When a compressor produces compressed air it draws in atmospheric air which will have some degree of water and solid particles in it. In a lubricated compressor you will also have a third contaminant in your compressed air - that being oil. And, when ambient air is compressed we further concentrate the contaminates as we are reducing the air volume. For example for an air compressor with final pressure of 10 bar the air is therefore compressed 10 times ambient, therefore you could say that there might be 10 times more contaminates per final volume. These contaminants must be effectively removed in order to produce compressed air to the specific air quality level that an application or process requires.
Different processes and applications require different air quality levels, for example the air quality level required for breathing air will be different from plant air. Air quality levels are uniformly defined into Classes by the international standard ISO 8573-1:2010. This compressed air specification defines air quality classes by the maximum number of particles per m3.
The primary function of compressed air filtration is to remove contaminants from the air in order to reach the specified air quality standard. Depending on the air quality required, a compressed air system may therefore have a number of different types of filters located at different points within the system.
But selecting the right filter technology and opting for high quality products is not the end of the story. To ensure the specified air quality standard is consistently met, filters need to be serviced and maintained.
If you are already following the OEM’s recommendations for service and maintenance - how do you know in between service visits if your filters are working properly? For a quick indication of how a filter is operating you can check its differential pressure gauge. This allows you to monitor the pressure loss (i.e. efficiency) at a glance. If this is high you know it’s time to call your service provider. High differential pressures across line filtration can greatly impact the functionality - and increase the cost - of running your compressed air system.
For a quick indication of how a filter is operating you can check its differential pressure gauge
Even better still, if your filters are fitted with differential pressure transducers - these values can be transmitted to a master control system - eliminating the need to manually check the mechanical differential pressure gauge on every filter. As an example, Kaeser filter products can be equipped with an optional - factory fitted - Analog differential pressure transducer. Along with the differential pressure, the three-wire sensor transmits the air main pressure downstream from the filter as a 4-20 mA signal. Both values can then be passed on to master control systems such as the Sigma Air Manager 4.0 from Kaeser and from there to the Sigma Network (e.g. direct to Kaeser Air Service). This means results can be reviewed and alarms can be triggered so you are able to remotely and in real-time know what is going on - from a PC, notebook or mobile phone. And, if you are a Kaeser service customer and you are connected to the Sigma Network - Kaeser Air Service also knows when an alarm is triggered and action is required.
As an example, Kaeser filter products can be equipped with an optional - factory fitted - Analog differential pressure transducer
Maintaining and servicing your compressed air filters next to the OEM’s recommendations is essential if you want to consistently meet the specific air quality level required, as well as protect - and operate - a reliable and efficient compressed air system.
Would you like some assistance with your compressed air filtration? Want to make sure your compressed air filtration is working correctly and meeting your required ISO air quality standards? We can help! Just phone 0800 447 820 or fill in our form below - and we’ll get back to you.