Does your company rely on air pressure to power your tools? If you are one of the many manufacturing companies that rely on air pressure to run component placement equipment, crimping tools, paint guns or anything similar then you will need to have an air compressor on your site.

Why your air compressor matters

If you need to replace your air compressor or buy a new one to power tools you have recently purchased then you must ensure that what you purchase is powerful enough to provide sufficient pressure for all your tools. This may present a problem, often in manufacturing environments the air compressor is something of a mystery. It is turned on and off every day as required and regularly drained to remove the excess water that gathers in the compressor, but that is as far as anyone knows what to do with it.

When it is time to replace the compressor many firms find themselves lost. The purchasing team scan through listings for Fini Pro, Nuair, or Kaeser air compressors without a clear idea of the specifications they should consider when making their purchase. Here is a quick guide to purchasing the perfect air compressor for your company.

How much air pressure do you need?

The more air tools you want to run simultaneously, and the bigger they are the higher the air pressure you will need. Air pressure is typically expressed in terms of Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM). You can usually find the CFM requirement of a tool in the manual that was supplied with it. Remember, if you want to run more than one tool or piece of equipment at a time then you must add the CFM figures together to work out how powerful your air compressor should be. You should also bear in mind that no air system is entirely leak proof. You will be losing pressure along the length of your airline, mainly through the couplings or fittings on the system, so you will want to add on an amount to cover these losses.

What about the air tank?

The other factor that you must remember when purchasing an air compressor is the size of the tank. Whether you opt for a Kaeser air compressor or another of the leading brands, they are all available with air tanks in a variety of sizes. In most cases you should purchase the largest tank that you can afford and that will fit in your premises. Larger tanks deliver a more consistent CFM and operate more efficiently. The only time that a smaller tank is preferable is if you want to run a single tool on an occasional basis. Smaller tanks reach the required pressure quicker and so are best in situations where they aren't 'always on', but are activated for specific tasks.