Industrial air compressors come in different, shapes and sizes. Industrial air compressors are divided into 5 different types.
Those are rotary screw air compressors, centrifugal compressors, and high-pressure air compressors, rotary vane compressors, and reciprocating piston compressors. Industrial air compressors are usually misclassified. The internet is full of articles claiming to name the best industrial air compressors.
However, most of those articles are simply referring to low grade and minor capacity air compressors. The truth of the matter is that the best industrial air compressors will differ from one business to another. In this detailed buyers guide, we will review the different industries that use industrial air compressors, the types of industrial air compressors, the cooling processes and much more.
Industrial Air Compressors Types
The best centrifugal compressors are powered by integral gear or single shaft technology, handle volume flows up to 560,000 m3/h and pressures up to 205 bar. Also know as dynamic compressors, centrifugal air compressors are designed to produce big volumes of compressed air in a highly energy-efficient process. All industrial manufacturers are aware of the advantages of centrifugal technology, but those who need over 200 to 250 total horsepower tend to gain the greatest savings.
Rotary Screw Air Compressors
Rotary screw air compressors are named after the positive displacement mechanism they use. These are gas compressors that use a rotary-type mechanism. There is very little flow surge or pulsation because the gas compression process of a rotary screw is a continuous sweeping motion.
The two main types of rotary screw compressors are oil-flooded or oil-injected and gas rotary screw compressors. With the first type, oil is injected into the compression cavities to facilitate sealing and supply the gas charge with a cooling sink. The oil and discharge stream stay separate. The oil is cooled, recycled, and filtered.
Heavy-duty air compressors are highly resistant to moisture, which is a good thing because it can damage and cause rust. They offer better long-term lubrication and a better defense against moisture.
These compressors have a wide range of vehicle applications as well as applications in the mobile air-conditioning and refrigeration industries.
A lot of vehicles use them, from bus transit and long-haul trucking to construction and military vehicles. Well-known brands include Carrier, Caterpillar, CNH, and Navistar. It’s always recommended to look for ones with an acquisition system designed to protect data accuracy and quality.
High-Pressure Air Compressors
Most high-pressure air compressors are developed to operate up to a maximum of 175 psi. The vast majority of rotary screw compressors will run between 90 and 125 psi efficiently. Some applications require high compressed air volumes in the range of 45 to 60 psi. High-pressure rotary screw compressors designed to run in this specter will consume less power because they will use a smaller motor than a machine designed to run at a higher pressure.
Comparing Them All
|Quincy QGV variable speed rotary screw||40-200||82 – 982||Rotary screw||Light Industry and Food
Textile and Clothing and more
|Kaishanusa KRSP2 SERIES||150 - 350||525 – 2641||Two-stage rotary screw ||Construction and Building Material
Mechanical and Electrical Machinery and more
|Quincy QVMS Series||2-10||8-378||Vacuum pumps||Hospital settings|
|Elgi Two-stage water-cooled||60 – 500||100 - 190||Two stage rotary screw||Medicine and Health
Electronic and Electrical and more
|Sullair Two-stage rotary screw||150 – 600||542-2457||Two-stage water-cooled oil free compresso||All applications with intolerance of oil vapor presence in the entire manufacturing process|
|Atlas Copco ZR ZT||90 – 160||616 – 3000||Rotary screw||Papermaking and Printing
Metallurgy and Mining
Household Appliance and more
What Industries Use Industrial Air Compressors?
Many industries use air compressors – innumerable ones, in fact. Just have a look at the table at the beginning of this article. In this section, we’ll focus on food factories, product packaging, and wastewater treatment.
Industrial Air Compressors for Food Factories
Rotary screw air compressors compress food grade air, which can be used to cut and prepare products or create consistent, clean packaging. They can be used to move ingredients and food products down a process line. For example, they push powdered products through pipes by means of compressed air.
Air hoists and compressed air cylinders can move products more quickly down the line too. This is required in order to maintain the necessary production speeds. In the automated sorting of products, compressed air can also be used to power pneumatic systems like control valves. Compressed air can be used to peel vegetables and fruits and get them ready for packaging. The peel of the product is removed by a jet of pressurized air. The process is clean and efficient.
You can also use compressed air to remove nut peels or shells. You can cut food items using high-pressure compressed air. This option is usually cleaner than knives or blades.
