Compressed Air for Body Shops

By: Kaeser Compressors, Inc.

A reliable supply of clean, dry compressed air at stable pressure is vital in collision repair. Understanding air pressure, flow and quality requirements will help you extend tool life and get the best possible results in the paint booth to eliminate costly re-work caused by contaminants in the compressed air supply.

Watch the webinar below for best practices for compressed air systems in body shops. If you’re attending SEMA 2019, stop by one of the Kaeser booths to discuss how you can decrease downtime and comebacks…and increase productivity and profit.

Topics include:

  • Key design factors for evaluating a compressed air system
  • Common types of contaminants and how to remove them
  • Air treatment components to ensure clean, dry air for paint and body work
  • Types of dryers and tips on selecting the right one
  • How piping material selection impacts air quality

Additional resources:

Tier 4 Final Engines: Fuel, DEF, Exhaust After-Treatment, and Regeneration [White paper excerpt]

By: Alex Shields

EPAAs most people are aware, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed the final rule introducing Tier 4 emission standards back on May 11, 2004. This government mandate was phased in over the period of 2008-2015.

The Tier 4 mandate was designed to reduce two key pollutants: particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) compounds. NOx is known to contribute to the formation of smog and ground-level ozone. All of these have been shown to have adverse health effects on the respiratory system.

Clearly, the goals of the regulation are designed to preserve and improve health, but the rules also impact businesses making, selling, servicing, and purchasing portable air compressors and a wide range of other equipment with affected diesel engines. Rental and construction companies have seen equipment prices rise dramatically and in many cases these businesses have experienced overall increases in operating and ownership costs. With sluggish movement in rental rates increasing to offset the rising costs associated with Tier 4 final engines, profit margins are compressed.

The impact the Tier 4 final engines have on these businesses and their operations are profound. In some cases, the new engines cause outright panic to adapt to what some end users find to be complex technology but these changes impact many commonly used machines. The complications are not limited to air compressors and encompass just about every diesel engine driven product/piece of equipment in the rental store’s fleet or equipment yard of construction companies including excavators and other construction equipment, farm tractors and other agricultural equipment, forklifts, and utility equipment such as generators, pumps, and compressors.

In an effort to help educate and hopefully ease some fears, Kaeser has written a white paper to provide some basic facts and information on Tier 4 final engines. Keep in mind, however, that for a specific engine, the engine manufacturer should be the source for definitive technical information about their product.

Download the full white paper here.

Five Tips for Receiving Commercial Freight [Infographic]

By Kaeser Compressors, Inc.

Most commercial freight is delivered via third party carriers , and even with the best of carriers, sometimes shipments are damaged. Your freight may shift, get dropped, or even be in a traffic accident. Damage may also occur at logistics centers en-route, where items are transferred from one truck to another.

Like most other suppliers, Kaeser’s freight terms are usually “FOB shipping point” –which means that once the item leaves our possession, we cannot ensure safe handling or monitor the condition the freight arrives in. In most cases the buyer is paying the freight, and has the obligation to inspect the shipment. Kaeser will assist you in case of damage, but accepting a damaged shipment without comment will limit your ability to make a claim. Here’s an infographic with some tips for receiving commercial shipments, whether from Kaeser or any other supplier.

We also have a new video with all of these tips on our YouTube channel! Click here to watch our Freight Tips Video.

That’s Classified

Cost effective options for compressed air in classified areas

By: Michael Camber

A few posts back, we wrote about removing compressors from a bad environment for their health (away from excess heat, dust, etc.). This time we’ll talk about moving them for the safety of people. Specifically, we are talking about hazardous areas where the presence of flammable gases or liquids, combustible dusts or easily ignited fibers exist in sufficient concentrations to cause a fire or explosion, given a source of ignition (such as electricity running through a compressor).   

Obviously, this might apply to parts of (or entire) chemical, oil or gas processing plants.  But it could also apply in other industries we don’t think of as handling hazardous materials. Fine powders or fibers from grains, wood, etc. can create fire hazards. We’re not trying to raise the fear factor. This is not a common concern, and if it does apply in your plant, you are probably are already well aware.  

In the oil & gas and petrochemical markets, there are suppliers who specialize in engineering and modifying air compressor systems and other motor-driven equipment to be “explosion proof.” This gets very expensive, very fast. It also takes time for these systems to be designed, built, installed, and certified to operate. This is specialized work and these suppliers (rightfully) charge a premium for it.

A natural gas processing plant

In the case of a compressed air system, however, there may be an easy cost-saving alternative: Move it. Move it to another part of the plant that is not in the “classified area” and pipe the compressed air in. Usually, the air is not the source of risk. It’s the motor, starter and electrics. Sometimes it just takes a little out-of- the-box thinking to find another spot for the compressed air source. But sometimes there simply isn’t a safe place or enough space for the compressors somewhere else in the plant. In these cases, compressor system enclosures set outside at a safe distance are viable options. 

Compressed air production was moved a few hundred yards away

This solution presents the increased costs of packaging the air system up and of piping the air longer distances. But they may compare favorably to the engineered explosion-proof system. Further, they usually offer faster design, build, install, and commissioning. Not to mention lower maintenance costs by using standard compressed air equipment and less downtime when service is due (think about procedures to get outside personnel into restricted areas).

Weather-proof enclosure with complete compressed air system pre-installed.

Visit our website and download the white paper: Hazardous Area Classification Considerations for more on this subject and check out this ThingLink to see what one of these enclosures looks like on the inside.

IoT anyone?

By: Michael Camber

Kaeser and most other compressor makers are now equipping their machines with Ethernet and other communications ports to facilitate tying in to plant monitoring and control schemes with the Internet of Things. 

We (and others) offer solutions that optimize multiple unit systems to reduce operating costs, constantly monitor equipment condition, and maintain the required air quality. Despite the advanced communication and reporting capabilities, we find manufacturers primarily use the basic capabilities of pressure stability and compressor sequencing.  We are surprised that so few take advantage of the more advanced features like:

  • remote PM reminders and troubleshooting
  • condition monitoring and data collection
  • energy and energy cost reporting
  • allocation of energy costs to specific products, production schedules or shifts
  • asset management and maintenance planning

What are your thoughts on this?

If you are doing any of these or similar things, we’d like to learn about it and how it may have helped your asset management, decision making, or plant efficiency.  Our goal is to share best practices with other readers. 

Comment below with your thoughts and let us know what your experience has been. You can also use our contact form.