Harish Shah, Principal Engineer, Sullair Corp., Michigan City, IN

Articles

HMI, OI June 1, 2005

Energy value is crucial in compressor selection

Since an air compressor is the heart of a compressed air system, proper choice and selection of the right model, capacity, and performance criteria is essential to the entire system. For this reason, most customers traditionally consider the following list of factors before ultimately selecting their preferred compressed air system provider: Reliability and reputation of both the prospective manufacturer and the on-the-job performance record of the equipment they design and produce. Durability of the compressed air system and its components both in normal day-to-day operation as well as the ability to handle unexpected system changes or fluctuations without experiencing a major delay or malfunction. Quality as it relates to both the integrity of the original system components and the consistency and performance of those components as integral parts of the total system. Product features that provide unique or superior performance, convenience, or cost effectiveness and the latest technological innovations to make these features useful, practical, and cost efficient. Warranties that assure customer protection for the initial investment and equipment performance, plus peace of mind in knowing that the compressed air equipment will function as expected with minimum maintenance or additional expense. Environmental health and safety issues as they relate to compliance with mandatory laws, current industry standards, and the safest possible operating practices. Relationship with the manufacturer and its representatives in terms of customer confidence, anticipated performance, and satisfaction with the equipment and its performance. After sales support including the capability to offer a service network that provides comprehensive product know-how and backup regardless of where the customer is located. Life cycle cost which encompasses the system provider's capability to offer competitive rates for equipment, installation, maintenance, and energy saving options. Return on investment as it relates to the equipment provider's ability to supply systems and equipment that will ultimately pay for itself in equipment value, operating efficiency, time saving design, and performance benefits. Obviously, the depth and importance of each of these factors will tend to vary with each customer. As far-fetched as it might seem, consider that buying a compressor is, in many ways, analogous to buying a house. When buying a house, the real estate agent will frequently remind you that there are three vitally important things to consider: Location, location, location. In many ways, the same rationale applies to purchasing a compressor.

By Harish Shah, Principal Engineer, Sullair Corp., Michigan City, IN