Industrial Air Compressors for Product Packaging
The fast sequence of heating and molding plastic packaging requires equally rapid cooling of the formed polymers. This is achieved through industrial air compressors’ water cooling systems, which extract the heat in the form of hot water at high temperatures.
Industrial Air Compressors for wastewater treatment stations
Air compressors guarantee that the air is free of contamination as they operate. They reduce noise and vibration levels and regulate airflow via a variable speed drive.
7 Best Industrial Air Compressors
1. Quincy QGV
With up to 85% turndown, this variable speed rotary screw air compressor provides among the most stable of pressures available. A flex drive air end with 100,000 hour capacity is at the core of all QGV compressors, providing low cost of ownership, reliable operation, and easy maintenance. You will enjoy real-time performance monitoring with full-color, touch-screen control and graphical analysis to top it all off.
We can’t argue that facility performance does not depend on compressor efficiency and reliability, which is where Kaishan USA comes in. Its main benefit is reduced power consumption, and it is not an insignificant one because power is the biggest cost throughout a unit’s life cycle. KRSP2 series’ modern, state of the art energy saving features reduce operation costs a great deal.
This series is a member of the company’s line of two-stage air compressors. These high-performance units are designed from the ground up, including an evaluation of each component for efficiency, reliability, and optimized operation.
A number of models offer working pressure from 100 to 190 PSI and power ratings from 100 to 500 HP. The company backs its products with one of the best warranties in the sector: five years on major parts and lifetime coverage on the air end.
Elgi’s water cooled air compressors are equipped with Free Air Delivery (FAD) are tested as per ISO 1217 : 2009 – Annex C. The standard water inlet pressure ranges from 14.3 psi to 36 psi, and the standard cooling water temperature rise is 14ºF.
The company also offers customized units with different pressure variants (50 – 130 psi for two stage machines), varying voltages, and medium or high voltage motors subject to a special offer. The standard packages offered are equipped with built in VFD.
All compressor motors can be supplied for IEC, NEMA, ABNT, and other country standards, but weight and dimensions may vary.
This company serves mainly food and beverage companies and general production as far as the centrifugal compressor sector is concerned. Dominant market drivers are lower maintenance costs and greater energy efficiency, which is typical for the industry, and Sullair tailors the offerings accordingly.
Their two-stage rotary screw compressor line is characterized by a superior end-to-end design for optimal power savings and efficiency. As a result, there is longer air end life, lower operating costs, and no loss of capacity or efficiency.
Last but not least, Atlas Copco’s oil free centrifugal compressors are used mainly in power generation, industrial gases, and the hydrocarbon industry. Atlas has compressors for oil and gas midstream, LNG, air separation, chemical and petrochemical, fertilizer, supercritical CO2, and related industries.
In the CO2 segment, for example, the compressor range reaches pressures up to 200 bar. The single-shaft compressors reach flow volumes of 480 000 m3/h in the air separation segment, and centrifugal compressors can achieve operating power of up to 45 000 HP.
The vacuum pump has been uniquely designed to meet needs in medical settings. Engineered for easy installation and flexibility, the QVMS features direct drive, reliable pumps and unilateral access for the maintenance needed.
A Quincy QV rotary vane vacuum pump builds the core of every QVMS, developed for hospital applications that demand constant vacuum levels and high capacity. Any vacuum pump used in a hospital setting must be user-friendly, reliable, and sanitary.
Best Industrial Air Compressor Manufacturers
This section shares a few words about the best-known and highest-quality manufacturers of industrial air compressors. These include Sanborn, Quincy, Industrial Air, and some others on this list.
Finally, this is an unbeatable company when it comes to fleet and field service applications. Their two-stage, gas-powered air compressors are perfect for remote pneumatic applications.
They are also ideal in cases where electrical power is scarce. For emergency production line needs, their products are great. These units are known to always deliver the air you need.
They are mounted on truck beds and feature electronic ignition and ASME receiver tanks. They are also equipped with idle engine control. The units are OSHA approved with fully enclosed belt guards and a weather-resistant powder-coat paint finish.
Atlas Copco is a world leader in the industrial air compressors market. The company started manufacturing air compressors back in 1899. The company purchased Chicago Pneumatic Tools in 1987 which helped it become a market leader in the pneumatic tools niche as well. However, industrial air compressors are their main focus.
