Sizing an Industrial Air Compressor to Fit Your Needs

industrial air compressors in cramped room

Sizing a new industrial air compressor can feel like a difficult task. It requires knowledge of the pressure and flow needed for the application. A solid understanding of how frequently jobs are performed and how many jobs are being completed at once. This may seem like a substantial amount of work, but the benefits of correctly sizing your compressor include improving your business’ productivity, decreasing existing compressor room inefficiencies, and improving your bottom line.

Understanding the Conflicts of Undersized Compressors

If your compressor is undersized, it’s likely running all day, every day! Keep in mind that rotary screw compressors are intended to run virtually 24/7. However, this would be noticed right away with piston compressors, as they aren’t fit to run 24/7. So, if you’re experiencing pressure drops and your industrial air compressor can’t complete a task, chances are you have an undersized compressor issue.

Understanding the Conflicts of Oversized Compressors

If your compressor is constantly stopping and starting, it could be oversized! This action will 100% lead to huge energy bills, largely caused by the spike in energy produced when the compressor starts up. The excessive start/stop cycle can also result in motor burnout, future mechanical problems, and potential failure of the compressor.

How Do I Correctly Size a New Industrial Compressor System?

There are a few key steps to take in order to appropriately size a new industrial air compressor:

  1. The CFM, or flow rate of your compressor, is application-dependent. This means that having a good understanding of your plant’s demand profile is critical to sizing a compressor and uncovering any potential energy efficiency opportunities. If you are trying to determine the flow requirements for a new place, be sure to have accurate flow requirements for all equipment and estimates for the duty cycle of that equipment. For an existing operation, we recommend reaching out to your 3C Compressed Air Expert to assist you. Your expert can also guide you through planning for future expansion and make sure your airflow and quality are appropriate for your applications. 
  2. Pressure is measured in PSI, or pounds per square inch, and refers to the amount of pressure required by the tools/equipment used by your application. The typical PSI for your application is between 90 and 100 but can be higher or lower. While it’s tempting to add a little padding to this pressure, be cautious of increasing the pressure beyond what is absolutely necessary. Increased pressure means increased power bills and loss due to unregulated uses.
  3. And don’t forget to check your voltage & phase. Your industrial air compressor will require a sufficient energy source to operate, so knowing the voltage and phase of your compressor’s new site is a must. If you’re unsure, get with an electrician. They’ll be able to tell you whether the electrical supply is single-phase or three-phase and the voltage.

And Don’t Forget an Audit!

So you may be wondering, where do you even start? We recommend starting by first getting your new compressor specifications. This can be done by conducting a compressed air audit. Knowing your system’s compressed air demand can determine how to deliver the right amount of compressed air at the lowest cost, and avoid choosing a compressor that is undersized or oversized.

Industries that Use Air Compressors Everyday

different colored air compressors

Dozens of industries have saved time and labor by using air compressors and have become reliant on them over the years. The applications of air compressors are nearly endless. For instance, the food you eat, the painkillers you take,  the car you drive, and heck, even the chair you’re sitting on right now all have been touched by compressed air in one way or another. Compressed air plays an important part in modern society by increasing productivity, precision, and speed in a broad range of industries. 

So, Which Industries Use Air Compressors?

Each industry has different standards, requirements, and levels of demand. Businesses in some industries need several air compressors connected to one another to fully work. Other industries can get the job done with one compressor. Due to this variation, the experts behind the creation of compressors have fine-tuned the applications to fit each industry best. Among the industries that use compressed air are:

  • Automotive industry
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • The Food and Beverage industry
  • The Agricultural industry
  • The Manufacturing industry

Each industry has unique applications for its air compressors. As a result, industries tend to use specific models with various advantages. Discover the different air compressor model preferences per industry with us.

The Automotive Industry

From assembly to painting to quality control, air compressors work alongside people at every step of automotive production. Compressed air has made vehicle assembly and maintenance less physically demanding and less time-consuming. Tasks that would have taken hours at one point, now only take a few seconds at best. As a result, automotive factories are efficient, and vehicle projects are more accessible. Compressed air is useful for powering the pneumatic tools necessary for vehicle construction and repair.

