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Leaked: A Guide to Saving you Money on Your Fourth Utility – Air

ems sept 19 22Leaked: A Guide to Saving you Money on Your Fourth Utility – Air

By Andy Batey, Head of Engineering, Brammer Buck & Hickman

On average 10% of all industrial electricity consumption can be attributed to the production of compressed air. Although sounding like a minor issue in your daily operation, a compressed air leak, if not resolved quickly, can become a major issue.

Air leaks are a significant source of lost energy, often wasting as much as 20-30% of your compressor’s output and costing you a significant amount of money.

There are many problems that can be associated with air leaks, some of which include a noticeable drop in system pressure as well as your machinery and tools functioning less efficiently.

Fixing leaks, if caught early, shouldn’t be an issue, but fixing the problem can only be done once you’ve identified where the leak is coming from.
Investing in a regular air leak audit is a small but sensible investment which could save you thousands of pounds.

Usually, as a scheduled routine check, an air leak audit will address all appropriate machinery for leaks, as well as identifying possible changes in your current equipment. In most cases, a good audit will also provide a running report of items examined along with any suggestions to ultimately save you costs.

By using ultrasonic equipment, a good and thorough audit will collect the data whilst the audit provider should prepare a detailed report with a description of the leak. Alongside this, your audit provider should then estimate monetary value per leak, photograph the part or area which is leaking, and suggest a remedial list of parts or actions required to fix the problem.

Magna Exterior Systems is a leading global automotive supplier dedicated to delivering new mobility solutions and technology. Magna Exterior Solutions’ UK plant in Banbury, Oxfordshire invested in a Compressed Air System Audit, provided by Brammer Buck & Hickman.

The system was analysed using ultrasonic technology and a detailed photographic report was provided on any leakage found in the system, showing the location, size and cost of each leak.  The customer’s maintenance crew then took over to address the leaks using the report as a road map.  

“Our technicians went around the plant using these reports and signed each off as they completed the work” states Paul Howard, Energy Improvement Co-Ordinator at Magna Exteriors Systems.  What’s more, we did the same six months later – and every six months from then – and audited the results so we have proof of the success of this approach.  It has really improved our energy efficiency.  Air is one of the most expensive forms of energy.  It’s free to breathe but is very expensive to compress and pressurise!”

At Magna Exterior Systems, the audit resulted in £130k savings over three years. The company has gone from running three compressors full time to two, with the third for back-up.  They are now using just two thirds of the energy and have reduced their servicing costs.

There are further benefits to be had, as Paul explains: “Another useful aspect to this service is the safety data provided.  Compressed air is potentially very dangerous; it can damage equipment and cause serious injury.  Knowing where the potential risks are is important and Brammer Buck & Hickman were able to recommend and provide suitable equipment to address any such issues.”

For more information on Brammer Buck & Hickman’s Air Leak Audits call 0870 240 2100 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..