State of the Industry: Air Compressors 2021

3C State of the industry

3C Industrial is in the business of air compressors. Anything and everything you need to know about air compressors, we have an answer. We want to take a quick look at the state of the industry for air compressors, what the market is doing now, where it’s going and how 3C fits into it all. 

Market Overview

The global air compressor market is expected to keep growing its compound annual growth rate to more than 3% by 2025. Some factors to this include the growing market of oil and gas production, especially in countries such as the United States, China, and India. Additionally, the food and beverage industry is gaining an increasing demand for compressors for processing, packaging, shipping, and other areas of business. Air compressors are used in many industries and areas, but the time it’s taking to get to the end-user is proving to be a challenge. 

Wait Times are on the Rise

Wait times have been on the rise since the beginning of Q1 2020. The reason for this is extended production times. Parts and supplies are taking longer to fulfill as facilities are trying to fill backorders from production shutdowns due to Covid. Shipping times have also increased as the global supply chain, which allows businesses to transport products across the world, cannot keep up with current demands. They too are trying to recover from the crazy year of 2020, but have not been able to catch up themselves. Thus, the industrial world as a whole is patiently waiting for goods, and in our case, compressors for up to 15 weeks.

What 3C is doing

3C has felt the weight of wait times increase, however, we have adapted. We have pre-ordered a variety of top-of-the-line air compressors to have in-house for any new or current customers. We believe in staying ahead of the game, so we purchased ahead so your wait time is minimal.

If you want to find out what we have on hand, just give us a call at 512-244-9074. We’ll ship to anywhere in the Texas region! 

New or Used Air Compressor: Which One Is Best?

new or used air compressors?

When looking for an air compressor, you can choose between buying new or used. This decision comes after deciding the specific type of compressor you need. There are plenty of pros and cons for either option and diverse factors to your choice. We’re here to help you outline the advantages and disadvantages of a new and used compressor. 

Benefits of purchasing new air compressors

Buying new comes with many advantages. As long as the new equipment is being used often, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • Receive the latest technology: Just like anything new, new air compressors use the latest tech to make operations run smooth. You also won’t have to worry about your compressor breaking down anytime soon. 
  • Higher efficiency: New air compressors typically use power more efficiently than a used option. New machinery rarely has leaks, clogged air filters or incorrect pressure readings, all of which impact your compressor’s efficiency. 
  • Long life span: New machinery naturally has a longer lifespan than older compressors. A brand new compressor equals a brand new start. 
  • Higher return on investment (ROI): As you decide which system will work for you, you’ll wonder which has the best ROI between used or new air compressors. You’ll get the most value from a new unit, thanks to its longer lifespan and quality components. 

Disadvantages of purchasing a new air compressor

The main disadvantage of purchasing a new air compressor is its cost. You’re going to pay more for something new compared to a used one. However, it’s an investment that will pay off in the long-term.

Benefits of Purchasing a Used Air Compressors

As with new, used air compressors have their own advantages. You’ll receive the following benefits:  

  • Lower Up-Front Cost: The most appealing benefit of buying used equipment is the lower price. Sometimes you can even buy multiple used air compressors for the same price you could get for one new air compressor. 
  • No Initial depreciation: Just like a new car, once a brand new air compressor is bought it’s value depreciates immediately. That problem doesn’t exist when you have used compressors. 
  • Quality Refurbishments: You might find yourself with a high-quality refurbished machine. Components may be new which would give you a more efficient and long-lasting system. If you’re not sure if the used air compressor has refurbished parts, take the time to check out the specs. You might find yourself with a great deal. 

Disadvantages of Purchasing a Used Air Compressor

When it comes to used compressors, a lot of the time you get what you paid for. 

There is also a lack of the latest technology, unknown lifespan, and few warranty options, which all provide their own value. 

Decided?

Have you decided which air compressor is right for you? If you’re looking for new compressors contact us today and let us help you figure out your best options!

