SINGAPORE, Aug. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Intensifying global tensions have placed a strain on trade relations between a number of countries around the world. These strained relations, coupled with increasing global economic uncertainty, have driven up the cost of doing business for many companies, particularly in the manufacturing sector, with countries once seen as manufacturing powerhouses losing their luster as costs increase. In an effort to meet increasing demand, while staying competitive, many companies have begun looking to shift production to developing regions that can offer greater stability at a lower cost.
As a result, countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines have seen a marked increase in manufacturing activity; with a number of industries, ranging from consumer products and automotive, to industrial and chemical, showing increased interest and investment in the region. However, are South East Asia's manufacturers equipped and ready to handle the rapid rate of growth?
To ensure continuous, sustainable growth, operators must make sure that their production facilities are running at their peak. Equipment that is crucial to the production process, such as compressed air systems, must provide stable, energy efficient, and reliable operation in order for operators to stay competitive and effectively manage the increase in demand.
Choosing the right compressor or compressed air system, however, can be a complex and daunting task. Whether purchasing new or upgrading, operators should bear in mind a number of key considerations to ensure that they select the right equipment. Operators should begin the process by conducting a precise analysis of their compressed air needs, followed by a detailed requirement profile, to ensure that they select a solution that both meets their air demand while staying within short and long term financial constraints.
Planning is Key
Before purchasing a compressor, operators need to capture a range of data from across their entire compressed air network. Information including the current and future compressed air demand, the required compressed air quality, and whether the waste heat from the compressor is used for another operational process can help. If the compressor is being added to an existing station, then operators also need to consider integration into the control technology.
It is generally advisable that operators measure the compressed air demand over a representative period of time thereby building a detailed requirement profile. Doing so can simplify the selection process and ensure that the right equipment is purchased.
Consider Life Cycle Costs
Energy can account for over two thirds of a compressed air systems lifecycle costs. It is therefore crucial that operators focus on the lifecycle costs of a system above the purchase price. While systems with a low 'sticker price' may provide short term savings, poor efficiency over the life of a system can negate any cost savings made in the short term.
Choosing the Right Operating Principle
Not all compressor technologies are created equal. In addition to the well-known traditional piston, screw, and turbo, there are a number of new operating principles and drive technologies which were developed with energy efficiency, and in some cases, specific applications in mind.
It is important for operators to approach planning and equipment selection without any preconceived notions on compressor type, capacity, or specification. Operators need to take into account their operating, quality and efficiency requirements in addition to the intended application, and budget; then carefully evaluate each available option to ensure that the equipment purchased meets their needs.
Evaluate Air Quality Needs
Air quality is crucial for many processes, however requirements can vary greatly based on industry. Sensitive production processes such as food or pharmaceutical production, where at least part of the compressed air flow must meet the highest quality requirements, will need to consider whether to generate 100% oil-free air directly or via filtering. Both methods have their merits, however each provides varying levels of efficiency. While removal of the oil aerosols from the compressed air is a complex process, compression in an oil-lubricated compressor is, to date, considered more efficient.
By carefully balancing their quality and efficiency requirements, as well as staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in both process and technology, operators can significantly reduce the amount of compromise that would need to be made between quality and efficiency.
Selecting the right vendor can help streamline the equipment selection process. Choosing a vendor with a long history of experience, as well as a broad product portfolio can help operators ensure that they select the right air compressor or system, and avoid simply choosing the latest technology or the best deal.
As a full service provider, Gardner Denver can work with you to select the right compressed air system for your plant. Leveraging over a century of experience, we partner with our customers to build a comprehensive snapshot of their requirements, then working with them to provide a tailored solution. From standalone compressors to engineered-to-order solutions, our extensive portfolio of oil lubricated, oil free, and portable compressors covers a range operating principles and technologies; allowing us to provide solution to meet even the most complex compressed air requirements.
About Gardner Denver
Gardner Denver (GDI) is a leading global provider of mission-critical flow control and compression equipment and associated aftermarket parts, consumables and services, which it sells across multiple attractive end-markets within the industrial, energy and medical industries. Its broad and complete range of compressor, pump, vacuum and blower products and services, along with its application expertise and over 155 years of engineering heritage, allows Gardner Denver to provide differentiated product and service offerings for its customers' specific uses. Gardner Denver supports its customers through its global geographic footprint of 41 key manufacturing facilities, more than 30 complementary service and repair centers across six continents, and approximately 6,700 employees world-wide.