says Anil Dave, Business Line Manager, Oil-free Air Division, Compressor Technique, Atlas Copco, as he, in this interview, stresses on the importance of blowers and technological trends in the sector.
What types of blowers are offered by Atlas Copco?
Atlas Copco offers all technology of blowers - tri-lobe, screw and centrifugal blowers (high speed turbo, multistage & integrally geared). Blowers are an essential part of the production process in almost all manufacturing and process industries and these are used in a wide and diverse range of operations across the world. The primary industry segments which use these blowers are waste water treatment, pharmaceuticals, cement, food & beverages, textiles, chemicals, mining, energy (or power generation), oil & gas, pulp & paper, etc.
What parameters should be followed while selecting a blower?
Blowers are critical to any manufacturing process. Key parameters to be considered are the operating flow and pressure required for the certain application. At different flow and pressure ranges, different blower technologies will be efficient. Enormous energy savings can be made by choosing the right technology and properly sizing the blowers as per the application. As Atlas Copco manufactures all possible technologies of blowers, we can suggest the customer the best possible solution for the required application without bias to any one technology.
Apart from the above: Noise level, IoT option, reduced footprint, are a few points to be considered.
What is oil-free blower technology? What are its advantages?
Our screw and centrifugal blowers are Class “0” certified according to ISO 8573-1, the ISO standard for oil carryover in delivered air. Whenever we have a critical application where the end product of the customer cannot afford mixing of oil from the compressed air, using oil free blowers become essential to avoid process contamination and making the end product contamination free. Process & conveying applications in pharmaceuticals, food & beverages, and chemicals use these blowers.
How is digitalization effecting changes in the blower industry?
Peter Drucker said “What gets measured, gets improved”. Connecting the blowers digitally is a simple way to measure the performance of the blowers. Online DO meters, flow measurement/control valves are used to correlate the power consumed by blowers with respect to volume of the effluent treated. Once this gets measured on real-time basis and when we have various data points, the operation of the blowers can be optimised for reduced power consumption of blowers for a given volume of influent. There is an opportunity of bigger companies with multiple plants to compare and improve all their ETPs once the data is available. Atlas Copco Blowers comes with options of IoT connectivity or it can be hooked up to the SCADA or DCS system in the plant.
Could you please share with us some of the emerging trends in the blower industry?
Blower manufacturers cannot stick to a particular technology (like making only Lobe, Turbo etc). There are different applications which has a different flow and pressure requirement and even the air demand pattern and the usage pattern also varies widely. Hence, we see a lot of manufacturers developing new blowers from scratch, or entering into joint ventures with foreign collaborators, mergers & acquisitions so that they have all the technologies in their basket to offer their customers. Moreover, gradually industries are also getting more and more conscious about energy consumption and are thinking about reducing overall carbon foot print and hence, the trend of energy efficient and reliable blowers is on the rise. Atlas Copco realised this quite early and have developed all the technologies of blowers – in house and hence we have the most energy efficient and reliable solution for a blower for each and every application requirement. It is also a learning we have from our compressors business where we are the undisputed world leaders.
What are your growth plans to expand your blower business in India?
Atlas Copco’s oil free division already has a strong presence in the compressors business in all industry segments like pharma, food & beverages, chemicals, paper & pulp, textile & cement. We have started the journey from here, a few years ago. We are aiming to capture a good share of the OEM market for conveying in the medium term and municipal STPs in the long term.
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