If you’re in the manufacturing business, it comes as no surprise that over 70% of manufacturers use a compressed air system.
Such systems drive several types of equipment, such as material handling and separation equipment, machine tools, spray painting equipment, and so on.
Air compressors use either fuel or electricity to compress air, store it in a tank, then release it as needed. We tend to think about air compression systems for industrial and manufacturing environments only.
However, many commercial setups also need air compressors, even office spaces and retail outlets.
If you are a small business, consider investing in an air compressor if you haven’t purchased one already. If yours is a larger manufacturing company, then it’s wise to have a backup air compressor on hand.
This article discusses why you should buy an air compressor. You will also learn where to buy an air compressor and what to expect in terms of cost.
Benefits of Air Compressors for Small Business
If you are a small business owner, you may have already discovered the benefit of having an air compressor.
If your business involves any construction or carpentry work, then adding a compressor will no doubt increase your productivity.
Next, are the benefits that come with owning an air compressor for small businesses.
Did you know that an air compressor cleans air for air conditioners? Outside air contains pollutants. Any HVAC system requires an air compressor.
If yours requires replacement, consider investing in a quality unit for the sake of healthier air for you and your employees.
Also, air compressors regulate the flow of air through the HVAC system. A quiet air compressor means a more pleasant working environment.
If you are in the cleaning business, a good air compressor is a must. Regular blowers and vacuum cleaners are often not enough to handle commercial and retail cleaning.
An industrial air compressor is also quiet enough to clean during business hours when your clients are still at work.
You can also use an air compressor to dry carpets and other large space. Naturally, this applies to carpet cleaning service providers.
Though water damage restoration companies also find these invaluable for drying areas quickly. Minimizing water damage means racing the clock to dry out soggy floors and drywall.
Construction and Carpentry
A reliable portable air compressor is a must if your business is in construction or carpentry. A portable air compressor functions the same as a standard one. A typical tank holds up to eight gallons.
They also come with the same safety devices as regular-sized compressors, plus wheels for easier transport to your job sites.
Why Do I Need a Backup Air Compressor?
In your business, compressed air is no doubt vital for operations. If your compressor goes down, production stops. You lose time and money. Your compressed air system was a substantial investment.
It may not seem feasible to double that investment with a second system. Keep in mind, though, that’s your back up compressor doesn’t have to equal the main one.
You need a unit that provides enough air to get you by for a short while until your main compressor comes back on.
Most manufacturing businesses don’t have a full backup system. They do have enough to run vital equipment and the main projects through the line and out the door.
Here’s another situation. Many times, facilities like yours will outgrow their current compressor. In that case, invest in a new one. But you should keep the old as a backup.
If your operations are large enough, you may have more than one compressor already. If that’s the case, you can use one as a backup. If you don’t already have multiple air compressors, it’s time to consider acquiring one.
Depending on your product, you may also lose the current product on the line when the compressor fails.
Food manufacturers, for instance, risk losing whatever was running on the production line. When the line doesn’t work as it should, processes halt, and the product spoils.
Ease of Maintenance
Having a backup air compressor means you can perform maintenance at any time. Rather than stopping your only compressed air system for maintenance, you can switch to the backup generator.
Technicians can come out and perform scheduled maintenance without halting production. Not only does this mean uninterrupted production time, but it also means no more making up lost time on the weekends, holiday, or after hours.
Buying Air Compressors: Know the Types
While you know what you need an air compressor for, you should still be familiar with the three main types of industrial air compressors.
1. Reciprocating Air Compressors
Reciprocating air compressors are also known as piston and cylinder compressors or piston-driving compressors. They create a vacuum that compresses air and then forces it into a storage tank.
The technology has been around for a long time, which makes a reciprocating air compressor affordable and reliable.
2. Rotary Screw Air Compressors
Rotary screw air compressors use two rotors to force air up into a casing. From there, the air becomes more pressurized. These compressors are powerful even though they are compact.
They output air more smoothly compared to reciprocating compressors. Many rotary screw air compressors employ oil to cool and compress air.
Other models are oil-free, which means you can use them for spray-painting and other similar applications.
3. Centrifugal Air Compressors
A centrifugal compressor uses rotating blades, similar to a turbine engine. This creates highly-pressurized air. This type of compressor is powerful and ideal for continuous use.
Of course, they are also pricey. Most often they are the choice for large-scale operations like moving natural gas or oil through a pipeline. Another common use is making snow at ski resorts.
How to Buy an Air Compressor
The type of air compressor you choose depends on the tools or heavy machinery the compressor will power. Next is a refresher on the terminology that will help you select the right air compression system for your needs.
You measure air pressure in pounds per square inch (PSI). Whatever machine or tool you are powering with an air compressor will list the minimum amount of PSI required to run it.
You measure airflow in cubic feet per minute (CFM). Like PSI, the compressor you buy must be able to supply the correct amount of CFM for the machine or tool you are powering.
The higher the CFM requirements for the tool, the more power you’ll need from the compressor.
Storage tank capacity, which you measure in gallons, varied per model. The larger the tank, the more CFM the unit delivers. But, a larger tank doesn’t always mean more PSI.
You rate an air compressor’s power in horsepower (HP) like you would a car or truck. An industrial air compressor can run off of electricity, gasoline, or diesel.
How Much Is a Compressor?
Industrial air compressors vary in price according to their capabilities. Here is just a general idea of the approximate costs by type.
A 5 HP reciprocating industrial air compressor $1,000 – $2,500
5 HP rotary air compressor $2,500 – $5,000
10 HP air compressor $3,500 – $7,000
25 HP reciprocating industrial air compressor $8,000 – $12,000
25 HP rotary air compressor $7,500 – $10,000
50 HP rotary air compressor $12,000 – $18,000
100 HP industrial air compressor $20,000 – $35,000
200 HP air compressor $40,000 – $70,000
The average price for industrial air compressors goes from about $3,000 to $30,000 for a rotary machine. They range from $2,000 – $2,500 for a reciprocating machine.
And you can expect to pay $5,000 – $7,500 for previously-owned air compressors.
Where to Buy an Air Compressor
As with most commercial tools and equipment, you can find the right type of compressor locally as well as online.
An authorized air compressor seller like www.ablesales.com.au can help you understand what CFM and PSI you need.
If you already have a relationship with a supplier, contact them for price quotes. Shop around as well for air compressor deals. Your supplier may be able to beat the lowest price.
Many smaller businesses opt for purchasing used compressors for the cost savings. This often serves them well in supplying the backup compressor.
Consider the shorter life span that comes with buying any used machinery or equipment.
Buy an Air Compressor Today
You already know how much your business either depends on an air compressor, or how much it could benefit from having one.
If your compressor breaks down, how long can your business go without it before losing product or production time?
Adding a backup compressor could pay for itself almost immediately in this instance. After all, even the best machinery can fail at any time.
If you are still deciding whether to buy an air compressor or wait, you may be risking more than you should. Let today be the day you start looking into investing in a quality air compressor for your business.
If you found this article helpful, please revisit us for more informative articles. Also, feel free to contact us with feedback and suggestions for new article topics.
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