Archive | August, 2013

203

2:40 pm
August 20, 2013
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Executive Outlook 2013: Bring On More Certainty To Unleash Investing Power

0813eowaukeshaAnswering the question of “what’s holding up our long-awaited economic recovery” could be a sensitive subject. Thoughts of the logjam in Washington, budget sequestration along with fiscal and monetary policy all come to mind. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll try to stay away from these topics.

Instead, we can focus on known information. Home prices appear to be on the rise, businesses, for the most part, continue to see growth leading to higher stock prices and consumer confidence is trending to the positive. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the positive data and trends are leading to the level of growth we might expect exiting such a significant recessionary period. Are higher home prices leading to more construction? Are higher stock prices leading to more investment? Is higher consumer confidence leading to higher spending? In the eyes of many, the resounding answer is “not to the extent that we expected.”

I’m a believer in certainty and confidence. There are so many uncertainties in today’s economy that it’s very difficult to build long-term confidence in the global economic recovery. Employment growth, consumer and government debt, slowing growth in China, ever-increasing regulation and lingering recession in Europe all contribute to the worry. Hardly a week goes by that some leading indicator doesn’t hit the wire and cause an emotional adjustment to financial markets. The fact is, information is more readily available today than ever before, and it provides the average consumer and investor countless opportunities to modify behavior based on the “latest word.” These are not the conditions that contribute to high confidence or certainty.

What can we do? We can start by looking at the glass as half-full. Many of us have difficulty doing this—some days, we seem to argue whether there’s even a glass there! From a business perspective, there is no question that companies are taking an extremely cautious approach to the recovery. How much cash is available on corporate balance sheets? Think of it this way: Some of the largest (and most profitable) companies in the U.S. are more comfortable with their cash “under the mattress” than spending it on capital, research and development or acquisitions. While some have correctly noted that there are benefits to keeping cash on hand, how much is enough? In my mind it begs the question, “How can we provide enough economic certainty so businesses feel more comfortable investing?” 

My view: We can all work together on building confidence that the economy is improving. To start, we can focus more on identifying and analyzing “trends” instead of reacting to each and every “data point”—trends are what help us determine where we’re at in the business cycle. While I personally think we’re in the early stages of a more robust recovery, we must also realize that there are many external factors that can dampen the mood. Let’s hope those that influence the components of certainty rise to the challenge, for it is “certainty” that will unleash the investing power of businesses and help drive the economy forward.MT

More Executive Outlooks:

0813eoabb

Enrique Santacana, President & CEO, ABB North America

0813eomotion

William J. Stevens, President & CEO, Motion Industries

0813eomilwaukee

Steven P. Richman, President, Milwaukee Tool Corporation

0813eoskf

Poul Jeppesen, President and CEO, SKF USA Inc.

0813eokluber

Ralf Kraemer, CEO, Klüber Lubrication North America

0813eorockwell 

Mike Laszkiewicz, Vice President & General Manager, Power Control Business, Rockwell Automation, and Chair, Manufacturing Council

0813eowaukesha

Jay A. Burnette, President, Waukesha Bearings Corporation

0813eonidec

Rich Heppe, President, Industrial Motors, Nidec Motor Corporation

 0813eoemerson

Steve Sonnenberg, President, Emerson Process Management

0813eofluke

Wes Pringle, President, Fluke Corporation 

 

 

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1093

2:38 pm
August 20, 2013
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Executive Outlook 2013: Help The U.S. Government Ensure U.S. Competitiveness

0813eorockwellThe United States enjoys a proud tradition as a global leader in the manufacturing sector. This leadership has been fueled by bright ideas, a progressive approach to technology and a spirit of pride and entrepreneurship. Our national and economic security—our ability to create wealth and new jobs—depends on a robust advanced manufacturing infrastructure that supports the production of high-value goods and services for U.S. and global markets. 

The U.S. will be the best place in the world to manufacture and attract foreign direct investment, but our government needs to support a tax climate that promotes manufacturing in America and enhances global competitiveness here. It needs to provide for a strong and permanent R&D tax credit and ensure credits are balanced between technology and applied or process research. It also needs to ensure and independently verify that benefits of new regulations justify their cost to manufacturers. And, lastly, common sense and fair legal reform must be implemented to reduce direct tort costs to U.S. manufacturers. 

