Air Compressor reccomendations
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  1. #1
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    Default Air Compressor reccomendations

    Good morning. I am wondering what kind of compressor I would need for two Makino F5s and an F8. Some Fridays production is down, so maintenance is doing their thing, and we don't get to use the main compressors. We are wanting to get a compressor to run these 3 machines, and are wanting advice on what we should get.

    Thank you.

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    The machine manuals *should* tell you your CFM requirements.
    Add all 3 together and add another 3CFM for an airline, and you should be there for a MINIMUM spec.
    As for what type and make to go for - I'd go rotary but unless their electronics (specifically the Electronikon controller) are better, I would stay clear of Atlas Copco.

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    If you like dumping $100/gal oil on the floor, Atlas Copco's are great.

    I'm on the third air end in 1500 hours. They won't sell seal kits either, and the parts you can buy are outrageously priced- they quoted me $50 for one O-Ring.

    gx5.jpg

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    Can't go wrong with a Kaeser.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange Vise View Post
    Can't go wrong with a Kaeser.
    I second kaeser, service is always great for me.

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    I bought an Eaton/Polar Air quiet compressor earlier this year because of how quiet they claimed it would be, and the warranty. A couple months in it started popping loudly at the end of a cycle, and seeming to lose oil over time. They took a month to get back with me, their service guy complained about how he always has to deal with the warranty calls (Which seems like literally his job if you ask me) and have been altogether unhelpful in resolving the problem. Long story short, pass on them. I'll tear it apart and fix it myself one of these days, but given that it's a sub-6mo old compressor I should not be having any issues whatsoever.

    I'm saving for a Kaeser.

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    If you want the Cadillac of piston-types, the more expensive industrial grade Quincy’s are hard to beat!

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    We have the three from these people and they are great. Home - Castair

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    For the occasional Friday when the air is down due to maintenance.. Harbor Freight.

    It REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY helps if you could say how much air you need..

    If you have 3 air purge spindles that are using 14cfm each, a POS Harbor Freight compressor
    for $150 isn't going to do it for you.

    If you are changing tools on all your machines every 20 seconds probably not going to do it
    for you..

    Seriously.. I've run 3 Fadals and a Mazak lathe on a 21 gallon $150 compressor. If I'm doing a
    lot of tool changes, it doesn't work so well.. so its 2 compressors. 1 for the lathe which has an
    air chuck and an air over hydraulic turret, and air something or other going on in the tailstock, and
    air to change gears. and one for the mills.

    My big compressor died 3 years ago.. Actually the motor died, and I bought a new motor, but while waiting
    for the motor to arrive I was using my little Craftsman backup, and that wasn't enough, so I bought a
    POS 21 gallon 2.5hp from HF.. Then the craftsman puked.. And what do you know, the single HF POS ran
    everything.

    3.5 years later, I've bought 1 new motor for the big compressor (still not installed for $386?), and 3 21 gallon
    POS's from HF, and 2 8gallon POS's from HF.. for a total of $650 in POS compressors.. Small compressors running
    at a bit lower pressure.. I've taken $150 off my electric bill a month for 3.5 years.

    A backup compressor(s) for occasional use doesn't need to be the latest and greatest and bestest thing.. It just
    has to give you air to make it through the day. I would suggest hooking up your airlines so you still have access to
    an air dryer, with adequate shutoffs and bypasses so you aren't trying to fill a million gallon tank with a small compressor.

    I would suggest shut offs and bypasses no matter what.. Ever had to shut the entire shop down for 3 hours because the
    air dryer froze up and you didn't plumb in a by-pass, and the back up compressor was also upstream of the air dryer?

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    I have an Atlas Copco that sits in a puddle of its own oil too, but it has 28,000 hours on it and I've never had to replace the air end. Three thermostats, belts, oil, separators and the control board failed at about 100 hours. I wouldn't buy another.

    I've been VERY impressed with our newish (2 years olf now) VSD Sullair, though. That thing cut a solid $2000 a month off our power bills and no maintenance beyond scheduled oil changes yet.

    A little screw compressor for sure.

