AIRPROFIL ENGINEERS AND COMPRESSED AIR OPTIMIZATION AT GLOBAL LEVEL

Short presentation of offered services

Compressed air is sometimes called the fourth utility in industry, after electricity, water, steam, and natural gas.

Compressed air production consumes from 5 to 15% of electrical power in many industries. Because compressed air partly replaces manual labour, its usage is more significant in “developed” industrial countries, such as England, France, Germany, or Italy. Yet the most important potential savings have often been discovered in developing countries such as Cameroon or Turkey.

This publication presents the original services offered by AIRPROFIL (ETUDES AIR COMPRIME SARL, France) at global level. These services are original because their goals are SUPPRESSING certain compressed air usages and REDUCING other compressed air consumption by means of information and training of end users of compressed air and maintenance technicians. Of course, at the end, you will still need efficient air compressors and compressed air dryers, but they may be smaller!

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AIRPROFIL offers a fair cooperation, in which your own teams may achieve 60% to 80% of the required work. We did not create this way of cooperating because we want to work abroad: rather we discovered that this way of working, which is more efficient in France, would also be more efficient anywhere else!

 

 

 

 




Detailed presentation of offered services

According to air compressor manufacturers, optimizing your compressed air installation essentially means using their compressors –although most compressors on the market (American, German, Turkish, or Indian) have very similar efficiencies! They suggest that you might save 30% to 40% of the energy which you presently spend for compressed air production by buying their compressors. Is it true?

The German program DRUCKLUFT EFFICIENT expressed a similar idea: they suggest that you may save 30% to 40% of the energy which you presently spend for compressed air production by using GERMAN compressors! This is probably the reason why this program included participation of German manufacturers and forgot about compressors from other parts of the world, like Turkey or India, which are just as good and quite a bit cheaper!

Manufacturers of compressed air dryers pretend to respond to the same goals: saving 30% to 40% of the energy which you presently spend for compressed air production. Compressed air audits demonstrate that some new regenerative dryers (including German dryers) do not save much energy, if any, and are far less reliable than more traditional dryers, but who cares about that?

Sellers of plastic or aluminium pipes insist in offering their solutions. Some of them pretend that the total amount of leaks in a compressed air distribution network mostly depends on the age of the network – after 30 years, you may have some 30% to 40% leaks! Have they never heard about maintenance?

Finally, some producers of fittings, filters, and pressure regulators – especially those who produce the most leaky products! - offer leak detection services or suggest that you may save, once again, 30% to 40% of the energy which you presently spend for compressed air production buy buying their products and their services! In quite a few French plants, such people boldly estimate that 70% of the produced compressed air was lost through leaks, while the AIRPROFIL measurement engineer found that the truth was rather between 5% and 7%.

We may mention other businesses who want to help you save 30% to 40% of your energy. For example, sellers of cheap thermal mass flowmeters recommend installing their fragile and inaccurate products in order to save compressed air. These flowmeters measure in the same way when your compressed air flows back in the pipe, which happens all the time in compressed air networks, so you may well measure the same air ten times!

If each of these businesses may actually help you save what they suggest, you would save 200% or more of “the energy which you presently spend for compressed air production.” It would be good, for sure, but it’s impossible. So what can you do? And why would French AIRPROFIL engineers offer better solutions for your plant?

There are essentially three reasons why AIRPROFIL might prove a better way for your compressed air installation optimization:

  1. The first goal of AIRPROFIL services will not be to sell you compressors or dryers or filters, but to SUPPRESS altogether certain compressed air consumption in your plant.
  2. The second goal of AIRPROFIL services will be to REDUCE compressed air consumption of other usages in your plant. This will be achieved by means of INFORMATION AND TRAINING OF THE FIVE OPERATORS of compressed air in your plant, including compressed air end users and maintenance technicians.
  3. Finally, the fair way to do all that is to have it done, mostly, by your own people. We have slowly developed this idea in France. Then, it took us only ten more minutes to understand that this may be a way to work more efficiently at global level!

In the next pages, we will explain a bit more precisely how French AIRPROFIL engineers can help you carry out such projects and, mostly, carry it out USING your own team.

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USING NO COMPRESSED AIR AT ALL FOR CERTAIN USAGES

Using no compressed air at all for certain important usages is not the kind of suggestion which you may find in a “study” performed by manufacturers.