One way we’re working to help achieve these initiatives is through the Manufacturing Council, established in April 2004, as the result of an International Trade Administration report calling for enhanced U.S. government focus on manufacturing competitiveness. The Council works to identify and recommend ways the U.S. government can respond to challenges facing U.S. manufacturers and ensure our competitiveness at home and abroad. Council members, representing a diversity of American manufacturing-industry sectors, provide a unique perspective toward developing actionable, measurable recommendations on policies and programs submitted for the Secretary of Commerce’s consideration. 

Recently, the Council identified four key priorities: (1) Workforce and Public Perception of Manufacturing will determine what can be done to increase the number of skilled workers in the U.S., and identify working strategies to prepare for long-term workforce needs. (2) Innovation, Research and Development examines ways to encourage research, development and commercialization of innovation in manufacturing, and works to strengthen, encourage and promote research and innovation vis-a-vis public-private partnerships and policies that reward innovation. (3) Tax Policy and Export Growth identifies ways to ensure that trade and investment policies don’t hinder U.S. manufacturers, and consider trade and investment policies that assist them, such as proper enforcement of international trade law, current tax policies and reforms. (4) Manufacturing Energy Policy considers the many aspects of energy that impact manufacturing, including costs, sustainability regulations and long-term energy independence, and identifies solutions to help manufacturers stay competitive and allow for industry growth while examining energy and environmental sustainability regulations that help U.S. manufacturers

As manufacturers, we understand the crucial link between manufacturing and innovation and the indisputable link between innovation and economic power. The Manufacturing Council will work with the Commerce Department to ensure our competitiveness by responding to the challenges facing U.S. manufacturers at home and abroad. MT

More Executive Outlooks:

0813eoabb

Enrique Santacana, President & CEO, ABB North America

0813eomotion

William J. Stevens, President & CEO, Motion Industries

0813eomilwaukee

Steven P. Richman, President, Milwaukee Tool Corporation

0813eoskf

Poul Jeppesen, President and CEO, SKF USA Inc.

0813eokluber

Ralf Kraemer, CEO, Klüber Lubrication North America

0813eorockwell 

Mike Laszkiewicz, Vice President & General Manager, Power Control Business, Rockwell Automation, and Chair, Manufacturing Council

0813eowaukesha

Jay A. Burnette, President, Waukesha Bearings Corporation

0813eonidec

Rich Heppe, President, Industrial Motors, Nidec Motor Corporation

 0813eoemerson

Steve Sonnenberg, President, Emerson Process Management

0813eofluke

Wes Pringle, President, Fluke Corporation 

 

 

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208

2:37 pm
August 20, 2013
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Executive Outlook 2013: More Demand Will Grow An Appetite For Investment

0813eokluberWith the economy growing around 2%, and a stock market up above 15,000 (Dow Jones), one would think that the economy is doing better—or even well. As a matter of fact, given all the uncertainties from both domestic and global perspectives, our economy is doing pretty well. So, how is it that we are still considering the recovery to be sluggish? The main reason is that unemployment continues to hover around 7.5%. Often, companies are hesitant to invest unless they absolutely have to, and unless they can see a clear and immediate return.

Two-thirds of the economy is based on consumer spending; corporate spending drives the remaining third. For several months now, consumer spending and consumer confidence has been driving GDP. Industrial spending is much more limited and often only takes place if current demand makes it absolutely necessary to add capacity, upgrade equipment and hire workers in order to avoid unhappy customers. This current lack of industrial investment can be observed by looking at the manufacturing sector of our economy in more detail. 

After the Great Recession in 2009, the manufacturing sector, driven by market demands, actually grew month after month, for an almost-unprecedented period of approximately three years. While those increases in growth were small, over time they were significant for our manufacturing sector and our economy. Companies upgraded equipment and installed new technology, including more productive, automated equipment as the demand for products increased. During the last several months, this trend in manufacturing has slowed considerably as a result of decreasing demand (again, almost unnoticed).
At Klüber Lubrication North America, however, we have continuously made substantial investments in our manufacturing and customer-service operations—which are driven by continued strong interest and high demand for both our expertise and our engineered industrial lubrication solutions.

Current economic growth is, to a large part, due to a significantly improved housing market and the automotive industry gaining strength. These are positive developments. Still, housing and automotive are mainly driven by consumers—not by corporations. To grow our domestic economy in a productive and healthy fashion, further investments in technology and advanced manufacturing equipment is necessary. This will call for long-term planning and an appetite for long-term investments, and require companies to produce the financial returns and cash flow to benefit from these investments and service associated debts.

