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! 

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 101

Air compressors can seem complicated at first! If you’re thinking about owning– or even renting– one, it’s a good idea to do some research beforehand to familiarize yourself with the machine. Here are some terms every air compressor owner should be familiar with.

Terms for you to Know

  • Cubic feet per minute (CFM): The volume of air that is able to pass through an opening in one minute.
  • Duty cycle: Amount of time that a compressor can operate at full load before needing to unload/turn off.
  • Filter efficiency: The rate at which a filter can remove particles from an air flow.
  • Kick-in pressure: Factory-set low pressure point of the pressure switch that starts the compressor in order to re-pressurize the tank.
  • Kick-out pressure: Factory-set high pressure point of the pressure switch that stops the compressor from increasing the pressure in the tank above a certain level.
  • Load time: The time it takes for a compressor to go from load to unload.
  • Oil-free compressor: Air compressor that has no oil inserted into the compression chamber for lubrication, cooling or sealing. Typically used in the medical and food processing field.
  • Pneumatic: Related to the movement of air.
  • Pneumatic power: Compressed air power.
  • Point of use: An outlet in a building used to connect tools or equipment to the air compressor system.
  • Pounds per square inch (PSI): A unit of measurement referring to the pressure applied on one square inch of an object’s surface.
  • Preventative maintenance (PM): A maintenance program performed on a fixed schedule that includes compressor service as well as routine repair and replacement of parts.
  • Purging: The elimination of undesired gas or liquid from a system.
  • Receiver: Generally a tank used for storage of compressed air. Oftentimes in large air compressor systems there can be a primary and secondary receiver.
  • Reciprocating compressor: A reciprocating compressor uses pistons driven by a crankshaft to deliver air at high pressure.
  • Rotary screw compressor: A compressor that utilizes two intermeshing helical rotors to trap a volume of air, then compress it to a higher pressure. Rotary screw compressors can be run for 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.
  • Single stage: A compressor in which the air is compressed from initial pressure to final pressure in one step.

Have Questions?

Learning these terms will allow you to feel more confident when discussing your compressor, whether it’s during day-to-day operations or when talking to a repair person. Have any questions? Give us a call at a 3C office near you!

San Antonio: (830) 420-3630

Austin: (512) 244-9074

Corpus Christi: (361) 452-2749

3C is Honored to Employ U.S. Military Veterans

3C is Honored to Employ U.S. Military Veterans

3C is a Veteran owned and operated company! We are honored to be a place of employment for other retired military men and women! Here we feature every one of them as a ‘Thank you for your service!’ Learn about each of these amazing veterans below!

Chase Stokley - Navy veteran, air compressor expert

Hi, my name is Chase Stokley!

From 2013-2017 I was in the United States Navy. I have lived in Corpus Christi, Texas my entire life. Shortly after graduating high school in 2013, I jump-started my life by going to boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois. During my career in the Navy, I became a certified AWR (Air Rescue Swimmer) and EM (Electrician’s Mates). Once I completed all training, I finished out my Naval career as a reservist in my hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Life after the Navy has been great! After retiring, I decided to expand my knowledge and career with more schooling outside of the Navy as an electrician. With the support of my beautiful girlfriend Kaylen, and my kids Elijah and Emilyn, I advanced through the ranks of my career very quickly. I was a controls engineer looking for a job locally when I found 3C Industrial. Once joining the 3C crew, I rapidly became devoted to the company. I’m proud to say that everyone here is not just a friend or a co-worker, but family. Working side by side with Doug has been amazing. Seeing how much he believes in this team encourages me to do my best and push my self.

My everyday goal is to build a loving, and fulfilling life for Kaylen and my kids. As a father I always ask myself ‘What can I do better?’, and I plan to lead the rest of my life, in every aspect, with that question.

– Chase Stokley

air compressor veteran spotlight

Hi, my name is Ryan Oldfield!

