Air piping services

Atlas Copco compressors – Atlas Copco offers enhanced compressed air leak detection service with winter warranty

January 22, 2021

Atlas Copco has enhanced its long-standing compressed air leak detection service with new high-performance acoustic imaging cameras. Until March 31, 2021, Atlas Copco supports this service with a winter warranty, which reimburses the cost of the survey if this does not save the customer money.

All compressed air systems leak, with causes such as corrosion, bad pipe connections and bad gaskets. While the leakage rates are 25% on average, they can reach up to 80% in some factories. This has significant financial implications, as a single 3mm diameter hole in a compressed air hose can waste £ 1000 or more per year on electricity bills.

Conversely, air leak detection surveys can lead to significant reductions in the energy bill; a global manufacturer of connectors and sensors saved £ 48,000, while one of the UK’s largest food companies saved £ 45,000.

Atlas Copco’s Air Leak Detection Investigation works by profiling the energy wasted by air leaks in a compressed air system. By finding, recording, quantifying and costing air leaks, the investigation allows plant managers and energy specialists to prioritize the repair jobs needed to reduce their energy costs.

The best and most popular investigative approach is to use ultrasonic leak detection equipment. It operates without interrupting plant production, reaches hard-to-reach areas of the system and locates any air leaks. Atlas Copco now achieves this by using an acoustic imaging camera that can help detect leaks in compressed air systems up to ten times faster than traditional methods.

The camera takes measurements with 124 microphones to form a very precise acoustic image. The camera’s bandwidth extends to ultrasonic frequencies, allowing it to accurately locate sound sources, even in a noisy industrial environment. The acoustic image is overlaid in real time on a digital camera image as a heat map to provide real time sound visualization of leak sources. The heat map shows each sound source with a single color governed by the estimated leak rate.

Atlas Copco then provides the customer with easy to understand and actionable information, including the exact source and size of each leak in liters / minute. Leaks are reported on site with waterproof labels bearing this information, along with an identification number and date. A customer report is then provided which lists the leaks and shows their locations on site, photographs of the leaks, tag IDs, severity of the leaks in liters / minute, energy costs, positions and repair costs.

All investigations are carried out by experienced and fully qualified Atlas Copco engineers, who are equipped with PPE suitable for Covid safety.

After each investigation, Atlas Copco provides a quote for repairing identified air leaks. They can also, if necessary, develop a monitoring and continuous monitoring program specific to the needs of each site. The aim is to offer a way to reduce the costs of producing compressed air, leading to a direct increase in user profits.

Atlas Copco perceives little risk in offering its guarantee: “I have been carrying out compressed air leak detection audits for over 17 years and I have never met a site that did not have savings to make”, commented Neil Frater, AirScan Energy Analyst at Atlas Copco.


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