For the automotive industry, the best compressor option is a rotary screw compressor. These compressors offer continuous airflow with little downtime. They’re easy to maintain, with fewer parts than other compressors. They produce less heat and operate at high horsepower, even in extreme temperature environments. They’re ideal for automotive factories full of heat-producing machinery or garages without temperature control.

The Pharmaceutical Industry

In the pharmaceutical industry, precision and cleanliness are at the top of the list. For the most reliable and accurate results, pharmaceutical companies rely on air compressors to do the best job. In fact, compressed air is most likely involved in creating almost every medicinal tablet you have in your medicine cabinet. Laboratory professionals use pneumatic tools to portion ingredients exactly to their formulas. The hardening and coating of medicines also require compressed air. Even the packaging of medicines is molded and labeled with the help of compressed air.

The most popular air compressors in pharmaceuticals are oil-free compressors. An oil-free compressor provides the most sterile air possible. Pharmaceutical companies use oil-free compressors because even the tiniest amount of oil can compromise the air in a sterile industry.

The Food and Beverage Industry 

Food and beverage production requires sanitary compressed air that’s free of impurities. Air compressors help speed the process of food production and limit the amount of waste. Compressed air also helps with:

  • Moving products along assembly lines
  • Peels and cuts products
  • Inserts fillings into foods 
  • Cools products quickly for fast processing
  • Freezing products to eliminate bacterial concerns
  • Packaging products with uniformity.
  • Blows away crumbs to avoid cross-contamination

Using compressed air allows food and beverage factories to generate more products more quickly, more easily, and with improved uniformity. For the food and beverage industry, we recommend a rotary screw compressor

The Agricultural Industry 

The days of animal-drawn equipment and hand-sown crops are long gone. Now, most farmers use automated and efficient processes. Modern technology has increased production in the agricultural industry tenfold. The faster and more efficient tactics benefit all of humanity by lowering food costs and increasing food availability. On farms across the world, compressed air helps:

  • Irrigates
  • Spray crop seeds
  • Operates dairy machines
  • Inflates tractor tires 
  • Ventilates greenhouses

This is a tough industry, so you need an equally tough compressor. Unexpected downtime and emergency maintenance can hinder production or damage great quantities of food. A 5 – 15 horsepower cast iron industrial air compressor is the way to go. 

The Manufacturing Industry

Air compression is a necessity in the manufacturing industry. Factories all over the world, and in Texas, rely on compressed air as much as they rely on water and electricity. Pneumatic tools make every step of the manufacturing process faster and easier. Compressed air is useful for precise, powerful, and efficient stamping, mixing, injecting, clamping, cleaning, separating, and many other processes.

Different types of compressors perform these functions best. Manufacturers generally use either rotary screw compressors or reciprocating piston compressors, depending on the manufacturing needs.  

Air Compressors Help A Variety of Industries

Compressed air is an important part of modern society with its increase in productivity, precision, and speed in a broad range of industries. It can strengthen power tools to make construction easier. It can portion ingredients with perfect, dependable accuracy. And it can increase the speed at which products move along assembly lines. Compressed air is an important tool for both mass production and do-it-yourself projects. If you’re in the market for an air compressor for your industry, contact 3C Industry today so we can get you on the right track to proficient production! 

Choosing the Right Air Compressor Oil: For Dummies

oil being poured into a compressor

Just like different car models require a specific type and grade of oil for the best performance, the same is true for air compressors. When you use the right oil in your air compressor, it will benefit your machine in more ways than one. These benefits include a reduction in energy consumption, a decrease in friction between different motor components, and an increase in the compressor’s life span. Today, we’re giving you all you need to know about air compressor oil and which type is the best for your needs.

What’s the Difference Between Standard and Synthetic Oil?

