Aluminium Pipe Installation
Wilco Precast LTD requested the services of Plummer Compressors to provide a solution for leaking underground air pipes at their South Auckland location. The site also required a major extension to the existing pipe system. This was to provide additional outlets in order to avoid safety issues from air hoses running across the floor at multiple points.
The solution to provide additional outlets on both the side wall of the factory, as well as running down the centre of the building, provided flexibility for production to be moved around the factory. This meant the client wouldn’t need to be concerned about having an air supply readily available.
The main challenges with the project were:
- achieving a fast install to minimise production disruption
- working at height (up to 9 metres above the ground)
- working around the concrete moulds permanently fixed to the floor
The Plummer Compressors team met with Wilco Precast management to formulate a plan and a successful outcome. Specialist height equipment had to be sourced to allow the new AIRCOM pipe to be installed onto concrete beams 9 metres above the floor of the factory. Two 4-wheel drive rotating telescopic boom lifts were selected, and used in tandem to install the pipe. With only centimetres between the rows of moulds on the floor, the lifts had to be skilfully manoeuvred as well.
The project went very smoothly using the AIRCOM aluminium pipe system and the solutions offered by the team at Plummer Compressors. The client was very satisfied with the completed project, which was completed on time and within budget.
- Working at height
- Connection to existing pipework
- Minimising disruption to production schedules
- Weekend & after hours work
- Tight spaces & limited access
- Utilised EWP licensed personnel
- Compatible with existing pipe
- Agreed plan with owner and production managers
- Use of specialty access equipment
- Completion on time and on budget
When it comes to compressed air, air quality is of the utmost importance. All compressors need to undergo regular servicing in order to deliver superior air quality and improve the functionality of both your system and its components.
If you don’t implement some air quality controls, such as dryers and filters, then you will be at the mercy of both machine and environmental conditions. All air compressors draw in contaminated air, and most air compressors are fluid lubricated, so if nothing is done to manage what passes through to the compressed air network adverse contamination can result.
Dryers are the most effective and most common compressed air treatment item and there are a range of options depending on applications and requirements. Filters are also a vital component in order to produce the air quality level the compressed air system needs. If your compressor is running hot, then you are at risk of higher moisture and greater oil carryover. With a filter in the system then, at the very least, you have a control point to mitigate fluctuating network air quality.
The ISO standard 8573-1 is a really good reference point, as this is how treatment components are specified. For more information on this quality standard download our guide here. By talking to one of our compressed air experts, they can explain the ISO standard and through asking some pertinent questions, they will guide you to the right treatment level for your circumstances.
Implementing your own internal “housekeeping” checks is vital to achieving proper air quality. Your compressed air service provider is not usually on site regularly, so there needs to be someone who is onsite to take responsibility for checking that everything is running normally.
Plummer Compressors recommends the following checks:
- If your air receiver is after a refrigerant dryer, implement a daily check where someone cracks the drain valve – if it is not dry then you have a problem.
- Have coalescing filters drain into a translucent bottle – if you glance at it periodically you will then notice if the bottle is suddenly full or rapidly filling.
- Create a logbook for the checks – this helps to make sure the checks do occur, plus there is then a record of what is normal when someone new completes the checks. Click HERE to contact us for free assistance in creating a log book specific to your system.
Once you have internal housekeeping protocols to follow, there are key steps you can implement to ensure you are producing the correct air quality for the applications you are running. Examples of air applications range from plant air – used to power pneumatic tools; process air, found in pharmaceutical and food industries; and breathing air which is used in spray painting and hospital air systems.
The three key steps that we recommend to take for ensuring the appropriate quality compressed air are as follows:
1. Determine what air quality level you need – What uses compressed air? What is the impact of water, oil or dust contamination for those users or contact points? Air quality is split into class ratings that cover the three main contaminants: oil, water and solid particles.
2. Talk to an expert who can assess whether your current treatment components meet that need. Ask site staff whether there have been any historical problems – as this may also identify any treatment weaknesses.
3. Install any changes and then implement your own set of checks (so you know the system is working) – as was outlined above.
The current economic climate means we are all facing new business challenges. Compressed air is generally an essential utility – if it stops, production stops. While cutting equipment maintenance in testing times may seem like a good idea in the short-term, it may be a choice that is regretted if it stops your entire production and results in larger resultant losses.
Air quality requirements vary from business to business but making sure you are producing the correct air quality for your applications needs to be a high priority, particularly if you want to do it in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Get in touch with one of our compressed air technicians to discuss your needs.