The role of the FRL – Air Service Units

Improved air quality can be achieved by having good filtration, because in its absence, contamination and water in the airline will inevitably lead to unwanted and potentially expensive breakdowns. Industry and application-specific needs for higher filtration levels can also be found within the manufacturing process. and it is therefore important that the right filter and the right filtration level requirement is understood and implemented.

Following filtration, downstream compressed air pressure should be optimised via regulation.

A regulator’s function is to reduce the secondary or downstream pressure. Pressure reduction has an inherent safety benefit as running at optimum pressures lower than the primary level will reduce stress on the pipework and components downstream of the regulator.

A regulator also removes pressure fluctuations from the process. Best practice calls for a primary pressure that is at least 1 bar greater than the desired secondary pressure setting on a general-purpose regulator.

In a move to further optimise performance, it is worth considering the use of additional regulators with actuators in applications where the work is only being done in one direction. Here, reducing pressure will reduce overall air consumption within a system which means lower running costs and reduced energy needs for compressors.

It may be feasible to run the return direction or cylinder stroke at a lower running pressure. Regulators best suited for these types of applications are those with a built-in non-return valve or a reverse flow function. In fact, for every one bar pressure reduction users are able to make, it is estimated this equates to an approximate 7% saving in running costs.