- Created on Monday, 03 December 2007 02:20
- Written by Shannon Richards
The air we breathe may be free but the notion that this applies to the compressed air that drives machinery in our laundries is a myth. Although the costs of air compressors may appear minor when compared to laundry equipment, air systems should be properly scrutinized; otherwise laundries may face higher electrical costs, maintenance and unplanned downtime.True, there was a time when compressed air systems could be more or less taken for granted. Compressor technology was somewhat rudimentary, energy costs were low and processes less sophisticated. But for many laundries all of that has changed. Air compressor design has a great bearing on efficiency and reliability, and electric power is expensive and even penalizing.
But without the right compressor technology, when the air goes down some laundries could have machinery not functioning for up to a week waiting for service technicians to get them back up and running. How long could your laundry run without its air-operated press, folding machine, conveyors or other pneumatically operated equipment?
To minimize having problems with your compressors hire a manufacturer-approved vendor to handle the compressed air equipment. A qualified compressed air company can save you huge dollars over the life of the compressor.
Many laundry managers don't realize that the initial cost of a compressor and maintenance is minor when compared to electrical costs. Over the life of the compressed air system, more than 80% of the total compressed air system costs are attributed to electrical costs, while only 11% is the actual compressor cost and about 5% maintenance costs. It has been estimated that a 1/2-inch-sized compressed air leak can cost about $4,800 per month.
Tips to reduce compressed air costs:
Don’t overlook those “minor” air leaks by repairing and replacing piping.
- Preserve the compressor through routine maintenance – just like you would your car. A dirty oil removal filter can waste 2% of your electrical bill while a soiled inlet filter can waste 3% and a clogged air/oil separator up to 5%.
- Purchase a premium efficient motor, not only do you save big bucks on your electrical bill, but some electric suppliers offer significant rebates that offset the initial cost.
- Consider a no-loss auto drain which can significantly reduce lost air.
- Size the compressor based on the CFM you typically need. Don’t oversize your compressor.
- Prepare for OSHA inspections early. Don’t allow surprise visits to leave you with a violation. Instead, have your compressor technician examine the system and make recommendations/changes before an audit.
Shannon Richards is the Marketing Manager at LANS Company. She can be reached at 438 W. Carter Drive, Glendora, CA 91740; 888-596-5267; 626-963-9457; or visit: www.lanscompany.com
Quick Rinse - News From Around The World
Ecolab Acquires Dober Chemical’S Textile Care Business
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Ecolab Inc. a leader in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services announced it has purchased the commercial laundry division of Dober Chemical Corporation. The acquisition includes Dober’s laundry chemical and waste water treatment and Ultrax dispensing businesses as well as an exclusive partnership to market and provide key components of its Spindle monitoring software.
“Dober is respected throughout the industry for its innovative monitoring technology, product chemistry and commitment to service – qualities that complement our own strengths at Ecolab,” said Brian Henke, vice president and general manager, Ecolab Textile Care North America. “As we expand our North American commercial laundry business, innovation and service excellence will continue to be our top priority as we partner with our customers to deliver unsurpassed value to run their operations more efficiently, sustainably and cost effectively.”
“Ecolab and Dober share the same customercentric approach to service and innovative technology,” said John Dobrez, president Dober Chemical Corp. “This is an exciting development because it builds on the strengths of both companies to move the industry forward.”
Through this agreement, Spindle Technologies,a division of Dober, is forming a strategic alliance with Ecolab Textile Care in an exclusive licensing agreement for its ChemWatch Software technology and the OPTRAX Utility Module.
“There will be no movement of people as they currently all operate remotely,” said Henke. “The Dober leadership team is very skilled and respected in the industry. We plan to have them as part of the team moving forward. During the transition, both businesses will operate as usual and we do not expect there to be any changes in the service the customers are used to receiving.”