Gaseous nitrogen is used in a variety of systems and processes in the food manufacturing and packaging industries. Often regarded as the industry standard for non-chemical preservation, nitrogen is an inexpensive, readily available option. Suited for a variety of uses, Nitrogen needs to be monitored for purity and potential contaminants. Depending on the type of use, the distribution channel, and the required purity levels, different testing plans should be implemented to ensure safety.
Uses For Nitrogen In Food Process
Because foods are comprised of reactive chemicals, it is the job of packaging specialists and food manufacturers to find ways to protect nutrients and ensure the quality of their product. Oxygen can be harmful to packaged foods as this gas causes the food to oxidize and can encourage the growth of microorganisms (Welt and Connaughton, 2017). Foods that are particularly susceptible to these risks include fatty meats, fish, veggies and ready-to-eat products. In fact, a third of fresh food does not reach consumers due to transport spoilage (Sengupta, 2017). Modifying the atmosphere of the packaging can be an effective way to ensure that products remain safe for consumers.
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By finding a better way to control and manage its compressed air system, North American Lighting, Paris, Ill., has reduced its total compressed air energy use by 27 percent – and in the process – saves over 1,100,000 kWh/year for a total annual savings of $91,000. The project also achieved a payback of less than one year.
North American Lighting Maintenance Service Manager Michael Westerfield (left) stands next to the Airleader Master Controller with Sean Wisner of Brabazon Pump, Compressor and Vacuum.
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New methods of helium discovery are imperative in our industry, due to the rising costs of the noble gas. Helium is valuable for its applications in leak detection and magnet cooling in medical equipment. The industry also needs to continue developing specialized compressors to find new helium sources.
Many of the breathing air compressors used in diving equipment sold by manufacturers are not sufficiently gas tight. This can result in expensive helium leakage. Due to the low atomic size and viscosity of helium gas, special valves and gaskets are required in helium compressors. Adhesive sealants are also helpful in preventing gas leaks, but can only provide one-way leak tightness.
Want to read more about specialized compressors in helium recovery? Click here.
Signs You Need To Overhaul An Air Compressor
It’s imperative that you take oil samples when performing your routine fluid checks. In addition, you should also be monitoring your air compressor for bearing vibration. Performing these tasks on a daily basis can warn you when it’s time to do an overhaul.
You Should Overhaul If:
-You discover oil contamination with metal fragments in the oil sample, as this is a sign of wear.
– You notice the temperatures of the internal compressor is rising, which is a sign that the cooler is not working.
The Difference Between Remanufacture and Rebuild
There are two options when it comes to overhauling an air compressor, you can either remanufacture or rebuild. The big difference between the two options is that a remanufactured air compressor needs to be overhauled within the factory of the original equipment manufacturer, while a rebuild is conducted in the field, at the customer site.
Read more on the best time to overhaul an air compressor and details on which overhaul option is best for you, by clicking here.
The level of competition in this industry is always rising, so the need to stay cost efficient is always a must. Manufacturers have found that centrifugal air compressors are can reduce plant costs related to supplying compressed air.
What Is Centrifugal Air Compressor Technology?
Centrifugal air compressors operate by transferring kinetic energy from a rotating impeller into potential energy in the diffuser. There are several stages within the centrifugal pressure design, as well as a intercooling stage between each major stage. Centrifugal air compressors are designed to flourish under high capacities, and work best when used for applications over 200 total horsepower.
Class o Certified Oil-Free Air
Class o per ISO 8573-1 or “oil-free air” can be produced by centrifugal air compressors, which can minimize maintenance required at a manufacturing facility, while also reducing energy costs. An oil-free airstream is necessary for companies that produce textiles, medicine, electronics, and food products.
The oil in the machine is kept out of the actual air path, since oil-free compressors do not use oil in their actual compression process. This also helps keep costs down by minimizing the number of filter change outs required. Oil-free centrifugal air compressors are designed for lower maintenance, and provide the highest energy efficiency. Read more details on the advantages of oil-free centrifugal air compressors here.
These days, your customer may be asking you more detailed questions on their piping installation project. If you’ve noticed an increase in requests for aluminum piping, here’s a refresher on how to explain aluminum pipe oxidation.
Why Aluminum Pipe Oxidation Is Trending Topic Now
There has been a shift in the industry away from the use of black iron. This is because consumers have aligned the idea of clean and dry compressed air quality with product quality, and have recognized the cost-effective, high-performance value of aluminum piping. Aluminum’s lightweight properties allow for optimized assembly, and it is much cheaper than copper.
