Air compressor products distributor and solution provider Tru Compressor Solutions assisted pharmaceuticals company Union Swiss in installing an additional 132 kW oil-free air compressor at its facility, in Boksburg, last month.
Union Swiss needed a new oil-free compressor owing to the fact that air demand has increased substantially because of the factory expansion. Union Swiss will now operate at a constant pressure and airflow, explains Tru Compressor Solutions sales director Phillip Botha.
He notes that the additional compressor will now run as the company’s baseload unit and when additional air demand is needed from the factory, the variable-speed drive compressor will automatically start up and supply the plant with the exact additional air that is needed. If the additional air is only 50% of the compressor demand, the compressor will only run at 50% full capacity. This will save the customer 50% on power.
Meanwhile, this development follows the relocation of Union Swiss’ existing two air compressors, two air dryers, four in-line filters and two air receivers, which Tru Compressor Solutions also assisted the company with in April.
In-line filters are located within the pipe line and after the air dryer. This will remove any rust and small particles from the pipe line that could enter the customers manufacturing process and damage the product. Clean air is essential to the pharmaceuticals industry, he explains.
“In industries such as pharmaceuticals, engineering, mining, injection moulding and others, compressed air is so widely used that it is often regarded as the fourth utility, after electricity, natural gas and water. However, compressed air is more expensive than the other three utilities when evaluated on a per unit, energy-delivered basis,” he adds.
The relocation project was Tru Compressor Solutions’ first pipework installation since its opening in 2017, notes Botha.
“When relocating the equipment, the scope of work entailed reconnecting all electrical supplies to the compressors and refrigerated air dryers, supplying and installing 60 m of welded piping with a header, as well as bypassing all in-line filters.”
Supplying 3 inches of piping with a header increased the flow of air to the client’s plant, which enabled the client to purchase a larger compressor while maintaining a good working pressure in the plant, he explains.
The successful completion of the project also required a certified welder to do all the scheduled pipework, along with the installation of all valves and flanges.
He adds that a project of this nature usually takes anywhere between one and two weeks to complete; however, Union Swiss could only allow for a two-day period over a weekend.
“The team was committed to meet the deadline given by the client, and reached the deadline by having the compressor, dryers, filters and air receivers back on line on Sunday evening before production started on Monday.”
Tru Compressor Solutions took this challenge in its stride by doing all the pipework preparations the week before the moving of the compressors, as well as working 16-hour shifts, concludes Botha.