Author: Darryl Frierson

Stable Air Pressure and Why It’s Important

Understanding stable air pressure is simplier that you think. For most people compressed air is like electricity in that they do not think about it until they don’t have it. For example, most people would never stop to think about the pressure fluctuations in their compressed air system. Likely, the only time this becomes an issue is when an operator squeezes his air gun and the hissing sound isn’t loud enough which indicates that the tool will not be able to turn the bolt. In this case, the most common answer is to go to your favorite store and buy another air compressor.

Why should anyone care about how much the pressure swings in their piping and tank system? As we will see it’s all about saving money and increasing reliability.

It’s important to understand that everyone thinks that they have stable air pressure that does not fluctuate. However, if you do not have a flow control device, such as the DemandSmart Flow Controller, then you can be assured of these facts:

  • The air pressure that your compressor must produce is higher than necessary
  • It is fluctuating at least 10 psi. Even if you have a regulator it will still “track” with system pressure. That means if your regulator is set to 90 psi and the upstream air pressure fluctuates between say 125 and 135, then the regulator will also fluctuate between 90 and 100 psi
  • The all-important question is how does stabilizing the pressure to say 1 or 2 psi (versus 10 psi) save money and increase reliability?
  • Less air is lost by leaks and therefore the compressor can be “off” for longer and not consuming electricity
  • The compressor does not have to make as high a pressure. A good rule of thumb is that for every 2 psi drop in pressure that the compressor must make results in a 1% decrease in energy
  • Air tools are designed to work at very specific pressures so if this is stable then they last longer because the air pressure is at their ideal operating parameters. Air tools that last longer and operate at premium efficiency cut down on maintenance cost and prevents work stoppages
  • Air compressors will last a lot longer. This is because the compressor controls do not have to directly respond to users of the air. For example, with no flow control device, the compressor must load or unload as an operator blasts his air gun. With a flow controller, the valve will use the air in the tank and piping system to supply the operators demand. The valve cannot “produce” air so the benefit to the compressor is longer on and longer off time which saves wear and tear on valves and components

With all these savings combined, it is very typical to have a payback in less than a year. The best proof for the importance of stable air is to ask anyone using a flow controller if they would get rid of them…. Most compressed air users would not.

ECO Series…The Future of Clean & Oil Free Air Compression

FS-Curtis Eco Scroll oil-free air compressors are ISO 8573-1 CLASS 0 certified compressors which are energy efficient, easy to operate and maintain, quiet and save space in your facility. A failure of components in an oil-injected compressor can result in oil contamination which will cause expensive damage to downstream products and processes. Because the ECO series requires no oil, it delivers Class 0 clean and efficient air compression, meaning that there is no risk of oil contamination or the expenses associated with it.

Learn more about the ECO Scroll

 

About FS-Curtis/CURTIS-TOLEDO, Inc.
Since 1854, FS-Curtis has been designing and manufacturing solutions for industry. The FS-Curtis Air Compressors brand continues to be the symbol of quality and excellence in the design and manufacture of air compressors. Dedicated to customers and loyal distributors, our brand names are synonymous with Legendary Reliability since 1854.  FS-Curtis is proud to be ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certified.

ML Series- Rugged, Affordable and Smart

 

Masterline is the most robust, heavy duty reciprocating air compressor lineup available. The perfect combination of quality components and efficient design make the ML Series rugged, affordable and smart. Because every model is built tough to last a lifetime in demanding working conditions, the ML Series is an outstanding alternative to splash-lubricated reciprocating compressors and small rotary compressors. Learn more about the ML Series http://us.fscurtis.com/product-catego...

Nx Series…The Best in Rotary Screw Air Compression


The Nx Series offers a space-saving profile that’s easy to install while accommodating limited floor space. The integrated separator, MPV and thermostatic valve reduce connections by up to 90% -- meaning fewer opportunities for leaks. The Nx series also comes in variable speed drive for 8-90kw for even more efficiency and energy savings opportunities. The FS Curtis Nx SERIES combines efficient operations with outstanding durability.. The perfect combination for automotive, light industrial, and other applications that require reliable performance in demanding conditions.

Learn more about this Plant Engineering 2015 & 2016 Product of the Year http://us.fscurtis.com/product-catego...

Introducing the BA Series

Introducing the BA Series

Environmental standards mandate the need for suitable breathing air supply to ensure worker safety. Whether in paint spraying, confined spaces, asbestos abatement or a variety of other areas the need for breathing air is paramount. We introduce to you the newest product in Air Treatment...the BA Series.

