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Beko Technologies launched its Metpoint OCV device, to measure remaining oil-vapour content in compressed air down to 0.001mg/m3, in 2009 and is now seeing the first results of its installations.

Beko has provided examples of both oil-free and lubricated compressors with oil removal filtration that gave cause for concern immediately after the installation of a Metpoint.

The first example is of a pharmaceutical company checking their air quality direct from an oil-free compressor.

The initial readings were 0.01ppm, which meets ISO8573 Class 1 but is not what was expected from an oil-free compressor.

However the concern that the user had was that the readings fluctuated and at one point rose to 0.5ppm.

At this point the customer believed the instrument was malfunctioning – nothing had changed in the system and the user therefore assumed it must have been the instrument.

In fact, after investigation it was discovered that not only would instrument readings vary from day to day depending on traffic density and prevailing winds but that the location of the lubricant storage and handling on the site has to be given some thought as this affected the readings on the instrument.

The customer is now happy that the unit is working correctly and that, while the oil-free compressor is also working well, the inlet air quality cannot be controlled.

The customer is considering installing an activated carbon tower to be absolutely sure that the compressed air quality will be of the highest standard independent of inlet conditions.

The second example, of a company using oil-injected screw compressors and filters to provide technically oil-free air, is more complex.

The company suffered a power outage and it is well known that if a screw or vane compressor is stopped incorrectly, that is while on load, then there will be a momentary spike in oil carry over.

The service providers for the compressor quite correctly changed the separator and the carbon filter but were still seeing high readings and again there was the call to Beko for help in the belief that the product was malfunctioning.

Beko attended the site, checked the instrument and found that it was functioning perfectly.

The reason for the reading was that a small amount of oil vapour had passed all the defences during this system disturbance and would cause a small but more than normal reading until either the oil worked out of the system or the pipework downstream of all the filters was removed and cleaned.

There are many more variables and risks of failure in the second system.

Temperature has a big effect on the efficiency of filters, maintenance is more critical and the sheer number of components required to reach the required quality of compressed air are some of the risks.

Again this customer was happy to have information and based on the above and the higher number of risks is seriously looking at investing in oil-free compressors to minimise these risks.

These cases demonstrate that Beko believes completely in the quality and reliability of oil-free compressors and also that technically oil-free air can be achieved from lubricated and filters, a new user of a Metpoint OCV oil-vapour meter will nearly always see higher readings than expected.

This is simply because the environment cannot always be controlled.

Ambient air typically contains 140 million particles per cubic metre, and as more than 75 per cent of these particles are below two microns, they will pass straight through a compressor intake filter that usually measures from three to five microns.

Hydrocarbons will be present in our cubic metre of air to the levels of 0.05 to 0.5mg/m3 and as a vapour will pass straight through coalescing filters.

What Beko are pleased about is that the Metpoint is giving customers good information from which they can make management decisions about their compressed air system.

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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