High Quality Compressed Air Needs a Little Looking After

Compressed Air
Nov 01st 2017
Industrial Measurements

Atlas Copco’s Service Organization in Finland relies on Vaisala Dewpoint Meters

Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Stockholm, Atlas Copco is the world’s leading provider of industrial productivity solutions. The company’s products and services range from compressed air and gas equipment, generators, construction and mining equipment to industrial tools and assembly systems. The Group employs some 30,000 people worldwide, manufactures products in 20 countries and markets them in over 170 countries.

Service Organization to be Proud of

Atlas Copco’s Compressor Technique business area specializes in oil-free and oil-injected stationary air com- pressors, portable air compressors, gas and process compressors, turbo expanders, electric power generators, air treatment equipment and air management systems.

One of the Compressor Technique business area’s service organizations is located in Finland, employing some 45 persons in 16 different locations. The team services approximately 1,200 compressors and dryers under customer-specific service contracts.

Atlas Copco’s Finnish customer base is much diversified, ranging from pharmaceuticals and electronics manufacturing to brewery, construction and metal industries. Compressor Technique business area’s products and services are intended for applications where compressed air is used as a source of power, or plays an active role in the customer’s processes. Though industry specific needs for compressed air systems vary, one thing they all share, the need for increased reliability.

Remote Real-Time Monitoring Becoming Popular

Operational Service Manager Tommy Fagerström and Service Sales Engineer Mika Ikonen have both worked for Atlas Copco for over six years and have witnessed the development of the service side of the business. “Compressor system services are a continuously growing business.Currently, services are included in over two thirds of contracts for new equipment, and the number is growing,” Mika Ikonen says.

“Besides the raise in regular maintenance contracts, leak detection and remote online monitoring services are also increasing their popularity.”

“Our customers ask more and more about the possibility to have their compressed air system under remote real-time monitoring and controlling. Last year alone the amount of new customers seeking remote control grew over 100 percent,” Tommy Fagerström adds.

When all controls and alerts are trusted to Atlas Copco, the customer can stop worrying about their compressor’s performance. If something changes in the system, they get a simple notification by email or text message, confirming it’s all under control.

“If the customer wants to leave it all to us, we take care of all system optimization and control for them. Some customers only want the end-product - compressed air. In that case, it can be arranged that we own the equipment and sell the air by cubic meter to them,” Tommy Fagerström introduces the year-old air service.

The average day of the service personnel has also changed quite significantly thanks to technology. When in the past all service tasks and reports used to be printed on paper, now paper has disappeared almost entirely. Work-planners schedule their team members’ days in advance using tailored software, so that service engineers can follow open tasks and customer calls on their laptops. When a task is completed, it is recorded in the program, and a service memo is sent to the customer.

Atlas Copco
Operational Service Manager Tommy Fagerström and Service Sales Engineer Mika Ikonen present the Atlas Copco ES 130 central controller for compressed air systems. A fixed Vaisala DMT340 is integrated in many of these.


Reliable Dew Point Measurement Critical

One of the most important measurements to ensure a clean and dry compressed air system is dew point. Unwanted moisture in the systems can affect equipment operation, as well as product quality. “Food industry, for example, needs clean, very dry and stable compressed air with dew point of -40°Td. Deviations in measurement cause these customers big problems,” Tommy Fagerström says.

Atlas Copco’s service organization in Finland has taken a liking to Vaisala dew point measurement instruments, both for fixed installations in e.g. dryer applications, as well as the handheld models for spot-checking.

“All our new service personnel are automatically equipped with Vaisala handheld instruments,” Tommy Fagerström confirms.

“They’re more reliable than our previous dew point meters and our user-experiences are very positive. Our old instruments have sometimes been slow to react or inaccurate at low dew points.”

“Vaisala’s meters are stable and trustworthy. For example, the sensor withstands water spikes. Also the calibration services work smoothly,” Tommy Fagerström says, continuing that he cannot but give credit to Vaisala.

The Finnish service organization uses Vaisala DRYCAP® Hand-Held Dew point Meter DM70 not only to spot-check the compressed air systems but also to confirm the functionality of fixed dew point meters. Confirming the performance of the small Vaisala DRYCAP® Dewpoint Transmitter DMT142 with the hand-held DM70, for example, is convenient as the instruments are fully compatible. A fixed Vaisala DRYCAP® Dew Point and Temperature Transmitter DMT340 is integrated in many of the Atlas Copco’s top-of -the-line ES 130 central controllers, showing continuous dew point trends that can also be saved to the server.

“Vaisala seems to have the same kind of ‘first in mind – first in choice’ reputation within its line of business as we do in ours. Our customers are happy to hear that we have chosen to use Vaisala dew point measurement instruments,” Mika Ikonen concludes.

Atlas Copco
Operational Service Manager Tommy Fagerström demonstrates how the Atlas Copco remote monitoring online tool works.