Standard Cubic Feet per Minute (SCFM) or Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) is the volume of air that a compressor can deliver at specific PSI levels. A compressor with a higher CFM rating can deliver more air. However, a high CFM rating does not mean better air compression. Higher CFM essentially indicates that the compressor can generate high volumes of air, making it more suitable for larger setups.
Key Aspects of CFM and Duty Cycles for Air Compressor
While the CFM rating tells you the amount of airflow or air volume that the compressor can supply to your pneumatic tools, it is important to avoid investing in a compressor that is:
- Oversized: Given that compressed air accounts for nearly 10% of the total electricity usage in your manufacturing facility, look at options that do not eat into your space, fuel, and energy costs.
- Undersized: An undersized air compressor will supply insufficient airflow to the pneumatic tools or equipment, resulting in frequent breakdowns and increased wear and tear of your equipment. Higher the downtime, the greater the impact on your bottom line.
One of the other most important elements besides the CFM rating is the duty cycle of the air compressor. Basically, duty cycle is the amount of time a compressor will supply pressurized air within a total cycle time. For example, in a cycle time of 120 seconds:
- Compressors with a 50/50 duty cycle will run for 60 seconds and then pause for 60 seconds before running again. These compressors are generally considered ideal for small or medium scale operations that require intermittent air power.
- Compressors with a 100% duty cycle will run the entire time and will feature a cooling component that prevents overheating during the nonstop pressurization. These machines are better suited for large factory setups, where several pneumatic tools may need continuous airflow for an extended period of time.
n addition to the total CFM requirements and duty cycle ratings, take into consideration the psi levels, receiver tank size, motor horsepower, and other such critical factors while selecting a suitable air compressor for your processes.
Reliable Compressed Air Systems from Trident Compressed Air
If you are designing or upgrading your compressed air system, it is important to understand two key aspects:
- How and when will your production process use the compressed air?
- How much total air do you need?
Accurate estimation of these two factors will help you make the right choices for the compressors, tanks, air treatment products and other components of the compressed air system.
At Trident Compressed Air LTD, our qualified and experienced technicians perform systematic air audits to draw up a proper air demand profile for your facility. Besides an extensive range of compressed air products, we provide a host of design, engineering and installation services, backed by a prompt and knowledgeable customer support team.
Still have questions about CFM ratings for air compressors? Please contact our office at (519) 737-9905 or fill out our online form to know more. Our service department is on call 24 hours a day and we are eager to help answer any questions or concerns you may have about your equipment.