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Compressor automation is the next big thing

Compressor automation can increase the efficiency and reliability of your compressed air system and save precious time and labor.

Compressor automation is an effective way of increasing the efficiency and reliability of compressed air systems. But cutting-edge controllers and connectivity options also offer a range of other benefits. 

Owning a compressor used to mean a fair bit of manual labor. Operators would have to do a lot of actions and readings at the machine itself, analyze this information and make adjustments. Owners of multiple units, especially those not installed in a single compressor room, needed comfortable shoes. Depending on the size of a facility and the location of the units, this compressor commuting could take a lot of time and steps.

Compressor automation changes all of this.  

Today, even the operators of multiple compressors can monitor and optimize the performance of their machines using a computer, smartphone or tablet. Many can control their compressors remotely.

Compressor automation - an overlooked benefit

Compressor automation is at the top of the list of technologies that can lower operating costs. It can, for example, identify and implement ways to run your compressor more energy efficiently. In addition, it can boost the uptime of compressed air systems and facilitate maintenance by, for example, monitoring performance and service intervals.

Without major investments, various options are available. This includes controllers for individual compressors and central compressors, as well as monitoring and control technologies.

Each of them offers its own benefits that can help businesses that rely on compressed air. Together, they can take such an operation to the next level.

To find out how, let’s look at what these technologies do. 

Controllers, apps, sensors and connectivity

Two types of automation will help you increase the efficiency and reliability of your system. On the one hand, modern equipment will allow your compressor to operate autonomously. On the other hand, cutting-edge technology provides you with more information about the performance of your compressed air system.

In the age of Industry 4.0, both types are reflected in compressor controllers. Nowadays, they feature new monitoring and control options that let operators keep an eye on their air compressors without being physically present. Gone are the days in which technicians had to walk from one machine to another. Now they can keep an eye on an app -- in some cases even from home.

Modern controllers do everything from displaying performance data, making recommendations on how to improve that performance, and send alerts regarding potential problems. 

If you are operating multiple compressors, you can use a central controller. It will optimize the machines' operation and output based on your priorities. For example, you can command it to distribute the workload across all units evenly. Another option is to ensure that the most efficient machines do most of the work to save energy. 

Taking advantage of universal machine languages

But the latest technology also enables compressors to work better with other industrial equipment. There are universal machine languages that allow different types of machines to wirelessly connect. 

In fact, Atlas Copco is the first manufacturer that offers OPC UA, which is the most popular of these machine languages. That makes production processes much smoother than before.

For companies that prefer to use their local network, Atlas Copco’s SMART2SCADA software allows operators to share their compressor information with their SCADA system via different protocols.

And thanks to better sensor technology, compressor controllers collect a wealth of data in real time. This information lets them take the efficiency and reliability of compressors to a whole new level. This is especially true for compressors that adapt their performance to their actual running conditions.  

These sensors can also help you detect costly leaks in the system.

Atlas Copco - leading compressor automation solutions

In all of these areas, Atlas Copco is leading the way with innovative solutions. No matter how much automation you want in your system, we have the right equipment for you. 

Here are some of the products that will allow you to get more out of your compressed air system by doing less work. 

Elektronikon® Nano™ with SMARTLINK: Although it is small in size, the benefits of this controller are gigantic. The Nano allows you to monitor your compressor’s performance via an app. It is also the world’s first controller that allows over-the-air software updates. This means your compressor will get better over time.

Then there are central controllers that let you distribute the workload across multiple compressors based on your priorities. It provides the best possible efficiency while ensuring you always have enough compressed air. 

Atlas Copco is offering two types of central controllers, the Equalizer 4.0 PRO and the Optimizer 4.0. The Equalizer 4.0 PRO features an embedded sequencing algorithm. It lowers the overall pressure band and ensures a steady compressed air supply while allowing you to define priorities and have the compressors operate accordingly. 

The Optimizer 4.0 can do even more. It is the smartest central controller on the market and regulates the machines in the compressor room to achieve the highest possible energy savings and lowest possible maintenance. 

Read more about smart factories
Smart compressed air system checklist
Read more about smart factories
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Does compressor automation sound a little daunting to you? Or maybe you have practical questions? The Atlas Copco experts stand ready to help and will help you identify the right solution to meet your specific needs.
 
Does compressor automation sound a little daunting to you? Or maybe you have practical questions? The Atlas Copco experts stand ready to help and will help you identify the right solution to meet your specific needs.

Compressor automation is the next big thing

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