The sales manager for France of one of the biggest air compressor manufacturers imagined he was being funny when he said to me when we met, in 2013: “Yes Mr BOUTEILLE, your suggestion of not using compressed air for important usages in the glass industry, which we read in your website, was full of interest to us. Our corporate recently decided that we should sell no compressors any longer and try to stop those which we have already sold in the past years!”

In Italy, the sales manager of a most important air compressor manufacturer said to one of us when we offered our services: “If the compressed air consumption of our main industrial clients is reduced by 30% to 40%, then we will sell no compressors at all during the next three years.”

It is true that we were probably naïve offering cooperation to them, but some makers of compressors do cooperate with us – it may be a way of selling smaller compressors instead of no compressors at all in firms where their competitors have been chosen in the past!

We do not know for sure why we can cooperate with some compressor producers and not with others. If you are a seller of compressors and wish to work with us, we would be very pleased!

USING LESS COMPRESSED AIR: AUDITS OF USAGES AND LEAK DETECTION SERVICE

Our experience in France and other countries showed us that compressed air Leak Detection Service (LKS) is rather less “repaying” nowadays than Audit of Usages (AoA) , even if both services may be useful. It depends on the branch, rather than the country.

We performed both LKS and AoA in quite a few countries.

-In developing countries such as Moldavia or Turkey, there were fewer leaks than in similar industries in France. One evident reason may be the lower cost of labour.

-There are fewer leaks in Belgian plants than in French plants, probably because Belgium has mostly industries like chemical or pharmaceutical plants where there are fewer leaks than in the food industry, which is important in France.

-We found quite a few leaks in Italy and in Germany and far fewer leaks in England, but then we only had 2 or 3 clients in each of these countries!

In general, LKS shows a rather smaller amount of saving possibilities than AoA – except if you boldly over-estimate leak flows, which we don’t!

However, AoA is more difficult to transform into effective savings, because it sometimes demands a modification of your process.

On the other hand, LKS is frequently performed by people who boldly over-estimate leak flows.

Our suggestions are to undertake both LKS and AoA, to modify your process after an AoA only when the decision is easily made, and to include leak detection of nitrogen and other industrial gases, such as argon, in LKS!

INFORMING AND TRAINING COMPRESSED AIR END USERS AND MAINTENANCE TECHNICIANS

You sometimes can reduce compressed air consumption by means of informing and training your Operators as well as your sub-contractors. Such training is useful, mostly, for improving overall productivity and avoiding accidents involving the operators. Yet it may also help to save energy.

AIRPROFIL has developed compressed air training which is not exclusively focused on description of components such as air compressors or compressed air dryers.

AIRPROFIL training explains how to avoid the occurrence of undesirable events (EI), such as pressure drops or liquid water or oil in your compressed air. While explaining the causes of such EI, you have an opportunity to introduce groups of components as well as sub-components which may be one of the causes of each event.

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These AIRPROFIL training sessions prepare compressed air end users, energy savers, maintenance technicians, and other operators to cooperate more efficiently in a given industrial site. You should concentrate your attention on EI which are meaningful for your particular plant or a particular workshop in your plant!

We discovered that compressed air end users may be of great help in the conduct of compressed air installation, in saving energy as well as in avoiding losses of productivity and accidents involving personnel. For example, they may close compressed air valves and stop regenerative dryers when a particular line is stopped for a few days or weeks!

It is possible to inform compressed air end users and engineers who lead them by means of short training sessions – most of this training can be conducted via the Internet. It’s a training that may include a short meeting in the workshop – for example during the realisation of Audit of Usages or Lead Detection Service. It’s not the kind of training that takes three or four days, like when you train a maintenance technician!


Experience shows that informing and training end users and maintenance technicians is very efficient in certain industries such as the food industry – and probably less efficient in chemical plants, probably because people have already got some kind of training in chemical plants.

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If you like this way of working, then you may like to know that AIRPROFIL does not pretend to realize all of this work alone. We have chosen to combine services and training in a way that will require input from your own employees - in fact most of the work if you decide so! We are happy to cooperate with local firms and to train them too!

So if you like the idea of SUPPRESSING certain compressed air usages, REDUCING overall compressed air consumption, TRAINING your people - and if you like the idea of keeping 60 to 80% of the work within your workforce, then you may like to contact us!

Mr François BOUTEILLE

Manager of EAC Sarl France

Tel: +33 612 156 155

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.