic pipes offer many benefits over metal, which include:

  • Resistance to corrosion: This means you don’t have to worry about rust falling off your pipes and dropping into your airflow. This, in turn, reduces the risk of obstructions.
  • Smooth, interior surface: The interior of a plastic pipe never deteriorates, which encourages laminar flow.
  • Lightweight: Plastic piping is lightweight, making it simple to transport and fit.
  • Easy to cut: Cutting plastic pipes is easy and only requires basic tools.
  • Easy to connect: Plastic pipes can be glued together, which is less costly and quicker than connecting metal pipes, which must be welded together.

However, you can’t use just any plastic pipes for compressed air distribution. The most common types of plastic piping available today are polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC). These are widely used for plumbing applications, and you may be tempted to use them as they are easy to install, affordable and readily available. However, they cannot withstand the high pressure necessary for a compressed air system.

As is the case with many plastics, PVC becomes brittle with time and is prone to cracking, breaking or even shattering. Furthermore, many air compressors also require lubricating oil that can aspirate out into the air stream, and this oil is corrosive to PVC and CPVC pipes and causes them to degrade. Even worse, the above failures, combined with air under pressure, could create airborne, razor-sharp shrapnel that could be fatal to anyone standing nearby. For all the above reasons, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has banned the use of PVC for air compressor piping systems, meaning that you could face a steep fine.

The following three plastic materials, however, are all suitable choices for piping compressed air:

  • Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS): You can find ABS in a variety of products, from car fenders to LEGO®-brand toy bricks.
  • Polyethylene (PE): This kind of piping is produced specifically for compressed air systems.
  • High-density polyethylene (HDPE): This is yet another suitable plastic for compressed air pipes.

OSHA has approved PE, HDPE and ABS for compressed air channels. Unlike PVC, they are all oil-resistant, so compressor lubricants cannot degrade them.

Some people believe that plastic piping for pressurized air isn’t a good idea because the cement used in connectors is not strong enough and will fail, causing bursts and leaks. However, plastic piping manufactured specifically for compressed air systems comes with special cements. These cements are OSHA-tested and -approved and will hold as well and as long as welding on metal pipes.

2. Metal Pipes

Metal pipes have been around for much longer than their plastic equivalents, and traditionalists prefer them when it comes to piping compressed air distribution systems. Just the look and feel of a metal pipe is more substantial and seems to have greater strength than plastic. However advanced plastic piping becomes, some people will always feel safer with metal piping rather than plastic. There are also many benefits of metal pipes when used for air compressor piping systems. These include:

  • More well known: Metal is more traditional, which means more technicians know how to install the pipes.
  • Longer safety track record: Having been in service longer, metal piping has proven its strength against fracture, splits and blowouts.
  • They’re guaranteed not to change shape: While certain plastic materials offer great strength, metal’s inherent rigidity guarantees it won’t warp.
  • Impervious to degradation: Compressor lubricants will not degrade metal pipes.

Of course, there are many kinds of metal materials that you can use, and each offers certain pros and cons when used to pipe air compressor systems:

Black Steel

Black steel is the traditional material in compressed air systems and also the material we most recommend. It is readily available, durable and strong, and many fitters can install it. However, keep in mind that, as black steel is uncoated, it is known to produce rust contamination, which could damage pneumatic tooling. While you can control moisture to some extent with a dryer or aftercooler, you will not be able to eliminate it completely.

Suspended pipes need strong anchoring because of how heavy they are. Black steel pipes can also be challenging to cut and join, so installation will take a significant amount of time. In addition, threaded connectors can slip and leak. Although the pipe itself is unlikely to leak, welded joints frequently fail.

Galvanized

Galvanized steel pipes, which are often used in general plumbing and water distribution, are also widely used in compressed air systems. Galvanized steel is less likely to corrode, but the galvanizing coating does flake off eventually. These loose flakes can cause blockages and may do harm when released into the compressed air stream. The debris released can severely damage pneumatic tools, cylinders and other parts. When coming out of a blowgun, this debris can also cause major bodily harm.

Galvanized steel pipes are also difficult to manipulate, and welded or threaded joints tend to fail. They are also heavy, requiring higher strength from suspension and fixing methods. For all the above reasons, we do not recommend galvanized steel pipes for compressed air systems.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel may be welded or pressed. As with galvanized and black steel, welded or threaded connections tend to fail. Stainless steel won’t degrade or corrode, but it is challenging to install because of its weight. Another drawback is the strength requirements if you’re suspending it from supporting structures. Stainless steel is less common in real-world compressed air applications because of its high cost.

Aluminum

Like stainless steel, aluminum won’t degrade or corrode. However, it weighs much less than stainless, so it’s easy to transport, install and suspend. Aluminum requires similar skills to installing steel pipes, but push-together connectors make it even easier to fit. However, it can be considered expensive.

Copper

Copper pipes are also corrosion-resistant and lightweight. They are easy to cut, weld and suspend. Because copper pipes are often used in plumbing, many fitting types are available and many technicians know how to install them. The color and shininess also make for an aesthetically pleasing look and, as the combination of water and copper does not lead to rusting or corrosion, the air that is delivered to tools through copper pipes is clean and free of debris. However, like aluminum and stainless steel, copper tends to cost more.

Black Iron

Avoid this pipe material. While it was, along with copper, once the go-to material for compressed air installations, black iron is guaranteed to corrode — both on the inside and outside. The corrosion inside the pipe is particularly bad for the quality of your compressed air and your pressure drop.

In compressed air systems, some moisture is inevitable, so the newer pipes from aluminum, copper and stainless steel have become more common than black or galvanized steel pipes. However, these older types are still used in many new installations. They are less expensive, and many installation technicians recommend the materials with which they are most familiar.

Many new customers of compressed air systems are unaware of pressure-grade stainless steel, aluminum and copper pipes. This is often simply because the companies that install pressurized air systems prefer the other options.

Piping Layout Considerations that Increase Pressure Efficiency

When designing a compressed air piping system, you might think you should focus on the connectors. After all, this is where leaks are most likely to occur, and most people assume leaks to be the greatest threat to their system’s efficiency. However, that is not necessarily the case.

The following three factors affect a system’s pressure efficiency more negatively than leaks:

1. Sharp Angles

A sharp angle in your piping system will slow down the airflow, reducing pressure. Think of compressed airflow like the flow of traffic on highways: when turning sharply, you have to slow down. Coming out of a bend requires concentration — you need to correct any overcompensation for the turn and account for any unexpected objects on the new road.

Air is unable to think and steer, so a bend in a piping system causes it to ricochet off the pipe’s interior, which wastes energy. Streamlined airflow is known as “laminar,” whereas a convoluted airflow path is referred to as “turbulent.”

Turbulence leads to a pressure drop, and it will only get worse if the compressor’s output is turned up. Avoid these 90-degree elbow corners as much as possible — otherwise, they’ll lead to turbulence, decreasing the pressure delivery. A straight path in airflow is the most efficient.

The turbulence caused by right-angle bends typically decreases the pressure by 3 to 5 PSID. Therefore, avoid sharp bends and aim for gentler ones ranging from 30 to 45 degrees.

2. Moisture

Water corrodes certain kinds of pipes, causing rust flakes to break off and travel through the piping system. These rust flakes, together with vapor, will make their way into your end-use equipment and may clog up nozzles and contaminate materials that you intend for the compressed air to deliver or apply.

Furthermore, the interior surface of a rusty pipe is rough, which also causes turbulence, further reducing the air pressure.

Moisture is an unavoidable byproduct of air compression. Water resulting from compression comes from air drawn in by your compressor. All ambient air has a certain level of humidity. When that air is compressed, the water in it condenses from its vapor form into a liquid state.

There is a simple way to reduce moisture in the piping system: change the compressor’s supply inlet source. The water resulting from compression weighs more than compressed air, which causes it to sink. If air is drawn in from the compressor’s top, less moisture will be sucked in with it.

While this method can significantly reduce the amount of moisture, an even better approach is to dry the air before it goes inside the compressor. Sucking out moisture mid-stream after the air compression process requires the air to pass through dryers, and this can also reduce the speed of the airflow, which will, in turn, reduce pressure.

To deal with this problem, most compressor installers will recommend the use of an aftercooler. By cooling down the air when it exits the compressor, the moisture will be largely removed before entering your piping system. Roughly two-thirds of the water in compressed air turns into liquid once the air temperature drops to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. To take the liquid out of the system, your aftercooler needs to go into a filter equipped with a drain.

With an aftercooler filter, there will be considerably less moisture in your airflow immediately after leaving the compressor. It’s best to remove moisture early in the process rather than let it circulate in the system.

Coolers, filters and dryers are critical components for compressed air distribution systems. Moisture may be an unavoidable part of compressed air systems, but that does not mean it is acceptable.

3. Obstructions

If a piping system experiences corrosion, this is a cause for concern, as the corroded surface can flake off and accumulate into obstructions. The primary points of restriction in the piping system are where the connectors, valves or devices such as sensors or dryers are located. These components may decrease the pipe diameter through which the air can flow, and they also accumulate particles in the air stream. An accumulation of particulates on these devices will lower pressure available downstream —as well as back up the pressure upstream.

The inevitable particulate content of a compressor’s air intake requires air filters. Just like with dryers, it is better to install good air filters before your compressor — this will remove particles that could clog interior devices and end-use nozzles.

A blockage is not hard to find: you will have excess pressure before it and not enough pressure after it. Many obstructions, however, can be avoided simply by choosing the right pipe materials. By simply opting for a non-corrosive pipe material, you will avoid most obstructions.

Other Considerations

Here are some other things to consider when designing your piping system:

Think About the Future

When designing your layout, make sure that you can expand or make another drop easily. This is easy when you’re first installing, but it can be costly and a major pain to go back and modify later unless your piping system is modular. If you think expansion may be likely, you may want to think about oversizing your pipe. It never hurts to have a bigger pipe and, as mentioned before, it’s a huge hassle to go back and modify your installation.

