20 July, 2019

The right quality compressed air for food & beverage (August 2012)

09 August, 2012

By Stephen Riley, general manager at Beko Technologies.

The food and beverage industry uses compressed air in a wide diversity of processes. Some compressed air is used as general purpose air to operate pneumatic devices, controllers and sometimes as simple as blow-down air. This air does not come under the most stringent quality requirements. Other processes have the compressed air directly in contact with the product and of course this would be required to meet a standard typically 100 per cent oil-free and with a dew point at pressure of -40degC.
High standards
So how does the food & beverage industry ensure that it is meeting the high quality standards set either internally, by the customer or a regulatory body such as the British Compressed Air Society/British Retail Consortium Code of Practice? Beko Technologies provides measuring equipment that can measure flow, pressure, pressure dew point, leakage and one that is not so easy or common, remaining oil vapour content down to 0.003ppm or better than Class 1 for the ISO standard (ISO 8573-1).
To answer the question posed, most companies do not measure the oil vapour content for two reasons. First is that many companies have invested in oil free compressors and believe that they have nothing to fear and second that they are not aware that the equipment to make this measurement in situ is available at a reasonable cost. Without going into the whole oil free air or oil free compressor debate, suffice it to say that a 100 per cent oil-free compressor will not add to hydrocarbon content in the air but equally will not remove any present in the ambient inlet air. Beko is aware of a site with a 100 per cent oil free compressor recording Class 2 ISO for oil content at periods corresponding to shift changes and hence much vehicular activity.
Continuous monitoring
To be absolutely sure about the quality of compressed air in the food & beverage industry, or indeed many others, it is important to measure the dew point and the remaining oil vapour content. Beko has two solutions for customers. The Metpoint OCV for oil vapour and the Metpoint DPM are available for sale to permanently install and monitor continuously the customer’s air quality. There is a second option using a Mobile Measuring Station where the customer can contract to have the equipment brought to site by a Beko technician, the meters installed and left for a specified period before removal and reporting on quality and any remedial work.
The Mobile service is offered by Beko direct on the UK mainland and in Ireland by our fully supported partner Ace Air (NI) who will carry out this service on our behalf. Ace Air (NI) offer the full Beko product and services range and are for the months of August through to September offering a special introductory price on the service for customers. For details contact 01527 575778.

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