Every plant has them, we just don’t like to admit it and we never seem to find the time to deal with them. So
much has been written about the subject in the past and to sit down and hammer out a few words once again
on the keyboard may just encourage a few folks to get out into the
plant and do something about it. So let’s make today, the day we act!
Energy costs are skyrocketing and that means each leak could
be costing you thousands every year. A 50hp Air Compressor will
cost you in the region of
$19K per year in energy
costs alone, if you are
operating a 3 shift system.
Add to this the cost of
service, consumables and
depreciation and you are
up to $25K.
If your leaks represent only 5% of your total compressed
air production, it’s like taking out two $50 notes and placing them on
the BBQ every month. Of course, there are many plants that leak
even more than that, where the wastage can be up to 10 or 15% of
compressed air production.
Do you need help to sort this out? In most cases you do not. However;
if you feel that the task is greater than the resources, give us a call. Generally speaking, if your plant runs 24/7,
you will probably need some help, including a ultrasound detector to pick out the leaks from the background
If your plant only operates a one or two shift system, then bite the
bitter pill and tell your significant other, “I am going in to work”, on
a weekend day. While its quiet. Start up the air compressor and
bring it up to full pressure. Then turn it off and walk the plant. You
can now hear every single leak as the compressed air squeals and
squeaks it’s way to freedom. Have some brightly colored tags and
tie them to the pipe, valve, joint, hose or equipment that is leaking.
Each tag has a number for the tag, also a number for the estimated
size of the leak. All you need is a system from 1 to 5. 1 represent
only a minor leak, right up to 5 which indicates that it is costing
you a vacation in the Bahamas’.
More sophisticated equipment is
available that will calculate exactly how big the leak is and provide a
value. But let’s face it, you know you have a leak, you know you have to fix it. Plot your report on a spreadsheet.
Detail someone to repair the worst leaks immediately and set a plan for the remainder.