A Chinese textile mill provides a prime example of how air filtration improvements can have a significant impact on overall system efficiency. Air filters should be viewed as an important part of the filtration "ecosystem", which also includes oil filters and air-oil separators. Performance improvements to one filtration component have a direct impact on the performance of the other filtration components.

1. Air is fed into the compressor through the inlet filter
2. The separator element removes almost all residual oil mist
3. The unit discharges clean, dry compressed air with little oil residue 3.
4.-5. The pre-separated oil is cooled and filtered before being recirculated
6. The air-oil mixture flows into a separation vessel where the initial separation removes most of the oil 7.
7. The coalesced oil is returned to the air line through a discharge tube
8. Oil is injected into the air stream to absorb heat, lubricate, and seal clarity
9. Compression occurs in the air section

The impact of filtration components on each other can be seen by considering the effect of the air filter on the life of the air-oil separator. A high-quality air filter results in a slower increase in restriction in the air-oil separator, thus supporting the longevity of the air-oil separator and reducing the pressure drop across components. Pressure drop robs the compressor of efficiency; in other words, the same amount of electricity produces less compressed air energy when a pressure drop occurs. An additional pressure drop of just 1 psi essentially reduces compressor output by about 0.5 percent.

While results at individual sites may vary depending on the presence of contaminants, the filters currently in use, and other similar variables, most factories that currently use low-efficiency air filters such as traditional cellulose filters, can benefit from selecting a high-efficiency, high-performance air filter. In addition to textile mills, other industries that can benefit from high-quality filtration include concrete plants, wood processing plants, and virtually any other facility where dust and particulates are present. The important thing to remember is that a system is only as good as its weakest part, and the entire ecosystem should be considered when choosing filtration equipment. The Donaldson team can help you find an ecosystem-based solution for your unique system needs.