The new BA Series Breathing Air Purifiers remove moisture, particulate solids, oil aerosols & mists, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon vapors commonly present compressed air resulting in air that can be safely used in breathing air devices.

Download Brochure

 

How Can an Air Audit Maximize My Savings?

An air audit may be in order for your compressor system, especially if it hasn’t been carefully examined recently. While many people focus on the initial cost of purchasing an air compressor, they often forget to factor in the cost of operating the machine over the long run. Any issue within a system can reduce its efficiency, wasting air and electricity, and thereby costing you more money.

 

But what exactly can an Air Audit do for you? Learn more about how an Air Audit can help you maximize savings. Download "What is a Compressed Air Audit"?

 Learn More About FS-Curtis Products

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Reduce Your Compressed Energy Costs

Compressed air can be one of the most expensive forms of energy for manufacturing plants, often using more energy than other equipment. One horsepower of compressed air requires eight horsepower of electricity. With many air compressors running at efficiencies as low as 10 percent, there’s often plenty of room for improvement. Fortunately, 50% of compressed air systems at small- to medium-sized industrial facilities have opportunities for low-cost energy conservation.

Learn how you can save money and keep your air compression working at a premium by downloading our "10 Ways You Can Optimize Your Air Compression and Save Money".

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Learn More About FS-Curtis Products

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of OEM Air Compressor Parts

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturing) parts are critical to the life of your compressor. The peace of mind that you’re using genuine parts that are specifically designed and meet the specs of the manufacturer is second to none. You can also rest easily knowing that you’re using parts that meet warranty requirements and provide for extended warranty advantages. The downside is that OEM parts have the reputation of being more expensive. There is also a perception that OEM parts are hard to find with local parts dealers sometimes only carrying aftermarket brands versus the factory direct OEM parts. Given this information it’s often asked why someone would choose to use OEM parts to service their air compressor.

Here are a few facts that can help you to understand the importance of using OEM parts on your air compressor.

Cost

OEM parts can carry a higher cost; however, they are engineered to be an exact replacement for the original component. This can make sure you get the most out of your air compressor. In many cases we cannot afford for our compressors to be “down” or not functioning properly. Utilizing OEM parts can help ensure you are servicing your air compressor with the manufactures’ suggested replacement components.

Warranty

OEM parts are a requirement to receive coverage from the manufacturers warranty plan. In many cases utilizing OEM parts can offer an option for extended coverage. This can prolong the life of air compressor and give you confidence that the compressor is covered. Don’t be caught off guard when the unexpected occurs and your warranty coverage is invalid due to saving a few cents on a part or lubricant.

Quality

OEM parts work exactly as the one you are replacing. They are the same components the air compressor were manufactured with and gives you a taste of familiarity and performance. Other brands of aftermarket parts may not work correctly or be of far lesser quality with questionable manufacturing practices. You know what you are getting and you know what to expect. OEM parts are tested with the machines and matched to specifications of the original machine design.

Availability

OEM parts are easily found. Most parts suppliers carry multiple offerings one of them being a factory direct OEM part. If in the case the parts supplier does not carry OEM parts, then demand the them and do not let them jeopardize your equipment or your warranty coverage. In many cases it can be as easy as asking for the genuine OEM part versus an aftermarket brand. As an extra tool you can always check the manufacturer’s website for direct sourcing of the correct components.

Conclusion

OEM parts are the best choice for your air compressor. When looking at the guidelines above its easy to see the value in servicing your air compressor with OEM parts such as air filters , oil filters and lubricants. Following the manufacturers published maintenance schedule and utilizing these OEM parts can ensure you get the longest life out of your investment and an ROI that can benefit your bottom line. Always consult a professional and always insist that genuine OEM parts are utilized for your service needs.

FS-Curtis- Real People…Real Products

 

The best in air compression made by the best people...FS-Curtis. Real People...Real Products.

Check out our short company highlight video!

 

About FS-Curtis/CURTIS-TOLEDO, Inc.

In 1854 FS-Curtis began the tradition of producing high quality, world-class industrial equipment in the U.S. heartland, St. Louis, MO.

FS-Curtis built the first Masterline air compressors in 1897, setting the gold standard for superior engineering and design for all future generations of compressors.

For more than 160 years FS-Curtis products have been passed down from generation to generation, proving their recognized value to our loyal customers. Our Masterline Compressors remain unmatched in terms of durability and performance, along with our rotary screw and oil-less compressor series.

