Saturday, May 20, 2017

#549 : C - Compressors

Never ever have I ever dreamed of writing about compressors or valves in this very blog. What's the thrill in writing about something which pays my bills and takes up most of my time? Plus, I blog only to escape from those very things which at times stresses me out. However, I decided it was high time I wrote something about the very thing which pays for my bread and butter.

Compressors by the text book definition are mechanical devices which increase the pressure of air/gas by reducing it's volume. The word compressor has increasingly common thanks to the usage of air conditioners. The most common usage of compressors for filling air into vehicle tyres, spray painting and dental equipment.

As far as industrial usage is concerned,  air compressors are of prime importance as they are used to operate from the most basic equipment like valves to pneumatic tools, Jackhammers and to complex operations like oxidation for petroleum coking and purging in cement plant bagging system.

So how does a compressor work? here is a short video to explain that.

My first actual brush with a compressor was back in 2014 when I working as a part of a team commissioning a Tissue paper plant. I was tasked with the job of inspecting the compressor and looking out for any diagrams or documents so that it could be refurbished. It was an Atlas Copco (the manufacturer) compressor which was dismantled from Italy and shipped to India. Given that Italy had harsh winters, the unit came with a thermal casing which could be dismantled but needed extra care while doing so.  It was peak summer and the area where the is factory is situated was known for it's blistering summer and soaring temperature. Me and my colleague from the Mechanical department stepped into the enclosure went inside and began inspecting it. For once, I was grateful that I was wearing my safety boots and was clothed in a loose cotton shirt pared with a cotton pant. It was fascinating to see the interiors of an equipment at such close quarters. By the time we came out, I was drenched in sweat and covered in grime. All that effort was totally worth it for we discovered that the Instrumentation folks (My department) had no job other than mounting a simple pressure transmitter on the outlet line and I knew what a compressor looked like!

Hope you all find engineering fascinating! Hoping to write more about this!


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