SMC is calling for compressed air users to take a deep breath and wake up to the benefits of using clean air in the manufacturing process
We all know the air we breathe is contaminated, and the same applies to the manufacturing process; ambient air used by manufacturers to feed compressors will also contain pollution such as dirt particles, water vapour and oil, which is multiplied when other substances are added during the compression and delivery of the air.
Treating the air used in manufacturing will not only save energy and protect the environment, but will also prolong the life and overall efficiency of machinery by reducing rust and corrosion that can be caused by moist, dirty air.
SMC’s Product Promotions Manager, Pete Humphreys, says: “Air treatment is often overlooked and considered a compressor issue rather than an issue directly relating to air contamination. One of the most frequent problems is the volume of water vapour in compressed air, which can be as much as 150 wine bottles in a typical working day, leading to rust and malfunctions.
“It is an issue we often see and by simply investing in the right air care systems, manufacturers can save time and money and ultimately improve the quality of their end products.”
There are four different sources of compressed air contamination which can affect the manufacturing process, including atmospheric air, the air compressor itself which is vulnerable to liquid, aerosol and vapour oils, air storage devices and air distribution piping.
Although poor air quality may be invisible to the naked eye, its damaging effects can be obvious with common tell-tale signs including corrosion in the pipes resulting in stuck auto-drains, air leakage from damaged seals and machinery breakdowns. And, too much moisture can also cause rubber seals to swell, as well as valves and actuators to malfunction due to grease being washed out.
Pete Humphreys adds: “Unfortunately, there is no getting away from the importance that clean, compressed air plays in the overall manufacturing process. Whether we like it or not, untreated air has a detrimental effect not only on the quality of the products being produced and the lifecycle of the machinery, but it will also lead to increased operating costs.
“At SMC we’ve worked closely with our customers to develop a range of cost-efficient air care products that help overcome many of the issues, and improve production efficiencies.”
Named as one of the world’s most innovative companies for the second successive year by business magazine Forbes, SMC has used its team of 1400 highly specialist in-house R&D experts to create a range of air care treatment systems featuring refrigerated air dryers, main line filters for particles, general mist as well as micro and super mist oil separators plus odour-removal filters.
For more information about SMC’s Air Care range visit www.smcpneumatics.co.uk.