FS-Curtis has earned the reputation for building the most rugged industrial-duty compressor you can buy. Our professional engineering staff and factory-trained distributor network are committed to supplying you with a complete offering of the very best in compressed air equipment.

To purchase one of our world-class air compressors, contact an Authorized FS-Curtis Distributor in your area!

 

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Refrigerated Vs. Desiccant Compressed Air Dryer

Choosing between a refrigerated or desiccant air dryer is dependent on the acceptable moisture content or pressure dew point (PDP) requirement for your application.

Refrigerated air dryers are typically adequate for general purpose compressed air applications and will typically offer anywhere from a 35-40° F pressure dew point (PDP). Cost is typically much less than that of other drying technologies. Refrigerated dryers use a refrigeration compressor and heat exchanger to cool the compressed air and remove moisture. There are two types of refrigerated dryers. The first type is cycling, which is the more energy efficient option and typically used for higher flows and where the flow rate varies from shift to shift.  The Cycling or VSD refrigerated dryer, cycles on and off to deliver the correct PDP at the varying flow rate.  The other and less expensive option is a non-cycling type. Non-cycling dryers are on all the time and run at the same load as long as they are switched on.  The difference between the two, is like running your home refrigerator. You only open it when needed, and thus it “cycles” on and off as needed. Leave the door open all the time, and now you have a “non-cycling” refrigerator.   Both types of dryers should have a coalescing pre-filter to remove large quantities of water droplets and oil mist before going into the air dyer. This helps the air dryer to be more efficient in removing moisture from the compressed air. After the dryer, “after-filters” can clean up the remaining oil-mist, particles and hydrocarbons.  The type of final filter(s) is dependent upon your air systems’ ISO Air Quality Standard.

Desiccant compressed air dryers are typically used when your application requires very dry compressed air or when the compressed air supply will run outside in cold environments. Desiccant dryers can achieve dew points as low as -100. In some facilities, a Desiccant Air Dryer may only be needed for certain applications and processes.  As an example, an auto body shop generally will need only a refrigerate air dryer for the tools and general air uses, but will benefit from having very clean and dry air for the paint booth.  Desiccant Air Dryers twin towers and passes the compressed air through a tower that is filled with desiccant. The desiccant attracts the moisture during the timed cycle and then purges, which releases the moisture to the atmosphere. While one tower is drying, the other is purging and regenerating. This type of dryer does use a portion of the dried compressed air as part of the purge cycle so you need to be sure to supply enough compressed air to supply for both your demand and the purge requirement.

The different types of desiccant dryers can include non-heated, heated purge and blower purge. More energy efficient Desiccant dryers will use heated ambient air to purge the off-line tower. Further energy savings can be achieved by using a PDP monitor connected to the dryer controller which will determine when to switch the towers to start the regeneration cycle of the spent tower. The added cost of a Blower Purge Dryer will be quickly off-set by the compressed air system energy savings in most cases.

Desiccant Air Dryers require a high-quality oil-mist removal pre-filter, and a particle filter to keep dust and very fine particles from the dryer bed from getting down-stream to the air distribution system

For more information on how to choose the correct compressed dryer visit the our website or download our product brochures.

What Is A Compressed Air Audit?

An air audit may be in order for your compressor system, especially if it hasn’t been carefully examined recently. While many people focus on the initial cost of purchasing an air compressor, they often forget to factor in the cost of operating the machine over the long run. Any issue within a system can reduce its efficiency, wasting air and electricity, and thereby costing you more money.

But what exactly can an Air Audit do for you? Learn more about how an Air Audit can help you maximize savings. Download "What is a Compressed Air Audit"?

 

10 Ways To Keep Your Air Compressor at a High Level

Everyone is always looking for ways to effectively cut costs to become more profitable. Air compression can be an expensive commodity if not properly maintained. Leaks and worn-down parts reduce the pressure your compressor can produce. Dilapidated seals and fractured piping can fail unexpectedly, creating blowouts. Unintended downtime costs money in lost production or emergency equipment hire. And then you run the risk of physical damage and personal injury claims will pile on the costs of a faulty air compressor.

Compressed air is one of the most widely used forms of energy throughout many industries, with approximately 70% of manufacturers using a compressed air system.

