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Ever since the ISO 8573 standard on air quality appeared, this question has been one of the headaches involving different departments in any company. The standard began to specify the amount of particulate matter and moisture in compressed air, making it easier for tool and instrument manufacturers to specify the compressed air needed to operate. In the following article, Victor Sans, Area Sales Manager at ELGi Iberia, gives us some considerations to take into account.
Ever since the ISO 8573 standard on air quality appeared, this question has been one of the headaches involving different departments in any company. This standard began to specify the amount of particulate matter and moisture in compressed air, making it easier for tool and instrument manufacturers to specify the compressed air required to operate.
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However, even in the same industry, oil-free or lubricated compressed air can be used depending on the process being carried out. For example, in a pharmaceutical company, if you are using compressed air that will come into direct contact with the product, you need to use oil-free compressed air, but if you are using it for a palletiser that wraps the final products without coming into contact with them, then it is possible to use lubricated compressed air.
It is the process that defines the quality of air required, although the more restrictive oil-free air can always be used. When considering the lubricated and oil-free option, if both options are valid, there are different dimensions to take into account and for this I show some questions that I recommend to investigate before deciding, as they may be hidden costs that should be taken into account:
- Do I have a waste treatment contract? Condensate from lubricated compressors must be treated and should not be discharged directly into the sewer.
- What is installed downstream, is there a risk of breakdown or removal from the production batch if oil accumulates in the machine downstream of the equipment, what happens if oil leaks into the line? In many equipment, oil accumulation can clog the inlet of plungers and instruments or contaminate the product being handled.
- Do I have a maintenance contract for the equipment, lubricated compressors require more filtration and more maintenance than exempt compressors.
- What technology am I considering and what operating mode? There are a range of different compression technologies that may require more or less maintenance depending on their use.
When a compressed air system is required it is always interesting to have an expert who can advise and help in the definition of the complete system.
For more information please contact our technicians:
Phone number: + 34- 9220.127.116.11
Enriel Castrol Industrial will be present once again at EMAF, the most important industrial fair of Machines, Equipment and services for industry in Portugal, which will address the latest challenges of Industry 4.0.