Does Your Compressor Need an Upgrade?

upgrade your air compressor

Are you doing corrective maintenance more and more every quarter? Are you shouting when chatting near your compressor? Do these scenarios sound familiar? These are all telltale signs that  it may be time to replace your air compressor.

Are you exceeding repairs?

A good rule of thumb most of our customers  follow on repairs is to not exceed 50-60% of the cost of a new compressor. Main air compressor parts can cost an arm and a leg to replace, such as a new motor or an airend element. With replacing and adding new parts, you will most likely be paying for labor as well, making replacements expensive on their own. If your list of repairs starts growing, it may be a sign it’s time for something new. 

Are you using too much energy?

Changing parts can be costly, but a big electricity bill can be even scarier. As air compressors get to the end of their life, it’s common for them to need to run longer and more frequently. Less high-tech compressors consume more energy and can cause a significant headache every month when you see your bill. If your air compressor is using too much energy, it’s probably time to upgrade. 

So, have you decided? 

If you’re still unsure about whether it’s worth it or not to replace your older compressors, 3C can help you evaluate!  It is always better to add a new compressor while your old one can still be used.  That way you now have redundancy and can keep your old machine for an emergency back up.   We’re here to help with all corrective maintenance, preventive maintenance or compressor sales. And if you’ve made the decision to upgrade your air compressor, you can shop our catalog today!

Summer Maintenance Tips

Summer maintenance tips

Summertime is officially here in Texas. The summer brings long, hot and humid days, all of which can take a toll on your air compressor. Skyrocketing temperatures combined with condensation can strain your equipment’s performance unless you’re prepared. Here are some summer maintenance tips that we at 3C have put together to help you with your preventative maintenance.

1. Clean Your Cabinet and Intake Air Filters

Seems like routine maintenance, but it’s easy to forget when you’re day-to-day tasks take over . A compressor runs cooler and uses less energy when filters are clean. When you have dirty, clogged filters, they can lead to pressure drops. This causes the compressor to work at higher levels to accommodate the demand. It’s important to follow a regular maintenance schedule and add checks for seasonal changes.

2. Check Compressor Room Ventilation

Increased airflow helps us breathe easier and the same can be said about our machines. Air and oil filters require a little extra attention in the summer. Check the compressor room frequently and adjust ventilation and airflow accordingly. Air contaminants, such as pollen and other air pollutants that are prevalent in the summer, can clog up your compressors. When you check your compressor room, make sure to clean and clear the ventilation system. 

3. Look Through Your Drains

The high humidity in the summer causes more condensation when air cools and eventually come out of the drains. Check to ensure that your drains are clear and in working order so they can handle the increased flow. The condensation is sometimes mixed with the compressor oil, so we recommend treating the water before being released directly into the drain. While you’re checking the drains, you should also look at the unit’s filtered and separation tanks. 

4. Clean Your Coolers

During the summer, your air compressor is running not sprinting. To make sure it doesn’t pass out from the heat, you must unblock or unclog your coolers. When your coolers are blocked or clogged, this can cause your air compressor to overheat.

5. Adjust Your Water Cooling Systems 

With your water-cooled compressors, adjust the temperature of the water entering the system. This helps compensate for increased ambient temperatures and to ensure that it is adequate for summer conditions. 

Taking these preventive steps will help sustain your air compressor system in the summer and your business as a whole helping prevent downtime. If you find yourself with no time to do these regular and seasonal maintenance checks, let 3C help you! We’re here for all your summer maintenance along with preventive and corrective maintenance needs. 

Everything You Need to Know About Compressed Air Piping

Compressed Air Piping

Traditional air piping is not always the most effective or efficient way to maintain your business. On top of that, you’ll also find your energy prices could be increasing. This where compressed air piping comes in.

What is Compressed Air Piping?

