Compressed Air/Compressors

Hi-line reports sales growth and major plans for 2023

Hi-line Industries, a UK-based leader in the design, manufacture and installation of energy-efficient compressed air purification equipment, is reporting continued growth in year-on-year sales, with results for the last quarter well ahead of forecast. This positive news is a reflection of the added value provided by the company’s products and services, which help UK users of compressed air to achieve genuine competitive gain.

To support its growing sales, Hi-line has completed a management reshuffle that will ensure its expanding customer base can take advantage of even higher service levels. Following on from the appointment of Steve Smith as Managing Director in May 2022, Brad Beesley is now General Manager, heading up the Sales Department. In addition, Darren Sims now sits at the helm of the Technical Department as the company’s new Technical Director, while Craig Watson takes up the role of Business Administration Manager to lead Hi-line’s Administration Department. All report directly to Steve Smith.

Everything about Hi-line at present centres on growth, emphasising the success story of this forward-thinking UK manufacturing business. By way of example, spring 2023 will see the start of an extension to the company’s UK headquarters in Burton-upon-Trent. This significant project will provide a huge boon to the in-house manufacturing processes, while simultaneously increasing warehouse space. 

In another notable investment, Hi-line’s Technical Department is looking to implement new software that will further enhance the company’s CRM (Customer Relationship Management) activities. The new software suite, which will be of great benefit to Hi-line’s service contract customers, will integrate with the company’s cloud-based Xero accounting software.

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Hi-line also takes its corporate sustainability responsibilities extremely seriously, which is why the company is currently installing a series of electric vehicle chargers at its Burton-upon-Trent facility. This activity precedes a number of electric vehicles currently on order, which will drive down carbon emissions and support Hi-line’s position as an industry flagbearer for environmental issues. Many of the company’s products also underpin this ethos, largely via innovative technologies that help to reduce energy consumption.

In a further environmental project, Hi-line will be self-sufficient with solar energy by 31 March 2023, delivering a huge milestone in the company’s carbon-offset programme. 

As a final positive note, Hi-line reports that recruitment is currently at an all-time high, with the company set to announce more appointments in the near future, likely filling vacancies in the Logistics and Technical Departments. In addition, two local apprentices have just started their BCAS (British Compressed Air Society) Apprenticeship Scheme at Hi-line Industries, facilitating the vitally important succession of industry skills. 

“We’re really happy with our impressive sales performance as it means we can reinvest in our business to deliver even more growth moving forward,” says Managing Director Steve Smith. “Investments in new floor space, staff members and green technologies – alongside our newly conceived management structure – will mean that Hi-line remains on a progressive and secure footing. The future is looking extremely bright for Hi-line and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve in the years ahead.”

Further information is available from: Hi-line Industries Ltd,

Green Street, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire  DE14 3RT

Telephone: 01283 533377                    ​​Fax: 01283 533367               

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How to cut the energy consumption of compressed air systems

FPS Air Compressors can provide a number of tips and initiatives to reduce the energy consumed by compressed air systems. In particular, the company offers the new NOBEL PM series of oil-injected rotary screw compressors, which feature IE4 permanent magnet motors, variable speed drives and an extended airflow range for the highest level of energy efficiency and quiet operation. This industry-leading performance helps to counter the current trend of spiralling energy costs, which look likely to remain high for the foreseeable future. Compared with the operating costs of a standard compressor. As an example, a user operating a 37 kW Nobel DVPM air compressor can enjoy savings of up to £25,000 a year or more.

Compressed air usage represents a significant proportion of electricity costs at manufacturing plants, food production facilities, machine shops, packaging plants, garages, body shops and woodyards – essentially any facility using compressed air. A big part of the solution is to get savvy about specifying the optimal technology, notably the compressor. The energy costs linked to an air compressor’s operation during its service life represent more than 80% of total lifecycle costs.

There are three principal compressor metrics to consider: specific energy; greater FAD (free air delivery) performance; and a wider operating range to suit varying demand.

The specific energy value reveals how much power (kW) is used to generate a specific volume of compressed air (1m³). Users unfortunately often overlook this highly accurate measure of an air compressor’s energy efficiency. However, NOBEL PM series models from Power System deliver a 3-8% better specific energy performance in comparison with competitor alternatives.

