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Beko Technologies discusses the evolution of compressed air and how it is generated and treated.

35 years ago, the salesperson selling compressed-air generation and treatment equipment had very few tools at his disposal.

Many systems were oversized because there was no low-cost means of deciding the size of the system, so educated guesswork was used.

The only scientific way to determine component sizes was to note all equipment consuming compressed air and then observe the cycles or take a usage factor – if using a drill it is unlikely that the drill would be in constant use as the hole would normally be drilled to insert a screw or bolt.

Even doing this usually led to a calculation that would oversize a system.

Filter manufacturers were still focusing on sterile air and process filters rather than compressed air.

Dryer manufacturers were making fridge dryers with no great attention to power consumption or pressure drop and desiccant dryers were selected on capital cost rather than running costs, resulting in more ’heatless’ dryers purchased but wasting up to 20 per cent of compressed air through purge loss.

The rising costs of fossil fuels and the increasing awareness of ozone depletion by refrigerant gases and other contaminants drove all manufacturers to focus on reducing energy costs.

As a result of this, the compressed-air industry came up with variable-speed drive options, zero-loss drains, zero purge and heat of compression dryers, and intelligent controllers.

At the same time, the mind sets of plant engineering staff became more focused on tackling waste.

Leakage became a big issue, notably when many sites discovered that their leakage rate was higher than 20 per cent and that a well-maintained site would be likely to be 10 per cent.

When the calculation of energy costs was made, this waste was significant, even when large sites were only paying GBP0.03/Kwh.

Beko Technologies’ initial contribution to this paradigm shift was the Bekomat level-sensing, zero-loss drain.

Beko’s decision was that all foreseeable developments in generation and treatment of compressed air would be tweaks unless a quantum change happened.

Beko decided that its strategy for the ’next big thing’ would be to diversify into measurement while not losing sight of the core business in compressed-air treatment.

The belief is that customers who have invested in some of the products mentioned would want to have more opportunity to manage and control their systems with the minimum operating costs.

This meant in Beko’s opinion that more companies would need to measure the flow, leakage, pressure dew point, pressure and oil, and particulate content of their compressed air.

Beko Technologies offers a range of measurement devices that meet the needs of 2011 and beyond.

One of the most interesting product developments is the Metpoint OCV, which measures remaining oil vapour content in compressed air down to 0.003mg/m3.

This device gives instant results in real time and has the levels of connectivity required in today’s information-hungry world.

In the past, to get close to this product’s capability was either expensive or was via passing air across absorbent material and sending away for spectroscopic analysis.

Beko Technologies has also produced a portable version that is only available as a service product, which means that Beko will send a technician with the portable Metpoint OCV and accessories, and measure multiple points on site.

This avoids expensive capital costs on a site where multiple readings would be required.

The client has indicated that he will be purchasing several measuring devices as a result of the satisfaction with the site tests, connectivity and user friendliness.

Until there is a significant change in how compressed air is generated and treated, Beko believes that customers will get the most value out of managing and controlling both the quantity and quality of their compressed-air systems.

Beko Technologies

Beko develops, manufactures and sells components and systems worldwide for an optimised compressed air quality.

Beko develops, manufactures and sells components and systems worldwide for an optimised compressed air quality.

Beko stands for compressed air technology at its best. For more than two decades, Beko has developed, manufactured and sold high-quality, reliable and efficient components and systems for compressed air processing and condensate technology. Now, Beko offers a complete program for all tasks related to the transport and processing of compressed air. Expert advice and a qualified service are a trademark of the company.

Only a complete understanding of the business leads to success. Therefore, Beko always focuses on the customer and on their unique demands. The Beko consultants and development engineers are trained in the latest developments in order to implement futureproof solutions for our clients. Operational reliability, energy conservation, environmental friendliness and a contribution to decent working conditions constitute important focal points of the Beko philosophy.

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