Standard and synthetic are the two basic types of air compressor oil. Each has distinctive characteristics:

  • Standard Oil: Standard air compressor oil is made using a mineral oil base. The oil is cheaper than synthetic and is recommended for air compressors who don’t work continuously. It’s also a good choice for compressors that only do light- or medium-duty work.
  • Synthetic Oil: Synthetic air compressor oil is made using a synthetic base. This oil undergoes lots of processing, but is more refined than standard oil. If you’re using your compressor at least three times a week, synthetic oil is the way to go! Synthetic oil will allow your compressor to run quieter and smoother. It also protects the machine from overheating. The overall temperature range of synthetic oil is also wider than standard oil.

Is There a Difference in Oil Use Between Reciprocating and Rotary Screw Compressors?

While you can run different types of oil products on reciprocating and rotary screw models, manufacturers often recommend that you use synthetic oils. They contain no sulfur or additives that can lead to unwanted buildup on the valves.

The main benefits of synthetic oils for rotary screw air compressors include:

  • Longer life span: Synthetic oils can extend the life of your rotary screw air compressor by an incredible 8,000 hours. That’s a freakin’ long time!
  • Fewer deposits: Synthetic oils reduce unwanted deposits such as varnish and sludge. These deposits lead to premature wear and tear and have a negative affect on your compressor’s performance.
  • Cooler temperatures: Synthetic oils stay cooler during compressor operation and produce an air discharge of a lower temperature.
  • Less oil consumption: Synthetic oils are consumed at a slower rate, meaning you don’t have to add oil as often.

Reciprocating air compressors can also benefit from synthetic oil in the following ways:

  • Less accumulation of carbon: Synthetic oil reduces how much carbon accumulates on the valves and reduces the feed rate.
  • Safer operation: The auto-ignition temperatures and flashpoints are higher for synthetic oils.
  • Extended lifetime: Synthetic oil can also help prevent packings and piston rings from wearing out too soon.

How Often Should I Change My Oil?

The frequency of your oil changes usually depends on the kind of machine you have. Check the user’s manual that comes with your compressor. The manual should provide detailed information on air compressor oil specifications. If the information is not provided, use the following guidelines as a reference:

  • Rotary screw compressors need oil changes every 7,000 to 8,000 hours of use
  • Reciprocating air compressors ideally need oil changes every three months
  • Regardless of use, the oil should be changed once per year at the very least to ensure smooth operation and a long-lasting life span.

Do all Air Compressors Need Oil?

You only need to use oil if you have an oil-lubricated compressor. Oil-free air compressors do not require oil since they are already coated and sealed straight from the factory. Generally, oil-lubricated air compressors handle higher-duty cycles and have an extended engine-life over oil-free models. Most oil-lubricated air compressors also run quieter than, another reason why most factories, workshops and other industrial use-cases choose air compressors that require oil.

Can I Order Oil from 3C Industrial?

Of course you can! We have both synthetic and standard oil for you. We also have an array of air compressors ready to ship out if you’re in the market for a new compressor. Contact us today if you have any questions! 

Just like different car models require a specific type and grade of oil for the best performance, the same is true for air compressors. When you use the right oil in your air compressor, it will benefit your machine in more ways than one. These benefits include a reduction in energy consumption, a decrease in friction between different motor components, and an increase in the compressor’s life span. Today, we’re giving you all you need to know about air compressor oil and which type is the best for your needs.

What’s the Difference Between Standard and Synthetic Oil?

Standard and synthetic are the two basic types of air compressor oil. Each has distinctive characteristics:

  • Standard Oil: Standard air compressor oil is made using a mineral oil base. The oil is cheaper than synthetic and is recommended for air compressors who don’t work continuously. It’s also a good choice for compressors that only do light- or medium-duty work.
  • SyntheticOil: Synthetic air compressor oil is made using a synthetic base. This oil undergoes lots of processing, but is more refined than standard oil. If you’re using your compressor at least three times a week, synthetic oil is the way to go! Synthetic oil will allow your compressor to run quieter and smoother. It also protects the machine from overheating. The overall temperature range of synthetic oil is also wider than standard oil.

