Plant & Works Engineering
Bespoke compressed air solution
Published:  27 May, 2021

Lentus Composites (Lentus), manufacturer of composite products, assemblies and systems, has benefitted from a bespoke compressed air solution from CompAir, which is expected to cut the business’ compressor maintenance costs by 80%.

The Lentus team develops and manufactures new composite products for a variety of applications. From kinetic energy recovery system motors and retention sleeves used in the motorsport industry, to cryogenic suspension systems for MRI scanners and composite parts used in the structural components of medical equipment, Lentus requires high-quality and consistent compressed air when manufacturing its composite solutions.

Based in the UK, the company was previously using three 15kW compressors from a competitor brand, which had been installed at its site in Eynsham, Oxfordshire, in 2013. These compressors were unreliable, with a range of issues often arising, leading to unplanned downtime in order to resolve these. When the addition of two new autoclaves, used for high pressure cures of composite parts, also resulted in an increased demand for compressed air, BCAS Limited (BCAS) identified that savings could be made by upgrading the old system, with CompAir technology ideally suited to meet the site’s demands.

Supplied by BCAS, the new solution consists of a CompAir L45 fitted with desiccant dryer system and new filter pack, which will supplement the three existing compressors, with the main load now on the L45. The entire specification process and installation was completed by BCAS, with the installation including all pipe work and downstream equipment. The compressor was installed primarily for use within the moulded composites department, where it will provide high quality clean air to the company’s finishing room to power a range of air tools and additional air capacity for the autoclaves. A link valve into the rest of the factory system was also installed, improving pressure ramp rates throughout the site.

According to the manufacturer the L series range of lubricated screw air compressors have been designed to deliver the highest levels of efficiency and proven reliability. CompAir says lower energy costs can be achieved thanks to the high output compression element, which operates at low rotational speeds. In addition, the design of the fail-safe shaft integrated oil filter and oil regulation valve, ensures external hoses are reduced to a minimum to guarantee the highest levels of quality and reliability are achieved. The controls on the CompAir L45 air compressor can also be linked to multicompressor control systems allowing you further control and potential further energy savings.

Lentus group manufacturing engineering manager, Anthony Roberts, commented: “The quality of the new CompAir compressor and the services provided by BCAS, including the support of their specialist compressor engineers, has resulted in an energy efficient and cost-saving solution. The new L45 compressor will help us meet both our current and future compressed air requirements. In comparison, the previous system, which was running at full capacity, was no longer fit for purpose, and we will be saving around 80 per cent of our yearly maintenance costs by upgrading to this new compressor.”

In addition to the CompAir L45 unit, Lentus also recently invested in a Hydrovane H45 compressor for a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at its Eynsham site. Specified by BCAS due to its small footprint and high reliability, it has been fitted with remote diagnostics like the CompAir system, so that Lentus can benefit from the insights and efficiencies gained from continuously monitoring the compressors’ operational parameters. This can help reduce running costs and unplanned downtime, by anticipating any potential issues before they arise.