The purpose of an air piping system is to deliver compressed air to where it’s needed most. Sounds simple, but it’s easier said than done. The compressed air has to be delivered in sufficient volume, with good enough quality and enough pressure to power the application. If not done well, the pipes will not give sufficient air and may drive up your energy bill. Properly connected compressed air piping allows this flow to go through the cycle efficiently and effectively. 

Piping Layout Counts

You may already have a system set up, but is it in the right place? Layout matters when it comes to utilizing your piping system, especially the connectors. When the connectors are not properly placed, this can cause leaks; and little leaks cause big headaches. 

If the piping has sharp corners, then you may not be getting all the air that you need, or that you are paying for. If piping is in a more humid part of the building, this can cause erosion and rust, which clogs your pipes. Any obstructions to the piping are also a no-no. Just like your AC unit needs space to breathe, so do your pipes.

Pipe Sizing is Not Always the Same

Your pipe size is determined by that maximum air velocity of 19 ft/s in the main supply line. Most often, the piping is sized to the same diameter as the connection on the compressor outlet. This is not always the best case. Having the same diameter size can lead to excessive pressure loss and affect the efficiency of the compressor. 

Compressed Air Piping is Energy-efficient

Unlike traditional piping, compressed air piping is one of the most energy-efficient methodologies that offers an affordable, beneficial, and easily maintainable solution to your business. Traditional Piping is not known for its energy efficiency. This is due to the considerable leakages and loss of power that happens more frequently with these pipes, which are made of steel or copper, which makes it more difficult to trace and repair.

Time for Some Change

At 3C, we offer the best quality air piping solutions that will work for your business and reduce energy costs 30-50% within the first year. Don’t wait until that inevitable leak happens or that high bill comes through. We’ll make sure to work with you and help you get the best piping you can get!

A Quick History of the Air Compressor

Air compressor history

Air compressors are used in a variety of settings for multiple purposes. Today, compressors are used in agricultural, power engines, medical, mining, oil & gas and manufacturing industries. These compressors help in an array of ways, but back in the day they weren’t as versatile. They required a lot more manual activity than they do now. 

The earliest recorded air compressors are the human lungs. The oxygen we exhale can take out small fires and help in small, marginal tasks. With that concept in mind, the Bellows air compressor was invented in 1500 B.C. As seen above, it was a hand-held device that provided a concentrated blast of air. 

In 1762, engineer John Smeaton designed the first water wheel-driven blowing cylinder that would go on to replace the Bellows. After the water-wheel, the blasting machine invented by John Wilkinson in 1776 became the go-to industrial air compressor.  The blasting machine would actually go on to become the archetype for future mechanical air compressors. 

In 1857, compressors were used to move large air volumes for the Italy-France rail system. It was this event that helped people see more ways to utilize the compressor. In 1888, Vikto Popp, an Austrian engineer, created the first compressor plant in Paris. Paris then became the epicenter of raging debate regarding the future of power systems, with arguments that air compressors would overtake electricity. Shortly after Vikto’s first compressor plant, other inventors were moving towards creating and patenting a number of accessories that ran on compressed air. 

In the 20th century, the automotive and aircraft industries were able to have major overhauls as air compressor technology was growing. Assembly lines became efficient and people were able to assemble heavier items much faster. Simultaneously, buildings were growing and air compressors made it possible for big projects to happen, such as the Empire State Building. 

Today we see a variety of ways air compressors are used and an abundance of the different types, manufacturers, and uses. At 3C Industrial, we make it simple and easy to choose your next air compressor. Check out our product catalog and let us know how we can help you today!

Today we see a variety of air compressors used in different industries for various purposes.

Air Compressor Preventive Maintenance – What All Does it Entail?

Air Compressor Preventive Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance is an essential part of keeping your air compressor running at optimal levels. Although PM can seem costly if you aren’t used to regularly servicing your compressor, the biggest expense you face is downtime should your equipment fail. What exactly is included in a PM service? 