Install Drip Legs

If your system doesn’t have a membrane, refrigerated or desiccant dryer, you’ll have to install drip legs in the pipe. Remember that compressors squeeze large amounts of water out of the air, and a filter can only remove some of it. Without a dryer, more water will condense inside the pipe, and this water only has two places to go: either back into your compressor or into your equipment, and both of these scenarios will likely lead to damage. A drip leg, however, will allow this water to escape from the pipe without doing any damage to your equipment. Just don’t forget to drain it or put an automatic drain on it. A drip leg is very simple to install, and we recommend it even if you already have a dryer, as it will serve as a backup if your dryer fails.

Install Ball Valves and Unions

Sooner or later, something will break and will need to be repaired, and a ball valve allows you to isolate the broken component from the system. For this reason, you should install a ball valve before or after each major component. We also recommend that you install a union before or after all major components as well as between pipes. If something needs to be changed out, a union can save you many hours of work. Putting in unions can also speed up your installation.

Schedule a Consultation with Quincy Compressor

At Quincy Compressor, we combine legendary performance and reliability. We can help you plan and install a new compressed air piping system or assess your existing system. Contact us to schedule a consultation and find out about the latest technology emerging in piping systems. You can locate a sales representative or service center near you by using our Sales and Service Locator. Quincy Compressor has been trusted in the market for nearly a century. Let’s work together to maximize your compressed air system’s efficiency.



How Cellular Connectivity Can Improve Your Compressed Air System

Equipment failure is a consistent danger to your company’s production schedule, whether it’s from overdue maintenance or unexpected breakdowns. Compressor systems are particularly prone to such problems — malfunctioning air compressor systems cause several days of downtime each year, costing companies vast amounts of money, not only in maintenance, but also in reduced productivity. Despite the high costs, however, air compressor maintenance services have historically been reactive rather than proactive, wasting time and money on getting a technician to fix problems as they occur.

While air compressor technicians are sometimes necessary to fix unexpected failures, most of the issues these technicians handle are the result of improper maintenance. Just imagine what it would mean for your business to be able to avoid the costs and periods of downtime associated with ill-maintained air compressors. Cellular air compressor connectivity can do that.

Optimizing your air compressor system technology is simple when you use cellular connectivity to gain real-time insights. With data monitoring of your systems, you’re a mouse click away from real-time compressor room data from both onsite and remote locations, meaning you and your maintenance crews can be exactly where you need to be at any time. Quincy offers this with Q-Control, combining the latest PLC controller technology with Quincy’s cutting-edge compressor controller software. Q-Control’s cellular connection system makes it easy to stay on top of your air compressor maintenance.

Still not sure what cellular connectivity is or what it can mean for your business? Read on to learn more about compressor system cellular connectivity technology.

 

What Is Cellular Connectivity?

what is cellular connectivity

Cellular connectivity is a form of remote connectivity that uses a cellular connection to monitor the performance of a piece of equipment. Remote connections allow businesses to see how their machines are performing during use — for example, these links can enable users to keep track of the operating conditions, efficiency, energy consumption and usage patterns of connected equipment. That helps them avoid checking equipment in person, which costs consistent time and labor, and often means your maintenance crews are checking locations that don’t need assistance.

Historically, organizations have achieved remote connectivity through a variety of means. Typically, remote monitoring solutions tend to fall into one of two categories: wired or wireless.

  • Wired connections: In wired connections, the built-in infrastructure locks signals into a specific location range, meaning that system information is only available within that range. While these connections are very reliable, they are also expensive to install, and the physical connections can corrode over time.
  • Wireless connections: Wireless connections use technologies like radio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and cellular connections to transfer data from one location to another. These connections vary regarding signal strength and reach, with Bluetooth and radio signals being the most limited. Radio signals tend to be more prone to interference, while Bluetooth signals only work over short distances. Additionally, many wireless connections still connect to local data storage devices, meaning that data is still locked by location.

 

While both of these solutions can present data in real time, being locked into a specific location makes it difficult for multi-site companies to use effectively. Because small functional problems in air compressor systems can escalate to machine failure relatively quickly, businesses need a way to see all their air compressor data in real time across multiple locations. While many wired and wireless connections can’t provide the visibility air compressor systems need, there is a solution that can — cellular connectivity.

Cellular connections are significantly more stable and more versatile than other connection methods, allowing for improved remote monitoring solutions through:

  • Long-distance capability — Cellular connections transmit over much greater distances than many other connection types, allowing for signals to travel from much more remote locations without using as many relay nodes.
  • Excellent bandwidth — Cellular connections have excellent bandwidth and transmission speeds compared to other solutions, meaning data can travel faster.
  • Minimal interference — Cellular connections are more resistant to interference compared to many radio and Bluetooth connections, making them less prone to data corruption and loss.
  • Existing infrastructure — The communication infrastructure for cellular connections is already up and running, thanks to cellular providers. As a result, system operators rarely need to install relay points or physical connections, cutting back infrastructure costs.
  • Direct transmission — While radio and landline connections traditionally send data to a storage device, cellular connections can send information directly to a device or the cloud, allowing for more instantaneous access for maintenance personnel.

 

Because of these benefits, remote monitoring solutions using cellular connections can help businesses achieve more. With greater transmission capabilities, your business can gain greater visibility of your air compressor systems. Even better, data monitoring systems using cellular connections are efficient and highly customizable, allowing your business to see everything you need to know about your air compressor systems.

How Does Cellular Connectivity Work With an Air Compressor?

how does cellular connectivity work with an air compressor?

Cellular connectivity is standard in several industries — from connected security cameras and public street lights to supply chain asset tracking, remote monitoring helps improve functionality across a wide range of systems by allowing companies to see things as they are happening. But how exactly can it help with air compressor systems?

Here’s how cellular connectivity works in conjunction with air compressor systems:

    1. Data collection — First, the master controller on your air compressor sends records of all your compressor’s information to the connected cellular modem. This information includes anything you have specified the modem to connect, including the running hours of the machine, the loaded and unloaded hours, the discharge temperature and pressure, service alerts, E-stop alerts and more. The Quincy Compressor cellular modem is called the ICONS box.

First, the master controller on your air compressor sends records of all your compressor's information to the connected cellular modem

  1. Data transmission — The cellular modem collects and bundles the information from the master controller and sends it to the cloud using Q-Connect, Quincy’s cutting-edge compressor controller software. This connection only works one way — infiltrators in the cloud system will not be able to override the master controller of your air compressor system by connecting to your cellular modem.
  2. Data processing — Once the data from the cellular modem reaches the cloud, software processes it and turns it into something users can easily understand. Essentially, the data becomes customer-facing information, like pressure and temperature trends, cubic-feet-per-minute calculations, kilowatt benchmarking and service due dates and alerts.
  3. Data access — All the collected data in the cloud gets organized and presented on a website the user can log into, using private credentials. From here, any authorized user can see all the insights and messages the cloud received from the compressor systems and keep abreast of the service needs of each compressor system.

By gaining access to operational information about your air compressor, your business can gain insight into the operation of your compressed air production systems. These insights are incredibly powerful for your business, allowing your company to save energy, cut costs and avoid downtime.

What Are the Benefits of Using Cellular Connectivity for an Industrial Air Compressor System?

what are the benefits of using cellular connectivity for an industrial air compressor system?

Air compressor data monitoring is a powerful tool that can help your business achieve optimal operational efficiency, but how exactly does it help you accomplish that? The answer is insights. Insight into your air compressor data is the real power of Quincy’s compressor system monitoring technology. Compressed air is your resource, but a data monitoring system enables you to gain knowledge into how well you are using that resource and how you can maintain your equipment to keep it available.

Imagine what it would mean to your business if you could always be one step ahead. Quincy’s air compressor data monitoring system does precisely that by tracking the data your machine puts out — including running hours, discharge data and service alerts — and organizes it for easy viewing so your technical and maintenance teams can respond quickly to problems, identify areas of improvement and schedule preventive maintenance as needed.

While this may seem like a basic benefit, the ability to prevent maintenance issues and optimize air compressor functionality is vital for any business with an air compressor. Just by using these insights, your business can experience the following benefits:

The benefits of using cellular connectivity for an air compressor system include increased machine availability, faster maintenance visits, reduced energy consumption and minimized maintenance costs