Ever-changing and increasing rules and regulations have made it difficult for companies (and sometimes consumers) to know where we will be six, 12 or 18 months down the road. What do you do if you don’t know what you will face or what you will be able to work with in the near future and, more important, in the long-term? You wait until the dust settles before you make your mid- and long-term commitments. Investments in technology and adding to your workforce are exactly that—mid- and long-term investments that you don’t want to plan or change on short notice. The efforts with such commitments are not insignificant: Considering the financial risk exposure, management has to make sure that the return expectations for its investments are justified.MT

More Executive Outlooks:

0813eoabb

Enrique Santacana, President & CEO, ABB North America

0813eomotion

William J. Stevens, President & CEO, Motion Industries

0813eomilwaukee

Steven P. Richman, President, Milwaukee Tool Corporation

0813eoskf

Poul Jeppesen, President and CEO, SKF USA Inc.

0813eokluber

Ralf Kraemer, CEO, Klüber Lubrication North America

0813eorockwell 

Mike Laszkiewicz, Vice President & General Manager, Power Control Business, Rockwell Automation, and Chair, Manufacturing Council

0813eowaukesha

Jay A. Burnette, President, Waukesha Bearings Corporation

0813eonidec

Rich Heppe, President, Industrial Motors, Nidec Motor Corporation

 0813eoemerson

Steve Sonnenberg, President, Emerson Process Management

0813eofluke

Wes Pringle, President, Fluke Corporation 

 

 

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183

2:36 pm
August 20, 2013
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Executive Outlook 2013: Invest In Opportunities, Regardless Of Headwinds

0813eoskfAs a company with a cultural legacy of taking advantage of overseas opportunities, we’re excited by the long-term prospects for business in the United States. There’s a growing re-industrialization that brings extended value to the economy, a strong knowledge-park and university-based research network and energy-cost advantages from shale gas and other domestic resources. While many companies are taking a wait-and-see attitude toward the recovery, we tend to focus on existing opportunities, regardless of current political or macro-economic winds. There are longer-term forces at play: the need for improved productivity, energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact. Companies must continue to invest in these areas, but the thresholds for payback and investment will vary.

At SKF, we invest in product and manufacturing developments that will lower those thresholds and allow our customers to derive greater value from their assets: We offer them ways to reduce the environmental impact of their products or operations, whether through reduced energy use and CO2 emissions or greater material and resource efficiency. A good example of this is our magnetic bearing and permanent magnet motor system for wastewater treatment plants. Part of our growing BeyondZero portfolio, it allows aerators to operate with a 40% energy savings and lower noise levels. Moreover, it doesn’t require a special tax credit or incentive to provide a solid value proposition to plant operators. 

To better support our critical R&D efforts, SKF has announced plans for a global technical center in the U.S. that will complement our center in Utrecht, Netherlands, and join our recently established centers in other growth regions—namely India and China. This will ensure that we don’t miss the unique needs of innovative customers in North America, while facilitating and expanding our partnerships with leading U.S. universities. In addition, our Aerospace group recently launched the SKF Aerospace NA Innovation Center at Penn State’s Behrend’s Knowledge Park in Erie, PA, to work directly with student researchers. 

Actions like these are just two ways to help break through the “logjam” that this year’s Executive Outlook questions referenced. Specifically, they’ll help us address a need for engineering and manufacturing talent and let us work on sustained recruitment and hiring efforts to attract the best and the brightest. 

An historical obstacle, though, is a general perception that mechanical engineering (as one example) may seem “unexciting” to some candidates. We in the business know nothing could be further from the truth. To that end, SKF, along with other major U.S. companies, has agreed to open our doors during October for educational visits by students, to help them learn what manufacturing facilities do—and how they do it with the support of many skilled individuals. Visiting young people will be able to witness firsthand the process of raw materials turning into finished products, and, for some, a spark of interest will ignite. In the meantime, let’s all agree to open our doors to new ideas and new ways of working—and also open our checkbooks to support innovation. The resulting activity will stimulate hearts, minds and the economy. It’s an investment that we at SKF are sure will pay off. MT

More Executive Outlooks:

0813eoabb

Enrique Santacana, President & CEO, ABB North America

0813eomotion

William J. Stevens, President & CEO, Motion Industries

0813eomilwaukee

Steven P. Richman, President, Milwaukee Tool Corporation

0813eoskf

Poul Jeppesen, President and CEO, SKF USA Inc.