There are two intervals at which you should get your compressor serviced: quarterly and annually. Read below for a breakdown of what happens at each:

Quarterly

  • Change Air and Oil Filters: regular maintenance of filtration improves oil quality to ensure extended life of your air compressor.

  • Perform In-depth Multi-point Checklist – a full inspection of the equipment. Check for things such as exposed wires and loose fittings. We bring recommended corrective maintenance to the forefront and inform the customer of any needed repairs.
  • Blowout Coolers – without proper airflow across air and oil coolers, there can be a negative impact on the operating air temperature. Increased air temperature can lead to breakdown of oil and possible machinery failure due to high-temp shutdown. Failure = downtime.
  • Oil Samples – as needed per manufacturer warranty requirements.
  • Clean Compressor Area – ensure the compressor region is free of debris that can get sucked into the air intake filter.

Annually

  • All services included in Quarterly Preventive Maintenance.
  • Change Compressor Oil – people think they can run their compressors for a certain length of time based on oil type (i.e. an 8,000 hourr oil can run for four years if using 2,000 hours/year). While this is true if the equipment is running at perfect factory settings, such as 0% humidity, 70° ambient temp, most compressors are typically housed outdoors under awnings. Although they are protected from the elements, they aren’t protected from Texas temperatures.
  • Change air oil separator – help prevent oil carryover problems.

At 3C Industrial it is our goal to help save you significant time and resources by taking proactive measures to ensure your equipment is taken care of. Keep your air compressors running smoothly with Preventive Maintenance. Invest in protecting your equipment and your business from downtime. Schedule your PM today.

Which Air Compressor Is Right For You?

Choosing the Right Air Compressor

Industries everywhere rely on air compressors to carry out a variety of functions, but not all compressors are the same. Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to determine which air compressor is right for you


How much air do I need?
Each tool or piece of equipment in your shop requiring compressed air to function should specify their exact CFM (cubic feet per minute) requirement, the units by which compressed air is measured. Use these numbers to find a compressor that has an output meeting or exceeding the requirements of your shop equipment.


What pressure do I need?
Similar to CFM requirements, your equipment should also specify its PSI (pounds per square inch) requirements. This will help you determine how much air pressure they need to function.


What kind of power source do I have?
Air compressors require a great deal of power, so it’s important to understand what kind of strain this will place on your electrical system (and power bill). Consult an electrician to determine the type and amount of electrical power available in your shop, and select a compressor that fits within those specifications.

Where will I keep it?
It’s important to ensure that you have adequate space for an air compressor in your shop, ideally in its own room. Compressors should have a roughly 3-foot radius to maintain ventilation and should be in an environment that maintains an ambient temperature and doesn’t get too hot or cold during periods of extreme weather.


Which compressor type is better suited for my purposes?
Do your research to determine whether you need a rotary or reciprocating compressor– take into consideration factors such as price, longevity, ease of use, duty cycle, and more before making your final decision.


Once you’ve gathered all this information, give us a call and we can assist in deciding which of our many air compressor options is right for you. Contact us, today.

Air Treatment Mythbusting, Pt. 2

air treatment myths and facts

We’re back to debunk another round of common air treatment myths and misconceptions! Read on to learn more about air contamination, dryer installation, and more:

Myth: Compressed air contamination is a compressor issue.

Fact: In a typical compressed air treatment system, contamination comes from three different sources, these being:

  1. Atmospheric air: Air compressors draw in huge amounts of atmospheric air, which continuously fills the system with contaminants such as water vapor, microorganisms, atmospheric dirt, and oil vapor.
  1. The air compressor: In addition to the contaminants drawn in through the compressor intake, the compressor also adds particulates from its operation. Additionally, oil lubricated compressors carry over liquid oil, oil aerosols, and oil vapor from the compression process. Once through the compression stage, the after-cooler will also condense water vapor. This introduces it into the compressed air in both a liquid and aerosol form.
  1. Compressed air storage devices and distribution piping: The air receiver (storage device) and the system piping that distributes the compressed air around the facility both store large amounts of contamination. Additionally, they cool the warm, saturated compressed air which causes condensation on a large scale. Thus, adding liquid water into the system. This saturated air and liquid water leads to corrosion, pipe scale, and microbiological growth.

