Complete Guide To Choosing The Best Air Compressor For Industrial Applications

Complete Guide To Choosing The Best Air Compressor For Industrial Applications

With an estimated CAGR of close to 7% for the 2020-2025 period, the Indian air compressor market is indeed growing at a rapid clip. Demand from different industries – like manufacturing, automobiles and power – is driving this sector. Top Air Compressor Manufacturers are making use of the latest technology, to come up with innovative products like screw compressor tools, reciprocating compressors, and other varieties.  

With different manufacturers having a wide range of screw air compressors in their portfolio, selecting the right product for a particular application is not always the easiest of tasks.

Here is a guide that will help you choose the best screw compressor for industrial applications:

Check The Functionality of The Screw Compressor Carefully

This might seem rather self-explanatory, but is often overlooked. Particularly for users who are purchasing a screw air compressor for the first time, being careful about the features of the selected product is very important. 

Find out how the various interconnected parts in the air compressor – the bearings, the pump, the air inlet valve, the compression cylinder, and others – are set up in the system to generate compressed air.

Check the controls and handling requirements of the screw compressor(s) you are planning to buy. There will typically be a number of levers, buttons and switches – each geared for a particular electrical or mechanical function. The controls should be set up in a way that ensures easy usability of the compressor.

If you are looking for single-stage air compression with consistently high Psi, CFM and pressure (more on these in the next section), go for an oil-injected screw compressor. On the other hand, select an oil-free model if you wish to ensure that the airflow does not have any oil traces. Note that oil-free screw compressors are generally more expensive than the oil-injected compressors.

Ask About The Psi and CFM Of The Screw Compressor

One of the biggest advantages of screw air compressors is their continuous operations. There is no need to wait until the air receiver gets filled up. In other words, a good screw compressor comes with a 100% duty cycle.

In order to understand the air power capabilities of the compressor you have shortlisted, ask the manufacturer about the ‘Pounds per square inch (Psi)’ and the ‘Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)’ specifications. These two measurements are key for ensuring the delivery of the right volume of air, at the correct pressure.

Typically, reciprocating compressors have comparatively higher ‘Psi’ than screw compressors. However, the latter are generally suitable for most industrial applications with air tools (with the required Psi being in the 80-110 range).

You should also inquire about the maintenance requirements of the air compressor, and the expected service life. Generally, a screw compressor should work over a long period of time (their longevity is often significantly higher than reciprocating compressors). 

Choose Screw Compressors With The Correct Electrical Phase

Many leading screw compressors supply single-phase as well as three-phase air compressor systems. For industrial applications, you will – in most cases – require a three-phase model. If possible, get this confirmed by a qualified electrician, and then make the purchase.

While selecting industrial air compressors, energy-efficiency should be one of your prime considerations. Variable Speed Drive (VSD) rotary screw compressors can deliver upto 70% higher energy savings than the fixed-speed models. However, VSD compressors have higher environmental sensitivity – and you have to be careful while using them. 

Be mindful of the total air capacity and pressure of the screw compressor. If you had an air compressor previously and your industrial applications are scaling up – select a new screw air compressor with a higher capacity and pressure. 

Make sure that the screw compressor you select can be seamlessly installed and set up in your existing electrical infrastructure. Find out from the manufacturer about probable operational risks, and how the compressor handles them. Do not compromise with safety.

Select The Screw Compressor and Accessories That Would Deliver Actual Value

A wide variety of screw air compressors are currently available. Apart from variations in system configuration, horsepower (HP), voltage and capacity – different screw compressor models have varying capabilities (e.g., a tank-mounted compressor has to be handled differently from a base-mounted compressor). It is important to select the model that would be the most suitable for your requirements.

The best manufacturing companies also produce a diverse array of add-on components and accessories. These include electrical condensate traps, air filters/dryers, aftercoolers, and more. Choose the accessories that you really need – and not just everything.

Compared to reciprocating air compressors, a screw air compressor works a lot more ‘quietly’. Make sure that the sound generated by the screw compressor is not more than 65-70 dBA. Also, you need to find out how frequently you need to change the filters and drain out water from the system. 

Yet another extremely important feature of screw air compressors is their Volume Ratio (or, Vi). Not checking the Vi of a new compressor can lead to several performance issues. Under-compression occurs due to very low Vi levels, while high Vi opens up chances of over-compression (i.e., higher pressure at the discharge port).

Buy Screw Air Compressors From A Reliable Supplier

In order to cut corners, many buyers make the mistake of looking for cheap screw compressors. This is never a good idea – since such products often have poor capabilities, deliver sub-optimal performance, and can cause safety hazards as well. Make it a point to source your industrial air compressor from a reputed air compressor supplier.

The top screw air compressor manufacturers, like Zentech Systems, deliver the best combination of usability, reliability, operational ease and competitive pricing. With the help of cutting-edge inspection technology, all components of the compressors are tested. Customisations are made available as well.

In order to ascertain the quality of the screw compressor you buy, ask about its product certifications. Select a supplier that complies with all the latest quality standards and regulations (like ISO 9001:2015).

For industrial applications, you need screw air compressors with accurate volume and mix specifications. With the help of the streamlined testing and assembly services delivered by the leading manufacturers, you can rest assured about getting products of assured quality.

Good-quality screw compressor tools are not exactly cheap. Hence, it is extremely important to select the product carefully, and follow the maintenance requirements to ensure a long service life. The above pointers should help you in finding the best air screw compressors for your industrial applications, and optimising your ROI.

There are 3 comments for this article
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