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Swagelok Northwest (US)

Your Authorized Swagelok Sales and Service Center

Getting the Most from Compressed Air Systems

a chemical plant

Compressed Air Leakage


Fortune magazine once described compressed-air systems as "probably the least efficient utilities in manufacturing plants." Air may be free, but the machinery and electricity you use to keep it under pressure are not. Every time air leaks out of the system, more air must go back in, creating inefficient systems. If you notice your compressors are running longer without any other system changes, it's a good bet that your system has developed some new leaks.


A Swagelok Northwest (US) Energy Survey is a valuable resource to ensure that your compressed-air systems are running efficiently. We have assisted many of our customers in conducting energy and leak surveys. This resource gives you what you need to improve facility performance and savings.


On the hunt


Leaks fall into three categories. The smallest are those that you probably didn't notice. Then there are leaks that you suspect but can't find on your own. The third category covers the big leaks, where there's no doubt about the leak location and impact.


When we assist customers with a leak survey, we use several different methods to detect leaks. We use ultrasound technology, made possible by the turbulence of the leaking air. Ultrasound creates sound waves that the human ear may not be able to detect, but our specialized equipment can. We also use a visual test using our Snoop liquid leak detector on each connection point in your pressurized system.


Each time we find a leak, we record the location, severity, and the air pressure on that line. We also leave a visual tag so that you can easily identify connections that may need repair.


Another way to get the most out of a leak survey is to work your way straight through from one end of the plant to the other, making repairs as you go. Many times, we'll find that customers only have time to focus on the worst leaks, and that can make it challenging to get to the smallest ones.


After your survey, we take you through your site, locating leaks, and helping you take inventory of your system. We provide tools to measure the improved performance of your system.


Not JUST air


Compressed air is more than oxygen. These principles apply to other pressurized media, including helium, argon, or hydrogen. Equipment using these elements is much costlier when running inefficiently and is more dangerous to leave unattended.


Contact Swagelok Northwest (US) for Evaluation and Advisory Services today.