  • Increased machine availability — Staying on top of your system maintenance alerts with a monitoring system allows you to avoid downtime as much as possible. While not all equipment failures are easily predictable, being proactive about equipment maintenance and reacting to system failures quickly can keep downtime to a minimum, allowing your business to meet your deadlines and maintain high levels of productivity. On average, businesses that service their machines regularly and correctly experience 10 to 15 more days of equipment availability per year than organizations that do not.
  • Faster maintenance visits — If your air compressor system fails, Quincy Compressor’s air compressor data monitoring system makes it easier to get things running again. As soon as a system starts to fail, the data monitoring system sends out an event alert to system administrators, complete with detailed information about the problem and where it is occurring. This data allows your maintenance crew to see detailed information about the event, predict what the problem is and ensure they have the right tools available before they even head to the location. It minimizes the need for service delays, allowing you to get your air compressor up and running as quickly as possible with fewer service costs.
  • Reduced energy consumption — Poor air compressor maintenance not only increases downtime, but it also increases your compressor’s average energy consumption. That’s because regular maintenance allows your business to catch potential sources of energy waste, including dirty or broken parts. These same untreated issues can turn into causes of system failures. Data monitoring can detect potential problems early by analyzing trends in air compressor performance, so your maintenance crews can find and fix these issues even sooner, saving more energy.
  • Minimized maintenance costs — Between part replacements and labor costs, air compressor repairs are expensive. Fortunately, data monitoring can help reduce your maintenance costs, even if your equipment breaks. One of the most significant costs of air compressor repair is the labor involved — every aspect of organizing and sending labor crews out into the field requires paying the maintenance crew members for their time. With a data monitoring system, you can identify exactly where to send your maintenance crews and give them an idea of what they are looking for to fix the equipment. Not only does this help you get your equipment up and running more quickly, but it also allows you to save money on labor costs.
  • Improved efficiency — One of the best benefits of data monitoring is air compressor efficiency. While regular air compressor maintenance is a crucial part of improving equipment efficiency, data monitoring can take it to the next level by analyzing compressor data over time. Monitoring these trends not only allows your company to identify and fix problems as soon as they arise, but it also allows you to stay connected to your air compressor usage overall, adjusting your system and optimizing it to your needs. That means your business can achieve long-term efficiency through system optimization.
  • Maximized lifespan — Air compressors are a significant equipment cost, so it’s natural for your business to want to keep yours running for as long as possible to get the best return on investment. Ideally, each air compressor your business purchases will return your investment thousands of times over, but you realize fewer profit margins with poor maintenance habits. Improper or infrequent maintenance can reduce your air compressor’s overall lifespan, therefore cutting into your ROI. By staying on top of potential problems and scheduling regular maintenance with a data monitoring system, your business can maximize the lifespan of your air compressor as well as your ROI.
  • Cost savings — Repairing an air compressor and its peripheral parts can be costly, but that’s not the only expense to consider. Reduced efficiency, increased energy consumption, higher maintenance costs and decreased productivity all reduce your company’s annual earnings. With data monitoring, you can avoid all this. Between reduced downtime, improved energy consumption, improved efficiency and a maximized lifespan, your business can save thousands with a quality data monitoring system. Decrease your overhead and increase your productivity with a system that helps you schedule maintenance exactly when and where you need it. Even better, the money you save with data monitoring can help you invest in better equipment down the line, further improving your performance and profitability.

 

In short, using cellular connectivity for your air compressor system can help your business keep your air compressor systems functioning more efficiently for a longer time, allowing you to cut costs and achieve maximum productivity with your compressed air resources.

How Does Quincy Compressor’s Data Monitoring System Offer More?

How does Quincy Compressor's data monitoring system offer more?

Data monitoring systems are immensely helpful for air compressor systems, but each system offers a unique range of features and benefits. Quincy Compressor’s data monitoring system offers some specific features that can help take your business’ air compressor systems to the next level of efficiency. These features include:

Data monitoring system feature includes icons rightime, icons uptime and icons optime

  • The ICONS RighTime — RighTime helps you plan and avoid uncertainties by predicting your costs and resource usage ahead of time. RighTime allows your business to generate service quote requests, request service status consultations and track maintenance history, all in a single, user-friendly platform.
  • The ICONS UpTime — UpTime enables you to prevent equipment breakdowns with user-friendly alerts and maintenance scheduling. Avoid downtime, save money and increase your production uptime with paid features like text message, email and maintenance pre-alerts that let you know when your equipment needs service.
  • The ICONS OpTime — OpTime offers insights into how you can ensure your equipment keeps performing at optimal levels. Use OpTime to analyze your energy consumption, equipment usage habits and other factors that can affect your operational costs, so you can identify opportunities to save money and increase your operational efficiency.

 

Using these features as part of your air compressor system’s preventive maintenance system can save your business vast amounts of time and money that would otherwise get lost to downtime and excess energy consumption. By investing in Quincy’s quality air compressor data monitoring system, you can ensure your air compressor equipment lasts as long as possible, all while saving money you can re-invest in your company’s infrastructure and staff.

Frequently Asked Questions and Best Practices for Cellular Connectivity in an Air Compressor System

frequently asked questions and best practices for cellular connectivity in an air compressor system

Are you looking into cellular connectivity as a way to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your air compressor system, but are unsure on a few points? Here are a couple of common concerns about air compressor data monitoring:

  • Do I need to worry about the security of my air compressor? With the threat of viruses and data theft becoming an increasing problem in recent years, it’s natural to be cautious about your systems and wary of adding any potential gateways to your network. Fortunately, cellular connectivity is nothing to worry about, since these connections are not tied into your network at all. Additionally, since these cellular connections are only monitoring devices and not a means of control, they will not allow hackers to halt or alter your compressor’s functionality in any way.
  • Can I use data monitoring if I have different air compressor models? The short answer is yes — you can use a data monitoring modem on any machine type as long as you have an input, a power supply and a reliable signal. You can even use different input points depending on the machine — you can connect the modem to a gauging machine or an input box on an air compressor. You can even hook the modem up to the header of your system so you can monitor multiple instruments and flow meters at a time.
  • What are some best practices for cellular connectivity? The essential point to remember is that you need to incorporate connectivity into your business’ routines and operations thoroughly. It’s not just about connecting and monitoring machines, though that is a crucial component for cellular data monitoring to be of any use to you. Make monitoring a priority in your business by assembling a team and setting up a regular schedule to check the data for unusual trends and warning signs. Also, ensure your staff is making the most of the system by setting them up to receive text or email alerts.

 

Are you still unsure about cellular connectivity and how it can help your air compressor system? Find a dealer near you to learn more about Quincy Compressor’s unique monitoring solutions and how they can help your business achieve more with your compressor system technology.

Learn More About Compressor System Technology

learn more about compressor system technology

If you want to stay on top of your compressor maintenance, Quincy Compressor has the right tools for you. Quincy Compressor has been America’s leading supplier of air compressors and pneumatic tools since the 1920s. In the century since then, we have continued to be an innovator in the air compressor industry, expanding our reach to include even more compressor technology, including support and monitoring systems. Today, you can find Quincy Compressor technology in businesses across the world. You can trust us to have the air compressor technology your business needs.

Learn more about Quincy Compressor’s products and solutions today, or find a nearby Quincy Sales and Service representative for more information.

food dish in a bowl

We all have a favorite brew, but a number of us forget that beer can also be a secret ingredient that sets your dishes apart from the rest. If operating in the industry of craft brewing, businesses must keep in mind the power of beer within recipes for meats, stews, soups and even desserts. Signature refreshing beverages get that much better when they leave the mug and get incorporated into main meals on the dinner table.

Why use beer in food recipes? Beer enthusiasts understand various hops and tastes, but lagers and ales influence aromas in foods when used as a substitute for water or wine. Whether your customers enjoy malt, fruit or rich flavors, there are beer recipes for just about everyone.

Cooking With Beer

Restaurant and brewery owners have the ability to transform fried foods, marinades, sauces, cakes and more using beer. Selecting the ideal brew for your cooking/baking efforts will require background knowledge of beer tastes, but Quincy Compressor is here to make the selection process simple. Wheat beers, pale ales, porters and stouts are popular cooking ingredients as key characteristics leave the palate wanting more.

 

Contact Us Learn More Find a Dealer Near You

 

Wheat Beer Recipes

Wheat beers take on a light appearance as brews are created with ale/lager yeasts. Consumers might reach for a refreshing wheat beer during the summer months, but this smooth and mellow option works well with fish and lightweight meat such as chicken. Wheat beers provide a slight taste of fruit without getting in the way of other ingredients and seasonings.

Try using wheat beers in the following recipes:

 

Pale Ale Beer Recipes

Pale ales sit in the middle of the spectrum of light and dark beers. Offering crisp hops and fruit/malt tastes, these beverages pair well with recipes using meats like turkey and steak. Use a pale ale in soups, grilling marinades and stews as a fool-proof choice for balancing bold flavors and aromas.

Keep in mind that IPAs (India Pale Ales) are not recommended for cooking recipes unless you are trying to achieve a bitter flavor. Intense hops coming from IPA brews can be difficult to eliminate and stay present even after cooking. For best results, follow these top recipes using pale ale beers:

 

Recipes Using Porter Beers

Porter beers are known for their darker appearance and malt/roast aroma. Customers visiting your restaurant or brewery appreciate porters as they contain traces of chocolate, caramel and other sweets. For original desserts, consider using a porter in the baking of cakes, breads and even brownies.

Porters are extremely versatile when used as an ingredient in food recipes. With subtle hops, porters have a place within thick cheese sauces, meat glazes and stews. Delicious recipes using porter-style beers include:

 

Stout Beer Dessert Recipes

Stout beers are famous for heavy malt flavors and usually have smells of coffee, chocolate and licorice. These beers have a lower alcohol content than other ales and are ideal for mixing into rich desserts. Impress visitors at your restaurant or brewery with stout-based treats such as:

 

Contact Quincy Compressor for Compressed Air and Vacuum Products

Quincy Compressor provides industry-leading compressed air products for the food and beverage industry keeping your production processes free from contamination. Adding one of our units to your existing setup helps to reduce overhead costs while keeping your original products safe for consumption. For more information about our compressed air and vacuum products or to place an order, fill out a contact form with Quincy Compressor today.

In an effort to support the community, Quincy Compressor is donating two compressors to two local fire departments. The Perdido Alabama Fire Department and the Loxley Alabama Fire Department, which are the two closest volunteer fire stations to our facility, will receive two QT-5 air compressors as a “thank you” for keeping our community safe.

The QT-5 MAX package Air Compressor

Quincy Air Compressor

Our QT models are reciprocating air compressors with the most ACFM per brake horsepower in the industry. These compressors use less energy to produce more air than other types. They’re also significantly more durable and reliable. Designed and manufactured in the United States, Quincy QT compressors have long-lasting parts and features, such as:

  • Technologically advanced motors
  • High-quality pressure switches
  • Aluminum heads for cooler operating temperatures
  • Manual ball valve-type tank drains
  • Cast-iron crankcase
  • Cast-iron cylinders
  • 50,000-hour bearing life for increased efficiency

 

Thanks to these features, the Perdido and Loxley fire departments will access reduced energy consumption, lessened downtime, more reliable performance and a more affordable cost of ownership overall when they use our QT-5 air compressors.

