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Premier Control Technologies Fluid Solutions

Compressed air flow meters

Complete management of your Compressed Air Monitoring Systems

Introduction

Prevent: Embrace Proactivity for System Integrity

Ensuring the purity of your compressed air system is paramount. By employing advanced monitoring devices like ‘oil carry-over’ and ‘dew point’ sensors, you can intercept potential impurities that threaten to disrupt your production line. Early detection is key to averting costly breakdowns and maintaining uninterrupted operations.

Preparation: The Foundation of Reliability

Strategic preparation involves thoughtful placement of compressors, selecting appropriate dryers, and situating measurement devices in critical zones. For instance, monitoring the dew point post-dryer can inform you about its efficiency and signal when maintenance is due, thus preventing inaccuracies and ensuring optimal performance.

Response: The Art of Swift Action

A well-prepared response plan includes having backup devices ready for critical components like flow monitors. This foresight allows for seamless swaps during recalibrations, minimizing downtime and maintaining continuous flow monitoring.

Recovery: Bouncing Back with Minimal Loss

Diligent maintenance can forestall significant downtime, but wear is inevitable. Detecting issues like leaks early on is crucial for sustaining compressor efficiency and reducing energy costs, which constitute the lion’s share of production expenses (Approx 80%).

Energy is the largest cost of production at around 73% so minimising energy expenses are key to maximum efficiency. To achieve this, leakages should be reduced with the location and fixing of leaks being responsible for a possible 42% of total savings. To reduce leaks and incoming contamination a selection of flow meters, air quality controllers, pressure monitors and ultrasonic leak detectors can be combined to monitor the compressed gas system.

How To: Key Steps for Implementing a Robust Compressed Gas System

  1. Initial Setup

    Begin with a clamp-on ammeter Miniflex and Power meter to audit and optimize the compressor’s operational cycle, ensuring energy-efficient performance. This will Provide precise data on power usage by the compressor. Precise consumption is provided with Active power in kW, Apparent power (kVA), Reactive power (kVar) and Active energy (kWh).

    Clamp-on ammeter and power meter
  2. Flow Measurement

    Installing a VD500 flow meter to gauge wet air flow, providing insights that help minimize energy consumption. The VD paired with the above devices will then be able to give the energy needed to compress 1m3 of air (or how much power is used to generate 1m3/min). this will feed into the Dryer.

    Gauge wet air flow with VD500 flow meter
  3. Moisture Control

    Being able to monitor Dew point sensor, using a product such as the FA510, post-dryer helps us monitor the dryer and prevent liquid ingress which could halt production therefore costing the company in down time & repair costs. Monitoring the Dew point is also required for ISO8573-1.

    Monitor dew point with the FA510
  4. Pressure Efficiency

    Using a differential pressure probe to monitor compressed air filters you can determine the effectiveness, if the filter is full it will generate more pressure loss, having a cleaner filter will help in reducing energy waste as the compressor isn’t working as hard to achieve the same pressures (less pressure drop). This differential pressure shouldn’t exceed 1.6 Bar Differential. This maybe measured with the CS Instruments differential pressure sensor.

  5. Oil Monitoring

    An Oil Check 400 ensures no residual oil contaminates the product, aligning with ISO8573-1 standards when paired with a PC 400 particulate counter. This can be logged and displayed with the DS500 mobile chart recorder.

    Alternatively if you wanted to see live ISO8573-1 classification and log the data - you can use the new oil check 500, along with the PC400 (Particulate counter), FA510 (moisture monitoring) & DS500 (Data logger).

    Oil Chek 400 - Ensures no residual oil contaminates
  6. Pressure Optimization

    A CS10 pressure sensor helps adjust initial pressure by indicating line pressure, potentially saving 6-8% in electricity costs. Typically most compressed air systems do not require more than 6 Bar pressure so being able to monitor and measure may help to reduce the pressure where higher pressures are detected. Lowering the system pressure results in a cost saving as the compressor does not have to consume as much energy to achieve high pressures.

  7. Consumption Tracking

    A VA500 compressed air insertion flow meter post-air quality control system aids in leak detection and air consumption analysis as it will provide real time flow rates being output from the compressor.

    If distributed further, then in line flow meters like the VA520 can be used to monitor each buildings or departments compressed air usage which is key to monitoring and reducing costs. Further to this a VA525 can be installed at a single point or individual machine where compressed air is being consumed to give live performance data which in turn maybe able to confirm if leaks are present.

    Monitor compressed air with insertion flow meter
  8. Leak Detection

    The LD500 ultrasonic leak detector can be used to identify leaks and with certain attachments can identify leaks up to 15m away. This Data can then be uploaded to an online portal and prioritized accordingly (fixing the bigger leaks first) enhancing sustainability and cost-efficiency.

    The software also allows the user to generate ISO 15001 reports. For plants that have many sites a cloud based solution is also available to keep track of these reports.

    Leaks are easiest to spot when production is halted but compressors are still running. Consumption of compressed air should be as close to 0 as possible so the higher the consumption when production is halted is a good indicator if leaks in the system are present.

Driving Down Costs, Elevating System Longevity

Addressing the industry-standard leakage rate of 20-30% can significantly reduce energy consumption, lower operational costs, and extend the life of your compressor. Once leaks are remedied, further system optimizations can be pursued for even greater efficiency.

This approach emphasizes the importance of a proactive stance in managing compressed air systems, highlighting the benefits of prevention, preparedness, and efficient recovery to ensure minimal downtime and maximum productivity.

Our calorimetric range of flow meters are manufactured by CS Instruments.

They are suitable for both in-line applications and larger pipe sizes when an insertion type flow meter is required. Typical applications include flow measurement and total volume measurement. Inline flow meters can be used on pipe sizes from ¼” up to 2” whilst insertion style meters can be used on pipe sizes up to DN300. We can offer both digital and analogue outputs with most models offering a local display with easy push button setup. Mass flow readings can also be output from the flow meter.

Insertion flow meters for heavy duty industrial applications can also offer Atex certification, whilst integrated measuring sections are available with both flanged and threaded connections. Both have been robustly designed for tough industrial applications.

Get in touch

PCT offer a wide range of intruments to faciliate an array of compressed air systems across the UK. If you have any questions about you particular system please do contact us.

Help and advice

A member of our team will be happy to assist with any questions you may have.

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