With the launch of its new O-Box indicator system, Atlas Copco is offering on-the-spot oil contamination testing to compressed air users in the UK. The company’s sales engineers are able to quickly measure the oil content of an operator’s compressed air network and submit the results in a report within three minutes on-site.
Prior to its introduction in the UK, this technology has been used internationally by food, drink and pharmaceutical manufacturers requiring confirmation that sensitive processes are supplied with clean compressed air that is completely free of oil contamination.
The test procedure is simple and fast. A disposable impactor capsule is attached close to the point of use in the network without any interruption to the compressor operation. The air sample flows vertically through multiple nozzles on to an engraved glass baffle plate — the 90-degree re-direction of the air flow separates any oil aerosols present to attach to the engraved recesses in the baffle and provide a visual indication of their magnitude from 0.1 to >mg/m3. If any oil is present in the airflow, a reading of particulate spot patterns is then compared to scaled images on an instruction sheet for immediate interpretation.
“Across a wide range of compressed air applications, the consequences of a contaminated air supply go beyond process spoilage and production downtime — they can damage an operator’s reputation irrevocably, too," says Atlas Copco Compressors’ Industrial Air Business Line Manager, Paul Clark. "With the O-Box air quality indicator system, the operator is provided with a clear and concise report on quality issues immediately after the simple test procedure. This enables informed decisions to be taken on remedial action, whether that is to consider the advantages of installing Class Zero oil-free compressors or simply upgrading an existing filtration system.”