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Regarding the second metric, the maximum available capacity is important because a compressor with better FAD performance is able to cope with peaks in demand that would otherwise require an additional or even larger, higher energy consuming compressor. NOBEL PM models provide extremely high maximum capacity figures compared with competitors. For example, the 22kW NOBEL 24 DVPM has an FAD performance delivering over 4500 l/min, which is almost 10% better than industry peers. 

The third metric considers the operating range of a variable-speed compressor. This factor is important in satisfying the fluctuating demands of production and in preventing the air compressor from entering an ‘idle’ state, which is extremely wasteful in energy. To avoid this situation, NOBEL DVPM models operate with a wide range of between 15% and 100% of available capacity. 

There are many reasons for the high-efficiency performance levels of NOBEL DVPM air compressors, not least the introduction of permanent magnet motors and high-performance inverters. These technologies help compressed air users to take advantage of IE4 ‘Super Premium’ class efficiency, the highest available according to IEC 60034-30-1. Further innovations include an efficient intake regulator and a minimum-pressure valve that minimises pressure loss to reduce energy consumption.

Notably, the volume of compressed air generated by the cutting-edge NOBEL PM series aligns exactly to system requirements, achieved by regulating the speed of the electric motor. In other words, the system provides a continuously adjusted air output to match actual usage, meaning that users only expend power, for the volume of air required. 

Such impressive performance offers incredibly fast ROI (return on investment), with NOBEL PM series compressors typically paying for themselves in circa 12-18 months, sometimes less, when replacing an equivalent fixed-speed compressor.

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The high efficiency levels combine with a direct transmission system featuring a flexible coupling that minimises component wear and reduces noise, and optimised controls in the form of the new and intuitive LOGIN multicolour touchscreen controller. Featuring an internal memory card for data recovery, LOGIN is ideal for remote control and multi-compressor management for up to eight compressor and as part of IoT digitalisation/connectivity projects. 

These advanced technologies, alongside the use of latest-generation air-end units, has facilitated the creation of the most innovative and reliable compressor available. The result: maximum energy savings and a subsequent reduction in CO2 emissions. The extremely compact, Italian manufactured NOBEL PM series compressors are not only an ecological choice, but they also offer among the lowest noise values in their category – as low as 58 dB(A).

A full NOBEL PM range is available from 18.5 to 90 kW, with the 24, 39 and 45 DVPM models typically offering the best performance in their market segment. An optional refrigerated dryer is available with integrated inlet/outlet filters to deliver clean, dry compressed air. A five-year warranty is available subject to terms and conditions.

For further information please visit

Further information is available from:

FPS Air Compressors Ltd, Unit 5, Tower Estate, Warpsgrove LaneChalgroveOxfordshire OX44 7XZ

Telephone: 01865 892 620                    ​​e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 45EA 4EB4 A042 CB95A274C095


This article also featured in the December/Jan issue below


Hi-Plex hybrid technology from Hi-line provides cost-effective, energy-efficient compressed-air drying

Estimates suggest that Class 4 moisture content according to ISO 8573-1 is acceptable in the majority of compressed air system applications, thus supporting the use of refrigeration dryer technology. However, where applications demand higher levels of moisture removal, desiccant tends to be the go-to technology. The long-standing problem here is the higher cost associated with desiccant dryers, which is why Hi-line Industries, a UK-based leader in the design, manufacture and installation of energy-efficient compressed air purification equipment, is addressing this issue with its new Hi-Plex dual technology dryers. This hybrid solution combines Hi-line’s established refrigeration and PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) air treatment technologies, creating an energy-efficient system at low capital cost compared with standard heat-regeneration desiccant air dryers. 

So how does Hi-Plex work? Well, a Hi-line Tundra refrigeration system first removes bulk moisture via zero loss auto-drains, after which it chills the air to +1°C in the heat exchanger, condensing out all water to a +3°C PDP (Pressure Dewpoint). From here, the pre-dried air passes into an energy-efficient HPSA (Hi-line Pressure Swing Adsorption) dryer where it is further dried via adsorption to lower dewpoints of between -20°C PDP and -70°C PDP depending on end-user requirements, meeting Class 2 moisture content in accordance with ISO8573.1. As a point of note, Hi-line can add an Activated Carbon Tower for Class 0 applications.