Is There a Difference in Oil Use Between Reciprocating and Rotary Screw Compressors?

While you can run different types of oil products on reciprocating and rotary screw models, manufacturers often recommend that you use synthetic oils. They contain no sulfur or additives that can lead to unwanted buildup on the valves.

The main benefits of synthetic oils for rotary screw air compressors include:

  • Longer life span: Synthetic oils can extend the life of your rotary screw air compressor by an incredible 8,000 hours. That’s a freakin’ long time!
  • Fewer deposits: Synthetic oils reduce unwanted deposits such as varnish and sludge. These deposits lead to premature wear and tear and have a negative affect on your compressor’s performance.
  • Cooler temperatures: Synthetic oils stay cooler during compressor operation and produce an air discharge of a lower temperature.
  • Less oil consumption: Synthetic oils are consumed at a slower rate, meaning you don’t have to add oil as often.

Reciprocating air compressors can also benefit from synthetic oil in the following ways:

  • Less accumulation of carbon: Synthetic oil reduces how much carbon accumulates on the valves and reduces the feed rate.
  • Safer operation: The auto-ignition temperatures and flashpoints are higher for synthetic oils.
  • Extended lifetime: Synthetic oil can also help prevent packings and piston rings from wearing out too soon.

How Often Should I Change My Oil?

The frequency of your oil changes usually depends on the kind of machine you have. Check the user’s manual that comes with your compressor. The manual should provide detailed information on air compressor oil specifications. If the information is not provided, use the following guidelines as a reference:

  • Rotary screw compressors need oil changes every 7,000 to 8,000 hours of use
  • Reciprocating air compressors ideally need oil changes every three months
  • Regardless of use, the oil should be changed once per year at the very least to ensure smooth operation and a long-lasting life span.

Do all Air Compressors Need Oil?

You only need to use oil if you have an oil-lubricated compressor. Oil-free air compressors do not require oil since they are already coated and sealed straight from the factory. Generally, oil-lubricated air compressors handle higher-duty cycles and have an extended engine-life over oil-free models. Most oil-lubricated air compressors also run quieter than, another reason why most factories, workshops and other industrial use-cases choose air compressors that require oil.

Can I Order Oil from 3C Industrial?

Of course you can! We have both synthetic and standard oil for you. We also have an array of air compressors ready to ship out if you’re in the market for a new compressor. Contact us today if you have any questions! 

How to have a Healthy Relationship with Your Air Compressor

healthy relationship wit air compressor

Unless you’ve been living in a cave your whole life, you know that today is Valentine’s Day. You may be celebrating with a significant other, treating yourself to a tub of ice cream, or hanging with some friends. But, have you ever thought about showing your air compressor system some love? With any healthy relationship, it takes time, effort, and a little bit of patience. Here are a few ways to keep the relationship with your air compressor happy and healthy.

Communication is Key

All good relationships are built on strong communication. The same can be said for maintaining a healthy relationship with your air compressor system. Periodic check-ins are great, but the real communication starts when you have a planned, thorough inspection. If you need some help with your communication skills and you’re not sure where to start, we at 3C like to think we’re the communication experts when it comes to inspecting your air compressors. 

Let the Flame Burn Bright

Heat recovery is a simple way to benefit your entire facility. Compressor heat recovery systems can heat water to 158 °F. You can then recover up to 76% of that heat energy. With the energy recovered through hot air or water, many facilities can power other operations, such as boilers or heaters. Thus, saving your energy and money in the long run. 

Be Less Demanding

Who wants to be in a relationship with someone who is always demanding something from you? Your air compressor sure does not! Avoid asking too much of your air compressor system, by making sure your compressor is the proper size and drive. If you have a relatively steady demand, try a fixed speed compressor. Selecting the right compressor can be tricky, luckily we have a blog for that. 

