Last year, we became an official media partner of the Compressed Air Challenge (CAC), an incredible organization that has developed a rich portfolio of useful compressed air-related information resources, tools, and training seminars. Ron Marshall and other volunteers from the CAC will be contributing stories and blog posts to PneumaticTips, something I am very excited about.
For the typical industrial manufacturer, compressed air is one of the most important utility requirements, but is commonly the most misunderstood energy system. Optimization of compressed air systems is key to greater productivity, efficiency, and profitability. The CAC is a voluntary collaboration of industrial users—manufacturers, distributors, and their associations; consultants; state research and development agencies; energy efficiency organizations; and utilities. These stakeholders work together to execute CAC’s mission: to provide resources that educate industry about optimizing compressed air systems, thereby increasing net profits. CAC has trained more than 14,000 compressed air users since 1999.
CAC has one purpose in mind—helping you improve the performance of your compressed air system. In the United States, compressed air systems account for $1.5 billion per year in energy costs. Optimization of compressed air systems can provide typical energy efficiency improvements averaging between 20% and 50%, pushing as high as 80% in some cases.
In today’s industrial settings, approximately 90% of companies use compressed air in some part of their operations. Of this percentage of users, approximately two-thirds have some type of problem with their systems—obvious or not. Some of these problems result from installing the wrong type of compressor, improper cleanup equipment, inappropriate control methods, or unsound installation practices. The bottom line: these problems are very costly in the long run. These hidden costs can be seen in reduced equipment life and advanced operating costs. These are all symptoms of a much larger problem—a general lack of understanding of compressed air systems. However, there is no such thing as a foolproof compressed air system—even the best systems have the potential for serious problems.
Training: Solve problems and save energy
To help users understand their system problems and what to do about them, CAC developed two levels of training for plant engineers: Fundamentals of Compressed Air Systems and Advanced Management of Compressed Air Systems. Recently, CAC launched Fundamentals of Compressed Air Systems WE (Web edition). This Web-based version of the popular Fundamentals of Compressed Air Systems training uses an interactive format that enables the instructor to diagram examples, give pop quizzes and answer students’ questions in real time, and is delivered on a platform that eliminates travel costs for attendees.
Compressed Air System Best Practices Manual
In 2009, CAC released Best Practices for Compressed Air Systems Second Edition, an updated edition of the highly successful 2003 manual. The Best Practices Manual was developed to provide readers with the tools necessary to reduce operating costs associated with the use of compressed air and to improve the reliability of the entire system. This one-source manual addresses all of the improvement opportunities associated with compressed air systems—from end-uses to the air entering the compressor inlet filter. It provides how-to information that will help users implement recommendations that achieve peak performance and system reliability at the lowest operating cost. The Best Practices Manual is a free benefit of attending the organization’s Fundamentals seminars. Additional copies are available for purchase at the CAC Bookstore.
Free informational resources
In addition to the Best Practices Manual, CAC offers a comprehensive set of informational resource materials, such as Guidelines for Selecting a Compressed Air System Service Provider and Improving Compressed Air System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry.
Additionally, CAC’s Online Library is home to a wealth of other resources, including fact sheets, tip sheets, case studies, and articles on a variety of compressed air-related topics.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a sponsor or affiliate, or would like to speak to someone about CAC training opportunities and educational resources, please e-mail [email protected]
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