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CAGI Performance Verification Program Delivers One Piece of the Puzzle for Compressors and Dryers

The Compressed Air & Gas Institute (CAGI) is an association of manufacturers of compressors, blowers, air drying and filtration, and pneumatic tools that has ceated a performance verification program for compressor and dryer selection.

Plant engineers do not purchase air compressors or compressed air dryers on a regular basis. There may be decades between purchases, and with today’s more reliable and durable compressed air equipment, the interval between purchasing decisions grows ever longer. This lack of purchasing frequency, coupled with the significant investment in productivity that compressors and dryers represent, means it is important to make the right decision.

Compressed air system equipment manufacturers offer a wide variety of equipment and features to meet every need. Purchasers must weigh the costs and benefits of different options while evaluating the many variables that must be considered when purchasing a compressor or dryer. The following list starts to scratch the surface: current system layout (if there is one), end use requirements, control strategies, future expansion plans, available resources (power, water, financial, infrastructure, etc.), site conditions, intermittent end uses, available storage, etc.

The Compressed Air & Gas Institute has developed a Performance Verification Program for rotary compressors and refrigerated air dryers to help purchasers address one key decision: which equipment will provide the compressed air needed to meet demand in the most efficient way. CAGI and its members have devoted great effort to establish the Performance Verification Program. Development of well accepted international standards for measuring performance, ISO 1217 for compressors and ISO 7183 for dryers, and adoption of a common, standardized means of reporting performance, the CAGI datasheets, took many years of hard work.

Performance standards and standardized datasheets are critical decision making tools. They offer key points of comparison for purchasers, but is the data reliable? The manufacturers provide the performance data. Can purchasers trust the data?

To ease possible concerns about the reliability of stated performance data, CAGI members that manufacture rotary compressors and refrigerated air dryers took an additional step. They contracted with an independent third party to verify their stated performance data. The third party administrator of the program is Intertek Testing Services, a respected 127 year old testing company. Intertek first determines a participating manufacturer's stated performance by obtaining datasheets on the participant's public website.

Intertek then selects a sample for testing, ships it to the Intertek lab, and tests the equipment to the relevant standard test procedure. The outcome of the Intertek test is compared to the participant's stated performance claims, and the results are published in a directory on the CAGI website. Participation in the CAGI Performance Verification Program is voluntary, and not easy. Aside from the time and money expended to develop the program, the participating manufacturers devote additional time and financial resources to meet ongoing program demands. Participating companies see a value in providing unbiased, third party confirmation of their performance claims. They see a benefit to reassuring potential customers that they will receive the performance that was promised. Participating companies are confident that they have conducted the necessary design and testing to ensure their stated performance is accurate.

CAGI members recognize the importance of making the right decision when purchasing compressed air system equipment. The institute has made it easier for purchasers to make energy efficiency comparisons by developing standards and datasheets. Participants in the CAGI Performance Verification Program have gone further by having performance claims independently verified. Given the choice between purchasing equipment from a participant in the CAGI program or a non-participant, why choose the non-participant? Support those manufacturers of compressed air equipment that care enough about the industry and the users of compressed air equipment to belong to CAGI and to participate in the CAGI Performance Verification Program.

Article by By CAGI Promotional Subcommittee and originally posted at: http://www.cagi.org/news/performanceverification.pdf

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