The food and beverage industry uses compressed air in a wide diversity of processes. Some compressed air is used as general purpose air to operate pneumatic devices, controllers and sometimes as simple as blow-down air. This air does not come under the most stringent quality requirements. Other processes have the compressed air directly in contact with the product and of course this would be required to meet a standard typically 100% oil free and with a dew point at pressure of -40°C.
So how does the food/beverage industry ensure that it is meeting the high quality standards set either internally, by the customer or a regulatory body such as the British Compressed Air Society/British Retail Consortium Code of Practice?
We at BEKO TECHNOLOGIES provide measuring equipment which can measure flow, pressure, pressure dew point, leakage and one that is not so easy or common, remaining oil vapour content down to 0.003ppm or better than Class 1 for the ISO standard (ISO 8573-1). To answer the question posed, most companies do not measure the oil vapour content for two reasons. First is that many companies have invested in oil free compressors and believe that they have nothing to fear and second that they are not aware that the equipment to make this measurement in situ is available at a reasonable cost. Without going into the whole oil free air or oil free compressor debate, suffice it to say that a 100% oil free compressor will not add to hydrocarbon content in the air but equally will not remove any present in the ambient inlet air. BEKO TECHNOLOGIES is aware of a site with a 100% oil free compressor recording Class 2 ISO for oil content at periods corresponding to shift changes and hence much vehicular activity.