0813eokluber

Ralf Kraemer, CEO, Klüber Lubrication North America

0813eorockwell 

Mike Laszkiewicz, Vice President & General Manager, Power Control Business, Rockwell Automation, and Chair, Manufacturing Council

0813eowaukesha

Jay A. Burnette, President, Waukesha Bearings Corporation

0813eonidec

Rich Heppe, President, Industrial Motors, Nidec Motor Corporation

 0813eoemerson

Steve Sonnenberg, President, Emerson Process Management

0813eofluke

Wes Pringle, President, Fluke Corporation 

 

 

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192

2:35 pm
August 20, 2013
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Executive Outlook 2013: Recognize And Embrace Possibilities For Innovation

0813eomilwaukeeYou will hear many viewpoints from brilliant minds all over the world as to what is holding up our long-awaited economic recovery. Whether conservative or liberal, politician or economist, everyone has differing opinions and theories on why we continue to maneuver our way through a challenging economic environment. The truth is, we don’t know exactly why there is a logjam or what is holding back a full-scale recovery. 

Those of us at Milwaukee Tool believe our clear path out of the lingering gridlock is through innovation: The key to the continued growth of our industry lies in consistency of delivering value and productivity to end-users through innovative products that save time and money.

When we look at the economic landscape today, specific geographic markets are doing significantly better than other markets throughout the United States and Canada. Southern California, Northern California, Texas, Miami, FL, and Vancouver, BC, for example, are coming back strong, while other areas are still very slow. Durable-goods manufacturing was the largest contributor to U.S. real GDP by state growth in 2012—and those companies that focused on delivering new and innovative solutions within their industries were rewarded with growth.

At Milwaukee Tool, we continue to ask ourselves what we can deliver to help professional tool-users be more profitable, safer and more productive on their jobs across the board. Ergonomic features, performance capabilities, quality and durability are just the beginning. As a tool manufacturer, without focusing on these important aspects, users of your products are not going to view you as a credible brand. 

Above and beyond that, we want to win by changing the game with productivity through innovation: That is really our core strategy across all product lines. Whether it is through game-changing technology like you see in our M12 & M18 FUEL cordless lines, or strategic partnerships that drive a dramatic shift in predictive maintenance, as you will see from Milwaukee in coming months on our Thermal Imaging line, we are constantly looking for ways to do things differently than we have done in the past to provide the best solutions in the industry. 

By creating new-to-world products and driving productivity solutions, Milwaukee Tool has seen double-digit growth year over year—despite the challenging economic conditions. As a result, to support this type of ongoing growth, we have invested $25 million in our U.S. manufacturing footprint. With an intense focus on our core users, we have been able to find growth in a struggling economic sector by seeking out opportunities in less developed categories. 

It is our philosophy that there are always possibilities for innovation—and we believe this holds true across all levels of the economy, from supply chain to manufacturing. Accordingly, we feel that if more companies would embrace a similar approach, the capital structure would begin to improve through collective effort and collaboration.MT

More Executive Outlooks:

0813eoabb

Enrique Santacana, President & CEO, ABB North America

0813eomotion

William J. Stevens, President & CEO, Motion Industries

0813eomilwaukee

Steven P. Richman, President, Milwaukee Tool Corporation

0813eoskf

Poul Jeppesen, President and CEO, SKF USA Inc.

0813eokluber

Ralf Kraemer, CEO, Klüber Lubrication North America

0813eorockwell 

Mike Laszkiewicz, Vice President & General Manager, Power Control Business, Rockwell Automation, and Chair, Manufacturing Council

0813eowaukesha

Jay A. Burnette, President, Waukesha Bearings Corporation

0813eonidec

Rich Heppe, President, Industrial Motors, Nidec Motor Corporation

 0813eoemerson

Steve Sonnenberg, President, Emerson Process Management

0813eofluke

Wes Pringle, President, Fluke Corporation 

 

 

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234

2:34 pm
August 20, 2013
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Executive Outlook 2013: Focus On Jobs, Education And U.S. Competitiveness

0813eomotionSince the beginning of the year, we have seen the industrial sector being very cautious and conservative with regard to plant expansions and projects. We believe that this cautiousness is caused by continued general economic uncertainty. 

MRO spending with our customers remains guarded and slow. However, unlike other slow periods where shift eliminations and employee headcount reductions were prevalent, we are seeing plants continuing to operate at acceptable levels without such adjustments. MRO and capital projects for equipment upgrades and process improvements continue to be planned and developed, but are being pushed out into the future as opposed to spending the necessary money today. The general feeling was that we would have more clarity as to the direction of our economy by this time of the year, but that’s not the case. We look forward to this happening—and those upgrades and process improvement projects being acted upon.

