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ROTARY SCREW COMPRESSOR OR RECIPROCATING COMPRESSOR

ROTARY SCREW COMPRESSOR OR RECIPROCATING COMPRESSOR:  WHICH ONE’S RIGHT FOR YOU?
By: Julie Surprenant, Sales

Rotary Screw Air Compressor

Compressed air supplies power for many different manufacturing operations and is often preferred to electricity because it is safer and more convenient. The basic compressor converts electric, gas or diesel engine power into kinetic energy by pressurizing and compressing air. The air is then released in short bursts.

In the automotive field alone, compressed air is speeding up processes and body shops are relying on it for their daily operations. Auto body shops utilize compressed air for fast tire inflation and finishing services, such as painting. Vehicles are given precision paint jobs in shorter amounts of time with paint spray guns. Additionally, most of the hand tools found in auto body shops run on compressed air. In vehicle repair shops, air compressors are a necessity for plasma cutting and welding operations as well as drills, screwdrivers, nutrunner sockets, fasteners, and sanders.

I have sold a lot of compressors recently and I am always asked why one is better than another. What’s the difference between a rotary screw compressor and a reciprocating air compressor?

Rotary screw compressors, like these from Tools USA, tend to be compact and are the right choice for you if your application requires air all day or has multiple shifts that use air on a consistent basis. It has the ability to run all day, every day.

Rotary screw compressors are perfect where large volumes of high pressure air are needed. For example, large industrial applications or to operate high-power air tools such as jackhammers. Applications above 30 hp and for air up to 150 psig.

According Plant Engineering, a rotary screw compressor, if well-maintained, can provide a decade of dependable service. This type of compressor, that operates above 30 horse power, also has the ability to tell you when the oil is low and indicate oil change intervals based on operating temperatures. This will increase reliability and longevity for your compressor. The rotary screw compressor has lower costs to maintain, and cost less to purchase.

Reciprocating Air Compressor

A reciprocating air compressor, or piston compressor, is a low horsepower compressor for applications where reliability is vital. Reciprocating compressors are best for applications that require air for shorter durations of time and have breaks between uses. The reciprocating compressors cost more, are louder to use, but more energy efficient. Energy costs are reduced by as much as 20%!

If you know you will be relying on your new compressor for daily use, Industrial Gold recommends you consider a form of backup compressor. As compressors are mechanical devices, they will need to be serviced and repaired over time. When installing a new system, look at your air needs and make sure you have a backup that will be able to handle at least 50% of your usage. This will enable you to continue working while the main compressor is being maintained or serviced.

Tools USA sells a wide variety of compressors, both vertical and horizontal… rotary screw and reciprocating. We proudly sell a full-line from Industrial Gold and have all the specs and models available on our site. Give us a call with any questions. We would love to help you decide which compressor is best for you!

Air Compressors

7517 air compressorCompressed air may not sound very important to most people but it is life’s blood of a collision repair facility due to the fact that most of the tools that are used to repair, paint and finish a vehicle are powered by compressed air. Many shops have more technicians than their compressor can supply which causes delays and lost productivity.  Higher end shops are leaning toward the Rotary Screw Compressors due to the higher duty cycles.

When deciding on a new compressor for your shop you can use a simple formula to calculate the required CFM (cubic feet per minute).  Collision Repair Facilities will need 8 CFM per Technician and Automotive Repair Facilities will require 5 CFM per Tech.  Some shops may require more or less air so this should be considered as a guideline.

It is also a good idea to run more than one compressor so that your shop could operate on a limited capacity  rather come to a full stop if you happen encounter compressor problems.

Need an Air Compressor? Check out ToolsUSA’s full line of compressors here.

Which air compressor is right for you?

Project2 (8155)For most shops, having an air compressor is a necessity. If you’re in the market for a compressor, make sure the air compressor you choose is the right one for your business and that it will meet all the requirements you need. With dozens of manufacturers to choose from, Tools USA only sells the most reputable and well-known brands. We stand by their products and they all have a 1-year parts warranty.

Whether you are going to use it occasionally or on a daily basis, there are several factors to consider. Tank size, configuration, horsepower and required CFM’s are important to think about.

Should you choose a vertical or horizontal unit? The configuration of the air compressor is important. Air compressor tanks vary widely in size, so it’s important to think about how you will be using it to determine the size you’ll need. Tools that work in short bursts—an impact wrench, for example—work well with a small tank. Tools that continuously use air such as grinders, spray guns and sand blasters will require a larger tank. If you can’t decide, be safe and go with the one with the larger tank.

As tank size increases, so does the overall size of the compressor.  If you want a big tank but have space concerns, consider a vertical tank instead of a horizontal model. To conserve space, a vertical compressor can be a big bonus when compared to a horizontal unit.

How much power do you need? The CFM and PSI ratings indicate which tools a compressor can operate. Make sure the compressor can supply the amount of air and pressure for your tools. Select a compressor that exceeds the CFM requirement of your most powerful air tool. For example, air hammers, die grinders, drills and ratchets require 4.0 CFM and around 90 PSI. High-speed grinders require 8.0 CFM while sanders are around 6- 7.5 CFM.

Air compressor motors range from simple 110-volt, 1/2-horsepower jobs all the way up to three-phase, 220-240-volt with 25+ horsepower. The electrical service available to your shop dictates the largest compressor you can install. The electricity used in industrial settings is generally three-phase power.

Click here to learn more about how to choose the right size compressor from Industrial Gold.

Once you have decided the right compressor for you, maintaining it is extremely important. Just like changing the oil in your car. Daily usage and vibration of compressors can cause the fittings and bolts to loosen and should be checked when your compressor is serviced. Here are some other preventative measures you should take:


Daily:
Drain moisture from the tank
Weekly:  Check the pump oil level and top off if necessary
Quarterly: Change oil and filter, check condition and alignment of belt, flywheel and motor pulley, check operation of the safety valve, check pressure switch unloader to ensure the compressor unloads when the motor shuts down and clean dirt and dust from the pump fins and motor.
Every 2,000 Hours: Lubricate electric motor, Inspect and replace (as necessary) the pump valves, check valves, safety valves, pressure gauge, and belt(s).

Why is Industrial Gold one of the manufacturers we choose to offer our clients? We like that they are family-owned and operated since 1996 and they build all of their products with same level of pride and commitment that they started their business with. They make the simplest to operate, easiest to maintain and most reliable compressors on the market today. Simply put, they make a quality compressor at a great price and Tools USA is happy to offer the full line to our customers.

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