The Role of the Air Compressor and Technological Advancements 

Many new air compressors pressure pumps close up photo

First, there was the use of human lungs to stoke fires. Then, nearly 110 years ago, Atlas Copco invented the piston compressor. After that, there was a series of improvements and modifications that drove the system to the reliable mechanism it is today. The air compressor is an essential part of many industries, industrial warehouses, buildings, and many small businesses across many industries. They provide an important power supply for many commercial buildings and infrastructure. 

Factory and workshop operations also use the power of the air compressor for various functions. As we covered in our last post, power tools of all sorts use air compressors to complete their tasks as well. Wisco Supply Inc specializes in providing companies with industrial-grade air compressors and many of their parts. 

The Basics of Air Compression 

Air compressors are an accessible tool that performs any number of essential tasks for businesses, factories, or other industrial uses. The air compressor is also a useful piece of machinery for everyday uses and other small businesses. People also use air compressors to inflate tires and power tools used in home improvement projects and other small-scale projects. 

Generally, air compressors are of one of two designs: single-stage and two-stage. Each of these designs uses pistons to create pressurized air. In a single-stage design, the piston compresses the air in one stroke. The stroke refers to the full rotation of the crankshaft that drives the piston. The two-stage works with the same process but uses two pistons, which allows the compressor to generate higher pressures. Over the years, the basic concept of the air compressors and the use of pistons has not changed dramatically, but innovation has happened in sharpening the mechanism and making it more efficient and effective. 

There are many designs and configurations that range from stationary, portable, rotary, and piston. The basic operating principle for most of these compressors has remained the same with only minimal design and functional improvements. For many manufacturers, the changes have been largely focused on improving reliability. Some of the improvements in reliability are related to using computers. A pump’s cylinder can now be honed and programmed to incredible exactitude. The potential for major machining errors reduces considerably with this new technology. 

The pistons themselves have also been improved and often made of water-resistant materials that prevent air or oil leakage into the cylinders. The piston-sets are made of wear-resistant materials.  Rods made of special materials also help protect the pump’s main component by preventing damage to the crankshaft. Some have seen the easy-access unload pins that are easily replaceable. There continue to be improvements in this field, as the needs of the industrial sector and change. 

What Is Pneumatics and How Has That Played a Role? 

The use of compressed air to create viable energy is a world full of possibilities. The term refers to the physical science of compressing air. The term is derived from the Greek word for “blowing.” Most people have engaged in pneumatics at some point or another. The simple act of blowing air from your lungs to blow fire or blow up a balloon falls under the concept of pneumatics; that is because you are using compressed air to perform work. It is often confused with renewable wind power, but it is not the same. Pneumatics have built-in air storage and rely on pressure. An air compressor is considered a pneumatic machine.

An air compressor is an important part of pneumatic systems. One of the benefits of pneumatic systems is that they are far less hazardous. It reduces the potential for electric fires since it mostly uses air. If there is a leak in your system, it will cause a loss of air pressure but it will not cause an accident. 

For many industries, it is almost impossible to envision their day-to-day work without the wonderful help of an air compressor. For many, it is the backbone of industrial infrastructure. These machines are varied, versatile, and quite robust. Some of the industries that use air compressors include:

  • Construction: The construction industry uses variable flow streams in some important tools of the trade including jackhammers, nail guns, and compactors. 
  • Manufacturing: From metal to plastic fabrication, the use of air compressors and pneumatics are at the core of many of its tasks. 
  • Agriculture: For many farming operations and other agriculture tasks, air compressors are a big part of the job. Important machines like tractors, sprayers, pumps, and crop conveyors are all powered by some kind of air compressor. 
  • Energy Sector: Huge industries like oil drilling make use of air compressors as well. 
  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning: Air compressors can be a major part of air-sourcing and heat pump systems of many commercial HVAC systems. 



Looking for Industrial -Grade Air Compressors and Equipment?

Wisco Supply Systems, Inc provides quality industrial-grade air compressors, boiler systems, and hoist crane systems, and pumping systems.