There are certain things out in the plant that can rob you blind, sucking up money through the electrical bill. One of these things is a compressed air crime we jokingly call a stickup.
Often vents and ducts on process machinery become clogged with debris over time. Sometimes personnel, not knowing the high cost of compressed air, might resolve the problem by sticking a hose up the duct to clear the clog.
The blowing solution in the picture was installed years ago to temporarily solve a problem, however, the application remains uncorrected even to this day.
Measurements showed the flow of this blower was 50 cfm, this was continuous, running 24 hours per day, seven days per week, never turned off. The compressed air system consumed 20 kW per 100 cfm, so this consumer was eating about $9,000 per year in electricity costs each and every year, and so did its sisters and brothers, similar blowing applications were located throughout the plant. So many blowers existed that the plant was running out of air capacity, creating low pressure problems, and causing them to consider buying a large new compressor estimated to cost over $200,000. Fortunately, before the compressor purchase, the company called in a compressed air auditor for a system assessment. The auditor suggested other solutions.
Compressed air users need to be trained to recognize the high cost of compressed air — so applications like this do not happen. This can easily rob the plant of thousands of dollars in profit and cause the need for unnecessary equipment upgrades!