William Chan, from Caps Australia, speaks with Food and Beverage Industry News about the benefits of oil-free compressed air.
Caps Australia product manager for gas and special projects, William Chan is adamant that food and beverage manufacturers can reduce the risk of contaminating their product through lubricated compressed air by simply going oil-free.
“The reason why so many manufacturers are using lubricated compressors is mainly the cost factor, it costs less in terms of capital investment,” said Chan.
“Second to that is the higher efficiency of the compressor, also in terms of cooling. However, the main issue id the lubricated compressors run the risk of leaking lubricant into the compressed air stream which in turn contaminates the process downstream.”
Chan said contamination was something industries, especially food and beverage, can’t afford to endure because of the potential ramifications on a product designed to be consumed.
However, there are several ways for a company to employ oil-free compressed air.
“One of the ways is using an oil-free compressor which Caps has and another way is to you an oil compressor with many pieces of equipment downstream to remove the oil,” said Chan.
“The market is definitely changing, there is no doubt about it, and we are encouraging companies to follow where the market is going.”
When a lubricated compressor is used in the manufacturing process a range of requirements must be met to make sure the lubricant doesn’t contaminate the food and to meet these standards, a number of machine pieces are needed.
“A compressor is only one part of the whole jigsaw puzzle so after the compressor you need to include filtration and drying of compressed air to achieve the quality that the end user requires,” said Chan.
“For example, if the compressed air will be in direct contact of the food product, then you must have very dry and clean compressed air. That means the moisture level in the compressed air must be minus 40 degrees dew point.
“In terms of the contaminant of particles, we are talking about 0.01 microns, very fine particles and moisture levels.”
Chan said the customer wants clean, dry, compressed air, which Caps Australia can help make a reality.
“They don’t just require a compressor, they need a whole train of equipment to produce that oil free air and every piece of equipment will contribute to efficiency,” he said.
Another selling point from Caps Australia is the ability to develop a tailored approach for each client’s individual needs.
“We want to offer the industry options to exceed the industry standards and requirements, so they are better prepared for growth,” said Chan,
“That is why we customise, through in house engineering, all the installations for our clients to make sure we provide the equipment to not only meet their needs but exceed them.”
With a push towards mitigating contamination risks Caps Australia is well positioned to help any food and beverage manufacturer to achieve that goal.