While a large part of our business is MRO, we do sell to quite a few OEMs. Most OEMs, though, are not producing for inventory at this time, but building only what is needed to fill immediate demand. In addition, many OEMs have invested in better equipment over the past few years and, with the help of increased plant automation, have improved their efficiencies and productivity. Although good over the long run, this investment has dampened the immediate need for parts, maintenance and additional labor.

Interestingly, we’re noting that maintenance budgets and spending are not as aggressive as they have been in past years. Many companies have better tracking systems today, allowing them to know what parts they already own that can be used company-wide, versus multiple storerooms that would all stock many of the same products—as was done in the past.  We continue to cycle through this change in buying patterns.

In our opinion, there are several things that could help break up the logjam and begin growing a healthier economy. For example, a government incentive for creating jobs is needed, versus the cost penalties we’re seeing today. There are no consistent or meaningful incentives to offset the increasing costs of programs such as healthcare and competitive benefits that we are all facing.

 In addition, the United States needs a positive program or campaign to show how competitive that products made here have become compared to those produced in other countries. To be effective, this analysis must be based on “total cost”—which includes not just the price of items, but the cost of transportation associated with those coming in from other countries.

From an educational viewpoint, our high schools need to be as positive about the development of careers for skilled labor in industry as they are about the pursuit of a college degree. We are beginning to see a shortage of skilled workers in the plants that we sell to. Ultimately, this could have a negative impact on our country’s global competitiveness as a producer of goods.  

Finally, we as manufacturers and sellers of products and services must continue to invest in industry, adding innovative new products and services for future growth.MT

More Executive Outlooks:

0813eoabb

Enrique Santacana, President & CEO, ABB North America

0813eomotion

William J. Stevens, President & CEO, Motion Industries

0813eomilwaukee

Steven P. Richman, President, Milwaukee Tool Corporation

0813eoskf

Poul Jeppesen, President and CEO, SKF USA Inc.

0813eokluber

Ralf Kraemer, CEO, Klüber Lubrication North America

0813eorockwell 

Mike Laszkiewicz, Vice President & General Manager, Power Control Business, Rockwell Automation, and Chair, Manufacturing Council

0813eowaukesha

Jay A. Burnette, President, Waukesha Bearings Corporation

0813eonidec

Rich Heppe, President, Industrial Motors, Nidec Motor Corporation

 0813eoemerson

Steve Sonnenberg, President, Emerson Process Management

0813eofluke

Wes Pringle, President, Fluke Corporation 

 

 

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365

2:32 pm
August 20, 2013
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Executive Outlook 2013: Great News — Congress Does Not Control The U.S. Economy

0813eoabbIf it seems like it’s taking a long time for the U.S. to rebound from the Great Recession, that’s because it is. In fact, the pace of this recovery is about half that of others experienced since the end of World War II, but it also seems weaker. That may be because, while businesses took the hit early and have since recovered (both investment and production levels are in line with previous recoveries), individuals have fared far worse.

The destruction of jobs and personal wealth that took place in 2008/9 was unlike anything most of us have ever witnessed. Job creation since the recovery began remains anemic at 5.4%—half the average gain in postwar recoveries. Similarly, real consumer spending since 2009 (8.3%) is roughly half the historical average for postwar recoveries. Household net worth has increased by 23.2%, which actually is higher than the average, but most of that increase has flowed to the wealthiest among us (i.e., those with the most in the game as securities markets turned up).

Housing presents another challenge. New and existing home sales are increasing now, but they were flat for most of the last four years. Consequently, new home construction has not played its usual key role in building a recovery. At the same time, despite a recent uptick in home prices, homeowners still do not have as much equity with which to support new spending.

The bottom line is that the current economic recovery is fighting against a lack of demand. Historically, people have spent more coming out of a downturn but, for various reasons, they are not spending as much this time around. So, what can be done to spur growth?

In the short term, there are tax breaks such as the recent payroll tax cut, and stimulus spending like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Longer-term growth, though, will require changes that are more structural in nature: Expanding foreign trade, controlling the cost of entitlement programs, fostering game-changing technologies, reforming the tax code to reduce loopholes while broadening the base—all of these would produce a healthier economy. However, given the current political climate, it is unlikely that any action on the scale required will emerge from Washington in the near future.

The good news is that Congress does not control the economy, which is showing new signs of life. The National Association of Home Builders index of homebuilder confidence rose to 57 in July, a 7½ year high. That index measures the industry’s view of current conditions with a score of 50 as break-even. Homebuilders’ view of future conditions (i.e., single-family home sales over the coming six months) came in even more solidly positive, with a score of 67 on the same scale. 

