Compressed air plays a crucial role in industrial settings, specifically in assembly lines. As a manufacturer, you should be concerned about choosing the apt air compressor because it has a far-reaching impact on operational efficiency. While selecting a rotary screw compressor is a good start, you may get confused about picking the ideal size. It may sound complicated if you know little about air compression technology and equipment. An improper size can lead to several issues, from higher energy costs per unit to erratic tool operation, reduced capacity, and shortened component life. So it makes sense to get your compressor sizing facts right. Here is a guide that can help.
Know CFM requirements of each application
First, you will need to determine the CFM (cubic feet per minute) requirements of the applications you have to run on the compressor. The typical range is between two and 13 CFM for most applications. Tools performing fastening tasks such as screwing and nailing require up to five CFM. Conversely, the requirement is two or three times as much for tools used for cutting and sanding.
Find out the total air requirements
After determining the individual CFM requirements for tools and applications, add them up to find the total. This figure will be the total air requirement the Rotary Screw Air Compressor will need to address for your manufacturing unit. Obviously, the requirement will be more for larger industrial units operating with multiple tools and applications.
Calculate the CFM per duty cycle
Once you know the total air requirement, you will have to calculate the total CFM needed in a given duty cycle. It depends on the activity level you expect from the tools in each duty cycle. For example, if you require them to work for 80% of the duty cycle, multiply the total air requirements by 0.8.
Assess the required PSIG
The next step is to assess the required PSIG (pounds per square inch gauge) of your compressed air system. Most pneumatic tools require between 90 and 100 PSIG, while tools meant for supplying air pressure need 150 PSIG. While assessing the PSIG requirements of the tools, check the specifications with your equipment manufacturer. You must pick a compressor capable of running everything simultaneously and even beyond the full requirements if needed.
Check voltage and phase
Knowing the voltage and phase at the potential location of the air compressor is equally crucial. It is best to hire an electrician to examine your location and determine the values for you. The information will help you decide the placement of the compressor in an area with an adequate energy source to run the machine and its peripheral attachments. The last thing you will want to happen is the fuse to blow and halt the operations.
Decide the tank size
The final step for choosing the right size of air compressor for your manufacturing operations is to determine the tank size for your applications. The selection depends on the scale of operations. Compressors come in common tank sizes 80 gallons, 120 gallons, and 240 gallons. An 80-gallon tank suffices for small projects, while you will need at least 120 gallons tank sized for mid-scale operations with bigger tools. A 240-gallon tank is an ideal pick for a big factory with large air-powered machines.
While these calculations may sound complex, the effort is worthwhile because the correct sizing of the rotary air compressor optimizes operations. You can seek expert advice if you still have doubts.