What can oil-free air compressors do
for your plant?
Manufacturers around the world are
tasked with finding opportunities to lower their operating costs
while maintaining a consistent, high-quality product with little
to no impact on the environment. For many industries, employing
an air compressor that provides ISO 8573-1 Class 0 certified
oil-free air is one way to achieve these objectives. Oil-free
air compressors are becoming more and more popular for their
ability to reduce maintenance and energy costs, minimize
environmental footprint and the possibility of product
What is Oil-Free
The degree of air purity required varies
based on the risk tolerance for any industrial process. The
International Standards Organization (ISO) created ISO 8573-1 to
provide manufacturers with the ability to define the level of
tolerance for air purity in their compressed air system. This
standard outlines the levels of solid particulates, water, and
oil allowed based on the classification.
Class 0, the most stringent of these
classes, guarantees compressed air will contain <0.01 mg/m3 of
total oil. The key is to select the classification most
appropriate for your facility.
Benefits of Oil-Free Air
Eliminates Risk of Contamination
- Delivers Peace-of-Mind – There is
always a risk of contamination when compressed air
encounters an end product; the best way around this is never
to introduce oil into your airstream in the first place.
Class 0 air allows manufacturers to avoid contamination
risks, such as an oil filter breakthrough from
post-filtration, that would lower product quality, increase
the risk of product recalls and result in unnecessary
downtime. Contamination risks can harm your brand
reputation, your bottom line and even worse, the health of
- Protects Your Assets – Oil-lubricated
compressors will always have a trace amount of oil in the
air they produce. Trace oil can build-up on pneumatic
equipment and other valuable assets that use compressed air,
which in turn increases maintenance and replacement costs.
Reduces Environmental Impact
- Minimize Oil Usage – Oil-flooded
screw compressors require 55 gallons of oil every six to
twelve months for an oil change. This oil must then be
properly disposed of following the appropriate governing
authority guidelines. Oil-free compressors do not require
oil as part of the compression process and as a result, only
need oil changes every two to three years.
- Eliminate Condensate Disposal – When
operating an oil-flooded compressor, significant amounts of
oil-contaminated condensate must be properly disposed of to
safeguard the environment. To ensure compliance, governing
authorities often monitor and regulate the disposal of
contaminated condensate. Condensate from oil-free
compressors can be easily discarded or even recycled for
other uses within the plant.
Switching from an oil-flooded to an
oil-free air compressor provides operators with significantly
lower maintenance requirements, including:
- Fewer ancillary air system components
- Longer timeframes between oil
- Elimination of expensive oil filters
to clean the compressed air.
- Elimination of oily condensate
- Longer desiccant life of downstream
- Minimized downstream labor and
The more energy-efficient the compressor,
the more direct impact the machine will have on lowering
operating expenses. Since energy costs are generally 60-75% of
the total life-cycle costs of an air compressor, overall cost
savings from efficiency alone can result in several thousands of
dollars in life-cycle savings. Oil-flooded machines also require
several oil filters and oil separators in the air path to clean
the manufactured compressed air. Each one of these items will
cause a pressure drop across the filter, resulting in lower air
pressure delivery downstream in the plant. The decrease in
pressure means the compressor must work harder to maintain the
demand needed for the plant creating lower efficiencies and
higher energy costs.
Why do Industries
Choose Oil-Free Air Compressors?
Compressed air comes in contact with
nearly everything, including finished products. Avoiding the
risk of oil contaminating the air supply is especially important
to the following industries:
- Medical and Pharmaceutical – In
medical and pharmaceutical applications, cleanliness is a
critical factor in the quality and performance of the
products. The product or manufacturing process will often
dictate the risk tolerance for any trace contaminants such
as oil or moisture. It is key to be able to minimize that
risk to the general population. Because of the critical
nature of these risk factors, every touchpoint of the
manufacturing processes such as tablet coating and product
drying must be reviewed, including the risk from compressed
- Food and Beverage – New requirements
outlined in the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, Global
Food Safety Initiative, and British Compressed Air Society
Code of Practice, reinforce the need for using clean air in
the manufacturing process to avoid product contamination,
which can lead to product recalls and a damaged brand
reputation. The challenge is that since the current laws are
not specific, manufacturers must establish their own risk
management programs, and determine adequate contamination
levels for the three contaminants: particles, water, and
oil, for both direct and indirect contact points of risk.
- Electronics – For applications
including PC board cleaning, delivering clean, dry
compressed air is critical to minimizing trace contaminants
in the end product. Requiring the highest class in air
purity allows manufacturers to protect sensitive
instrumentation and their finished products.
- Textiles – A quality stream of
compressed air for spinning machines and air-jet looms is
crucial to prevent fabric staining and production loss.
Mandating the highest class of air purity is essential for
delivering high quality, oil-free, manufactured products.
Is Oil-Free Air
Right for You?
Now that you understand the benefits
oil-free compressed air can provide your plant, we invite you to
allow our application engineers for compressor life-cycle cost
calculation to find out what you are currently spending at your
plant and review what you could potentially save by
transitioning to oil-free technology.
Rastgar & Co is authorized distributor of
Gardner Denver’s CompAir brand of Oil-Free Air Compressors in
Pakistan with complete aftermarket support. Learn more https://rastgar-co.com/products/oil-free/