In their final blog on this topic, Festo Corporation continues to focus on reducing the operational costs of pneumatic systems and discusses how users can get more throughput while using less energy.
Everyone wins; the compressor company, the pneumatics company, the environment, and most importantly, the customer. The goal is to ensure that compressed air consumption is kept at the optimum level; the proper level required for reliable system operation. Ideally, the analysis would be performed when the system is first installed. In this way, the pneumatic components within the system and the compressed air distribution network back to the point of initial generation can be adjusted to the ideal settings. The pressure and wear behavior of compressed air generation and distribution systems is a common situation, and a thorough maintenance overhaul will often pay huge dividends in improved cost efficiency
Benefits for End Users
For the end user, reliable and cost effective pneumatic systems are a key element in the production process; the issues are clear, and the savings can be impressive. Experience shows that by identifying and eliminating leaks, by optimizing the compressed air generation and distribution layout, plant operators can expect to save up to 50% of energy costs. With savings of that order, a full optimization and maintenance program will pay for itself within two years – often considerably quicker.
Benefits for Machine Builders
For the machine builder, the implications of high energy prices are creating a more energy conscious and discerning marketplace. Energy consumption is now a real differentiator, and this, alongside the requirement to test and provide valid compressed air consumption figures, is a major incentive to analyze and improve performance. What has hampered many companies is the lack of appropriate technologies and techniques for the accurate measurement of compressed air consumption and, more importantly, the expertise to analyze the data and provide effective action plans.
The first step in working with machine builders is to improve the accuracy of sizing components to define the optimal compressed air system for a specific machine. That information is then used to generate documentation that will give the customer evidence for standards compliance and support an effective total preventive maintenance (TPM) program.
In order to combat rising energy costs, manufacturers and end users alike need to scrutinize the efficiency of their machines and optimize systems that use pneumatic drive technology. Eliminating wasted energy, such as leaks, combined with correctly sized components to reliably perform the job can save up to 35% in total energy savings. Festo provides three different air services in order to meet these customer needs.
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