Compressed Air market is changing

  • Published on April 5, 2020 by Gorazd Bregar Compressed Air expert – founding Director at CALMS Air Inc

New trends are coming also to the conservative industrial compressed air market. This is even more obvious since we are all forced to work in a completely different environment where remote means everything in some cases even survival.

What can we do in compressed air systems from remote? First of all compressors must operate 24/7 locally as reliable and efficient as possible, to achieve this we can use remote monitoring to optimise and service them in time and connect all relevant parties on single platform.

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In the traditional compressed air market concept the key role belongs to OEMs who deliver equipment (compressors) and parts, do the maintenance and service, optimise the system performance, do audits and assessments and finally verifies the performance of what they achieved. Does it make sense – all in one solution ? I doubt.

Technology to change this concept has been present for some time now and it is especially useful in quarantine times. New trends like SaaS (Software as a Service) are more and more common with major OEMs but there are also some independent platforms offering Paas (Platform as a Service). And there is a major difference between those two. The first (OEMs) are more or less device remote monitoring, taking care for servicing equipment with original parts, exchanging filter elements, alarms, warranty issues and extending service contracts warranty. Of course they also have to offer modules for assessments like leak assessment, system performance monitoring and audits, however here we come to the first conflict of interest since their goal should be to sell more compressors not to reduce air consumption with fixing leaks and inappropriate uses. And the second conflict of interest is verification of CA system by the same party who delivered and optimised it.

But with technology available today like iIoT, cloud based computing there is room for new approach to connect all relevant parties on single independent platform (PaaS). This will bring all the benefits to compressed air end – user who will get the best service possible. Customer will have overview and control over all connected parties starting with independent experts, auditors, service providers, investors-like ESCOs and compressed air manufactures OEMs on one single platform accessible from anywhere.

What benefits can such independent platform brings to the customer?

  • Remote monitoring and more important remote ongoing optimisation with energy saving and reducing carbon footprint
  • Customer (not others) is the owner of all measurement data and analysis
  • Platform is connecting compressed air experts, auditors, energy managers with different skills and industrial knowledge (like cement, textile, car, glass, WWT, …) to the customer.
  • Compare to the best in class, get insight of possibilities to improve
  • Compare different products and solutions independently
  • Rent audit measurement equipment and service before investment and after investment to verify return on investment
  • Service equipment in time; connecting customer with the local service provider, protecting critical equipment (like vibration alerts)
  • Platform also connects potential investors like ESCOs who can help to close projects that have high energy savings potential
  • Using platform as energy management system (EnMS) is the easiest and cheapest way to comply to ISO50001 with possibility to add all Significant Energy Use (SEU) like gas, electricity, compressed air, steam.. with integrated and customised target KPIs
  • Platform will track before-after investment savings events with reporting

There is also another very important thing to know and that is the location of major savings potential in modern compressed air system, which are not anymore in the compressor room nor the distribution side, but rather in the demand side. So for the complete ongoing optimisation the platform will guide you through the process starting with interview, assessments, audit, analysis, simulations, and with help of external experts also to compressed air end-uses and production process optimisations , where the majority of today’s savings potential is.

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