Moral of the story, give your air compressor system some love, not on just Valentine’s Day, but every day of the year! If you need some advice, help, or are moving onto a new air compressor, we’re ready to help!

Avoid Choosing the Wrong Industrial Compressor this Year!

Avoid Choosing the Wrong Industrial Compressor this New Year!

Choosing the right industrial compressor for your business can be tough.  You have to sort through the compressors technologies, sizes, CFM (cubic feet per minute) and PSI (pounds per square inch) requirements, and other specs to determine which air compressor would best fit. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when choosing your industrial compressor:

1. Selecting the Wrong Air Compressor Size

Not every compressor will fit inside the confides that you’ll need. Every brand and every compressor is different. Knowing the exact operating pressure and the maximum compressed air volume flow of your process is key! If you choose a compressor that is oversized, it will lead to huge energy bills, largely caused by the spike in energy produced when the compressor starts up. On the other hand, if an air compressor is too small, the applications won’t be complete due to lack of compressed air supply. So make sure you’ve got your sizing all down.

2. Choosing the Wrong Compressor Technology

We know there are TONS of compressor technologies on the market right now! From rotary screw and reciprocating compressors, to scroll and centrifugal compressors. Choosing which compressor type is best for your specific application can be tough. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making that decision:

  • Screw air compressors are a great option for businesses that are looking for a compressor with lower noise levels, and higher energy efficiency levels. They’re also a great option when it comes to longer daily use.
  • Reciprocating compressors are great choices for businesses where daily demand and duty cycle requirements are lower and has reduced maintenance needs. They are also ideal for businesses with smaller space.
  • Scroll compressors are fit for applications in research and development, universities, breweries, dental offices, and hospitals. These compressors operate quietly and provide 100% oil-free air.

3. Not Thinking About Air Quality Requirements 

Different applications require different air quality. Some, like those in the medical or pharmaceutical industry, require 100% oil-free air. Other applications, such as general manufacturing, might not have as tight air quality requirements. If you’re unsure of what your requirements are, our guys at 3C can help you figure that out. 

4. Underestimating Compressor Costs

You have to factor in three major things when it comes to an industrial compressor’s lifecycle cost: 

  • Initial investment
  • Lifetime maintenance costs
  • Lifetime energy costs

When choosing, keep in mind that up to 80% of the compressor’s lifecycle costs are credited to energy consumption. This means that the energy efficiency of your machine is extremely important when determining how much your compressor will cost to run over its lifetime.

Have Questions?

We understand that choosing the right industrial compressor is a tough choice with a handful of variables. If you still have questions, give 3C Industrial a call today – 361-452-2749. We’re always ready to help! 

Prepping your Air Compressor for Winter

air compressor condensation in winter

It’s getting to that time of the season where us Texans bring out our winter coats and slip on gloves before we head out to work. Just as we prepare ourselves for the winter months, our air compressors need some prep work to navigate properly through the cooler temperatures. Prepping your air compressor helps malfunctions and maximizes your air compressors longevity to make it last all winter long and beyond! Here are our tips as an industrial air compressor manufacturer for winterizing your industrial air compressors. 

Tip #1 Check for Condensation

Condensation left within your air compressor tank creates significant problems as the temperature drops. When it freezes, water expands. If water accumulates in the tank because of condensation, it’ll freeze and cause significant damage within the interior of the air compressor.

So, check your compressor for any condensation and remove it by placing the receiver tank at a low angle so that the moisture drains. Depending on what model air compressor you have at your facility, your air compressor may drain automatically. Even if you have an automatic compressor, we still recommend checking for excess condensation just in case. 

Tip #2 Replace Worn Weather Stripping

Sometimes it’s about those little things that help the big stuff. Over time, weather stripping wears away and requires replacement. We recommend inspecting your weather stripping before the coldest temperatures of the year hit. The weather strips may come loose, thus trapping in condensation. Replacing weather stripping is an inexpensive and simple task to prepare your air compressor equipment for the chilly season. 