How Air Compressors Can Benefit Fire Departments

Air compressors can benefit fire departments in several ways. For example, firefighters can use them to inflate tires on the fire trucks, complete general maintenance items and perform tasks such as sanding, painting and more. The Perdido and Loxley fire departments could find various uses from these units, improving their operations even further.

Contact Quincy Compressor for More Information

At Quincy Compressor, serving our community is at the top of our list of priorities. We believe a company that gives back will make an impact on more than just our customers. Contact us for more information about this donation, as well as the other efforts Quincy Compressor makes to give back to those who serve us on a daily basis.

Maintenance may seem like an insignificant aspect of your air compressor operating budget. After all, air compressor maintenance tends to only constitute somewhere between 5% and 10% of yearly compressor-related expenses.

While it’s true that other expenditures, such as energy consumption, will constitute a larger portion of your overall cost for using an air compressor, you should never overlook the importance of a maintenance program for your air compressors. This program should include a well-thought-out budget that takes a variety of factors into account and takes a proactive approach to your air compressor’s maintenance.

When you don’t have a budget and plan in place for your air compressors’ maintenance, you could end up incurring higher maintenance costs or experiencing equipment failures that derail your operations. Accurately budgeting for your company’s expenses is a critical aspect of running any business, so we’re going to provide some explanation that can help in planning for your air compressor’s maintenance budget. When you develop an accurate budget for routine compressor maintenance, you can experience smoother, more efficient operations and even extend the life of your equipment.

Factors That Can Influence Your Air Compressor’s Maintenance Needs

Factors That Can Influence Your Air Compressor

Numerous factors can influence how much you’ll spend on maintenance for your air compressor. Considering each of these factors is an integral part of how to plan an air compressor maintenance budget. You want your budget to take all possible factors into account so it’s tailored to your specific system and is, therefore, as accurate as possible. Let’s look at the six things you should factor into your budget.

1. Type and Number of Compressors

Type and Number of Compressors

One of the most significant factors that can influence your air compressor maintenance budget is how many compressors you have and what type they are. This will be dependent, in part, on your company’s size and what industry you’re in. Let’s review some of the most common types of air compressors you may have:

  • Rotary screwRotary screw compressors use matched helical screws to direct air into a chamber and compress it. Standard rotary screw compressors require ongoing lubrication. Lubricant-free rotary screw machines don’t need oil, but they still require other occasional maintenance tasks, such as replacing air inlet filters, V-belts and check valves.
  • Reciprocating/piston: Reciprocating compressors, like rotary screw compressors, are positive displacement machines. Instead of driving air via helical screws, however, they use multiple one-way valves to send air into a chamber, where continuous motion from a series of pistons compresses it. Reciprocating compressors will require the frequent addition of oil or synthetic lubricant in addition to other maintenance tasks.
  • Oil-free scroll: Oil-free compressors tend to require less ongoing maintenance since they function without the need for oil. This makes them relatively inexpensive to maintain. These machines are well-suited to environments that must be free of contamination, such as food and beverage or pharmaceutical facilities.
  • Centrifugal: Centrifugal air compressors use radial blades to pull air into a rotating impeller. Because they have a more simplistic internal design and are oil-free, they can be simpler to maintain. The rotors and cooler components will still require attention, however. Centrifugal air compressors work well for manufacturing plants that need oil-free air.

 

All air compressors require some maintenance. However, you’ll likely notice the biggest difference between machines that use lubricant and ones that do not since purchasing oil represents an ongoing cost in addition to other standard operating costs.

2. Installation Conditions

The installation conditions for your air compressor can also affect your maintenance budget. For example, some companies choose to install their air compressors outside to free up space in their facility and keep noise down. Outdoor installation is a valid option, but if your air compressor is exposed to any moisture, it could experience problems that require more maintenance. If the compressor is subject to extreme temperatures or humidity, this can also become a problem that will require more frequent or more serious maintenance.

Even air compressors that are installed indoors can be subject to issues like heat and humidity as well, depending on the facility. Another problem you may run into in some manufacturing facilities is airborne dust or other debris that settles on and in your air compressor. Whenever your air compressor is installed in a more rugged environment, you can expect it to require more ongoing maintenance services.

Air compressors installed in more controlled conditions are likely to require less maintenance. When issues like heat, cold, humidity and dust aren’t affecting your compressor, it will have an easier time functioning and should incur less wear. Your air compressor may last longer before needing to be replaced, as well, when it isn’t in severe conditions.

3. Usage Schedule and Frequency

Usage Schedule and Frequency

How often you use your equipment will also influence how often it needs to be serviced. In some cases, you may use your air compressor on a cyclical schedule where the system is out of use for long periods. If this is the case, you may not have to service your compressor as often. However, time can take a toll on machinery, so even if you’re not using your air compressor, it may still require maintenance. A good rule of thumb is always to have your air compressor serviced at least once a year, no matter how occasionally you’ve used it.

While even lightly or cyclically used air compressors will still require some maintenance, more heavily used equipment is likely to require more attention. Especially when it comes to consumables like filters and oil, you’ll spend a lot more on a compressor that’s getting a lot of use.

If you want to avoid putting too much strain on one compressor, causing it to need frequent maintenance intervention, one option to consider is alternating between one compressor and its auxiliary equipment and another. Switching back and forth will result in each system receiving half the operating hours that one machine would have. This can help you avoid overly frequent maintenance work, which could slow down your operations.

4. Safety Levels

Safety Levels

The level of safety you maintain can also influence the maintenance costs you incur for your air compressor. Every company has their own policies for maintaining a safe environment, and this may include inspecting your equipment at certain intervals or performing routine preventive maintenance. If your company’s safety policies dictate part of your maintenance schedule for your air compressors, then you should factor this into your budget. If policies change, be sure to update your budget so you can accurately predict these prescribed costs.

It isn’t just safety policies that can call for maintenance. If employees don’t use air compressors safely, they could inflict damage that necessitates some repairs, not to mention the potential danger they can cause to themselves. As with any machinery, the manual should explain how to use your air compressor safely. These manuals can also give you insight into signs that you may need to have your compressor serviced.

There are many safety tips you can observe to help you operate your compressor safely and avoid unnecessary maintenance expenditures or bodily injuries. Let’s look at a few of these tips:

  • Avoid a combustion incident by preventing rust on your tank and replacing it if it begins to rust.
  • In humid environments, keep the air circulating or add a dryer to remove moisture.
  • Take care to use a non-flammable lubricant that is designed for your machine.
  • Only add fuel to your compressor once it has cooled down, not right after turning it off or while it’s still on.
  • Promptly clean grease or oil off of air hoses when it’s present so it doesn’t damage the hose.

 

5. Cooling System

Cooling System

In addition to the air compressor itself, your machine’s cooling system may also require maintenance. It’s wise to consider your cooling system since its function can affect your compressor’s maintenance schedule. Let’s look at a few different types of cooling systems you may have in place:

  • Liquid cooling: Large compressors often have a liquid cooling system. With this type of cooling system, a coolant circulates through the system to cool it down. In most cases, liquid cooling systems require very little maintenance.
  • Air-to-liquid heat exchange: Common in rotary screw compressors that use oil, air-to-liquid heat exchanges use cool air to lower the temperature of the oil as it runs through a tube. These systems typically include some parts that require occasional maintenance, such as electric-motor-driven fans and a belt drive or a right-angle gear drive.
  • Liquid-to-liquid heat exchange: Another common cooling system in a rotary screw compressor is a liquid-to-liquid heat exchange setup. In this case, the hot oil and the coolant come into contact either through a shell-and-tube or plate heat exchanger. These systems can be low-maintenance, but you should always look for leaks.
  • Natural air convection: In the case of natural air convection, the hot air the compressor produces is simply fanned by cooling fins so that it is dispersed throughout the room where the system is located. These should be low-maintenance systems, but they can create a warmer environment for employees and equipment nearby.

 

Keep in mind that some systems are closed off, while others are open. Open systems can allow airborne debris to enter the system, so they can require more maintenance. If you have your system audited or are installing a new compressor, talk to your service representative about the cooling system so that you understand its potential maintenance needs.

6. Auxiliary Equipment

Auxiliary Equipment

In addition to the cooling system on your air compressor, other types of auxiliary equipment also require maintenance, sometimes on a fairly frequent basis. Let’s look at a few types of auxiliary equipment you should factor into your air compressor’s maintenance budget:

  • Dryers
  • Air filters
  • Oil filters
  • Receivers and air storage
  • Separators and drains
  • Piping
  • Filter regulator lubricator
  • Fittings

 

Some of these auxiliary pieces of equipment are consumables, meaning you’ll use them up and need to replace them periodically. Other pieces of auxiliary equipment are not consumables but can still experience wear or run into problems that require them to be replaced. In many cases, however, regularly inspecting equipment can allow you to address issues before they cause parts to fail. Instead, you can clean, tighten or otherwise service auxiliary equipment as needed to keep it in top condition.

In addition to these auxiliary pieces of equipment, for machines that use oil, you also have to consider the cost of oil as an ongoing consumable for your system. Oil-free machines tend to require fewer consumable products and less ongoing maintenance, but they will still have some of the parts above that may require servicing at times.

The key is to be aware of what types of auxiliary equipment your air compressor has so you can be prepared to give these parts the maintenance attention they deserve, ensuring your entire system stays well-maintained.

How Often Air Compressors Should Be Serviced

When you’re planning a budget for routine compressor maintenance, you need to know how frequently your system will require maintenance. There is no simple answer to this question of frequency since your system’s maintenance needs will depend, in part, on the many factors we’ve discussed.

That said, you can begin to develop a schedule for routine maintenance based on the type of compressor you have. Factoring in things like frequency of use and installation conditions can help you modify the standard maintenance schedule to better fit your situation. You may be tempted to forget about maintenace needs until something breaks down, but to determine a successful air compressor maintenance budget, you must focus on preventative maintenance. This type of maintenance is more predictable and can help you avoid system failure.

