By: Wayne Perry
“To err is human, to forgive divine, to persist devilish.” —Benjamin Franklin
One of our more colorful founding fathers provided us with an excellent warning when it comes to industrial compressed air optimization projects.
To err is indeed human and inefficiencies can be found in any system. Some have to do with poor planning, some result from outdated technology, and others simply happen over time as equipment gets older, breaks down, and leaks occur. These errors—or more optimistically stated, opportunities for efficiency improvement—can be uncovered by doing a compressed air assessment.
This brings us to the “to forgive divine” part. A thorough compressed air assessment can help you establish a demand profile for your plant. It can show you artificial demand, if your compressors are rapid cycling, if equipment is over or undersized, whether or not the compressors are properly controlled, and much more. The concrete data you get from a thorough compressed air assessment is an invaluable tool in helping you make the right decisions to move forward with your optimization project. Once these improvements are in place and you start seeing the savings on your power bill, the forgiveness for those previous inefficiencies really will be divine.
Many optimization projects begin with the best of intentions—a genuine concern about inefficiency and a real desire to make lasting improvements. However, more often than not, the desire to improve falls short of action, leaving systems to persist with their devilish inefficiencies, poor control schemes, leaks, and improperly sized equipment. In order to prevent this from happening, you need to begin any optimization initiative in a different way. You need to start with buy-in from the decision makers who can approve the funds necessary to make the system improvements that you’ll uncover from the compressed air assessment.
Get their buy-in from the start and you’ll avoid persisting with those devilishly high energy costs. With a little bit of luck, after the project is done, your nicely lowered power bill will leave you looking positively angelic.