Three Proven Ways to Improve your Compressed Air System

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Three Proven Ways to Improve your Compressed Air System BayControls Banner Image

Though every facility is set up differently and can run into compressed air issues that are particular to the facility itself, there are common problems that plague many industrial companies with their compressed air systems.

The good news is that these problems are fixable.

Here are three examples that show you how data collection helped our clients identify three ways to improve their compressed air system.

Hopefully, you will gather some ideas about different ways you can improve your compressed air system as well!


1) General Motors: Automated Air System Monitoring & Scheduling 

General Motor Corp.’s Romulus Powertrain plant in Romulus, Mich., relies on compressed air for production at its sprawling, 1.4-million-square facility.  It uses compressed air to power assembly lines and to remove excess material in the machining process.

When GM recently a prioritized a need to improve the efficiency of the plant compressed air system, they turned to us for a comprehensive solution.


  • Air power was provided by eight independently operator compressors from different manufacturers.
  • Each compressor retained its OEM-installed control system, with no capability to communicate or work in tandem with the other compressors.
  • Compressors worked separately via manual controls, leading to:
    • Inefficient compressor operation
    • Inability to match the compressor output to production demands
    • Excessive compressor run time


  • Bay Controls replaced the OEM controls on each compressor. Then we linked the units in a network controlled and monitored by a centralized software system, installing a BayView Server and BayView Scheduler.


  • Plant personnel can program their compressors’ operating schedule to meet production demands.
  • The logged data creates automated compressor operation schedule that matches the air supply with the plant air demand.
  • Plant personnel can control all of their air compressors as a single, unified and networked system.
  • The plant can maintain consistent, desired pressure setpoints and improve the operating efficiency of their compressed air system.
  • They can accurately synchronize compressed air production with demand.

–>Learn more by checking out the case study here.

2) Air Flow Industrial Air Solutions: Air Compressor Control Upgrade 

Air Flow Industrial Air Solutions, an air compressor sales and service company in Greensboro, North Carolina, recently asked us to collaborate on a challenging project for one of its major manufacturing customers.

This customer was looking to replace their Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) on multiple air compressors that power machinery in its two-million-square-foot production facility.

They requested a quote from us based on their satisfaction with a Bay Controls unit that Air Flow Industrial Air Solutions had installed earlier to replace an irreparable OEM control on a single compressor.


  • The unreliable performance of its existing PLCs was causing the facility to experience unacceptable downtime and productivity disruptions.
  • The units, based on older technology, did not offer the necessary precision to maintain the desired air pressure consistently.
  • As a result, the compressors were essentially “fighting” each other rather than operating in sync.
  • Furthermore, the compressors could not easily adapt to sudden changes in demand, which hampered overall productivity.


  • After weighing all options, the customer decided that Bay Controls air compressor controls would best meet its critical need for reliability and reduced downtime in its manufacturing operation.
  • After retrofitting their air compressors with our compressor controls, associated instrumentation such as pressure transmitters, Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTDs) and temperature transmitters were installed.


  • The updated control units monitor pressure from all of the compressors; if one drops below a predetermined set point, another comes online immediately.
  • The units respond quickly to sudden demand swings, preventing a loss of system pressure.
  • The new units enable the system to run at a reduced system pressure, which has vastly improved energy efficiency.

–>Learn more by checking out the case study here.


3) Fiat Chrysler Automobiles: Networking Air Compressors

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Kokomo Casting Plant in Kokomo, Indiana, produces die cast aluminum automotive components, transmission and transaxle cases, and engine block castings for the merged international automaker.

At its current size of 625,000 square feet covering 35 acres, the plant claims status as the world’s largest die cast facility. Also, compressed air is a major energy consumer at the Kokomo plant.

The Kokomo plant was one of only two Chrysler facilities that were not yet using Bay Controls compressor controls, which were standard at all other Chrysler production facilities.

The goal at Kokomo was to duplicate the energy savings achieved at the other plants by installing Bay Controls equipment.


  • The plant has five centrifugal compressors that feed the same air header from three separate locations spaced out over nearly a quarter of a mile.
  • They all operated independently, causing less than ideal system-wide pressure fluctuations.
  • The system pressure was maintained at about 104 psi, with individual compressors often set higher to provide enough air for the demanding die-casting process.


  • We installed Bay Controls equipment (controllers).
  • Then we networked and configured all the units to operate as a single system.
  • We also installed on-site and cloud-monitoring systems.


  • We reduced the overall system pressure to 99.5 psi without impacting the production process.
  • The compressors performed as an integrated system instead of as a collection of isolated units. Thus, air pressure no longer fluctuated dramatically during production periods.
  • Plant personnel can now control and monitor compressed air system from their desks with BayView.
  • They also see compressors’ key performance data – including energy consumption – from remote locations.
  • They have access to full automation capabilities and air pressure consistency across the entire plant.
  • The plant consumes significantly less energy.

–>Learn more by checking out the case study here.


These are just some of many examples of different compressed air systems, the common challenges that these companies faced, and different ways we addressed them.

Check out our project profiles for more examples of companies in industries like you and see how their systems were transformed through actionable data and other energy savings tools and insights.

Lastly, if you have any specific questions about your compressed air system, let us know! We can serve as your partner and identify customized ways to improve your system’s overall performance.

Have you ever run into any of these issues with your compressed air systems?

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