Compressed air is the modern equivalent of a workhorse. Strong, reliable, and constantly available for a multitude of tasks. But the variety of those tasks means they require different specifications from compressed air systems. The air that drives a conveyor could not be used in food or pharmaceutical manufacturing, for example. And this is where flow monitoring comes in.
Although your air compressor installation will have been calibrated and checked at installation, and measurements taken during its routine servicing, flow monitoring will give you real-time data on your compressed air system’s performance. This means you can ensure your compressor is not just running efficiently, but you can have confidence that it meets the standards you need and can respond immediately to any variations.
Why monitor air compressor flow?
There are a host of reasons why you might want to monitor air compressor air flow and other data.
- Energy efficiency: Compressors consume a significant proportion of the UK’s industrial energy usage. Monitors can be an energy management system that helps you ensure you are not using more than you need to.
- Quality checks: Monitors can help you precisely maintain the parameters of air quality you need, checking against a set of criteria. It will give you the peace of mind that you are getting exactly the quality of air you require.
- Operational optimisation: The data you collect allows you to consider your operating processes and organisation, giving you evidence that you can use for your operations management.
But underlining all of these is cost-effectiveness. When you have the power to fully understand your compressed air system and how you use it, you also have the power to keep your costs low and your productivity high.
What does a monitoring system include?
Compressed air monitoring systems will be different in every setting. How you use your compressor, and what you want from it, will determine what monitoring set-up is best for you. However, common monitoring includes:
- Flow meters: These will track the pressure and consumption of compressed air at various points in your system.
- Temperature sensors: Which track the temperature of equipment and air to ensure it remains within your required parameters.
- Dew point meters: Will track and measure the dew point of water, which can be essential if bacterial contamination is a concern.
- Discharge air sensors: Monitor the characteristics of air being released from the system.
- Energy consumption meters: Can give a real-time indication of energy use, so you can be sure the compressor is performing as you expect.
The benefits of monitoring
Almost every air compressor user will benefit from monitoring, and for some processes monitoring is essential to guarantee required compressed air standards are being met.
For many, the chief benefit is financial. Ensuring that your system is working at an optimal level reduces costs. The data can also inform preventative maintenance because the monitors can detect variations — which might not be detected from the process they power — that indicate issues within the system.
It can ensure an efficient compressed air system, working at the level you need, so you aren’t paying for over-specified air or having to pick up the costs of an underperforming compressor elsewhere.
And the monitoring has no effect on your processes. The data is captured and logged automatically, and can be accessed remotely, making it easily available for anyone who needs to see it. And with cloud integration, you can even check your compressor’s performance from an app.
Perhaps above all, air compressor monitoring systems give you peace of mind. You rely on your air compressor, so why wouldn’t you want to be able to check how it is performing at any given time.
Installing monitoring on your air compressor system
Most modern compressors will come with a range of monitoring features. However, monitoring systems will include your complete system, right up to the last tool that it powers.
As compressed air experts, we can advise on what level and type of monitoring solution is right for you, considering the equipment you have, your processes, and what you need to get from your system. Whether it’s simply monitoring flow, or providing a suite of data, we can provide and install the equipment that you need.
Plus, afterwards, we can provide training, advice, and guidance on how to best use your flow monitoring, showing you what to look for, and what actions you can take to get the best out of your system.
Every business needs quality control on its products, and when compressed air is integral to so many production processes, it makes sense to have quality control for your air as well.
Contact us today, and we can show you the difference that flow monitoring can make.