Compressed Air

Click on the above link to see Product of the Year finalists in this category.


Note to our readers: Product of the Year finalists are listed below. To view the products, please download

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Compressor has direct drive

DSD and ESD one-to-one, direct drive, rotary screw compressors eliminate drive losses by using a maintenance-free, flexible, drop-out coupling to directly connect the motor to the airend. Three distinct airflow zones combined with a radial cooling fan reduce noise levels to as low as 70 dBA. Sigma Control ensures the compressor operates at optimum efficiency throughout its 100-300 hp range. Kaeser Compressors, Inc.;


For more information, write 178 on card

Compressor control saves energy

Smart Sequencer reduces a plant's energy costs by continuously monitoring compressed air requirements and automatically selecting the most energy-efficient compressor combination to meet the load. Maintenance and repair costs are also reduced by running only the necessary compressors. Displays include compressor status, pressure and flow rates, alarms, and alarm history. Scales Air Compressor Corp.;


For more information, write 57 on card

Air coupler vents before disconnect

C9000 is an innovative safety coupler for pneumatic applications. The unique two-turn release quickly vents downstream air pressure before disconnecting, preventing injuries associated with hose whip. The unit is made from a tough composite material that stands up to abuse. Sealing characteristics are maintained even after 2 million cycles. Legris-Transair;


For more information, write 62 on card

Mini air dryer has quick-change filter

Pneudri Midas is a mini dry air system that provides uninterrupted clean, dry compressed air just where needed. The unit contains a high-efficiency particulate filter and desiccant cartridge in a single module. Unit can be serviced 100% in less than 15 min. due to a quick release top cap, which does not require the ports to be disconnected. Flow range is 3-20 cfm at 100 psig. domnick hunter ltd.;


For more information, write 88 on card

Variable speed drives compressor

Variable speed drives (VSD) have been added to Kobelco KNW Series oil-free, two-stage, rotary screw air compressors. These variable speed/variable capacity units are available in 00, 0, 1, and 2 frame sizes, air and water-cooled versions. The VSD units allow users to precisely match compressor output to variable compressed air demands. Rogers Machinery Co., Inc.;


For more information, write 76 on card

Compressor is easy to service

TS-32 Series air compressors have a Supervisor Controller with four-line, full-text display, built-in lid lifter which allows the separator to be easily changed, fiberglass fluid filter with coreless element to improve filtration, and large cleanout ports on integral, air-cooled oil and aftercoolers that provide easy maintenance. The two-stage airend extends bearing life. Sullair Corp.;


For more information, write 139 on card

Air dryer prevents flood back

Elite Series refrigerated air dryers protect the compressor from refrigerant flood back, improve performance by doubling the effective area of the main evaporator, and eliminate the need for precision adjustments on the thermostatic expansion valve. The Cold Point coalescing configuration uses a dual-stage coalescing filter in place of a centrifugal moisture separator. Airtek;


For more information, write 209 on card

Centrifugal compressor uses no water

Turbo Air Cooled 2000 centrifugal compressor is designed for applications where there is a limited supply or no water available for cooling. Air-to-air heat exchangers provide performance comparable to water-cooled compressors. Users save money on the cost of water as well as the cost of pumping, treating, and maintaining a water system. Cooper Turbocompressor;


For more information, write 146 on card

Air dryer saves space

G Series refrigerated compressed air dryers have been engineered to be compact and lightweight, providing broad installation flexibility and economy. Footprint is 2.25 or 3.5 sq ft depending on model. Available in 75, 100, 125, and 150-scfm capacities, these models are designed for easy installation and servicability in small and difficult-to-reach spaces, typical in many compressed air system installations. Zeks Compressed Air Solutions;


For more information, write 221 on card

Compressor matches air demand

ZR160 VSD two-stage, water-cooled, oil-free, rotary screw air compressor with variable speed drive motor matches air demand by regulating compressor speed. The drive control has a low starting current, smooth torque curve, and lower average rpm to extend the life of rotating parts. Matched MD400 desiccant dryer motor runs at compressor speeds to match performance and save energy. Atlas Copco Compressors, Inc., Oil-free Air Div.;


For more information, write 145 on card

Air dryer drive matches demand

SpeedTrak variable speed, refrigerated air dryers use variable speed technology with microprocessor-based controls to reduce the refrigerant compressor's power consumption at reduced loads. Dual action air/air and air/refrigerant heat exchangers combine compressed air cooling and moisture separation processes to provide lower pressure drops. Drain valve expels condensate without air loss. Air/Tak, Inc.;


For more information, write 212 on card

Compressor drive cuts energy costs

L22-L75 lubricated rotary screw air compressors incorporate a variable speed Switched Reluctance (SR) drive system to precisely match power consumption to demand. This creates potential energy savings up to 50%, while the accurate pressure control and smooth acceleration and deceleration of rotary components extends the service life, improving payback on investment. CompAir;


For more information, write 193 on card

Compressor drive has large turndown

Nirvana variable speed drive rotary screw air compressors optimize the speed of the airend to match the pressure setting with 75% or greater turndown. Maximum flow is achieved in 1 psig increments from 65 to 145 psig. The Hybrid Permanent Magnet motor has unlimited start/stops and is field serviceable with removable stator coils. Increased air gap allows operation up to 115 F. Air Solutions Group, Ingersoll-Rand Corp.;


For more information, write 166 on card

Compressor unloaded mode

GA VSD variable speed drive rotary screw air compressors reduce energy consumption to a minimum by completely eliminating unloaded power consumption, saving up to 22% on the total life cycle cost. The completely self-contained package includes in-line air filters, oil-water condensate separator, refrigerated air dryer, automatic drains, and extremely low sound levels. Atlas Copco Compressors, Inc., Industrial Air Div.;


For more information, write 229 on card

Air dryer has large capacity

HPRplus Series refrigerated compressed air dryer capacity has been increased to 3000 scfm. The dryer acts as a complete air treatment station, delivering dry, oil-free compressed air while minimizing energy and installation costs. An integral filter/separator removes bulk liquid and particles to 3 microns. An optional coalescing filter removes oil aerosols to 0.008 ppm. Hankison International;


For more information, write 48 on card

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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