Today's global industrial, industrial and electronics manufacturing environment is uncompromising. To remain at the forefront, suppliers must meet a multitude of demands - shortest lead time, highest accuracy, zero rejects, maximum up-time, etc. As a result semiconductor and electronics manufacturing, especially, is pushed to tighter and tighter tolerances at faster and faster speeds. High-speed equipment, which used to be hydraulically operated, is now almost entirely pneumatic and powered by compressed air.
An example of advanced pneumatic equipment operated by compressed air is a high-precision slitting machine. These machines are used to cut large rolls of material into narrower rolls, and they contain components that rely on clean, dry compressed air. If left untreated, contaminants in the compressed air, such as oil, water, and dirt, can build up in the lines and cause valves and solenoids to rust and stick. This translates into thousands of dollars lost due to downtime, maintenance, and decreased throughput.
A simple solution
An air dryer installed at the point of use will eliminate the problem by delivering clean, dry compressed air. A Parker Membrane Compressed Air Dryer, for example, uses a combination of coalescing technology and an advanced membrane separation system (see Figure 1) to remove 99.99% of contaminants down to 0.01 micron, and lower the pressure dew point of the compressed air to as low as -40°F/C. The simple installation consists of connecting a standard compressed air line to the inlet and connecting the outlet to the application. Once installed, the unit is ready for continuous operation - 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The only maintenance required involves changing the coalescing prefilter cartridges periodically. The membrane module requires no maintenance.
Figure 1: How a membrane compressed air dryer works
Benefits of installing a membrane air dryer
- Reliable, economical alternative to pressure swing and refrigerant dryer technologies.
- Reduced maintenance and downtime.
- Less rework of product and material waste.
- Explosion-proof - no moving parts or electricity required.
- Environmentally safe - no refrigerants or freons.
- Silent operation.
- Easy to install, requiring minimal maintenance.
A membrane air dryer is a cost-effective, efficient solution to eliminating the high costs of lost production time, repairs and rework caused by dirty, wet compressed air.
This post was contributed by the Compressed Air and Gas Treatment Technology Team, Parker Hannifin.