AN essential component of national economic growth, South Africa’s automotive industry is inextricably linked to various upstream and downstream production processes, which require ‘clean-room’, immaculate manufacturing and assembly conditions, to ensure exceptional final products.
That’s according to Rand-Air sales representative Marinda Enslin, who said compressed air is an integral part of the automotive manufacturing process, used from vehicle assembly to the premium paint finishes on components.
“The quality of this compressed air should be absolutely pure, and completely oil-and-contaminant-free,” she said, citing the example of an automotive manufacturing customer whose spray painting division recently required the hire of reliable, easy-to-use and – most importantly – oil-free compressor equipment.
Rand-Air – an established provider of air, nitrogen, power, flow (pumps), steam boiler and lighting solutions, and part of the global Atlas Copco Specialty Rental division – specialises in Atlas Copco Class 0 oil-free compressor rental solutions locally.
“This new hire to a long-standing customer required a definitive solution, in the form of our Class 0 oil-free compressors,” said Enslin, who collaborated closely with the customer to ensure that their requirements were met quickly and efficiently.
“High-quality, clean, oil-free and totally dry compressed air is indispensable when used to propel paint through paint guns or robots onto the clean surfaces of automotive components,” she said.
“However, compressed air from oil-injected compressors can contain or produce small oil residues or oil vapour; as well as other contaminants, such as water vapour or condensate, and dust particles. The presence of these contaminants can adversely affect the painting process and other related applications, by causing damage to equipment.”
She warned that contaminated air can result in the prevention of paint adhesion to parts – which in turn can result in paint cracking, surface beading, chipping, or other detrimental effects to finishes. These, in turn, can contribute to corrosion issues.
Rand-Air supplied of two oil-free compressors, one PTE 1500 electric-driven compressor and one PTS 1600 diesel-driven compressor as a temporary, yet effective solution.
In compliance with the stringent ISO 8573-1:2010 certification, the company’s oil-free compressors provide a guaranteed and stable oil-free and dry air supply. This, said Enslin, eliminates contamination risks and lowers total cost-of-ownership.
“Given that these compressors are critical to the customer’s applications, they not only achieved significant savings, but maintained uptime following a smooth operational transition – with rewarding results.”
Rand-Air’s range of Atlas Copco portable air compressors include both diesel and electric models.