Air Compressor Manufacturers: Questions to Ask
For industrial applications and powering hand tools, an air compressor can be extremely handy to have around. If you think this type of equipment could benefit your business, make sure and do a little research before talking to compressor manufacturers.
Ways to use an air compressor
With just a little imagination and a lot of gas, compressor manufacturers can provide the necessary compressed air for:
- Power-washing a building
- Pneumatic tools
- Inflating tires
- Medical life support systems
- Painting a house or factory
Types of air compressors
Though each unit delivers pressurized gas, compressor manufacturers make products that compress the air in different ways:
- Reciprocating air: This type of compressor uses a piston to force the incoming air into the storage tank, increasing the pressure in the process. The piston's up-and-down motion helps maintain a steady airflow.
- Rotary-screw: As the name indicates, rotating screws push the incoming air into the storage tank. Some rotary-screw compressors use oil to cool the air, which means there may be traces of oil in your air stream.
- Centrifugal: With the aid of a spinning rotor or impeller, this compressor uses centrifugal force to increase the air pressure. Centrifugal compressors typically are water-cooled and are usually only appropriate in massive industrial applications.
Air compressor terminology
When dealing with compressor manufacturers, it may feel as if you need to have a mechanical engineering degree. Some of the terms that might come up in conversation include:
- Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM): This indicates how much air the compressor can deliver.
- Pounds per Square Inch (PSI): The higher the PSI, the stronger the air flow.
- Horsepower (HP): The majority of compressors are powered by electric, gasoline or diesel motors. You can find compressors with an output as low as 2 HP or higher than 100 HP.
You can find compressor manufacturers that specialize in reciprocating air and other compressors all over the world. Among the leading brands are:
- Atlas Copco - Produces a wide range of compressors, from small hobbyist models to massive industrial machines.
- Boge - A German company with a large distributor network through the United States, they specialize in rotary compressors for continuous operation. In business for more than 100 years, they are also a member of the Compressed Air and Gas Institute (CAGI).
- Campbell Hausfeld - Focused on small- to midrange businesses as well as a myriad of consumer applications, produces single-stage pumps, two-stage pumps, contractor air compressors, and those designed specifically for auto and body shops. ***Highly rated among business and consumer reviews.***
- Ingersoll Rand - Offers a full range of commercial compressors from small reciprocating models to industrial centrifugal machines. One of the leading manufacturers of high-end, production-driven models since 1905. ***Highly rated among business and consumer reviews.***
- Kaeser - A leading global supplier of compressed air systems, Kaeser offers rotary screw compressors (ranging from 3 to 700 hp), as well as portable compressors, rotary lobe and screw blowers, vacuum packages, clean air treatment products and compressed air piping systems.
- Quincy - With a selection of midrange commercial rotary screw and reciprocating compressors that deliver 5 to 350 hp, Quincy also provides more than 20 different natural gas compressors, producing 2 to 600 hp. ***Highly rated among business and consumer reviews.***
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