Quincy is a very well-known manufacturer of air compressors. Their compressors are regarded as good-quality, reliable units. They produce reciprocating piston, rotary screw and other types of compressors. These same durable characteristics are present in all of Quincy’s complete reciprocating line, which is manufactured in Quincy, Illinois.
In 1980, they began machining and manufacturing operations in Bay Minette, Alabama, where their rotary screw compressors and vacuum pumps are made.
Other Well Known Industrial Brands
Sullair Air Compressors
FS-Curtis Air Compressors
FS-Elliott Air Compressors
The Cooling Process of Industrial Air Compressors
There are several compressor cooling types, including air cooling, compressors with an integrated refrigerated dryer, and water cooling. This section explores them.
The Air Cooling Process
The air compressor package has forced ventilation which contains almost all of the energy the motor consumes. Most modern compressors are equipped with air cooling.
The Water Cooling
This is also an efficient cooling method. A water-cooled compressor installation is a good idea because very little pressure is exerted on the compressor room ventilation system. The cooling water contains around 90% of the energy the motor uses.
There are three types of compressor water cooling systems. They are closed systems with circulating water (including an external radiator or heat exchanger), open systems with a cooling tower (circulating water), and open systems connected to an external water supply (without circulating water).
Industrial Air Compressor with Integrated Refrigerated Dryer
Refrigerated compressed air dryers are able to eliminate more oil and water than coalescing filters. The reason for this is because after the air is cooled and the moisture is removed, the cold air is used to pre-cool the hot incoming air, which heats up the exiting air.
Industrial Air Compressor Maintenance Checklist
You need to check and clean or lubricate the following components
A dirty air filter contains particles and impurities that may corrupt the compressed air. This leads to the deterioration of end-point applications. You should clean the air filter regularly. Change it out at intervals depending on the environment.
Lubricated and non-lubricated compressors alike need to have their oil filters changed. These must be completely replaced at recommended intervals, which are 6,000 hours on average. Replace your filter sooner if it gets heavily covered in oily residue before this time passes.
An air compressor transforms ambient air into something that can replace electric power. It powers heavy-duty machinery effectively. Consequently, the compressor itself can only do so much to turn ordinary air into something powerful. To make sure the incoming air stays as clean as possible, check the vents regularly. This also prevents dirt from getting sucked into the system. It’s best to inspect them weekly and clean them when necessary.
Lubricant is one of the most crucial parts when it comes to the functions of an air compressor. It allows for smooth movement on all the internal metal parts and joints. This movement is also non-corrosive. Without lubrication, joints and parts rust because of the tension between the touching metal surfaces. Once you have rust on your hands, it will spread and destroy certain mechanical parts.
With time, the rubber on a belt will become amortized and crack in certain places. It’s therefore important to replace the belts before they break as you work or lose their tension. Check each belt once per week to ensure they are free of wear. Once there is wear, adjust the tension or replace the belt if necessary.
Oil the bearings every 4,000 hours to protect the health and performance of the air compressor’s motor. Between each greasing, check the bearings at quarterly intervals to make sure they remain sufficiently lubricated. Other things to check include amps, air dryer performance, oil levels, vibration, and temperatures.
Frequently Asked Questions
We conclude this exhaustive article with a brief FAQ section. These are the most important questions to ask before buying an industrial air compressor. Some of them might seem obvious, but trust us, they’re not.
What is an industrial air compressor?
An air compressor is a device that converts power into potential energy. This is done using an electric motor, diesel or gasoline engine. The energy is then stored in pressurized or compressed air. The pressure is increased as the air compressor forces more and more air into a storage tank.
What is the best industrial air compressor?
All of those reviewed in this article will suit your various needs.
What industries use air compressors?
Industries involving use of air hammers, drills, wrenches, and other power tools use them. Also, compressed air is used to operate air cylinders for automation and atomize the paint. You can use it to propel vehicles too.
What is the use of a screw compressor?
Rotary-screw compressors are generally used to deliver compressed air to bigger industrial projects. They are best for applications like food packaging plants and automated manufacturing systems. Generally, any application with continuous air demand will benefit from one.
What is the cost of industrial air compressor rental?
The average industrial air compressors can be rented for $3928 per month. However, It depends on the type, location, and period.