FS-Curtis Air Compressor Blog

Should I purchase a refrigerated or desiccant compressed air dryer?

Posted by John Rehg

Apr 14, 2015 7:32:00 AM

Here's a hint…dew point          


Purchasing a refrigerated or desiccant air dryer is dependent on the acceptable moisture content or dew point requirement for your application.

Refrigerated air dryers are typically adequate for general purpose compressed air applications and will typically offer anywhere from a 35-40 F dew point. Cost is typically much less than that of other drying technologies. Refrigerated dryers use a refrigeration compressor and heat exchanger to cool the compressed air and remove moisture. There are two types of refrigerated dryers. The first type is cycling, which is the more energy efficient option and typically used for higher flows. The other and less expensive option is non-cycling. It is typically recommended to install a pre-filter to remove bulk liquids, oil and particulates to maximize the life of the dryer

Desiccant compressed air dryers are typically used when your application requires very dry compressed air or when the compressed air supply will run outside in cold environments. Desiccant dryers can achieve dew points as low as -100. This type of dryer typically has twin towers and passes the compressed air through a tower that is filled with desiccant. The desiccant attracts the moisture during the timed cycle and then purges, which releases the moisture to the atmosphere. While one tower is drying, the other is purging and regenerating.

This type of dryer does use a portion of the dried compressed air as part of the purge cycle so you need to be sure to supply enough compressed air to supply for both your demand and the purge requirement.

The different types of desiccant dryers can include  non-heated, heated purge and blower purge. The blower purge option uses the least amount of purged air and is the most expensive.  A pre- and after-filter should always be used with this type of dryer.

For more information on how to choose the correct compressed dryer visit the Air Treatment page of our website http://us.fscurtis.com/products/?c=7 or download our product brochures below.

                                     Click Here To Download         Click Here To Download         Click Here To Download        Click Here To Download

Click to Download Brochure Information

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Topics: Dryers

DemandSmart Flow Controller Saves PSI, Energy and Money in Your Air Compressor System

Posted by John Rehg

Apr 6, 2015 10:11:00 AM



Why Do I Need a Flow Controller if I

Already Have a Pressure Regulator?


The Money Savings Payoff with a DemandSmart Flow Controller


The main inefficiency in only using a pressure regulator as oppowed to the DemandSmart Flow Controller system is in the mechanical losses. Often times a pressure regulator will experience a 10 psig mechanical loss through it. Why? Many pressure regulators are designed to operate by a spring applying pressure against a diaphragm. Ten psig air pressure is applied to the spring to collapse it enough to start opening the valve. This 10 psig is wasted energy for as long as air is flowing through the pressure regulator. It is NO different than having a 10 psig drop across an inline air filter.  A 10 psig restriction to air flow equals an increase of 5% energy back at the air compressor. See our blog post on how to save energy and money by conducting a simple air audit on your air compressor system. 


Many of us have experienced this pressure regulator inefficiency. For example, how many times have we set a pressure regulator at 100 psig, then walked over to an impact gun or paint sprayer only to see the pressure drop to 90 psig. The pressure regulator is then set to 110 psig to maintain 100 psig during air tool operation.

A properly designed Flow controller should only have a 2 psig or less mechanical loss during operation. Its feature & benefits are as follows:

  • Ensure a reliable stable source of air is available to production. Point-of-use air consuming equipment operates more consistently.
  • Reduction in waste and inefficiencies due to leaks and unregulated air use (artificial demand).
  • Allow consumption savings to translate into real dollar cost savings. Consumption is reduced proportionally to the reduction in air pressure.
  • True storage is created in an air system through pressure differential.
  • Air treatment equipment is protected from compressed air high velocities. This helps maintain the compressed air quality.
  • A reduction in air pressure improves the air quality by lowering the moisture dew point through expansion of the compressed air.

Click the DOWNLOAD link to get a copy of the DemandSmart product literature.  DemandSmart Flow Controller Saves PSI Pressure in Air Compressor System Demand Smart Flow Controller saves PSI and money in your air compressor system


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THIS IS NO APRIL FOOL'S JOKE. Stay tuned for more...

Posted by John Rehg

Apr 1, 2015 5:42:22 AM

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Using Rotary Air Compressors in Your Automotive Shop May be Costing You Money

Posted by John Rehg

Mar 11, 2015 3:40:00 PM

There has been a trend in recent years to promote the use of rotary screw air compressors in autocare applications due to the fact that reciprocating technology is perceived as “dated” and rotary as “cutting edge.” Rotary technology is also much quieter than recip technology, which increases the perceived value of rotary machines. It’s true that rotary technology is newer and quieter than recip, however, the initial cost for a rotary machine is typically 50% more than an UltraPack recip machine, regardless of whether it’s right for the job or not. In addition, there are several hidden costs associated with rotary machines that need to be considered before deciding which one is the best fit for your application:

