10 Oct 2018

Struggling To Get Perfectly Clean, Oil-Free Air Without Falling Foul of the EPA? You’ll Want To Read This

Aggreko Oil free Air Compressor

What happens if contaminants or moisture get into the air in your production processes? Is it the end of the line for the quality of your products? Do you have to throw the whole batch away? Presumably, you’ve nailed a system that gets the conditions just right, or you’d really be in trouble. But what happens if that system goes down? If you have to get temporary utilities in? Can you be absolutely sure that you’ll still get the 100% oil-free air you need to continue operating as normal?

This is far from a niche problem. Around a quarter of manufacturers across all kinds of sectors need oil-free air to function. Contamination is a major concern for everyone from heavy industries like steel mills, ship building and oil refineries through to more delicate operations like pharmaceutical manufacture and food and beverage production. Not only can this get into the products themselves - a particular risk for food and pharma - but fine films of oil can get into machinery, hindering and perhaps even damaging it.  

The bottom line is that most manufacturers use applications and environments that need cool, dry air. Even if you don’t require this air to be clear of oil or other impurities, it’s still extremely important to have a reliable way of keeping air clean and safe - and which doesn’t add to the problem by spitting out trace amounts of oil, as non-100% oil-free compressors will do.

What’s more, it’s unlikely that a facility will go through its entire existence without a single hiccup, and at some point, you’ll need to schedule downtime for upgrades or repairs. That means you will, at some stage, need to rely on outside equipment to help you run your factory - and ideally, you’ll want to do that with no loss of productivity or profit.   

Not all oil-free air compressors are created equal, however. Preventing contamination is the most pressing challenge, but there are tons of other factors to consider. 

For example, do you need diesel-powered or electric compressors? If using diesel, is it fuel-efficient, or will your running costs quickly spiral? How reliable is the model? Are you risking more downtime by going for a cheaper but potentially flakier option - and if so, will it cost you more in the long run? Are you using it outside or inside? If outside, what conditions will it need to withstand? Is it designed to limit your environmental footprint? Is it compliant with all emissions requirements in your region? After all, the EPA is getting stricter and stricter about these things, especially when it comes to nonroad engines. You don’t want to end up with a fine on top of everything else!

Of course, when your facility has just gone down and you’re scrambling to get it back online, there’s little chance you’ll be in the mindset to consider or thoroughly research these issues. For that reason, it’s really important to work with a vendor that you trust to do this for you. Someone that considers themselves to be a partner, rather than a supplier, and has your best interests at heart - how to save you money and stress and get you back on your feet as quickly as possible, rather than simply handing you a compressor and telling you to figure it out.

As specialists in this field, we’re certainly no strangers to these challenges. They’re what keep us up at night and spur us into work in the morning. We’re always on the lookout for the best possible technology; equipment that doesn’t just do the job, but does it extremely well, while keeping costs and emissions down and generally providing all-round value and benefits for the user. 


That’s why we’re so excited about our new line of Tier4 final (Tier 4f) diesel and electric oil-free air compressors.

We’ve invested heavily in developing and enhancing technology and equipment that performs better than ever for our customers, and frankly, these new compressors set a new bar for the industry.

These are CARB and EPA-certified, starting at 1600 cfm models, with smooth engines built by Rolls-Royce. Plus, they’ve been created to suit all kinds of requirements, conditions and environments. 

To start with, the diesel compressors are designed to run for longer on less fuel, giving your longer burst of productivity between service intervals and maintenance, while making them even more reliable than before. 

The electric compressors, meanwhile, are built with entirely enclosed, fan-cooled motors. This makes them fully waterproof, so you can use them in all kinds of indoor and outdoor, industrial and commercial locations. 

Then there’s the big green elephant in the room: environmental issues. These new Tier 4f air compressors are compliant with even the most stringent emissions standards in North America, breathing out ISO class 0 air. They can even deliver 1600cfm at air pressures of just 55-150psi. Impressive, right? And more to the point, perfect for industrial companies who are already feeling the pressure of the EPA to find environmentally friendly solutions.

You might be thinking: that’s all well and good, but certainly something can always go wrong? What happens if something messes up with these rental compressors - and our team isn’t used to using them? Won’t we still end up with downtime?

Excellent questions. Of course, no system is infallible. It’s absolutely vital that whichever vendor you choose to work with provides full support throughout your lease period, so that they’re on hand if you hit any problems.

In fact, we go further than that. Our compressors are monitored remotely around the clock by a team of experts. Not only will we know immediately if something stops working, so we can be with you in lightning speed to fix it, we watch how the technology is performing so that we can tweak and improve it if required, and can even track things like when you next need to refuel. 

All of which means that you can get on with manufacturing high quality products, safe in the knowledge that conditions are perfect - and that they’ll stay that way. 

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