Myth: Static oil water separators are not suitable for synthetic lubricants/PAGs. This is evident with cloudy outlet water.

Fact: Oil water separators are designed to reduce oil in water levels to acceptable limits. Some lubricants such as synthetics/PAGs also contain detergents and additives to extend the life of the compressor. Oil water separators are not designed to remove detergents and additives. Lab analysis needs to accurately determine oil in water content and not from visual inspection. Lab analysis of cloudy outlet water is the only way of accurately testing oil in water content to show whether or not it is within acceptable limits.

Myth: Any dryer (refrigerated or desiccant) can be installed outdoors.

Fact: A standard dryer design is for internal installation. However, many are often installed outside, with or without a lean-to roof. Outside installation is acceptable provided there is a lean-to roof with freeze/snow protection, blowing rain protection, and a roof/ceiling high enough to avoid hot air recirculation. We do no recommend outside installation of standard dryers with no roof.

In a case where outside installation without roof is a necessity, request an outdoor modification package including freeze protection, UV protection in paint, fasteners and electronics, and Nema 4 components throughout. A Nema 4 electrical enclosure alone is not sufficient for an outdoor setup without roof installation.

Myth: Most dryers do not provide dryness levels to the same levels quoted in sales literature.

Fact: Dryer installations often plague with a variety of mistakes which impact the level of compressed air dryness they provide. Classic installation mistakes are: 

  • Insufficient space above or in front of condenser air discharge, which causes recirculation and high pressure faults
  • Dramatic undersizing of dryers, forgetting that cooling water and ambient air in summer is at far higher temperatures than in winter
  • Insufficient power supplies, so the actual voltage is subject to tremendous dips, which can wreak havoc with dryer operation and performance.

Myth: Compressed air filters also dry compressed air.

Fact: Compressed air filters are capable of removing bulk liquid water and some water aerosol from compressed air. Compressed air filters are not capable of reducing the level of moisture vapor in compressed air. Nor do they reduce the pressure dew point of compressed air.

We hope this information helps those working with compressors to increase your understanding of your machines! We also hope we broke down all this air treatment myths you might’ve thought were true! Whether you’re looking to purchase a compressor or are in need of maintenance, 3C dedicates to educating our customers and providing quality service and products. Contact us for more information today!

What You Need to Know About Air Compressor Maintenance

Regular maintenance of your air compressor is a great way to save yourself time and money. Taking a few moments out of your day to ensure things are running smoothly can keep your machine from developing major issues down the road that could cost a lot to repair. Be sure to hang on to your owner’s manual so you can refer back to it while performing your maintenance checks! The manufacturer of your air compressor should be the authority on how to care for it and ensure its longevity. 

Using your manual, build out a maintenance schedule that looks something like this:

ProcedureDailyWeeklyMonthlyQuarterly 
Check pump oil levelX
Oil leak inspectionX
Drain water in tankX
Inspect odd noises/vibrationsX
Inspect air leaksX
Inspect beltsX
Check/Clean air filtersX
Check safety relief valveX
Check and tighten nuts and boltsX
Check connections for leaksX
Scheduled Maintenance Call 3C!

Make sure your schedule includes all the key points of compressor maintenance with a note of how frequently each item needs to occur– some inspections will need to be done more often due to the daily wear and tear of the machine, while others can be done monthly or quarterly. Following your checklist is the easiest way to ensure that you spot any problems early on and prevent minor issues from becoming major repairs in the future.  

Scheduled maintenance is more than just changing a few filters!  At 3C, we have an in-depth checklist covering all preventive and corrective maintenance to ensure that you are getting the most out of your investment with minimal downtime for your facility.

Is your compressor in need of professional maintenance? Request a quote today!