We all know how important your compressed air piping layout is to the overall efficiency of your system. Yet many companies are still making basic mistakes that could unnecessarily drive up operating costs and leave them at a disadvantage. Here are some common problems we see with compressed air piping layouts, and how to make sure your design gives you the best performance possible.
Mistake #1: The piping is too small for the necessary air flow
If your air compressor piping is too small, it could limit the amount of flow and lower the discharge pressure, which in turn may lead to less force in your compressed air power. Your system will have to work much harder to achieve the proper levels, and therefore cost more to operate. Make sure that you choose the appropriate sizing for your needs and one that will match with your compressor's power output capacity.
Mistake #2: Creating artificial demand
On the other hand, you could be creating more air pressure on the end use than is truly required for the application at hand. This creates what's known as "artificial demand." For instance, a 90 psi supply for an application that only demands 50 psi of compressed air distribution is a clear example of inefficiency. The best way to minimize artificial demand is to use a pressure regulator at the end use.
Mistake #3: Sharp angles in compressed air piping layouts
Sending your compressed air through a lot of twists, turns, or sharp angles will waste energy and cause inevitable pressure drops. In fact, a 90-degree turn can cause a three to five PSID in pressure loss, because the air has to bounce around to find its correct path. While a straight layout is best, use several small-turn angles instead of sharp turns if you have to direct your piping in a certain direction.
You don't have to be an expert in compressed air piping layouts to know that even the slightest inefficiency can lead to higher operating costs that will cut into your profits. So make sure that your design is running at full speed by hiring a professional team to help you achieve maximum efficiency.