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Biggest Problem with your Compressed Air System


Plant Services surveyed readers over the past two years about the management of their compressed air systems. More than 100 individuals participated in each survey.

Three-quarters of respondents were plant managers, maintenance managers, manufacturing managers, supervisors, or plant engineers. These were the top five job titles of respondents both years. No other job title accounted for more than 6% either year.

Survey Results

More than half of the respondents worked in food & kindred products; chemicals and allied products; fabricated metal products; or miscellaneous manufacturing industries. These were the top four industries of respondents both years. No other industry accounted for more than 8% either year.

Two-thirds of this year’s respondents said they operate air compressors 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week, which was up by 8% over the previous year. The biggest problem reported in the survey was excess moisture in compressed air. Among the most common maintenance steps were replacing or repairing air filters, the top step, reported by almost half of participants, and replacing or upgrading condensate drains, the third most common at 24%.

Here are the survey highlights.

Most Recent Services Performed


  • 49% Replace or repair air filters
  • 32% Add, restore or upgrade compressor controls
  • 24% Replace or upgrade condensate drains
  • 22% Modify or replace regulators (controls at the process)
  • 21% Reconfigure piping to reduce pressure loss
  • 20% Have not taken any steps in the past six months
  • 19% Add, upgrade or reconfigure air dryers
  • 10% Replace current compressor with more efficient model
  • 18% Add compressed air storage
  • 18% Install or upgrade distribution control system
  • 9% Rework or correct header piping
  • 8% Add small compressor for off-peak loads
  • 7% Improve compressor room ventilation
  • 6% Install or upgrade (ball) valves in distribution system

Article by By Chris E. Beals, Air System Management for Plant Services. Survey by Plant Services View Original Article.

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