Hi-Plex regeneration takes place by deploying a vacuumed-assisted fan, which uses a reduced amount of purge air to cause a desorption effect within the desiccant beds. A side-channel vacuum pump removes the small amount of remaining water (via exhaust silencers) back to the atmosphere from where it came. This plug and play system is fully automatic: wet air in – dry air out.

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Importantly, Hi-Plex high-performance dual technology dryers typically run at only 1-2% purge in comparison with 13-15% on a standard desiccant air dryer. Even more savings are achievable following the specification of Hi-line’s optional AEMS (Automatic Energy Management System) for dewpoint control. AEMS features a digital dewpoint readout, high-humidity alarm, and set and demand regeneration function. As a result, customers can ensure they only use a minimal amount of energy to achieve dewpoints at any given time. In total, energy savings of over 70% are achievable compared with a conventional desiccant dryer, offering far quicker return on investment (ROI).

Every Hi-Plex dual technology dryer is application-specific, but built from standard off-the-shelf Hi-line products. The company adds all the components, stainless steel pipework and filtration to a compact skid at its UK headquarters and manufacturing facility in Burton-upon-Trent. Hi-line will happily cater for any special requirements, such as even smaller footprint or lower height dimension to fit inside a low-ceiling compressor house, for example. The company can also facilitate connection to customer software or a BMS (Building Management System).

 This article also featured in the December/Jan issue below




Finally, a better way to save on compressed air

Subtitle: The new Fluke ii900 Sonic Industrial Imager pinpoints compressed air leaks in minutes to reduce utility bills and maximize productivity


The U.S. Department of Energy states that compressed air accounts for 10% of the electricity used in the U.S. It’s no wonder that utilities, industry, and government all target compressed air systems as a potential source of cost savings. 

The Fluke™ ii900 Sonic Industrial Imager enables maintenance teams to quickly — and visually — pinpoint the location of compressed air, gas, and vacuum system leaks even during peak production periods. Leaks can be detected in a matter of minutes

With minimal training, technicians can identify compressed air leaks considerably faster than using traditional diagnostic methods. Now checking for air leaks can be performed during the typical maintenance routine.

An array of microphones combined with the new SoundSight™ technology, the handheld Fluke ii900 Sonic Industrial Imager filters out background noise so maintenance teams can accurately locate leaks in compressed air systems, even in the noisiest environments.

Inspect an entire plant in hours

The seven-inch LCD touchscreen overlays a SoundMap™ on a visual image for quick leak location identification. The straightforward, intuitive interface allows technicians to isolate the sound frequency of the leak to filter out loud background noise. In a matter of hours, the team can inspect the entire plant – during peak operations. Images can be saved and exported for reporting purposes.

Acoustic imaging combined with industrial diagnostics

The Fluke ii900 was designed in partnership with Sorama, an Eindhoven-based company specializing in noise control and sound analysis solutions. The combination of Sorama’s long history and expertise in acoustic imaging and Fluke’s leadership in diagnostic industrial test and measurement equipment lead to the creation a tool that has the durability and usability required for industrial maintenance applications.

How much could a company save if you could see sound? Watch the video.

For more information on the Fluke ii900 Sonic Industrial Imager visit

British Compressed Air Society encourages further compressed air energy-saving measures as Energy Bill Relief Scheme launches

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) welcomes the Government’s new Energy Bill Relief Scheme, which comes into effect from tomorrow, the 1st of October - but is encouraging compressed air users to also act now to minimise their compressed air energy consumption for the long-term through a series of low-cost measures.

With 10% of all the energy consumed by industry used to compress air, any Government programmes which can help mitigate for the unprecedented rise in the cost of business energy are very welcome, says Vanda Jones, Executive Director at BCAS.

“The scheme will apply automatic discounts to the price of business energy usage initially between 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023.[1] While this will offer some relief to manufacturers and operators already struggling with soaring bills, the six-month time frame may not be sufficient to assist many end-users in the medium to longer term.