  • Maintenance Costs  – Some manufacturers have mistakenly led customers to believe that recip machines are more expensive to maintain than rotary machines by stating that there is “easier” or “less” maintenance involved in rotary.  While it is true that rotary maintenance intervals (typically 2000 hours or one year, whichever comes first) are longer than recip maintenance intervals (typically 3 or 6 months), the cost of the consumables makes rotary maintenance 2 to 3 times that of recip over a 5 year period.  See the table below for two typical machines which details this cost comparison:
  • Misapplications – One of the great advantages of rotary technology is that it loves to run all the time. So if you have an application requiring a continuous use of air, and you size the compressor appropriately, a rotary machine will perform well without overheating. But, this strength becomes a weakness if a rotary machine is mis-applied.

o   Intermittent demand – If a rotary machine is placed in an application where demand fluctuates greatly, it will be underutilized during periods of low demand. This will cause the rotary machine to “short cycle” – i.e., the machine will not run long enough to build up the temperatures required in the airend to burn off water vapor in the oil. When a machine short cycles, it can lead to: premature fouling of internal filtration and downstream components; to pre-mature airend failure; and potentially to motor failure if an electronic controller or timer is not used to ensure that the machine does not start and stop too often. All of these potential issues add up to extra maintenance and/or replacement costs for misapplied rotaries. In addition, these things may void a manufacturer’s warranty, leaving the end-user to bear the burden of all costs.

o   Importance of sizing – If a rotary machine is oversized to account for future growth or simply as an insurance policy to make sure enough air is supplied to a customer, all of the issues outlined above come into play.  An oversized machine will almost surely short-cycle and lead to increased maintenance and service issues.

o   Cost of extra tank if flexibility is needed – If a rotary machine is misapplied, one of the ways to fix the application is to provide a larger storage buffer by adding a remote stand-alone tank, which will cause the compressor to run longer and achieve the required operating temperature.  While this can be an effective solution, it adds extra cost to some rotary applications that should be considered up front.

o   Bleeding air to atmosphere – Another solution to short-cycling is to bleed air to atmosphere if there is not enough demand.  This requires extra equipment and also means that the customer is spending money to compress air that is literally vented into the air instead of being put to work in the shop. Although this can be an effective solution, it again adds costs that should be considered up-front.

  • Re-builds – While rotary airends typically are designed to last twice as long as the best recip pumps, it costs a great deal to have them repaired or re-built, and in some cases, it is not possible to do so. So if a rotary machine is misapplied and the airend fails prematurely, the cost of the re-build will dwarf the cost of re-building a piston compressor.

Bottom line: While rotary machines are great in many applications, it pays to do some homework upfront to make sure a rotary makes sense in your application. At a minimum, check the following before buying a rotary machine for your shop:

  1. Make sure it’s the right size – A walk-through assessment of your shop is the best way to tell what size you need. If that option isn’t available, a simple pump-up test may suffice. If math is not your strong suit and you don’t have access to assessment equipment, work with a local air compressor expert to determine what is the appropriate size.
  2. Make sure your demand profile is appropriate – Basically this means ensuring that air demand is consistent enough to warrant a rotary machine. Again, a walk-through assessment is a great way to determine this, but engaging a local air expert is a good backup.
  3. And finally, once you buy the machine, make sure that it’s installed and maintained on a regular basis by a qualified rotary screw service center.

Rotary or Recip? The choice is yours. But an educated decision could save you some money.

Click this link to learn more about choosing the right recip compressor for your needs: http://us.fscurtis.com/products/?c=1 or click on the brochure image to receive free product information.

               Click to Download Brochure Information

Click Here To Download ML_Group

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Topics: Recip vs. Rotary


Posted by John Rehg

Mar 5, 2015 6:29:00 AM


If your operation is looking for ways to cut costs and save money, start with your compressed air system. These systems have come a long way in a few short years, presenting the opportunity to maximize your air system and save energy (MONEY!). The first step in identifying these opportunities within your own compressed air system, and the most effective way to identify and verify these opportunities, is to do a simple walk-through assessment. If your system is like most, there are a lot of “low hanging fruit” opportunities that, if attended to properly, can save you several hundreds of dollars, maybe several thousands of dollars. The time it takes to do the assessment is well worth the effort.


  1. Artificial Demand
  • One of the most wasteful and expensive uses of compressed air is artificial demand. Artificial demand is defined by an air leak(s) in the piping system. Air leaks fool the air compressor into thinking that it needs to use more air than it actually does, but in reality the air is leaking into the atmosphere and causing the air compressor to continue to run unnecessarily. This artificial demand can be very expensive and costly to the compressed air system, and your wallet.

Please see Compressed Air Leak chart to calculate how much money you could be saving every day.


