Upgrade Your Air System: It’s Easier Than You Think

Upgrade Your Air System: It’s Easier Than You Think

Improving your shop airflow is only a benefit, unless you like to spend more time, work harder and make less money.

What if there was a shop upgrade that could be done quickly and easily that would save money and allow your tools and equipment to operate more efficiently? If that gets your attention, it’s time to think about upgrading your shop’s air piping system.

This is one of my favorite topics because most shop piping systems are as old as the shop itself, and if it was the electrical system in a car, we’d have dim bulbs all over the place. What is it we avoid in electricity? Higher than normal resistance. What does old steel pipe offer to the air flow in your shop? You guessed it, resistance and turbulence in the airflow. Think about the built-up corrosion after all these years.

Think about how it affects the operation of your air tools and equipment. Static is the air pressure available when nothing is running. Put a gauge on the line at the farthest point from your compressor and it always looks good. But operate an air tool or equipment while looking at that same gauge, and you might be surprised at how far it drops. That’s your dynamic pressure. You’ll likely find it’s way below the recommended pressure for your tools and equipment. You can no longer blame the tools. Your air piping is costing you efficiency, time and money.

The better an air tool works, the quicker it gets the job done. That means less time listening to an impact hammering away because it’s not producing the power it should. It’s just draining the air tank. That means less time listening to the compressor wailing its electricity-using song.

Do you have a loop in your air system? Most old systems don’t. A loop will equalize the pressure at all drops and increase the volume of air flow. Picture a new feed with no unwanted fittings or angles and drops exactly where you want them. Think about the clean, modern look it will give to your shop. Picture shut-off valves everywhere you want them. Think about no more leaks and increased performance from your tools and equipment, i.e. a stronger bottom line.

It gets better. What if it was easy to install with no soldering, threading or gluing? I’m talking push to connect. What if all fittings could be easily disconnected and reused, or if everything was corrosion resistant and future add-ons were as simple as swapping fittings. Don’t have time to figure it out? Think about a predesigned kit. They’re available.

It’s easy to think that technology makes things more difficult. In our world, vehicles seem to get more complicated all the time. We’ve got to learn new systems, update our scan tools, get new certifications; it’s never ending.

Finally, technology is doing things for us to make our jobs easier and our shops better, and it’s not difficult to do. Improving your shop airflow is only a benefit, unless you like to spend more time, work harder and make less money. That’s up to you. But for now, think about upgrading your air. It’s easier than you think. TS

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