"Indeed, the cap still means that electricity prices for business customers will be around double the price per megawatt hour compared to this time last year.  Add to this the fact that generating compressed air can be very energy-intensive, representing as much as 30 per cent of a site's total electricity bill, and it is well worth operators considering further energy saving measures to help reduce their energy consumption, and therefore the cost burden further."

Earlier this year, BCAS launched its 10% Taskforce campaign, designed to encourage compressed air users to take simple steps to cut their compressed air energy figure by 10 per cent, by reducing wasteful and inefficient practices.  Vanda Jones continues:

"At the time we launched the campaign in April this year, we could not have predicted the huge rise in the wholesale gas and electricity prices. Our original calculations of £485.43 million being spent in wasted electricity have now risen two or even three-fold - meaning that the assistance now being offered through the Energy Bill Relief Scheme is vital.

"Since the launch, our members have been speaking with customers to encourage them to take action and to dispel some of the commonly-held beliefs that saving energy will require significant investment in new capital equipment.

"We have been demonstrating to operators that taking small, incremental steps can have a significant impact on reducing energy consumption.  This can include better housekeeping routines to avoid wasteful practices, fixing air pipework leaks, recovering heat which would otherwise be lost to the atmosphere, or implementing routine system maintenance."

The Society has a dedicated website at containing a host of end users hints and tips of simple ways that compressed air energy consumption can be reduced.  Free, downloadable guides are available ( as well as an area highlighting real examples of energy-saving measures that customers have implemented.

Businesses looking for further information and advice on ways to reduce compressed air energy consumption can contact their local BCAS member or visit



Teledyne FLIR Debuts Extech RH600 Dew Point Meter for Compressed Air Systems


Accurately Measure and Log Dew Point Data to Improve Manufacturing Quality and Performance

GOLETA, Calif. – Sept. 27, 2022
 ― Teledyne FLIR, part of Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, today announced the Extech RH600 Dew Point Meter for accurate and fast dew point temperature measurement primarily positioned to prevent problems associated with water vapor in compressed air systems.
As part of a predictive maintenance program in manufacturing environments, the Extech RH600 provides measurement down to -50°C (-58°F) with an accuracy of ±2 °C (±3.6 °F) over the entire range pressure, up to 20 bar. The Extech RH600 is ideal for monitoring dew point across long periods of time, including for monitoring switch behavior within the drying process and better optimizing energy consumption.

“For inspectors who require the convenience and freedom to inspect multiple positions within a compressed air system, the Extech RH600 provides the ideal form factor at a competitive price to capture accurate readings and then data log that information as part of an integrated predictive maintenance program,” said Rob Milner, director of business development, Teledyne FLIR. “The Extech RH600 is also optimal for low-humidity measurement with high accuracy, but should the sensor get wet, it can withstand the condensation and fully recover for future use.”
The included RH601 dew point probe provides accuracy and long-term stability. Users can directly insert the probe sensor into the compressed air system through a G half-inch thread, ensuring reliable readings with increased peace of mind, knowing the probe will dry quickly after moisture contact. The highly sensitive probe provides inspectors the ability to measure relative humidity at less than 5 percent and with high accuracy (±0.025 percent).

Data Logging for Predictive Maintenance
Users can easily monitor dew point on the built-in color graphical display with a menu-based user interface. They can program high/low set points for temperature as well as relatively humidity and dew point with visual and audible alarms. The device also enables logging and transferring up to 32,000 datasets to a PC in CVS format via a USB cable connection. The easy data transfer provides inspectors all key datapoints to create inspection reports for colleagues and clients, as well as to integrate the data into broader predictive maintenance initiatives that consolidate and analyze data across multiple inspection types and equipment.

The Extech RH600 consists of the RH601 dew point probe, AC adapter, micro-USB-to-USB-A cable, a 3.7 V Li-ion battery, and a hard case for storage. For more information, including availability and pricing by region, visit

BCAS - Industry-first as BCAS announces the first Compressed Air and Vacuum Technician Apprentice during #NAW22