Routine maintenance tasks should occur at intervals that range from every day to once every two years or so. Let’s look at some examples of maintenance tasks that occur at these varying intervals. Note that each of these tasks applies to certain types of air compressors, so you would only complete the maintenance tasks that are necessary for your system:

  • Daily: Check lubricant or fluid levels, drain the receiver tank, check the dew point on dryer systems, inspect for leaks and other problems
  • Weekly: Clean the compressor and intercooler’s surfaces, look for leaks in the compressor and hoses, clean out the air intake filter
  • Monthly: Inspect the belt tension, service the air filter if it doesn’t need changing sooner, clean the fluid cooler fins and aftercooler
  • Quarterly: Change out lubricant, check the oil filter and change it if needed, note the torque on the pulley nuts and screws
  • Biannually: Change out synthetic lubricant, take fluid samples, clean the compressor, clean the crankcase and the strainer screen
  • Annually: Lubricate motors, change out air/fluid separator, test safety valves, ensure safety (HAT) shutdown system is working
  • Biennially: Replace V-belts and check valves on a lubricant-free rotary screw compressor

 

How Completing an Air Audit Can Help

To develop an accurate budget for your air compressor maintenance, you need to understand the air compressor’s operating cost over time. In other words, you must factor in every aspect of your system that can influence its maintenance needs in order to develop an accurate budget and maintenance schedule. It can be difficult to do this on your own, which is why air auditing can be so helpful.

How Completing an Air Audit Can Help

When you request an air system audit, a professional who has undergone the proper training will asses your system to determine how it is currently operating, which can help you plan for the future. Their audit can be completed with minimal interruptions to your operating schedule. More specifically, an air audit can cover:

  • How much energy your compressors are currently consuming
  • How much compressed air your operations require
  • Whether there are any leaks in your system
  • How much water, oil and other particulates are in the air system
  • How effective your existing maintenance plan is

 

In addition to these evaluations, an air system auditor will make informed recommendations for how you can improve your current operations. This can be focused on any area that needs improvement, whether it be your energy consumption or maintenance program. Because an air audit can provide insight into how your company uses compressors and where you can improve your operations, it can have a positive impact right away. An air audit can help you make changes where needed or, simply, create a more accurate maintenance and operating costs budget.

Benefits of Air Compressor Maintenance Programs

So, what are the advantages of an air compressor maintenance budget? In other words, why put the time and effort into creating an accurate budget for your compressor’s maintenance? The benefits of a maintenance budget are largely tied to the fact that, when you have a budget in place, it also means you have a maintenance program in place — one that is proactive rather than just reactive.

With a maintenance program, you’re planning ahead to ensure your air compressor is utilized properly and receives the ongoing service it needs rather than waiting until something breaks and incurring higher maintenance costs and unplanned downtime. Downtime can cost companies significantly. For example, it’s been estimated that just one minute of unplanned downtime in the auto industry costs $22,000. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of having an effective maintenance program in place for your air compressors:

  • Your system will operate more reliably and at peak performance
  • You can expect a longer life on your equipment
  • You can avoid downtime that hurts your production schedule
  • You can accurately plan for costs rather than being hit by unexpected expenses
  • You can maintain a safer environment for employees

 

Note that all of these benefits can help you improve your operations and save you money in the long run. This makes investing in an audit and developing an effective maintenance plan well worth it.

Air Compressors From Quincy Compressor

Air Compressors From Quincy Compressor

If your own experience or an air system audit reveals it’s time to install a new air compressor, consider Quincy Compressor as your source for quality compressors. Our company has a century of experience in offering quality compressor products to meet the needs of companies across a variety of industries. Today’s current line of Quincy air compressors and accessories features many quality systems designed to keep maintenance costs at a minimum and ensure efficient operations. We also back our products with exceptionally comprehensive warranties.

When you need an air compressor system that is reliable and will enhance your operations rather than cause problems, you want to invest in the best. With Quincy, you can enjoy quality products inspired by a long-established reputation for innovation and success. We can help you find the perfect systems and parts to meet your company’s needs, so use our Compressor Concierge service or contact your local Quincy distributor today to learn more about how Quincy can equip you with the very best in air compressor systems.

How to maintain your air compressor filters

Both indoor and outdoor air is full of everyday pollutants that absorb into your compressed air. To ensure the safety of your compressor machine and a high-quality end product, make sure your compressor is equipped with an air filtration system that can capture and dispose of these contaminants.

Learning how to maintain these air compressor filters is the best way to keep your compressor operating efficiently. Effective maintenance includes knowing how to clean your filters, as well as knowing when it is time for a filter replacement.

How a Compressed Air Filter Works

There are three types of in-line compressed air filters:

  • Particulate: Particulate or dry particulate filters work to trap and contain corrosive or solid particles from the air during the filtration process.
  • Coalescer: Coalescing filters remove water, aerosols and oils from compressed air, but are typically unable to remove gaseous vapors.
  • Absorber: Adosoprtion helps eliminate gaseous vapors by chemically bonding those vapors with the surface of the absorber.

 

The strength of an in-line air filter is measured in “microns,” which are microscopic particles in the air. Air filters for air compressors can also be standard or high-pressure. Many manufacturers, including Quincy Compressor, also provide advanced filtration equipment, like mist eliminators. A mist eliminator is a heavy-duty, standalone coalescing air filter.

An air compressor filter will only perform its job well if all parts are sized correctly, and the mechanism is installed properly. Otherwise, you waste time and energy and risk restricting airflow. The following components make up an air compressor filtration system:

  • Filter cap: The filter cap protects the filter and helps direct the flow of air during the filtration process.
  • Filter discharge: The filter discharge area is the spot on the filter where purified compressed air exits.
  • Filter element: The filter element is the part of the filter that works to trap or eliminate particles, oils and moisture. The filter element needs to be cleaned and changed regularly.
  • Filter bowl and bowl guard: The bowl and bowl guard connect the filter cap to the rest of the filtering mechanism and houses the “quiet zone,” which is the area that collects dirt, oil, water and other debris at the bottom of the filter. This keeps the contaminants from re-polluting the compressed air.
  • Filter drain: Filters have a drain that is usually controlled either manually or automatically. It expels all collected water, oil and dirt from the filtering mechanism. Regular draining is essential for proper filtering and a long-lasting air compressor.

 

The Importance of Air Compressor Filters

The importance of air compressor filters

Clean, functional filters are essential for the performance and longevity of your air compressor. No matter how clean a manufacturing facility or workshop is, there are still undetectable particles and residue in the air that can pollute and clog your airflow. Over time, these pollutants can build-up and cause your compressor to stop working. They can also contaminate your end product.

Some examples of common air pollutants that air compressor filters help trap and eliminate are:

  • Excess water or moisture
  • Residue from cleaning agents
  • Paints and solvents
  • Residue from furnaces
  • Lubricants
  • Smoke from tobacco or nearby exhaust
  • Pollen
  • Wood chips
  • Rust and other metal particles
  • Dust mites
  • Humidifiers
  • Insect sprays
  • Aerosol sprays
  • Residue from sanding

 

Filters work to isolate these contaminated particles from clean ones, and then trap or eliminate the pollutants. This leaves you with pure, clean compressed air.

Air Filters Lead to Better Results

When you operate your machine with old or dirty air compressor filters, you risk tainting the compressed air with contaminants like pollen, dirt, rust and other build-up. Air compressors operating with clean filters put out better quality air. The higher the air purity, the safer it is for you, your employees and the surrounding environment.

Higher quality air also means a higher quality end product. For certain facilities, such as laboratories and food processing plants, air purity and the quality of your final product is crucial. By using and maintaining air filters, you are ensuring adequate, clean and effective airflow while minimizing the chances that you will have to make costly corrections or do-overs.

Filters Protect Your Compressor

Moisture and debris build-up and generally poor air can put a lot of strain on your compressor. In such conditions, the machine has to work twice as hard to compress air. This overworking can lead to premature aging of your compressor, as well as increased energy costs. Filters protect your compressor and reduce unnecessary strain on its inner mechanisms. Using and maintaining air filters is the best way to produce compressed air quickly while using minimal energy consumption.

Tips for Successful Air Compressor Filter Maintenance

Tips for successful air compressor filter maintenance

It is not enough to simply install an air filtration system in your compressor and walk away. To avoid worsening any existing problems or overworking your machine, regular filter maintenance is crucial. Follow these tips to get the most out of your air filtration system:

  • Create a maintenance schedule: Create a regular maintenance and cleaning schedule for your air compressor, including frequent air filter quality checks and replacement. In addition to regular self-inspections, schedule annual preventive maintenance appointments for your air compressor and ask the service technician to inspect your filtration system.
  • Keep your compressor clean: External dirt, rust and build-up can damage your machine. A clean air compressor is less likely to pollute airflow, and it looks more professional. At the end of each use, turn off your air compressor and allow it to cool before wiping it down with a microfiber cloth or gentle cleaning agent.
  • Pay attention to air quality: Whenever possible, operate your air compressor in an open-air workplace rather than in a workshop or near things like other machinery, paint guns, smoke, aerosol or other pollutants. Eliminate all unnecessary indoor pollutants, including tobacco smoke. If operating your air compressor indoors, make sure the space is adequately ventilated.
  • Clean and replace filters regularly: The most important thing you can do to take care of your air compressor and your air filtration system is to inspect, clean and replace your air filters regularly.

 

How Do You Clean an Air Compressor Filter?

Always check your air compressor or filter owner manual or instruction guide for specific instructions regarding the proper way to clean your air filters.

