Compressed air is used for the majority of industrial applications. It is estimated that, on average, the energy required for the generation of compressed air has a weight of about 20% of the total consumption of a company.
Of this amount, about a third could be saved through three types of synergistic actions:
- use of suitable products
- component sizing
- measurement of consumption and losses, followed by corrective actions
The cost of pneumatic energy is directly linked to two fundamental quantities: the pressure and the flow rate of compressed air. The first is a function of the force required by the actuators and the second depends on the speed of movement of the actuators.
The choice of quality products, designed for flow optimization and friction reduction, is the first step to ensure a significant reduction in consumption. By decreasing the mechanical friction in the products, a better performance is guaranteed and, therefore, better performance of the actuators at the same energy consumption. In the same way the improvement of the conditions of passage of the pneumatic fluid inside the components and the pipes reduces the pressure drops and, consequently, increases the efficiency of the system.
Metal Work pays a lot of attention to these aspects, choosing quality materials, lubricants and components and carefully studying the internal geometry of products, also through the use of advanced tools for fluid dynamics analysis. The technical choices are then validated by laboratory tests to guarantee the quality of the products. Metal Work also offers a series of products specifically dedicated to reducing energy consumption.
Measure, understand, intervene
If we want to deal systematically with the issue of reducing consumption, the first step is to measure the fundamental quantities involved, namely pressure and flow rate. Only in this way it will be possible to intervene with strategies aimed at improving the situation, be they of a design type, inserting specific components or modifying existing ones, or of a maintenance type, intervening in a programmed manner.
For this purpose, Metal Work provides a series of digital components capable of measuring both quantities and providing the machine control system with the data necessary to process the various intervention strategies.