Let’s face it – clean air is an expensive commodity in any environment but it’s particularly so in the world of CNC machining. While certain applications absolutely require clean air, such as plasma cutting, manufacturers need to find ways to reduce their dependence on it if they want to boost profits.
So what can they do? Here are some tips:
- Check for leaks: If you are losing air – even in small amounts – it can be extremely costly. Perform a quick test to see if there are any issues and fix them right away.
- Optimize pressure: Many manufacturers don’t really know the exact air pressure they should be using for a specific application and even if they do, they can’t always accurately measure it. In many operations, the pressure value is set higher than necessary to compensate for leaks (which also cause noise pollution) or distribution piping diameters which are too narrow. Invest in a pressure control value or flow controller to improve compressor efficiency and reduce air lost to leaks. Otherwise, you can try lowering pressure slightly and see how your equipment performs. Even small adjustments can add up to big savings over time.
- Wean non-essential functions off air: Often companies use clean air for activities that don’t need such an expensive resource. For instance, many operators power speed increasers with air, when they could be using the CNC machine’s existing cutting fluid to power it instead.
There’s no reason to let your profit margins decline because of extravagant air consumption. By reducing the use of clean air in CNC machine environments, you’ll see instant results at the bottom line.
How do you conserve clean air in your company? Share your tips in the space below.