Compressed air can be one of the most expensive forms of energy for manufacturing plants, often using more energy than other equipment. One horsepower of compressed air requires eight horsepower of electricity. With many air compressors running at efficiencies as low as 10 percent, there’s often plenty of room for improvement. Fortunately, 50% of compressed air systems at small- to medium-sized industrial facilities have opportunities for low-cost energy conservation.

Learn how you can save money and keep your air compression working at a premium by downloading our "10 Ways You Can Optimize Your Air Compression and Save Money".

Learn More

Keeping Your Reciprocating Air Compressor Working at its Peak

Here are a few guidelines on how to keep your reciprocating air compressor working optimally. No matter what brand of oil-lubricated reciprocating compressor you own, doing the following three things on a regular basis will extend its working life helping to ensure a trustworthy tool for years to come:

  1. Change lubricant quarterly
  2. Purge water from tank weekly (at least)
  3. Change air filter quarterly

Oil (Lubrication)

Your reciprocating air compressor is basically an engine, and as such it requires constant lubrication to prevent excessive friction from damaging the moving parts and ultimately seizing the piston/s.  Non detergent lubricants are typically preferred for reciprocating air compressors, but make sure you respect the viscosity the manufacturer suggests for your particular compressor.

Regularly check the oil level to make sure you have the right amount of oil in the crankcase.  While the dangers of too little oil are obvious, it’s also important not to overfill a compressor with oil.  If the oil level is too high the oil can get whipped and it will foam up, losing some of its lubricating properties.  In addition, it will gain volume, further increasing your problems.  So keep checking with your dipstick/gauge as you refill with oil and make sure your unit is perfectly level to the ground when you do this.

These are just as easy to read as the dipstick variety.  The red dot represents the “OK” mark (I don’t know why they paint it red, should’ve been green).  Ideally you want to keep the oil level within the center of the dot, but as long as the level is within the dot, you are OK.

On these it’s also easier to judge the state of the oil by looking at it with a flashlight, you can often see whether it’s getting milky (water) or darker (regular wear) without having to remove a sample from the crankcase.

 Tip #1-Oil is regularly lost through the exhaust and the breather hole on the crankcase. Oil also ages and because of this, you should replace the oil after a certain amount of duty hours. A good rule of thumb that will help you comply with most manufacturer’s requirements is to change your reciprocating compressor oil on a quarterly basis.  The actual time depends on many factors and its best if you obtain the manual for your particular compressor for a clear indication on when to replace the oil.

To remove the old oil there’s going to be a bolt at the bottom side or the bottom of the crankcase in all reciprocating air compressors.  Simply remove this bolt to allow the old oil to drain into a bucket for proper disposal.  To speed up the process, make sure you remove the oil when it’s warm and remove the filling cap so you don’t draw a vacuum.=

Removing Condensate from the Receiver Tank

As the compressor’s intake happens to be ambient air, humidity in the air is sucked in on every cycle. The water vapor from ambient humidity will condense and accumulate in the tank/s.  Because of this dynamic, it’s imperative to drain the tank/s at least once a week.

Draining the tank is easy.  Locate the drain valve at the bottom of the tank and open it until moisture and air come out of the valve.  As soon as the flow of water slows to a trickle, close the valve.

If you don’t drain the tank the condensate will rust the tank’s envelope and ultimately corrosion and rust-through will occur.  The more the condensate sits in the tank, the worse it’ll get in time.

To keep condensate from building up in the receiver tank with minimal effort, include the automatic electric timer drain with your purchase of a new compressor. An electric timer drain will open at preset intervals to keep condensate from building up in the tank and finding its way down stream to the shop equipment. Zero-loss drain valves do the same thing, but they lose less compressed air pressure and also reduce the number of short cycles needed to keep the compressed air system at the pre-set level. This saves on your electricity bill.

Tip #2- Because eliminating condensate from the tank is so important to the life of your compressed air system, put a tickler on your calendar to drain the tank at least once a week –more frequently in humid environments.  Better yet, automate this task by investing in an automatic tank drain.

Intake Air Filter

The intake air filter is there to stop the compressor from taking in particles of dust in the ambient air which might cause damage to the metal surfaces inside the air compressor.  If the location of the compressor has a lot of dust and dirt in the air, this filter may need to be kept clean or changed more often than the manufacturer’s recommendations.  Use the manufacturer’s replacement intake air filter for proper fit and filtration.

Tip #3 – Refer to your manufacturer’s recommended intake air filter replacement schedule.  Replacement of your intake filter is important to keeping your air compressor in compliance with the manufacturer’s basic and extended warranty. Even if your air compressor is out of warranty,