I was in the Navy from 2013-2019. Out of my 6 years in the service, 2 years were dedicated to training in Goose Creek, SC, and Ballston Spa, NY. I trained to be a Nuclear Machinist’s Mate. Once I graduated from training I received orders for the John C. Stennis CVN74, an aircraft carrier stationed in Bremerton, WA. It took several years to reach my senior in rate, qualifying 8 watch stations and performing hundreds of hours of maintenance in the propulsion plant onboard the Stennis. During my time in the Navy, I was deployed twice and visited many different countries. My favorite place I visited was Singapore and even after being there twice, I would love to go again.

I got out of the Navy at the completion of my contract on an honorable discharge at the beginning of 2019. I spent many hours away from my brother, sister, mom, and my dad, but even after being out of the Navy, I moved down to Texas rather than back home to Colorado. I moved to Texas because I love it here. I am brand new to working at 3C Industrial, but I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can. I plan to develop into a great knowledgeable technician that my coworkers and our 3C customers can rely on. All in all, I want to grow as this company grows. I was grateful for the opportunity to serve my country and I am grateful to now be a part of the veteran-owned and operated company, 3C Industrial.

– Ryan Oldfield

navy veterans

Hi, my name is Gary Garza!

I was lucky enough to have been born into a Navy family and I spent my life globe-hopping to different duty stations across the US. Needless to say, my service was preordained, and I was on a plane 13 days after high school graduation. The 3 guys in this photo were 2 of my best friends from Bootcamp, Larry Dale (Far Left) and Michael Trevino (Middle). That’s me on the end by the desk. We spent all of Bootcamp together with 76 other recruits from the Texas All-State Company at NTC/RTC in beautiful San Diego, California. From there I went through Corps School at Balboa US Naval Hospital in San Diego. Upon graduation from Corps School in 1981, I was stationed at NAS Chase Field, Beeville Texas. While there, I was an Emergency Med Tech before enrolling as a Flight Medicine Tech and training with the VT-26 Flying Tigers. I trained for my backseat pilot’s license at NAS Corpus Christi, but sadly only got to fly a couple of times in the backseat of a T2 Buckeye before exiting the Navy in the Summer of 1983.

The people I met and the things I was able to do have made for some great memories. I am grateful for my experiences in the service. The most important things I learned in the Navy was how to respect the chain of command, the ability to adapt to any situation, and to complete any mission I set out to do. At 3C, that’s what we do. As it applies to compressed air, we understand your need to have a fluid workflow free from downtime. We identify possible solutions and respect your opinions and ideas in order to implement the correct plan of action, then we customize your solution, and complete the mission. Afterward, we remain a partner to keep your operation moving free of downtime. We are not your run of the mill operation. We are the 3C Industrial Compressor Solutions Team.

– Gary Garza

Hi, my name is Daniel Romero Jr!

I served in the US Army from 2008-2011. I began my journey by doing my basic training in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. From there I went on to complete Advanced Individual Training in Edgewood, Maryland. Eventually I was station in Ft. Wainwright, Arkansas with the 25th ID, 3-21 Infantry Combat Repair Team. My deployment was spent in Normandy, Iraq. I must admit that throughout my career in the military, all my favorite moments happened during training. I enjoy being pushed to my limit, feeling a part of something greater than myself, and building an unbreakable brotherhood through it all. I enjoyed learning to be a mechanic and working on heavy machinery. I’m very proud of being a Veteran. I served my country knowing in my heart I fought for freedom in other parts of the world.

During my time at 3C I have enjoyed encountering a lot of situations I have not yet experienced and learning from them. As a mechanic turned air compressor technician, everyday I’m learning something new. I really look forward to furthering my knowledge in my field and becoming the best tech I can be. Having the drive of my wife and son pushes me to handle each day with confidence and determination to overcome all obstacles in this industry and in life. Having my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with me helps me stay strong through the long and tough days. My faith inspires me to be a good person every day. I plan to give every person I come into contact with my very best and I enjoy helping others, that is including the team we have here at 3C and all our clients.

– Daniel Romero Jr.


Hi, my name is Doug Francis!

