Compressed Air Systems: All You Need to Know
Compressed Air Systems

Roughly 70% of manufacturers use a compressed air system, but they aren’t restricted to manufacturing; in fact, air compressors are a necessary part in many industries, such as auto body repair, construction, woodworking, and more.

That’s why when it comes to compressed air system designs, there isn’t any one-size-fits-all option. Each shop has needs that are unique, so to find the air tools that fit the needs you have, just use the following information.

What Size of Air Compressor Is Right for Me?

The size of the air compressor you use depends on what types of air tools you need to use. But it also includes how many tools you’ll be using at once and whether you have plans for future expansion. You can predict your combined air tool consumption by listing the air consumption of each tool you plan to eventually use, and adding these up. Then, you can find a compressed air system that supports that amount.

How Much Air Pressure am I Going to Need?

This depends on which of your tools has the highest minimum air pressure requirement. You can easily figure this out when you’re listing the tools you’ll be using. Simply define which tool has the highest minimum air pressure requirement, and make sure the air compressor you choose supports at least that much pressure.

How Do I Use Low-Pressure Tools With Air Stored at a Higher Pressure?

To use high-pressure compressed air for low-pressure applications, simply use a commercially-available pressure regulator. It can be set to limit the air pressure coming out of the tank, to meet the requirements o the tool you’re using.

Can I Drain Water From My Tank Automatically?

Yes, by installing an automatic tank drain in your existing compressed air system design. These are either activated by a float inside the tank, activated using a timer, or electronically activated.

How Do I Keep Water Out of Air Tools and Distribution Lines?

You can either use a refrigerated air dryer, which is installed in-line after discharging the compressor unit; place drop legs inside air service lines; or you can simply ensure that service piping comes off at the top of air distribution piping, which minimizes the amount of water and debris that can get into the tool.

Why Does the Air Compressor Occasionally Run, Even When No Air is Being Used?

There are some different possibilities for what’s causing your compressor to run, even when you aren’t using it. The compressor might be pumping the tank up in order to set the cut-out air pressure rating. If the compressor is set to continuous run operation, it will unload without shutting down, requiring it to continue running. Finally, there may be air system leaks somewhere in your setup, causing an artificial demand for air, which the compressor then tries to keep up with.

What Are Some Advantages to Using Compressed Air, Compared to Alternative Power Sources?

There are multiple benefits to using compressed air in a body shop. The following are just a few:

  1. Safety: One of the greatest advantages, your risk of electric shock is all-but eliminated by using compressed air systems, instead of electrical tools.
  2. Reduced risk: Similarly, leaks in compressed air systems will cause no contamination to a workplace like hydraulic system leaks will.
  3. Cooler operation: Air tools build up less heat than other types of tools because the air itself causes the heat to dissipate as it passes through tools and lines.
  4. Lower maintenance: Air tools require significantly less maintenance than other types of tools, and they tend to experience less downtime. There’s also no risk of “burning up” the tools in low-voltage applications, as can happen with electrical tools.
  5. High efficiency: Compressed air system designs are much easier, and less expensive, to install than are electrical grids. They are also less demanding than using hydraulic system lines. Compressed air distribution lines can also be modified to create new points of use much more easily.
  6. Lower cost: The initial cost of buying and setting-up compressed air systems and tools tend to be much lower compared to electrical and hydraulic tools.
  7. Mobility: Thanks to mobile air compressors, tools using compressed air are much for flexible than electrical tools.
  8. Ease-of-use: in most cases, air tools weigh less than electrical tools, which makes them more ergonomic.

When you’re looking for the best in compressed air system designs, rely on Rapid Air for your business’ success.