Many collision shops and garages come to a point where they want to swap out one or more of their piston compressors for a rotary screw compressor. Here are a few things you should consider before making the switch.
The Requirements of Your Compressor
Choosing an air compressor requires you to have an understanding of how much air you need and how often you will need it.
How much capacity do you need (CFM) – Write down the required CFM listed for each of your tools. Add the numbers for the tools you plan to run simultaneously. Add 10% to 25% to account for times when you may need to run an additional tool.
How much pressure do you need - You need a compressor that can handle the pressure requirements of the tool with the highest PSI requirement.
These are important considerations for any compressor purchase, but they're especially important when considering a rotary screw compressor. Piston compressors can handle higher pressures, while rotary compressors can handle more capacity.
The Volume of Your Business
What kind of volume does your shop handle? Many auto shops are only open during normal business hours, and close overnight. Many auto shops aren't working on several vehicles at once, nor are they using multiple powered tools at the same time.
However, some shops do have high volume. Some shops also require tools such as sandblasters and grinders that require constant air power without a short duty cycle hindering performance. These are the kinds of things that you have to consider.
There's also a question of future growth. If you know your shop is about to experience an uptick in business then you may want to upgrade your air compression tools in anticipation. Even then, it's sometimes better to hold off until the need becomes apparent.
What Does Your Shop Need?
Some additional considerations for moving on to a rotary screw compressor include the following:
- A need for constant compressed air
- A need to use multiple tools simultaneously (more horsepower)
- A need to upgrade your current tools
- A need to give your current compressor the occasional break
Understand that your rotary screw compressor can work in concert with your current air compressor. So it's not always about getting rid of one for the other. In fact, having both a piston and rotary compressor on hand can help.
Choose Your Compressor Carefully
Your air compressor is an integral part of your shop. That means you have to take extra care when choosing which compressor will work best for you. If in doubt, speak to a professional like Kruge-Air Inc about your options.