I served in the United States Navy from 2002 – 2006. During my time in service, I was in Great Lakes, IL for both Boot Camp and Electrician A school. After training, I took permanent orders to Ingleside, TX. While serving, I earned my qualification as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist. I was also honored with the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and served during Operation Enduring Freedom / Operation Iraqi Freedom. Some of the Navy experiences I treasure most include becoming a Shellback (sailing across the equator) and being a Plankowner while commissioning the HSV-2 Swift in Hobart, Tasmania. With those experiences, I have seen so many great things across the world. I have sailed through the Panama Canal several times, Suez Canal, and past the Rock of Gibraltar, just to name a few.

Life after the Navy has also been a blessing. I am the President of 3C Industrial which I started in 2012 out of Corpus Christi, TX. I have been married to my beautiful wife Kay for nearly 9 years. I have a smart, beautiful daughter Katie. Together we share the love of our French Bulldog Goose and Cat Jax. It is my goal to be a better leader, father, and husband every day. I am very grateful for everything I have and everything I have been able to accomplish over the last 18 years. I am very proud to be able to have the camaraderie that is gained while serving in the military, extend to my life and business at 3C. We have built a solid group that works hard every day to uphold the standards and work ethic expected of a Veteran Owned Company.

– Doug Francis

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A COVID-19 Message From 3C

Hello Community,

3C has been closely monitoring the news and is saddened by the spread of the coronavirus throughout the world. We would first like to send our deepest condolences to all those affected by the virus. 

However, at 3C, we are in no state of panic. We are calm and ready to assist any client in need of our help because we understand that certain industries, such as the medical manufacturing industry, will continue to operate at full speed. We would like to assure you that you can always depend on 3C Industrial for any of your needs, 24/7. We are committed to doing our part for the communities and nation we so deeply love, always.

At 3C we are taking extra precautionary measures to ensure that we are prioritizing the health of our employees and customers. Our offices are being sanitized daily, all employees are supplied with hand sanitizer to carry with them, the staff is encouraged to stay home if they are feeling ill, and equipment is being sanitized in between jobs. You can always, but especially during this time of uncertainty, count on 3C to do what is best for our communities. That’s a 3C guarantee. We look forward and are honored to be a partner to those clients most in need.

Thank you for your support.

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A Letter From 3C’s CEO

Air Compressor CEO

A Letter From 3C's CEO

Hello! My name is Doug Francis. I have been the President of 3C Industrial for nearly 8 years. I have dedicated my entire career to servicing others. My journey to serve others began in 2002 when I joined the United States Navy. While there, I took orders to serve onboard the HSV-2 Swift in Ingleside, TX and immediately fell in love with all Texas stands for. Upon completing my duty and serving in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, I decided to make Texas my home. I was hooked, from the economy to the people, to everyday life. I love Texas.  

With the mechanical and electrical training from the Navy, I was able to easily apply my knowledge to compressed air. I began 3C Industrial out of my garage in September of 2012.  For the 1 year, I committed to the wrench turning, bookkeeping, and sales for the company. I wore every hat in the business, but as I brought on more customers, I began building the 3C Team. A team that I was determined would exemplify some of my own personal principles of integrity, grit, compassion, and service to others.

My Business Model Has Always Been Very Simple.

We stick to a strict timeline of events in order to provide solutions for our customers. Meaning, from the time you call, my team has a deadline they need to achieve. Through every phase of your new purchase, preventive, or corrective maintenance, we keep to a strict guideline to ensure the job is completed quickly and correctly.  This model has allowed me to grow to 3 locations including Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Austin within my first 10 years of serving the great State of Texas. It is my purest ambition to be the most trusted name in the Texas Air Compressor Industry.

3C's Inspiration

My inspiration comes from the belief that independent business can outperform large corporations.  Anyone with the right motivation and work ethic can make a dent in the industry of their choosing. Doing business with local businesses and building trusting relationships with partners has been the highlight of my career. I can’t wait to see what the coming years have to bring. I look forward to continuing growth into new locations and building many new everlasting friendships with the amazing people of Texas. Thank you for trusting in me and my 3C team. We are honored to serve your community.



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