Performance, Precision, Partnership

Leak management: 5 reasons why it’s vital to your business

From reducing the impact of elevated energy costs to meeting environmental sustainability goals, a compressed air system needs regular attention to minimise costly leaks and optimise efficiency day in and day out.  

Nearly all compressed air systems leak. Well-maintained systems can lose between 5 and 20 percent; older networks can lose 30 to 40 percent – and some plants have been known to lose as much as 80 percent of their compressed air through leaks.

Wasted and unproductive compressed air is costly and ends up being paid for in the electricity bill, the maintenance bill, the capital expenditure bill and in increased CO2 emissions. Whilst unavoidable, it is possible to manage the leak rate in a compressed air system and therefore the impact on energy usage and costs.

To minimise compressed air leaks long-term, a commitment to on-going leak management is essential – and brings with it an array of benefits. Here are five of them:

  • Eliminate repeat offenders

Individual leaks will collectively tell a story and identify any common patterns. If leaks are re-occurring in the same area there may well be an underlying reason for this. This could be anything from process inefficiencies right through to the functional failure of equipment.

As an example, if the compressed air equipment is located outside and exposed to heat and UV rays, moving or sheltering the equipment could help limit the impact. Another example would be the choice of airline fittings. Inferior fittings will not have the same quality and durability as their premium counterparts. They are often cheaper to buy, but when they cause air leaks, they do become more expensive overall.

  • Avoid unnecessary capital equipment investment

If an existing compressed air system starts struggling to meet the compressed air demand – either because additional air users have been implemented or the compressed air system is now serving a larger facility - it’s quite normal to think that an additional, or larger, compressor is required. But is that really required?

Without leak detection, repair, and management in place, air leaks could actually be to blame. As a result, regular leak detection and repair can ensure the system is delivering the maximum desired compressed air demand and help to avoid unnecessary capital equipment investment.

  • Lower maintenance costs

Maintaining pressure in a leaky compressed air system requires the compressor to run more. Additional run time leads to the requirement for more frequent maintenance. More maintenance means more downtime, which reduces productivity. All this adds up to a system that is continually working harder than necessary, and potentially reducing equipment life. Regular leak detection and repair can therefore lower maintenance costs and improve the longevity of your equipment.

  • Reduce base load energy consumption

Leak detection and repair can reduce the base load energy consumption of an entire site. This will reduce the site’s electricity bill and CO2 emissions. Great for the environment and the bottom line!

  • Reinvestment opportunity

Air leaks cost money. Reducing leaks will reduce energy consumption and cost. If the leaks have been caused by inferior piping, airlines and fittings, money can be saved, by reinvesting and upgrading, to improve site and equipment efficiency. Modern piping systems are quick and simple to install, will have less energy pressure losses, are corrosion resistant, - have superior connection fittings and are less likely to leak. Upgrading eliminates the cause of future leaks, extends the longevity and reduces the operating costs of the compressed air system.

Go Yellow. Be Green. Save Money.

Get in touch for consulting and analysis expertise from an HPC KAESER specialist about optimising your current compressed air system, or to discuss a new system, tailored to your requirements. We can answer your questions and advise about the best compressed air solution for your operation, to achieve the lowest total lifecycle costs.

HPC KAESER offers a range of products, including blowers and rotary screw compressors supported by experienced and knowledgeable HPC trained engineers and a nationwide network of authorised distribution partners. Contact us to find out more.