Compressed air is a necessity for most of the equipment used in industrial finishing. Whether it is low production paint pump, some pneumatic hand tools, or a high production, multi-pressure pot blast room, they all require compressed air to operate this equipment.
It is not the "PSI" that operates this equipment, but it is the volume of air. The volume is the cubic feet per minute, or CFM, needed to allow this equipment to function properly. This volume is needed to activate the air motor in a paint pump or tool, to operate a door on a wheel machine or the gate on a vibratory machine, to pulse clean the dust cartridge filters and to pick up and propel the abrasive blast media through the hose and nozzle.
Creating compressed air is expensive. The industry average estimates that a compressor will generate 4 CFMs per 1 horse power. Newer models, with energy efficiency operation, can generate CFM per horse power at a lower cost.
The common types of compressors used in the industrial markets are pistons or rotary screws:
Piston compressors are the older technology and less efficient. Piston compressors are noisier compared to rotary screw conveyors.
Rotary screw compressors offer more energy efficient performance, quality and reliability. Many can be configured to include refrigerated dryers, coalescing, and particulate filters and oil/water separators.
Air requirements for many applications can utilize a variable speed drive compressor that can offer a 35% savings over fixed speed compressors. The technology allows the compressor to maintain consistent system demand while only consuming the power required to match the demand.