Optimizing Air Compressor Efficiency with a Data Logger

Benefits of Data Logging

David Van’t Slot, System Specialist

To M-box or not to M-box. That is the question. Hint: M-box is a compressed air system audit.

Recently, one of my customers said to me: “Some production equipment is shutting down on low pressure—CAN YOU HELP?!” I assured him, with our in-house Engineer and state of the art compressed air audit tool (M-Box data logging), we can get to the root of the problem, fix it, and save energy/cost going forward.

We set up a time to tour the plant and identify the problem areas dealing with their two compressors ( 1-50HP VSD, 1-60HP VSD). The compressed air system is designed for 100% redundancy and historically either compressor would handle the plant. So, I explained how the audit tool will monitor the compressors for a week, tracking plant pressure and amp draw (Horsepower) 24/7. Once the compressor performance is logged and reviewed by our engineer a full report including graphics and charts will be presented to discuss the findings.

Our customer loved the idea and said “Where do I sign?”… After running the compressed air system outfitted with the loggers for about 10 days, we identified several areas of improvement. The report showed that 50% of the time both compressors were running, and at one point one of the compressors shut down and the plant pressure plummeted from 125 Psi to 80 psi causing the production low pressure alarm. This was due to the inability of one compressor not being able to handle plant air demand. In addition, if either of the compressors go down, the plant could not run full production causing major problems.

Based on the findings we proposed a 3rd compressor which would add full system redundancy, as well as reducing energy costs by ~ $4700 per year. The customer was impressed with the report stating it was clear, concise and hit all the correct points. Together we presented it to his boss, the CEO. After our review the project was “greenlighted” as a new compressor project for the 3rd quarter 2020.

What useful information could the Airmatic Audit Program discover about your compressed air system? It may reduce risk and save energy costs for your plant!