Tip #3 Adjust Your Louvers

Louver adjustments are important for keeping the cold air out of the compressor inlet. When you adjust the louvers, it recovers heat that’s headed toward the compressor outlet. You’ll also find the louver adjustments keep moisture out of the oil circuit while maintaining adequate lubrication of moving parts. Louver adjustments direct warm air towards your  industrial compressors. This minimizes the negative impact of compressor exposure to cold temperatures.

Tip #4 Service Drains, Valves, and Separators

At the end of fall, and any season really, is a good time to inspect drains, valves, and separators. Inspections should include detailed cleaning of all essential air compressor components. Drains, valves, and separators are subject to moisture exposure, and moisture exposure is one of the biggest factors leading to winter malfunctions of air compression systems.

Tip #5 Inspect Hoses and Belts

Rubber equipment is easily susceptible to failure in the cold weather. Unfortunately, cold weather wreaks havoc on rubber equipment. Hoses and belts connected to air compressors are generally made of rubber. Inspect hoses and belts for cracks as part of your winter prep procedure. Replace cracked hoses and belts because winter weather expands such cracks and makes air compressor malfunctions even more likely.

BONUS Tip

Prepping your air compressors can be a lot of work. Our tips are just the beginning of winter prepping. At 3C Industrial, we help businesses all around Texas with their preventive maintenance needs on your schedule. Your compressor’s preventative maintenance is tracked in-house by one of our trained PM Coordinators, available 24/7, to ensure your air compressor gets the quality care it needs for any season, including the winter!

3C Loves our Veterans

Veteran shaking hands with employer

3C is proud to be a Veteran owned and operated company. We are honored to be a place of employment for other retired military men and women alike. In honor of Veterans Day, we are featuring a few of our Veterans on the 3C team.  

Meet Chase Stokley

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

Chase says that life after the Navy has been great! After retiring, he decided to expand his knowledge and career with more schooling outside of the Navy as an electrician. With the support of his family, he advanced through the ranks of his career very quickly. Chase was a Controls Engineer looking for a job locally when he stumbled upon a career change at 3C Industrial. Once he joined the 3C crew, he 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 myself.” – Chase Stokley

Meet Ryan Oldfield

Ryan served in the Navy from 2013 – 2019. Out of his 6 years in the service, 2 years were dedicated to training in Goose Creek, SC, and Ballston Spa, NY to be a Nuclear Machinist’s Mate. Once he graduated from training, Ryan received orders for the John C. Stennis CVN74, an aircraft carrier stationed in Bremerton, WA. Ryan took several years to reach his senior in rate, qualifying 8 watch stations and performing hundreds of hours of maintenance in the propulsion plant onboard the Stennis. During his time in the Navy, he was deployed twice and visited many different countries. His favorite place he visited was Singapore and would love to go back one day. 

Ryan completed his Navy duties with an honorable discharge at the beginning of 2019. After the Navy, he moved down to Texas rather than back home to Colorado because he loves it here. Ryan isn’t new to 3C anymore, but he still enjoys being a sponge and learning all that he 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

Meet Doug Francis

Doug served in the Navy from 2002 – 2006. During his time in service, he was stationed in Great Lakes, IL for both Boot Camp and Electrician A school. After training, he took permanent orders to Ingleside, TX. While serving, he earned his qualifications as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist. He 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 he treasures most include becoming a Shellback (sailing across the equator) and being a Plankowner while commissioning the HSV-2 Swift in Hobart, Tasmania. With those past jobs, he has experienced great things across the world. To name a few, he has 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. 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

If any Veterans are looking for an opportunity to grow and hone their skills, join the air compressor experts at 3C!

Do I Need a Desiccant or Refrigerated Air Dryer?

Desiccant and Refrigerated Air Dryer

Air dryers are essential for the majority of compressed air applications. By nature, air compressors produce a lot of water. The atmosphere of air is compressed and the air gets very hot.  When the air temperature decreases, the moisture that was in those atmospheres turns from a gas to a liquid. While some of the water can be drained, the moisture can stay in your system and not form until the temperature continues to fall.

