Compressed air is used in a number of different ways. From industrial to automotive, it’s one the most variable resources around. It is estimated that somewhere around 70% of all manufacturers have a compressed air system in their factory, and due to its many uses, that system might become damaged.
A damaged system can be expensive, and as such, it is important that you have regular maintenance to ensure your system stays in good shape.
Compressed air system leaks can cost a large amount, even on a small scale. A 1/8 inch diameter hole in a simple 100 psi system can cost you more than $1,200 per year. That’s a lot of money for a small leak, and clamps aren’t good enough to fix it. You need to repair it.
The cost might be greater if you have a custom compressed air distribution system with many components. The time and hassle involved may cause an increase in price, especially if there is a lot of disassembly and reassembly by the technician.
When designing your compressed air system it’s a good idea to look at compressed air piping sizing. Air compressor pipes can come in many different shapes and sizes, but the larger the pipe, the more energy needed to compress and push the air. That means a stronger system and a greater financial investment.
Pressure can begin to drop after the first 100 feet if your pipes are not secure and air-tight. Compressed air piping sizing might not be a factor if they are, however, as a secure system with no leaks doesn’t have to worry about losing pressure inside. You’re still looking at a decent investment in energy and cost, however.
But that’s not that large of an issue.
According to energy audits by the by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), over 50% of industrial compressed air systems of small to medium sizes have low-cost energy conservation opportunities. That means that you can get the system you want and not have to worry too much about cost.
Assuming you keep it in a state of good repair, that is.
So while compressed air is a common commodity in the business world, keeping the system well maintained is an important aspect of having one in your shop or factory.