If no instructions are listed — or no manual is available — these are the general steps you can take to clean your air compressor filter:

  1. Turn the air compressor off and let it cool before handling it.
  2. Unscrew and remove the filter top cover from the filter base.
  3. Perform a visual inspection of the top cover and note any areas of concern.
  4. Carefully remove the filter element from the base.
  5. Inspect the filter element.
  6. Blow any dust, dirt or debris away from the filter element with low-pressure compressed air.
  7. If a replacement is not necessary, gently secure the element to its original place.
  8. Reattach the top cover.

 

Perform this inspection regularly — every month is ideal, but at least once per season — and replace filters when necessary.

When to Replace Air Compressor Filters

When to replace air compressor filters

Unless your air compressor or filter manufacturer states otherwise, there is no set frequency in which you should change your air filters. Generally, you should replace your air compressor filters when:

  • Your filters are damaged: When cleaning your filters, you should note any damage, corrosion or caked-on build-up. If you continue to use a broken air compressor filter, you risk poor air quality, damaging your air compressor and operating under higher energy costs. Replace damaged filters as soon as possible.
  • You continue to notice poor performance: If you have cleaned your air filters but continue to experience poor performance or air quality, it is probably time to replace the filters. If replacing the old filter with a new one doesn’t work, consult an air compressor service technician. It is possible you have installed the incorrect filter, or that there is a larger problem at play.
  • Your filters are old: If it has been a while since you last replaced your compressor air filters, it is probably time to replace them. The best way to keep track is to create — and stick to — a maintenance schedule and replace your filters at regular intervals. The best way to avoid a clogged air compressor filter or internal build-up is to change your filters before it becomes an issue.
  • You use your filters a lot: If you use your air compressor regularly and for long periods, you will need to replace filters more frequently than a compressor you only use as needed.
  • The quality of the supplied air is poor: If you work in an environment that has a lot of dirt, paint, pollen or other debris present, your filters will likely require more frequent cleaning and replacement. Be aware of your surrounding air quality. To minimize the frequency of cleaning and replacements, make changes around your workplace to promote better air.
  • Your business demands quality: If the quality of your work or your business’ reputation depends on the performance of your air compressor and the purity of your compressed air — such as in food and pharmaceutical production and processing — regular filter replacement is essential to avoid work delays or costly malfunctions.

 

What to Consider When Choosing an Air Compressor Filter

If it is time to replace the filter in your air compressor, it is vital you choose the right one. Here’s what you should consider when choosing your next air compressor filter:

  • Your specific compressor: Note the type of air compressor you are operating, including the type, brand, model number, date of manufacturing and size. Many filters can only be used with specific types or models of air compressors.
  • Type of air filter: Take into consideration the type of air filter you have been using. Is it a particulate, coalescer or absorber? Is it a standard air filter or one intended for high-pressure use? What size is it? If you have no issues with your current compressor operation, it is a good idea to stick with the same type of filter. However, if you have performance concerns, a different kind of filter may be what you need to address them. Consult a compressor service technician for a filter recommendation.
  • Brand and quality: Always choose a reputable air compressor or compressor filter brand that produces high-quality products, especially if you are operating in a commercial or industrial environment, or if you use your compressor daily. Poor quality air filters can be counterproductive and lead to wasted energy and money. They can also cause production delays if they do not work correctly.
  • Quality of used air: Examine the quality of the air you are operating your compressor in. Are your primary pollutants water-based? Solid dirt particles? Lubricant oil? Some applications require filters that specifically address these pollutants, like water separators or carbon filters.
  • Your compressed air needs: Next, determine what level of air quality you need your compressor to produce. What level of purity should it be? This will help you determine the type of filtration required, as well as the size and number of filters needed.

 

If you are still unsure which air filter is best for your compressor, give Quincy Compressor a call at (251) 937-5900. Our experienced air experts will ask you questions about your compressor, your current air quality and air production needs. They will then use this information to help you make the best decision.

Contact Quincy Compressor to Learn More About Air Compressor Maintenance

Contact Quincy Compressor to learn more about air compressor maintenance

Quincy Compressor has been providing high quality, industry-standard compressors and compressor products since 1920. Whether you have questions about your compressor filter, are in the market for a new compressed air machine or just want to learn more about the services we provide, you can trust our experts.

We offer a variety of standard and high-pressure air compressor filters, including threaded aluminum filters for flows up to 1,500 CFM and filters with steel housings and flanged connections for flows up to 10,500 CFM. All standard air filters are constructed with a multi-wrap element and are corrosion resistant. They come equipped with an automatic condensate drain, as well as a 10-year housing guarantee.

Our high-pressure air filters provide two levels of filtration, including coalescing and an activated carbon absorber that work together to eliminate liquid aerosol, vapor and odor from processed air. High-pressure filters are also constructed with a multi-wrap element and have a modular design that helps conserve energy while filtering. High-pressure filters are compatible with mineral oil and synthetic lubricant.

To get started, find a service and sales representative in your area or feel free to contact our knowledgeable professionals with any specific questions. You can also visit us online to learn more helpful tips about air compressor maintenance.

If there’s one thing that train passengers have in common with shippers of interstate cargo, it’s a reliance on trains to ensure a smooth journey to each destination. None of this would be possible without the availability of clean compressed air, which powers many of the most vital functions in rolling stock of all lengths and capacities.

The components of a train that rely on compressed air include the brakes, doors, and suspension system. Without compressed air, a train would be unable to halt when needed, open and close its doors properly, or offer smooth rides for passengers and cargo. Each of these functions can slow and ultimately fail if impurities enter the compressed air that is used to power the doors, brakes, and other components.

The trouble starts with dirt particles and moisture, which are present in the atmospheric air that a compressor utilizes for air compression. When these elements mix with the lubrication of a compressor, the properties of the oil change in composition. As a result, the compressor’s lubrication takes on a whitish, pasty character that lacks lubricating qualities. If the situation is left untreated, disaster can ensue, because a compressor needs lubrication in order to function properly.

 

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How to Maintain Standards for Compressed Air in Trains

When it comes to the standards for compressed air in railway systems, maintenance is everything. If a train’s air compression system isn’t properly maintained, it’s likely to lead to unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs. Worst of all, a train can get sidelined and be unable to service passengers or move rolling stock. For all parties concerned, the failure of a train’s air compression system is a losing situation.

The solution, of course, is to stop compressed air from becoming contaminated in the first place. This can be accomplished in the following ways:

  • Water separation and filtration
  • Compressed air desiccation

 

The former protects an air compressor from impurities in the atmospheric air, while the latter removes vapor from compressed air. With dirt and moisture removed from the equation, railways can rely on compressed air systems for unimpeded power to the key functions of each train for many years to come.

In recent years, increased awareness over the detriments of air contamination has spurred the development of advanced filtering systems for compressed air. The trend has gained steam in tandem with the move towards conservation and energy efficiency, both of which have been aided by the widespread adoption of pneumatic tools and machinery.

Sources of Contamination in Air Compressors

In order to enact the process of purification, it’s important to be familiar with the different types of air contaminants and where they originate. Contamination basically stems from three main sources:

  • The atmosphere. Regardless of the setting, the inlet valve of an air compressor sucks in ambient air, which will invariably contain some amount of impurities, be it dust or moisture.
  • The compressor itself. Contaminants can also originate from within the machine, though the types of germs may depend on the functions being performed. Common culprits include stale lubricant, wear particles, and coolant.
  • The air receivers and pipes. While the purpose of these parts is to collect and distribute air, both can retain marks of the contaminants that are brought into the compressor from the atmospheric air. Furthermore, the cooling that occurs in the receivers and pipes can be a cause for condensation — a major problem for the machine and the compressed air — if the machine isn’t drained on a regular basis.

 

The contaminants that can degrade the quality of compressed air consist of particles in the atmospheric air, as well as oil and particles in the water.

Different Types of Contamination in Air Compressors

The following types of contamination are common:

 

railway compressed air

  • Water vapor. With the changes in temperature that air is put through during the compression process, moisture within an air compressor is inevitable. If the air is hot, it will retain vapor; if the pressure is high, the air will release condensed water.
  • Condensed water and aerosols. During the latter stages of the compression cycle, the air is cooled to a more reasonable temperature. This turns the vapor in the air to water, which is then sent to the condensate drain. However, condensate remains a factor throughout the process, because vapors are present as the air changes temperature. Condensation is not only bad for the internal mechanisms of a compressor, it can be even more damaging if the drain is never emptied.
  • Corrosion and pipe scale. As condensation takes its toll within the piping and air receivers, rust can form on the inner lining. Gradually, the rust can cause the piping to clog and break. If the problem is left untreated, internal corrosion can lead to outright system failure.
  • Oil. Compressed air should always be oil free. Nonetheless, oil serves as a necessary evil in the process of air compression. As such, the process has its share of potential consequences. As the air is compressed, oil is used for the purposes of cooling, lubrication, and sealing. Unfortunately, up to half of the degraded oil can pass through the system in vaporized form, especially when temperatures are high. The system itself can also draw unburned hydrocarbons, which condense once cooled. When acidic oil vapors mesh with moisture in the compressed air, corrosive buildup forms along the air receivers and valve cylinders.

 

It must be noted that oil-free compressors are not contaminant-resistant compressors. In other words, the inlet valve of an oil-free compressor cannot magically filter out airborne contaminants from ambient air. Just as with an oil-lubricated system, an oil-free compressor needs filtration to keep water, dirt, unburned hydrocarbons, and other impurities from the compression process.

Moisture, Dirt, and Oil Filters for Air Compressors

With the various forms of air and system contamination now identified, the methods of filtration and purification can be explained in greater detail.

Water separators. In systems where air is cooled throughout the air receivers and pipes, separators are used to filter out moisture. At its most successful, the method can remove up to 92% of liquid impurities from the process of an air compressor.

