‘Class 0’ compressed air from Rand-Air drives automotive production processes

An essential component to national economic growth, South Africa’s automotive industry is inextricably linked to various upstream and downstream production processes, which require ‘clean-room’, immaculate manufacturing and assembly conditions, to ensure exceptional final products.

As an integral part of the automotive manufacturing process, the use of compressed air is present throughout – from vehicle assembly to the premium paint finishes on components. The quality of this compressed air should be absolutely pure, and completely oil-and-contaminant-free.

Considering this vital requirement, the spray painting division of an automotive manufacturing customer recently required the hire of reliable, easy-to-use and – most importantly – oil-free compressor equipment.

By specialising in the provision of Atlas Copco Class 0 oil-free compressor rental solutions locally, Rand-Air – an established leader in the field of air, nitrogen, power, flow (pumps), steam boiler and lighting solutions, and part of the global Atlas Copco Specialty Rental division – could meet the customer’s demand with ease.

“This new hire to a long-standing customer required a definitive solution, in the form of our Class 0 oil-free compressors,” says sales representative Marinda Enslin, who collaborated closely with the customer to ensure that their requirements were met in record time, with a swift and efficient delivery.

“High-quality, clean, oil-free and totally dry compressed air is indispensable when used to propel paint through paint guns or robots onto the clean surfaces of automotive components,” Enslin points out.

“However, compressed air from oil-injected compressors can contain or produce small oil residues or oil vapour; as well as other contaminants, such as water vapour or condensate, and dust particles. The presence of these contaminants can adversely affect the painting process and other related applications, by causing damage to equipment,” she advises. 

Contaminated air can result in the prevention of paint adhesion to parts – which in turn can result in paint cracking, surface beading, chipping, or other detrimental effects to finishes. Notably, these can also contribute to corrosion issues in the future. 

Therefore, in order to secure continuous operations with the compressed air quality required by the customer, Rand-Air’s strategic and cost-efficient solution included the supply of two oil-free compressors – one PTE 1500 electric-driven compressor and one PTS 1600 diesel-driven compressor as a temporary, yet effective solution.

In compliance with the stringent ISO 8573-1:2010 certification, Rand-Air’s oil-free compressors provide a guaranteed and stable oil-free and dry air supply – which eliminates contamination risks – and also lowers total cost-of-ownership (TCO). 

“Given that these compressors are critical to the customer’s applications, they not only achieved significant savings, but maintained uptime following a smooth operational transition – with rewarding results,” Enslin points out.

Features of Rand-Air’s range of Atlas Copco portable air compressors include the choice of either diesel or electric models, according to customers’ requirements.

Supported by Rand-Air’s continuous commitment to exceptional customer service, the company ensures 24/7 technical assistance is available if required; as well as preventative maintenance by qualified technicians every three weeks for optimal performance for the duration of the hire. 

“Should a breakdown on one of our compressors occur without being resolved within a day, we will immediately supply a new oil-free compressor. Moreover, all parts and services are included in the price, at no additional cost,” Enslin stresses. 

She adds that during long-term hires, the equipment can also be adapted as per customer requirements, to meet new or changing performance targets.

“By swiftly offering the correct, brand-new oil-free compressors which, in conjunction with free-standing driers will not only keep the air dry, but absolutely pure, we made agility count in our customer’s operation, to their complete satisfaction. 

This resulted in the customer choosing us to meet their additional future demand,” Enslin enthuses.

Consequently, this hire will be enhanced by the supply of the latest technologically-advanced oil-free compressors and driers to the customer. The additional hire includes two Atlas Copco oil-free ZT 160 STD compressors, one ZT 160 VSD (variable speed drive) oil-free compressor and three Atlas Copco BD 400+ desiccant driers, which will be delivered by the end of this year.

“Differentiating our rental solutions is Rand-Air’s reputation as a well-known, respected and trusted industrial brand for the past 48 years, an extensive, cutting-edge fleet, and our flexibility and adaptability in addressing any challenge to advance production agility,” Enslin says.  

“These qualities allowed our automotive customer to drive optimal production, with the assurance of sustainable operations which will allow for the best performance possible,” she concludes.