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) is delighted to announce the first candidate to be enrolled on the new Compressed Air and Vacuum Technician (CAVT) apprenticeship.
Owen Webb, from Alton Compressor Services Limited (Alton) in Fareham has begun his training to coincide with this year’s National Apprenticeship Week and is the first young engineer in the UK to benefit from the scheme.
Owen’s training will be delivered by Semester Learning and Development (Semester), also the first provider in the UK to run the apprenticeship.  Using its proven online learning platform, Owen can train around his other work commitments.  Scott Margison, Managing Director of Semester explains:
“Following conversations with both the BCAS Training and Development Committee as well as the team at Alton, we could see the value that the CAVT apprenticeship would offer. In particular, how it could meet the urgent market requirement to develop specific skills related to compressed and vacuum systems.
“We are therefore proud to be the first training provider to offer the new CAVT apprenticeship and are really looking forward to working with Owen as he progresses through the variety of modules.  Our online delivery means that he can work flexibly, and at a pace which fits around his work schedule.
“Owen will benefit from a dedicated course tutor, alongside individual subject experts and an NVQ assessor.”
Commenting further, Jordan Sainsbury, Managing Director at Alton added:
“Owen started with us in October last year and initially, we were looking at a number of engineering training courses to help with his training and development. However, none of these offered any in-depth insight into the field of pneumatics, or the specifics of our industry. 
“So, when we learnt about the new CAVT apprenticeship, we were really keen to find a provider that would be able to deliver the training.  Scott and the team at Semester have been really enthusiastic throughout the process and we are all so proud that Owen will be the first person in the UK to kickstart the scheme!”
“Working in a family-run business like ours and managing multiple priorities can make it more difficult to schedule training.  The online approach really suits us.  Owen can schedule his apprenticeship modules around the daily demands of a busy service and engineering department.  We can’t wait to see how he progresses!”
During the three-year apprenticeship, candidates will learn how to commission compressed air and/or vacuum equipment and their associated systems, alongside service and maintenance, fault diagnosis, repair and system optimisation.
The course will also include the development of transferrable skills, which can be provided via BCAS training courses including working safely with compressed air and compressed air treatment technology to name a few.
The final two years will be more focused on developing the key engineering skills required by the industry, including installation, commissioning, service and repair of compressed air and vacuum systems.
Roy Brooks, Technical Development Officer at BCAS added:
"We are delighted that Owen will be undertaking the new apprenticeship, helping to plug the skills shortage of qualified engineers. The standard ensures that upon successful completion, the apprentice achieves a national apprenticeship, academic qualifications and may apply for the professional recognition of EngTech with The Society of Operations Engineers.
“We look forward to seeing how Owen progresses, paving the way for the latest generation of compressed air and vacuum technicians.”
To learn more about the CAVT apprenticeship and to view the full occupational standard, visit
To learn more about Alton, visit


Fox Thermal has begun a free educational webinar program designed to discuss technology, applications, and product solutions for industrial, wastewater, chemical processing, oil & gas, biogas, and many other markets.  

The first in this series will focus on compressed air systems and the leaks that cost facilities tens of thousands of dollars a year in utility expenses.  

BCAS urges best practice compressed air guidance is maintained during lockdown

The British Compressed Air Society (BCAS) is urging manufacturers and processors to adhere to best practice guidance concerning the treatment, quality and maintenance of compressed air, during this period of lockdown.

The BCAS technical helpline is receiving an increasing number of enquiries during the Coronavirus pandemic from end-users concerned that their compressed air supply is adequately protected and seeking advice to ensure that there can be no risk from airbourne contaminants.

Award-winning screw blowers installed at Charles Brand wastewater facility

ems sept 19 32Award-winning screw blowers installed at Charles Brand wastewater facility

Gardner Denver distributor Team Air Power has delivered a bespoke compressed air solution that is predicted to generate approximately 30 per cent in annual savings for the Kinnegar wastewater treatment plant operated by Charles Brand, a leading provider of tailored water and wastewater solutions.

NEW PRODUCT: Dual Point Mini Cooler for Cooling Small Parts and Tools

ems july 19 22 2EXAIR’s new Mini Cooler with Dual Point Hose Kit provides a stream of 20°F (-7°C) cold air to prevent heat buildup, reduce downtime and increase productivity. It is effective on small machining operations to eliminate burning, melting and heat related breakage. The dual point option allows the cold air outlet to be directed at two different spots when cooling larger diameter tools, cooling two separate points or opposite sides of a material or process. Single Point systems are also available.

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