Coalescing filters. Out of all the components used to purify compressed air, none are more crucial than the coalescing filters. Through a method of mechanical filtration, the component removes oil and water moisture from compressed air. Additionally, coalescing filters can remove airborne dirt particles as small as 0.01 micron. The coalescing filtration component consists of two parts in the following order:

  • The general purpose filter
  • The high efficiently filter

 

The purpose of the former is to prevent bulk contamination from reaching the latter. A high-quality set of coalescing filters will generally provide the twofold benefit of offering unbeatable air purity while keeping operation bills low. Furthermore, coalescing filters reduce the need for maintenance on air compressors.

Adsorption dryers. An adsorption dryer uses regenerative desiccants to filter vapor from compressed air as it passes through the system. Designed solely to remove vapor from air, adsorption dryers work in tandem with coalescing filters, but are incapable of performing the complete process of filtration alone.

Dust removal filters. An alternative to coalescing filters, dust removal filters eliminate carryover dirt from preceding junctures in the process of air compression. Using near identical filtration mechanisms to coalescing filters, the dust removal component has a roughly 99.9999% success rate at particle elimination.

The process of filtration can be split into five stages, each of which is accomplished by its own component:

  1. Water filtration
  2. General purpose filtration
  3. High efficiency filtration
  4. Adsorption air drying
  5. Dust filtration

 

During the first three stages, up to 92% of contaminants are removed from the air. The air is then dried during stage four, and finally removed of all dust particles during the last stage.

When Air Compressors Fail in Railway Systems: The Consequences

For railway systems and passengers alike, there are numerous consequences for not meeting compressed air standards, which are determined by the needs of a train’s pneumatic functions.

Failing doors. Passenger trains load and unload hundreds of passengers at any given stop. Therefore, it’s crucial that doors operate without a hitch at each departure point, stop, and final destination along a route. If a door fails, the consequences are threefold:

compressed air for railways

In an emergency evacuation scenario, door failure could prove fatal. The importance of door operation is also crucial in freight trains for the loading and unloading of cargo to various destinations across the United States.

Pantographs. On locomotives and light rails, air compressors are relied upon for movement to each destination due to the mechanisms of pantographs, which depend on compressed air for power. Pantographs are needed to draw currents from overhead catenary wires along railway tracks. When pantographs fail, a train might halt at the most inopportune time or place. In short, this could result in the following scenarios:

  • Light rails get backed up and cause commuter delays
  • Trains lose power in desolate areas
  • Trains or light rails halt unexpectedly at intersections

 

Basically, if pantographs don’t receive pneumatic power as needed, a locomotive or light rail could end up with many irate customers.

Brakes. In trains and automobiles alike, brakes are more than the stopping mechanism — they’re the most important of all emergency features. If a train can’t brake as needed, danger ensues for the passengers onboard, as well as for people, animals, or objects that might be in the train’s trajectory. In worst case scenarios, brake-failure could lead to:

  • Light rails failing to break for crossing traffic at intersections
  • Trains crashing or colliding with one another
  • Failure to halt properly at stations

 

For obvious reasons, it’s paramount to meet standards for compressed air in railway systems, so all brakes function to full expectation without fail.

Suspension systems. In trains of all lengths, compressed air is used to power the suspension system, which is responsible for the running smoothness of rolling stock along the tracks. When air compressors fail to deliver as needed, rides become turbulent, uncomfortable, and possibly dangerous.

compressed air brakes in railway systems

The Importance of Air Compressors in Today’s Rolling Stock

Air compression is one of the most vital sources of power in today’s eco-conscious world, where people in general have come to demand greater efficiency and energy conservation. As nations work to move away from fossil fuel, the potential offered by compressed air has grown in favor across numerous sectors. By powering a vast range of functions with compressed air, the machinery involved in the process has allowed companies to cut back on energy consumption and utilize power that is far friendlier to the environment.

In the transportation industry, air compressors are used to run rolling stock along railway tracks and provide numerous functions that ensure the convenience and safety of passengers and crew. In a sense, air compressors lie at the root of today’s railway industry, because modern day locomotives not only run in large part on pneumatic power, but are also built with the technology. At assembly plants, most of the tools used in the production of rolling stock are powered by air compressors.

In recent decades, air compression technology has seen a string of innovations, the likes of which have spurred the adoption of air compressors and pneumatic tools by untold numbers of companies. Leading the way in most of these advances is Quincy Compressor. For nearly a century, Quincy has been at the forefront of innovations in air compressors for a vast range of commercial, industrial, and automotive applications.

Much of the compressed air that drives today’s rolling stock is provided by machines that bear the Quincy name. Likewise, the tools that are used to assemble, paint, and repair modern-day locomotives are mostly purchased from Quincy.

standards for compressed air in railway systems

Quincy: The Leading Source for Railway Air Compressors

If you operate an assembly plant that produces rolling stock of any type, make Quincy your go-to source for air compressors large and small. Alternately, if you run existing rolling stock that is currently lagging due to an inability to meet the standards for compressed air in railway systems, have the current machinery replaced with Quincy air compressors. Our compressors make it possible to go the distance for years on end, regardless of speeds, heights, or humidity.

In North America and abroad, Quincy is revered for making air compressors and pneumatic tools that have brought ease and reliability to a range of tasks that were long-thought difficult across the industrial sector. To find out more about Quincy air compressors and related products, visit our sales and service locator page and see what our machines can do for your operations.

 

Air compressor accessories that make the job easier

Air compressors are known for their ease of use. End-use tools are simpler, deliver quick and responsive power and are easier to maintain than traditional electric tools. With the exception of the technician in charge of keeping the compressed air system running, many people don’t give air compressors a second thought.

However, there are a number of ways to employ air compressor accessories in order to increase the ease of use of your compressed air system. Whether they help your system function more efficiently or help employees address unexpected issues more quickly, there are many air compressor accessories that anyone who employs compressed air should keep on hand to ensure their system is operating at peak efficiency and providing them with all the power and usefulness it can.

Because we’re so invested in making sure your compressed air system is working and providing you with the power and efficiency you need, we thought we’d offer you some tips and suggestions on air compressor accessories that make the job easier. Whether you are employing your compressed air system in a traditional plant, a hospital or in the food service industry, we know that with a few tweaks and a couple added parts, your system will work even better!

So here are some of our essential air compressor accessories you should make sure to have on hand in your machine shop.

 

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A Note on Industry-Specific Accessories

 Before we explore some specific options we consider to be useful accessories for a wide range of industries, it is important to note that every industry will have their own essential accessories that wouldn’t be appropriate for other industries.

When you are considering which accessories to add to your compressed air system, it is crucial that you think about what you need to make your industry-specific operations and end-use applications easier. In many ways, you know what you need better than anyone else.

It is crucial that you think about what you need to make your industry-specific operations and end-use applications easier.

However, just as you are the expert on the processes that make you the most productive, we understand that sometimes you know what you want to do but aren’t always sure which tool is best suited to help you do it. In this case, it is important to partner with a company that has the experience to advise you in such instances. So be confident, but don’t be afraid to reach out and explore your options. In the end, the best accessories are those that make your specific job easier!

Air Hoses and Piping

 While hoses and piping are essential parts of any compressed air system, these are also some of the best opportunities for upgrade and replacement. In this sense, they may be the most essential accessory for making your job easier.

That’s because these parts often come in standard sizes. While standard piping is a good fit for most compressed air applications, tweaking these components can drastically improve efficiency and end-use power.

For example, if you have a recently installed system in which you are confident your piping has not begun to degrade, you may still find that you are losing pressure between your compressor and your end-use tools. This may be because your piping is not perfectly suited for your particular system and applications.

However, if you have an aging system, you may also find that new piping is all you need to make your compressed air system run like new. That’s because years of use, especially if you have been operating with subpar air quality, can cause rust and other buildup to impede the flow of compressed air through your piping. While some of this may be cleaned, replacing the worn piping may be your best option. If you have been spending years operating with degraded piping, you may not even realize just how much it has impeded the efficiency of your system.

Consider the costs of a leaking pipe. A single quarter-inch leak could end up costing a facility between $2,500 and $8,000 a year.

A single quarter-inc leak could end up costing a facility between $2,500 and $,000 a year.

Additionally, your existing piping and air-hose installation may be impeding your ability to grow. Although the piping may have been sufficient for the number of end-use applications you had working at the time of its installation, your business may have changed. What was once satisfactory may now be restricting. By simply expanding your piping — assuming your compressor can handle the added capacity — you may find that your compressed air system is far more versatile. Such a retrofit is far more affordable than a complete system overhaul.

You also want to make sure you have spare hoses on hand, in case an essential hose connecting an end-use tool to the piping system breaks. While the new size hosing may not be ideal, having spares on hand ensure that you suffer minimal downtime and that you can continue to use your end-use tool while you wait for the properly sized replacement to arrive.

Finally, by being mindful of your piping installation, you can also improve energy efficiency. This is especially important as energy costs continue to rise. $3.2 billion is lost in the United States through compressed air inefficiency every year.

$3.2 billion is lost in the US through compressed air inefficiency each year

If you are looking for a simple way to make drastic improvements to your compressed air system, whether it be in terms of efficacy of end-use equipment or overall energy efficiency, your piping and air hoses are a great place to start. By catering your system to your specific needs, you can make a small change that can have a big impact on your bottom line.

Hose Reels

 While we are on the subject of replacement hoses, a hose reel is another useful tool to keep on hand, especially if you expect to use a standard-sized hose to replace alternatively sized hoses in your compressed air system.

A hose reel is another useful tool to keep on hand

Hose reels help keep ungainly hoses out of the way. This is especially crucial if your replacement hose is much longer than needed. While the replacement hose may only be a temporary fix, a hose reel will help your employees work more efficiently while also ensuring they are working safely, helping to keep your plant accident-free.

We especially recommend a hose reel with a locking mechanism that allows you to customize the length of your replacement hose. This will give your replacement hose an element of customizability and is a great way to make replacements on the fly without impeding your worker efficiency.

