There are several factors to consider when selecting an industrial air compressor.
Factor One: Stationary or Moveable?
First, will your compressor remain in one place or will it be moved to several locations. Most industrial air compressors are designed to be stationary, as they are used in one facility. These units, which are larger and more powerful, have spacious tanks for increased air storage capacity.
However, if your business is construction or a similar operation in which you must frequently move from one job site to another, portable industrial air compressors can meet your needs. These models typically can’t match a stationary commercial air compressor’s power output, although they offer the advantage of mobility.
There is also a direct correlation between location and air compressor motor type. While an electrically powered commercial air compressor is less expensive and easier to maintain, you will need a reliable source of electricity to operate it. This could pose an issue for operations that constantly move from one job site to another. Gas-powered units can make a better choice in these situations, although they tend to be more costly to purchase and operate.
Factor Two: Power Requirements
Whether a stationary or portable air compressor is best suited for your commercial applications, it must meet your unique power requirements. The best way to determine this is to add up the cubic feet per minute (cfm) rating for all of the pneumatic tools you’ll be using simultaneously, then add another 25% to provide a margin for error. The compressor’s pound-force per square inch gauge (psig) should meet or exceed that of your highest-rated tool.
Factor Three: Single Stage or Dual Stage
While rotary screw air compressors are generally the preferred choice for heavy-duty commercial/industrial use, reciprocating air compressors can serve the purpose in smaller facilities. However, a two-stage unit, which consists of two pistons that actually compress the air twice, are regarded as more efficient when using air tools such as air hammers, grinders and impact wrenches.
Factor Four: Compressor Tank Size
The appropriate industrial air compressor tank size is based on air tool type and use. For instance, if you primarily use tools such as nailers and staplers that require short, intermittent bursts of air, a smaller tank should meet your needs. If you use sanders, grinders or other tools that tend to run for longer periods of time, a larger tank size is the better option.
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