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By: Webmaster | September 13, 2018

The air, an expensive good

Even though the air can be found around us without any problem and completely free of charge, its use in the industry is a problem, if we talk about energy. From a simple tool running on air, to the most complex machine. A large number of devices, surround the industry with their air-filled pipes.

According to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Energy, in a typical industrial facility, approximately 10% of the electricity consumed is consumed for the generation of compressed air, and may even exceed 30%.

And the leaks?

Numbers are frightening even with the ideal situation with all the compressed air being used by the machines, but reality is never ideal. There are leaks in all installations, and although some of them are unavoidable, when produced in terminal elements, valves, fittings, actuators, etc., many others are produced in the pipes themselves and in defective elements of the installation.

Hole diameter (mm) Looses at 7,0 bar (l/s) Power consumption (KW) Yearly consumption (KWh) Yearly loose costs (€)
 0,8 0,2 0,1 600 78
 1 1 0,3 1.600 208
 1,5 3,1 1 6.000 780
 3 11 3,5 21.000 2.730
 5 26,7 8,3 49.800 6.474
 6 45,8 15 90.000 11.700
 10 105 37 222.000 28.860

As may be seen in the above table, this type of leakage cannot be ignored, a simple 3mm hole in a compressed air line, can reach an expense of about 3000€ a year.

Optimization of the pressure used

Another of the points lagging behind in the industry, is in the pressure. The optimization in the working pressure, could avoid unnecessary costs to the industries. Many times, due to the above-mentioned leaks or bad installations, is established a higher pressure than that would be necessary.

Consumption for a cylinder (7 bar)Consumption for a cylinder (5,5 bar)
 Pressure (bar) 7 5,5
 Cylinder diameter (mm) 50 50
 Amount of cylinders 10 10
 Cylinder stroke (mm) 400 400
 Cycles/min 5 5
 Air cost (€/Nm^3) 0,1 0,1
Working hours / día 16 16
 Working hours / year 250 250
 Nl/min 628 510
 Nm^3/year 150.720 122.460
 €/hour 3,77 3,06
 €/year15.07212.246

A bad management of the working pressure, causes an increase in consumption and a major deterioration of the installation for the generating part of the compressed air (Compressor, filters, etc.), the conveyor (Pipes), and the actuators.

Monitoring as tool for cost reduction

Today there is nothing that cannot be monitored or anything that cannot be controlled. Compressed air does not escape of this trend, from the flow to the pressure, measures that can help us detect leaks, optimize the working pressure and have a history of the air consumed and the energy we spend to produce it.

In Muutech we are experts in this type of measures and every day we are learning more. The combination of different types of flow sensors, pressure and consumption, helps maintain a more comprehensive control of compressed air facilities, offering the possibility to detect possible leaks, consumption and even malfunctioning parts.

Complementing the sensors, we provide a software solution based on Zabbix, able to handle all this data, obtain relations between them and show the data that may be of most interest for a process.

In general, Muutech's job is to monitor pneumatic installations information systems or production lines in a centralized and simple way.

Category: Industry40 

Tags: Monitoring, Sensors, IoT, IIoT 

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