Compressed Air-Powered Hand Tools

 While many industries don’t consider hand tools to be accessories but instead essential tools, even those plants that don’t regularly use hand tools — such as nail guns, drills and pumps — should consider investing in some for those moments when they are useful.

You can never predict every need for hand tools, but when a problem does arise, having the ability to power a hand tool to do essential repairs with your compressed air system is a very time and cost-effective approach.

Furthermore, compressed air-powered hand tools are often more reliable and durable, meaning your investment will be a lasting one.

Compressed air-powered hand tools are often more reliable and durable, meaning your investment will be a lasting one

Finally, by using hand tools powered by your compressed air system, you can avoid the need for extension cords or charging stations for batteries. This will streamline your operation and ensure you are able to make the necessary repairs and subsequently get back to work as quickly as possible.

So make sure you invest in a good set of standard hand tools that are compatible with your particular compressed air system and store them in your machine shop. While you might not use them every day, they are great to have on hand in case you need them to make emergency repairs.

Nozzle Kits

 There are so many applications for compressed air, and every industry has a particular application in mind when they install their system. However, there comes a time in most industries when inflation is required. While these opportunities may only come around every once in a while, having a copper nozzle kit on hand is a great way to make sure you can tackle inflation with your pre-existing compressed air system.

every industry has a particular application in mind when they install their compressed air system

The nice thing about nozzle kits is that high-quality sets are durable and do not corrode. That means they will continue to be functional even if they are only used sparingly.

The standard nozzle kit contains inflation needles, blowguns, couplers, plugs and air chunks. Regardless of what needs to be inflated, these tools should be sufficient.

While it may not get a lot of use, a nozzle kit will pay dividends regardless. The amount of time and effort saved by simply having one of these stored in your machine shop make it a worthwhile investment.

Tool Fittings

 While many processes would be much easier if every tool was instantly compatible with your compressor system, the truth is there are occasionally tools that don’t fit with the couplings that you have installed in your system.

That’s why you always want to have an exhaustive set of tool fittings and variously sized couplings on hand to make sure every tool is compatible.

You want to make sure you invest in good fittings too, so always go with anodized fittings. This ensures that when you make the conversion between the end-use tool and your system, that conversion will last. While a fitting adapter may seem like a temporary fix, many of those performing the installation forget there is a coupler installed and continue to use it for years to come. So make sure that fitting will last.

You also want to make sure you are paying attention to whether you need a male or female adapter. Thinking that you have the right converter in place only to find that both ends are male is an extremely frustrating experience.

Depending on the size of your operation, stock up on these converters. The larger your operation, the costlier unnecessary downtime will be. In this sense, having the couplers on hand that ensure that you can get to work immediately is a crucial time- and money-saving measure.

Filters

 One of the leading causes of inefficient and underpowered compressed air systems is a dirty filter. You can assume that you will always need to change your air filters from time to time, so why not make sure to have them on hand?

One of the leading causes of inefficient and underpowered compressed air systems is a dirty filter.

You should know what kind of filters you need and make sure to change them as part of a regular and routine maintenance schedule.

However, it’s important not to count on your filter to solve larger problems, so don’t expect a single filter change to be a cure for every issue. If you find that a new filter doesn’t address the problems your system is currently experiencing, it’s time to bring in a technician who can help you identify the problem. That technician may suggest a new filter system that can assist with drying or is specifically designed to filter oil out of your system.

Air Pressure Regulator

 If you have one accessory on hand, it should be an air pressure regulator. That’s because no tool is better for helping you understand your air pressure levels while also providing you with the insights you need to maximize your efficiency without impeding the efficacy of your system.

An air pressure regulator gives you an accurate reading of usable air pressure within your end-use tools. While you may have your central compressor set for a certain pressure, there are a number of variables that can drastically reduce your air pressure, and therefore both your efficacy and energy efficiency, within your end-use applications.

An air pressure regulator gives you an accurate reading of usable air pressure within your end-use tools

This is especially important if you are using compressed air to do sensitive work. For these types of jobs, even small variations in air pressure can damage your work and cost you a lot of money in lost labor and wasted materials.

However, air pressure regulators are also great tools for monitoring your air pressure usage and therefore your energy efficiency. You may have an unknown leak somewhere in your piping that is sapping an otherwise energy-efficient system. While you may be aware that your compressor is costing you an arm and a leg in energy costs, an air pressure regulator will make it much easier to pinpoint where the pressure is being lost and thus give you the information you need to address the issue in a cost-effective manner.

Portable Air Tanks

 Unfortunately, every once in a while, your compressor may be down. It may be an unknown malfunction, or it may be for routine maintenance. Either way, having either a portable air tank or an individual portable compressor is a great way to make sure you can stay up and running even as your main compressor is down.

Portable air tanks work by storing compressed air generated by your main compressor that can then be applied to end-use tools when your compressor is no longer active. While they won’t be able to power your entire operation, they can be used to keep certain essential operations up and running while you take necessary measures to get your main compressor operating again.

A portable compressor actually generates the compressed air that you need. These are especially useful when main compressor failures are unexpected. They can be moved to the vicinity of the end-use application and can be employed to ensure that you continue to stay operational.

A portable generator actually generates the compressed air that you need

While both are useful, each have their advantages and disadvantages. Air tanks can be scaled for your operation. If you have a large operation, you can have large back-up air tanks that are better suited to keeping you productive. However, they are also limited in that they do not generate their own compressed air. In other words, once the air pressure goes down, it can’t be brought back up until your main compressor is operating once again.

Portable compressors however can continue to generate the necessary air pressure, which makes them more versatile if you’re unsure of how long your system is going to be down. Furthermore, because they are portable, they can be moved to exactly where you need them, making them flexible. However, they are also limited in their capacity. Because they need to remain portable, larger operations may find them insufficient in the event of an emergency, and investing in a large number of portable compressors may prove cost prohibitive.

Either way, it is always good to have a back-up plan, especially if the majority of your operations are contingent upon compressed air-powered tools. You should always be prepared for the worst, no matter how reliable your compressor is. Being caught unprepared can be doubly costly, as you will not only have to invest in repairs, but you will also have to account for down time in which lines aren’t running and profits are plummeting.

Counting on Quincy Compressor for the Accessories You Need

 From the moment you install a Quincy Compressor, regardless of its size or its industrial application, you can feel confident you are working with the most powerful, durable and efficient compressed air systems on the market. But that doesn’t mean you can’t also invest in additional accessories in order to make your system even more effective and efficient.

To begin with, our piping and hoses are the best and most durable in the industry. By investing in our aluminum AIRnet piping, you can feel confident you are investing in a system that will last well into the future while continuing to perform at peak efficiency. Furthermore, our piping is designed to dramatically reduce installation time, meaning you get a higher return on investment since you will be installing long-lasting piping with minimal system down time.

Similarly, our various component parts, regardless of their purpose, are built with the same exacting standards as our award-winning compressors. If you want to ensure that individual components will last just as long as your compressor, look no further than a local sales representative at a Quincy Compressor dealer.

If you are looking to invest in a back-up portable compressor, why not invest in one that is built by the same industry leaders that have designed and manufactured the best industrial-grade compressed air systems in the world? No matter how big or small the compressor, we take the same care in creating efficient and powerful compressed air. So feel confident in your compressor redundancies by trusting in us.

Finally, if you are looking for additional advice, why not consult with a compressed air expert who is trained to help you run your compressor as efficiently as possible? Our compressed air auditing services are designed to ensure you are getting the most value out of your compressor while doing your part to save money and reducing energy consumption. Our award-winning and patented Efficiency Quotient process is specially designed to help you identify those places where you can reduce energy consumption while improving your own productivity.

So whether you are ready to do a full system overhaul or make the small changes to improve your worker productivity and energy efficiency by investing in additional accessories, all of us at Quincy Compressor are eager to partner with you and your business. Contact us today and find out how you can put compressed air to work for you and your industry!

 

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We all have a favorite brew, but a number of us forget that beer can also be a secret ingredient that sets your dishes apart from the rest. If operating in the industry of craft brewing, businesses must keep in mind the power of beer within recipes for meats, stews, soups and even desserts. Signature […]

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Quincy Compressor Donates Air Compressors to Local Fire Departments

Posted on: April 30, 2020

In an effort to support the community, Quincy Compressor is donating two compressors to two local fire departments. The Perdido Alabama Fire Department and the Loxley Alabama Fire Department, which are the two closest volunteer fire stations to our facility, will receive two QT-5 air compressors as a “thank you” for keeping our community safe. The […]

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How to Plan a Successful Air Compressor Maintenance Budget

Posted on: April 30, 2020

Maintenance may seem like an insignificant aspect of your air compressor operating budget. After all, air compressor maintenance tends to only constitute somewhere between 5% and 10% of yearly compressor-related expenses. While it’s true that other expenditures, such as energy consumption, will constitute a larger portion of your overall cost for using an air compressor, you […]

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How to Maintain Your Air Compressor Filters

Posted on: April 28, 2020

Both indoor and outdoor air is full of everyday pollutants that absorb into your compressed air. To ensure the safety of your compressor machine and a high-quality end product, make sure your compressor is equipped with an air filtration system that can capture and dispose of these contaminants. Learning how to maintain these air compressor […]

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Meeting Standards for Compressed Air for Railway Systems

Posted on: April 23, 2020

If there’s one thing that train passengers have in common with shippers of interstate cargo, it’s a reliance on trains to ensure a smooth journey to each destination. None of this would be possible without the availability of clean compressed air, which powers many of the most vital functions in rolling stock of all lengths […]

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Air Compressor Accessories that Make the Job Easier

Posted on: April 23, 2020

Air compressors are known for their ease of use. End-use tools are simpler, deliver quick and responsive power and are easier to maintain than traditional electric tools. With the exception of the technician in charge of keeping the compressed air system running, many people don’t give air compressors a second thought. However, there are a […]

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