Industrial Air Compressors for Light Industrial and Manufacturing.

Even if you’re not a global player, you need to buy a high quality industrial air compressor system. Your compressor will be a key part of your business success provided it is reliable, durable and up to the challenge. If your compressor lets you down, you can’t deliver on your promises.

ABAC has a well-deserved reputation for supplying hard-wearing, well-designed large and small industrial air compressors. You will find our ABAC Pro Frequent Use and ABAC Pro Intermittent Use ranges on this site, among others. Ask our LiveChat team about air compressors for large scale manufacturing and they will direct you to the right department in ABAC.

Industrial Uses for Compressed Air

Compressed air is an essential service for any sort of industrial or production facility. That’s why it is often described as the fourth utility, behind electricity, gas and water.

Our industrial air compressor systems support a vast range of industrial applications and you can buy supplies and spare parts for them all. Whatever you need, you can be sure there’s an ABAC solution for you and that’s why our strap line is ‘ABAC – Air. Anytime. Anywhere.

Explore our range of automotive workshop compressors and our dental air compressors.

Smaller businesses usually need an air compressor to power their pneumatic tools. Most businesses will choose air powered tools over electric ones because they are lighter in weight and safer to operate. Unlike electric tools, air tools do not generate heat and do not overheat or short out with continuous use which is essential even in light industries.

There are many benefits of air-powered tools so you will find they are increasingly common in manufacturing and assembly environments. Almost every electric power tool has an equivalent air tool designed to operate using compressed air and we included a guide to air powered tools and compressors on our Automotive page. Although the guide was written with garage owners in mind you will find many popular tools are included in the list.

Types of Industrial Air Compressors

Industrial air compressors are either reciprocating piston compressors (which you can buy online) or rotary screw compressors (available through our distributor network). These are the workhorse of a manufacturing plant or the reliable power source in a small factory unit. They are designed to provide a steady flow of compressed air for long periods of time and can cope with fluctuating surges in use, typical in manufacturing plants. These compressors are built with high-quality components that can be customised to your specific environment. This will give you improved performance, energy efficiency and reliability.

The applications for compressed air are endless, but here’s a sample you may recognise:

  • Operating air tools on production lines
  • Spraying
  • Powering CNC Machine tools
  • Cutting and welding equipment
  • Spray coating
  • Pneumatic cylinder supply
  • Riveters
  • Shot / bead blast
  • Operating packaging machinery
  • Joinery/ Furniture manufacturing: controls and cylinders, air tools, clamping, spraying
  • Plastics injection moulding
  • Ejecting pieces from production moulds
  • Increasing production efficiency with air cylinders that power positioners, clamps, air chucks, and air knives

Operating your industrial compressor

In production environments, an air compressor will work much harder than when it is being used by a hobbyist or professional user. You need an industrial air compressor to avoid breakdowns, delays in manufacturing or high repair and servicing costs. It takes a special air compressor to cope with fluctuating continuous demands of air – and this is why the industrial piston compressor and the rotary screw compressor were designed for the job.

Industrial piston air compressors are designed for more demanding intermittent applications or heavily contaminated environments whilst the Rotary Screw will happily run 100% duty, or in real terms 24/7/365!

“OK, so what’s a Variable Speed Compressor?”

These are rotary screw compressors which incorporate variable speed drives for greater control over airflow and pressure. They can achieve similar output to rotary screw compressors but due to greater efficiency and control they invariably offer huge energy savings to facilities where the air consumption is variable such as machine shops and factories. As ABAC we offer each product mentioned so whatever the application, rest assured we have a solution!

“OK – what do I need to know about air cleanliness?”

Clean air is important for all compressed air uses but the standard varies depending on the application. For example you will need extremely clean air for paint spraying, or driving pneumatic cylinders on CNC machine tools but the standard is lower for air to blow down a machine tool at the end of a shift.

Air compressor contaminants

Struggling with the lingo?

Don’t worry, we have an expert Live Chat team and an authorised network of ABAC distributors. Our distributors are only too willing to help you with the specification, supply and installation of your compressed air system.

Fortunately there is an ISO Standard with recommendations to help us identify the minimum components you’ll require in your system to get the result you want for your ‘point of use’ compressed air

point of use compressed air
Air Treatment selection based on level of filtration and type of air dryer to meet or exceed the relevant ISO air quality standard as follows:

Air treatment table

Typical installations – what goes where?

Air compressor filters
Typical compressed air installations

Air treatment should always be chosen to meet the lowest acceptable standard for the application – over-treating the compressed air adds additional capital purchase costs, running costs and ongoing service costs. It may be that you have a requirement for air at very high purity levels however if you are a small air consumer it may be more cost effective for you to treat this with a point of use dryer / filtration solution.

Condensate management

Any condensate discharged from your compressed air system will contain traces of oil – the UK Water Resources Act 1991 states that it is an offence to knowingly permit entry of toxic waste to surface or ground water drains. It is an offence with a fine of £20,000 or more in a crown court.

To ensure your compliance we have our range of oil water separators designed to remove the oil from the condensate and reduce it below the acceptable levels for discharge to a foul sewer. As limits vary across the country by local authority you should always check that any system is designed to meet your local limits. A consent to discharge is always required in conjunction with an ongoing maintenance plan and testing regime to ensure full compliance.

Types of installation

Now that you’ve chosen your compressed air system along with any air treatment it’s time to consider the installation.

There are in essence two types of installation – locally at point of use or a dedicated compressor room with distribution pipework. Whichever type of installation suits your application we have the solution in relation to compressed air pipework – AIRnet is our aluminium smooth bore push fit system available in diameters from 20mm to 158mm so whatever size compressor system you have we have it covered.

  • AIRnet is typically 85% faster to install than conventional galvanised pipework systems.
  • AIRnet is simple to install and can be done by one person reducing labour costs.
  • AIRnet ensures minimal pressure drop and results in energy savings.
  • AIRnet is leakage free and corrosion resistant with a 10 year warranty.

Sizing of your system

If it’s a brand new installation, we’d recommend talking with your local ABAC authorised distributor allowing you to tap into a wealth of experience in terms of best practice. They will be able to handle any such project cradle to grave for you.

If its an existing installation, and your perhaps looking to replace your compressor, do you size like for like? In a word ‘no’ technologies have advanced at such a rate in recent times that a 26kw compressor will now match the output of a traditional 30kw unit. Variable speed technology should also be a consideration. To take the guess work out of it we’ve developed a highly accurate auditing system called ‘Airchitect’ so we can offer you the perfect match in terms of compressor size and type to supply your system.

Below is an extract from one of our Airchitect audits, allowing an accurate ‘best fit’ compressor proposal that will ensure energy efficiency in operation.