Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen - Stop Wasting Time...
Sometimes too many cooks in the kitchen can skew your decision process when buying the right air compressor. Plus, you are wasting valuable time with multiple salesmen pitching their compressor ideas, especially when they play follow the leader. Here are a few tips to help narrow down your compressor search;
- Base Line - Find your demand/air usage (CFM)
- Is your demand variable? If your demand varies daily between 30-80% with 2-3 shifts then you may want to consider a variable speed drive air compressor. (Remember, variable speed drives are expensive, if the drive fails after the warranty period, the drive could be a $5K+ repair). If you only operate 1-shift, then the standard load/no load w/ timed shutdown would be a great compressor, especially with 4 gallons of storage for every 1-cfm.
- Energy efficiency, try to find a compressor with a wye delta or reduced voltage starting. Wye delta starting reduces the inrush current by 1/3 vs. across the line starting. A smart move, especially when the air compressor motor could be the largest motor operating in your facility.
- Maintenance/Repair Cost, ask how much the preventative maintenance costs would be for one year of service, make sure you're not paying $500 per gallon of oil or required to use their service crew to maintain the warranty if you're doing the service with OEM parts. How much would a new motor be if this failed? No estimates, get real costs.
- Price, the highest price is not always the best air compressor, so buyer beware. The value of the dollar can highly impact the price and related increases.