Barring some unforeseen crisis (e.g., the conflict in Syria boiling over into a regional war), the recovery will likely proceed. Things are moving in the right direction—albeit more slowly than we would like. Perhaps the greatest mistake now would be to allow a strengthening economy to gloss over the need for more fundamental reform. It won’t be easy, but reform is needed, if not to bolster the recovery in the short term than to support broad-based growth over the long term. MT

More Executive Outlooks:

0813eoabb

Enrique Santacana, President & CEO, ABB North America

0813eomotion

William J. Stevens, President & CEO, Motion Industries

0813eomilwaukee

Steven P. Richman, President, Milwaukee Tool Corporation

0813eoskf

Poul Jeppesen, President and CEO, SKF USA Inc.

0813eokluber

Ralf Kraemer, CEO, Klüber Lubrication North America

0813eorockwell 

Mike Laszkiewicz, Vice President & General Manager, Power Control Business, Rockwell Automation, and Chair, Manufacturing Council

0813eowaukesha

Jay A. Burnette, President, Waukesha Bearings Corporation

0813eonidec

Rich Heppe, President, Industrial Motors, Nidec Motor Corporation

 0813eoemerson

Steve Sonnenberg, President, Emerson Process Management

0813eofluke

Wes Pringle, President, Fluke Corporation 

 

 

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731

2:27 pm
August 20, 2013
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Overcoming Your Challenges: Remember Your ‘Three 100s’

cacBy Ron Marshall, for the Compressed Air Challenge (CAC)

During the heat of summer, a common complaint in many plants involves the issue of wet compressed air. An ugly slurry of rusty, oily, moisture-laden air—smelling much like an old unwashed gym sock—can collect inside piping and spray out on the precious product of your efforts. When it does, it soils clean surfaces, ruining machinery and contaminating all it encounters. Try as you might, after tuning and maintaining your air-drying units to perfection, the bubbling mass somehow still manages to get past filters, dryers and drains.

In response to the problem, extra filters may be installed, with timer drains blasting hundreds of cubic feet of compressed air in an attempt to cleanse and flush the contamination away. That course of action only makes things worse—and pressure problems start to appear due to the extra load. 

If the above scenario sounds familiar, you may need to pay attention to the following “three 100s” characteristics of your air dryers: Most air dryers sold in North America are rated for compressed air at 100 psi, an inlet-air temperature of 100 F and ambient conditions of 100 F. Read on. . .  

Pressure. . .
If your compressed-air pressure is lower than 100 psi, it means higher-than-rated air velocities are flowing inside the piping of the air dryer. Such velocities make it harder to cool the compressed air to the temperatures required to make rated dewpoint—and harder to separate the moisture that’s left when the water vapor condenses.

Inlet temperature. . .
The compressed air produced by your equipment is always completely saturated with water vapor as it enters the air dryer. The hotter the air, the more water vapor it contains. A rule of thumb is that every increase of 20 degrees F in air temperature doubles the amount of water in the air. Dryers can only remove the amount of water they’re designed to handle. The refrigeration circuits of refrigerated dryers (and desiccant beds of desiccant dryers) have been sized only for the amount of water contained in air at the rated 100 F temperature.

Ambient temperatures. . .
The refrigeration circuits in refrigerated dryers need to expel the heat created when the water vapor condenses. The heat-exchanger circuits are designed for 100 F ambient conditions.  Hotter temperatures reduce the effectiveness of the dryers.

So, if your facility is experiencing wet-air problems, you would be wise to check on your equipment’s “three 100s.” If they’re out of line, the cause of the wet air should be investigated. For example, ventilation problems can lead to overheated compressor rooms, causing ambient temperatures to exceed dryer ratings.  High ambient conditions also affect the air compressors, allowing discharge temperatures to greatly exceed design conditions. This means what might have been diagnosed as a dryer problem is really a ventilation problem.

Note: Even when ventilation is improved, dryers sometimes will still need to be oversized to account for conditions that exceed ratings. CAC’s Best Practices Manual shows correction factors to use in doing this the right way. Information on purchasing the manual can be found at the CAC Website. While you’re there, check out and register for our November Webinar. MT

The Compressed Air Challenge® is a partner of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Technology programs. To learn more about its many offerings, log on to www.compressedairchallenge.orgor email: info@compressedairchallenge.org.

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