Exterior Pipe Coatings
As consumer awareness of the attributes of aluminum tubing have driven its popularity, so have a swell of additional well thought-out questions. One question is asked with regularity, “What is done to protect the inside of the tubing”? Even though most all aluminum compressed air piping systems feature a painted or powder coated exterior, the interior of the tubing has no coating.
Location, clearance, condensate disposal, ducting, and compressor plumbing are the main items to consider during air compressor installation. Is your installation checklist as comprehensive as you’d like? While budget or time restrictions can inhibit your team from performing their ideal installation, this review in best practices can help improve your project situation.
Air Compressor Room Design & Proper Air Compressor Installation
Creating a designated compressor room allows for better control of the compressor’s air quality in addition to ensuring the compressors are kept at the proper temperature through the use of HVAC or ventilation. While current compressors have been engineered to be much quieter than previous models, they can still produce a significant amount of noise. Placing compressed air equipment in a designated room helps to significantly reduce noise levels in employee work areas.
Understanding Centrifugal Technology
Before investigating the benefits of centrifugal air compressors, it is important to understand the technology behind the compressor.
Centrifugal, sometimes referred to as dynamic compressors, work by transferring kinetic energy from a rotating impeller into potential energy (pressure) in the diffuser. As an impeller accelerates the air, a radial diffuser converts the air velocity into pressure converting kinetic energy into increased pressure. Centrifugal compressors typically feature multiple stages within the design. Between each stage, the air is cooled with an intercooler before moving on to the next stage which also increases the compressor efficiency. Due to the continuous flow through the multiple stages, centrifugal compressors are designed to thrive with higher capacities and are best suited for applications above 200 total horsepower.
Today’s industrial manufacturing environment is extremely competitive, requiring companies to constantly search for cost-saving opportunities and better efficiencies. In many cases, manufacturers find that centrifugal air compressors are a successful method for reducing the overall plant costs involved in supplying compressed air.
In the last ten years, the design of pneumatic systems has changed dramatically, mainly due to developments in the technologies that create them. Pneumatic manufacturers’ online tools for sizing components have evolved, the fieldbus systems are ever-changing, component designs are constantly improving, and network devices such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) have reshaped the industry. All these advances play a large role in optimizing the efficiency of pneumatic systems, but the age-old practice of routine maintenance must not be overlooked. This article will focus on proper air compressor sizing, proper pneumatic component sizing and predictable preventative maintenance.
The heart of any compressed air system is the air compressor itself and the related components such as the receiver tank, aftercooler and dryer. A qualified air compressor vendor should be consulted for the specific type of components required based on environment, duty cycle, pressure and required cubic feet per minute (cfm) and safety factors for future expansion. Each of these factors will be considered when a system analysis is performed. If a particular machine function requires a higher pressure than the rest of the required function, a storage receiver tank and air amplifier can be an efficient way to provide the added pressure to that leg of the system versus increasing the pressure of the air compressor.
Variable speed oil-flooded rotary screw industrial air compressors are designed to offer the same reliable service as fixed speed compressor, but using the least possible energy to meet the fluctuating air demand. With perfect, instantaneous response to your industrial air demand, you can enjoy stable plant pressure that automatically adjusts to your current plant air compression needs.
Here are some other features of an oil-flooded variable speed rotary screw compressor:
- The compressor comprises two screws (male and female rotor), a housing or stator, and bearings and bearing supports.
- To achieve speed variation, the male rotor is driven through a series of gears in the drive housing (not directly by the motor). The male rotor (with four lobes) drives the female (with six lobes).
- Steady or plise-free compressed air is released via a vent in the end plate at about 85 degrees Celsius, and delivered to a receiver or a secondary compressor for two-stage compression.
- The positive displacement compressor assembly is flood-lubricated and uses one or two stages to deliver the desired, fluctuating pressure, through a continuous compression process.
- Packaged units are usually self-contained and mounted on a skid base, and configured to supply plant (not process) air at maximum pressure of 10 bar.
- The compressor is typically powered by an electric motor and enclosed in a sound-attenuating housing with removable panels for easy serviceability.
- The compressors can be used for a wide range of industrial applications that require air volumes of 6 to 50 cubic meters per hour, at pressures of 7 to 10 bar, and capacity of 15 to 350kW.
Service and Maintenance
Oil-filled variable speed rotary screw air compressors are designed in compact units featuring a quiet enclosure to minimize vibration and noise levels, while allowing easy serviceability.
Whether you use your air compressor for small workshop operations or bigger applications in a large plant, it is important to partner with a reliable service and maintenance company in Ventura & Los Angeles to ensure that you have ready access to genuine spare parts and a skilled team of engineers and technicians for routine maintenance or in the event of a breakdown to minimize downtime.