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    why are there no small rotary compressors? I see compressors rated/sold on hp, but looking at cfm at mild pressure (90) a screw compressor with apples to apples motor is far better.
    I am impressed at sullair screw compressors, our back up compressor is one from the early 70's. rarely run, but 1970's and lives outside. The IR beast main compressors thermal shut off way to soon but have really nice efficiency.

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    Quote Originally Posted by memphisjed View Post
    why are there no small rotary compressors? I see compressors rated/sold on hp, but looking at cfm at mild pressure (90) a screw compressor with apples to apples motor is far better.
    I am impressed at sullair screw compressors, our back up compressor is one from the early 70's. rarely run, but 1970's and lives outside. The IR beast main compressors thermal shut off way to soon but have really nice efficiency.
    What's a small rotary screw compressor to you?
    There's a good handful of 5hp and 7.5hp units out there, which are about the minimum for even a small shop like mine. Most of the usual suspects offer one or more in that size for anywhere from 8-15k depending on brand and whether it has an integrated tank, drier, variable speed, etc.

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    Kaeser compressors will do an on site analysis to measure your usage throughout a two-week time spent and this will determine the correct horsepower requirements.

    I'm very happy I chose a Kaeser rather than another Ingersoll Rand

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    Had a 20 hp Atlas with dryer. 25,000+ hours before Electronikon controller went tits up. It was not problem free, kept blowing off the air valve when the drier froze up and it fogged the shop with un breathable air if we did not catch it soon enough. Replaced with a 10 hp tank mounted Atlas 7 years ago, no problems so far, knock on wood. I also have an 11,000 hour IR that is starting to consume a bit of oil, needs a new shaft seal (book says replace at 10,000 hours). Not happening. It is almost 20 years old and not worth the few days needed to tear it apart.
    I had the idea of getting 2-3 scroll compressors to replace it Eastwood QST-30/60 Quiet Scroll Air Compressor .
    Looked at some other scroll units on compressorworld. Very efficient and a 7.5 hp could replace my 10 IR. Compressorworld has a really great web site, but stocks nothing.
    I unloaded a 10 HP Kaeser Friday. Integrated with tank and dryer. Gets installed next week. Can't go wrong because not sure when I will fully retire and a Kaeser always has excellent resale value.

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    Another Kaeser recommendation here. I have an SM10, the 10HP all-in-one comp/dryer/tank unit and it works great. Maintain it properly and it will last. It was overkill for my needs but it was like new, with only ~2000 hours on it, for less than half the price of new.

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    I really need to find a Kaeser.

    I put 6 ounces of oil in my Atlas Crapco GX5 on Sunday to bring it up to the mark. It's below the sight glass again after 2 days of running. At $110/gallon, that's a little over $5/day for oil.

    My other air end was leaking but it wasn't dumping this much- I will have to swap them out this weekend.

    Then I get to pull apart the one that's running now, and try to source a shaft seal- since Atlas Crapco won't sell seals for this piece of junk.

    I replaced an old Quincy recip with this screw- I was the one who got screwed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jancollc View Post
    I really need to find a Kaeser......
    Quincy NW through Rogers Machinery in Tigard are very good compressors. The shop I retired from had a 100HP VFD, a 50HP and a pair of 30HP. IIRC the 50HP had >40k hours and was still on the original air end. The 30s dated back to the 70s and one had a replacement air end and the other was original. Didn't know the history on them, they were in the building when they bought it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Quincy NW through Rogers Machinery in Tigard are very good compressors.
    I had a 50hp Quincy that was a great compressor, but the small Quincy's today are the exact same machine as the Atlas Copco's and made by Airtec in China.

    I talked to Rogers a couple years ago. The smallest they make is a 10hp. I'd probably have to pull some new wire. I think I only have 10 Ga at the compressor.

    They make the smaller ones in Centralia- maybe I'll hop on the bike afternoon and go up and see them.

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    I have a Atlas Copco and haven't had a problem.

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    Atlas Copco GX5, 1,300 hours, no issues other than the very long extra runtime that is programmed in after reaching pressure, I guess to ensure burnoff of any residual moisture in the system. Added a 120G aux tank, now life is good.

    Regards.

    Mike


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