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What do we expect from a compressed air and nitrogen audit? – Part 1

To remain competitive, most companies are required to increase their production while continuously adjusting costs. This process involves identifying the areas where these improvements are possible, with direct consequences on costs.

Compressed air is recognized as a “fourth utility” in a factory, after water, electricity and gas.
If the first three are clearly regulated and purchased from external suppliers, the fourth utility, the compressed air, is subject to its own regulations and is provided internally.

The source of compression, storage, distribution and consumption are the areas with the greatest potential for improvement and cost efficiency.
An analysis by the US Department of Energy has revealed that 50% of the compressed air consumption is wasted, according to the chart below.

Solution

The most readily available waste source is leakage, typically between 25-30% of the total air consumption.

Improper use of air or nitrogen is 5-10%. For example, cleaning or drying parts using a fan instead of a compressed air / nitrogen gun can result in 90% reduction for this operation.
Apparent demand is the air flow that is consumed as a result of compressor operation at a higher pressure than required.

Reducing energy costs is the main objective of such an audit. However, these reductions are just the top of the iceberg, the other benefits being equally important:

  • Improving productivity
  • High quality products
  • Less scrap
  • Better reliability for equipment
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • Effective integration of a nitrogen generator depends to a certain extent on the pattern of consumption and available air.

As a result, auditing the distribution and consumption structure before installing a generator (including testing) is an essential condition for a dimension that guarantees the performance of the technology.

From a industrial design point of view, a nitrogen generator is suitable for the application if it saves more than it costs.

Adapting generator parameters to application specifics is the key to efficient and cost-effective integration. This customization will help you achieve the desired level of performance and profitability.

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