This is where air dryers come in. They work to keep your compressed air system free of moisture and prevent condensate and rust problems from arising. There are two different types of air dryers, desiccant and refrigerated. Both are great for what they do, but which air dryer should you choose? Continue reading for all the details. 

What is a Desiccant Air Dryer?

When you open a new box of shoes or electronics, there’s that small mesh packet that reads “Desiccant, Do Not Eat.” Inside those packets are hygroscopic beads (typically silica or activated alumina) that attract moisture, protecting the merchandise during shipment and storage. Desiccant doesn’t just keep moisture from merchandise, it can also remove moisture from a compressed air stream. 

How Desiccant Air Dryers Work

Desiccant air dryers remove water vapor down to a -40 to -100 degree dew point. Instead of refrigerating the compressed air, desiccants absorb the moisture. Desiccant air dryers are made up of two towers, both holding the desiccant beads. The system alternates between the two towers. This allows for one tower to dry the compressed air while the other is regenerating the desiccant material. These dryers can ultimately consume between 5 – 18% of your compressor air supply. 

What is a Refrigerated Air Dryer?

Refrigerant dryers cool the compressed air. This allows the water that’s trapped in the compressed air to condense and be separated from the air. This is a crucial air system component for applications that require compressed air-dried to a low dew point, such as in manufacturing or paint and body industries. 

How Refrigerated Air Dryers Work

A refrigerated air dryer chills compressed air to 36 – 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This allows the water vapor to condense into a liquid and is let out of the system by a water trap and automatic drain. The cool, dry air is then reheated to around room temperature before exiting the dryer and flowing into your production line. All of this helps reduce condensation on the compressed air piping. 

Need more help? 

We know that was a lot of jargon all at once. If you’re still not sure which air dryer is right for your air compressors, give 3C Industrial a call today – 361-452-2749. We’re always ready to help! 

Why Compressors Need Preventative Maintenance

3C Preventive maintenance blog

Air compressors are the backbone of the industrial world. They help make facilities all across the globe run smoothly and efficiently. However, air compressors are machines, and we must treat them that way. Instead of waiting around for a problem to arise, we must stay on top of our equipment. We call this preventative maintenance and at 3C, we’re big on this.

Why is Preventative Maintenance Important?

Time, efficiency, and reliability are all critical elements for any business. Preventative maintenance helps ensure that your compressor continues to hold those functions, decreasing the risk of any elements shutting down the entire production process. We can compare this to a car. We take our cars for regular, routine maintenance to keep our vehicles in tip-top shape and so they don’t crap out on us in the middle of the road. The same goes with your air compressor! The more you put into investing in preventative maintenance, the less likely it is to die on you unexpectedly.

Benefits of Preventative Maintenance

  • Cut Those High Bills: Oil leaks, old oil, or blocked filters can all make your compressor perform horribly and cut your production rate. The result of this? High energy bills from your compressor trying its best to keep up with your production line. Lower production from your compressor’s low performance. And if your compressor system hits the hay, you’ll spend more time and money for emergency repairs or purchasing a whole new compressor.
  • Avoid Safety Issues: It’s important to realize that your compressor can cause an unsafe workplace. A poorly serviced compressor may be generating excessive heat and noise, both not safe for a normal work environment. There may also be unseen issues that can lead to fire hazards and electrical shorts. The last thing you want is for your compressor system to lead to an injured employee.
  • Extend Life Expectancy: Air compressors are a big investment, so you don’t want it to die earlier than it needs to. Preventive maintenance helps you achieve a long and smooth life for your compressor system. 

Schedule Regular Maintenance Today

A regularly scheduled maintenance check is a must! It’ll help with energy bills, safety hazards and extend your equipment’s life expectancy. At 3C, our PM Coordinators keep track of all your equipment’s maintenance needs, so you never have to worry about it. Let us help with your  preventative maintenance today!

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!