  1. System Pressure
  • Pressure in the pipe can be regulated to the demand side of the compressed air system with regulators or flow controllers. Pressure in the supply side can be controlled by the controller on the rotary air compressor or the pressure switch on the reciprocating air compressor. The lower the pressure that can be utilized in the production side or demand side, the lower the energy costs. Savings can be utilized by lowering the pressure and saving 1% in energy cost for every 2 PSI. Reducing system pressure also can have a cascading effect in improving overall system performance, reducing leakage rates and helping with capacity and other problems. Reduced pressure also reduces stress on components and operating equipment, making them last longer.
  1. Controls and System Performance are at the Heart of Energy Savings
  • Few air systems operate at full-load all of the time. Part-load performance is therefore critical and is primarily influenced by compressor type and control strategy. The type of control specified for a given system is largely determined by the type of compressor being used and the facility's demand profile. If a system has a single compressor with a very steady demand, a simple control system may be appropriate. On the other hand, a complex system with multiple compressors, varying demand, and many types of end uses will require a more sophisticated strategy. In any case, careful consideration should be given to both compressor and system control selection because they can be the most important factors affecting system performance and efficiency.
  1. Misuse of Air
  • Compressed air is probably the most expensive form of energy available in a plant. Compressed air is also clean, readily available and simple to use. As a result, compressed air is often chosen for applications for which other energy sources are more economical. Users should always consider more cost-effective forms of power before considering compressed air. Many operations can be accomplished more economically using alternative energy sources. Inappropriate uses of compressed air include any application that can be done more effectively or more efficiently by a method other than compressed air. Examples of potentially inappropriate uses of compressed air include:

           • Open blowing

           • Sparging

           • Aspirating

           • Atomizing

           • Padding

           • Vacuum generation

           • Personnel cooling

           • Open hand-held blowguns or lances

           • Diaphragm pumps

           • Cabinet cooling

  1. VFD/GSV Air Compressors
  • Replacing your current fix-speed air compressor with a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) air compressor will increase your energy savings. Most VFD compressors will realize a minimum of 20% to 30% energy savings over a fix- speed compressor. If you operate multiple air compressors, you will want to make one of them a Variable Drive and set it up as a trim machine to maximize the air system and energy savings.
  1. Drains
  • Eliminate Electronic Drain Valves (EDV) and replace with no-loss drains.

Bottom line: saving energy (MONEY!) is about recognizing problem areas and misuses of air in your system and making sure you have the right compressor in place.

Click this link to receive FREE information about how you can start saving energy today: http://info.us.fscurtis.com/demand-smart-flow-controller



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Topics: Energy Savings

NADA 2015 Just Around the Corner

Posted by John Rehg

Dec 30, 2014 5:01:03 PM

Ready to ring in the New Year in San Francisco at the NADA2015 show, January 23-25?! This is one of the best auto related shows of the year and FS-Curtis will be there, in force. Nearly 9,000 people attended last year with 7,900 dealerships represented. 

Come by and check out our booth (6323W) and talk with Matt Smith, our Director of Alternate Channels, along with our knowledgeable auto representatives. Check out our special line of air compressors and see if you can stump our guys with any question you can throw their way.

We’ve hand-picked three of our most popular air compressors for this show based on their reliability, ease of operation and rugged construction, making them top choices and the workhorses of the auto industry.

Our reciprocal MasterLine Series ML7.5 horsepower, UltraPack Duplex comes with all the bells and whistles you’ll ever need: an air-cooled aftercooler, automatic tank drain and an UltraShield five-year, bumper-to-bumper warranty!

If you need more continuous operation in your shop, you’ll want to check out our rotary screw SEG10 UltraPack. This monster is the total compressed air package and comes standard with an 80 gallon tank, dryer and pre-filter.

If these two powerhouses have more oomph than you need and a smaller unit is on your wish list this year, check out our CT Series gas-driven engine air compressors, loaded with a 13-horsepower Honda engine and splash oil lubrication system.

Check out the link below for more details about NADA 2015. See you there!


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Topics: NADA 2015

FS-Curtis Compressed Air Filters - not just for the Paint Booth

Posted by Kent Waldeck

Oct 31, 2014 11:00:00 AM

CT reciprocating air compressorsCFH


FS-Curtis has an entire line of CF Air Filters that can accomplish any filtration need you might have, from removal of bulk liquids (CF11) to particulates (CF7) to Maximum Efficiency Oil Removal up to 0.0008ppm (CF3) and everything in between (CF9, 6, 5, and 1).

A combination of particulate and oil removal filters is necessary for paint professionals that need to have clean, bone dry air, since the quality of their product would be compromised by particulates, such as dust, along with oil and water aerosols.  One bad paint job pays for good filtration many times over.  But that's not the only  place for filters.  Any shop can benefit from the removal of water, oil, and particulates from general shop air.  Basic system-wide filtration ensures longer tool and equipment life and lowers maintenance costs.

The CF Filter series comes in 7 different grades and ranges from 20-21250 SCFM. You can design a filter system that delivers the air quality you need with the efficient performance you desire. Operation and maintenance are a breeze, and the long-lasting filter life and low pressure drop give you outstanding performance.

The CFH High-Temperature Filters go from 100-11400 SCFM. These are for high inlet temperature applications, such as a reciprocating compressor without an aftercooler, the CFH series has you covered. Able to handle temperatures up to 450F, CFH filters feature efficient operation and a low pressure drop for reduced operating costs.

Enjoy the peace of mind of extra protection for your system. FS-Curtis CFE mist eliminators cut energy costs while removing oil and water aerosols from compressed air systems.  The CFE Mist Eliminators go from 125-3000 SCFM.

Click Here!

  Click Here To Download


Learn more about our full range of products by clicking here!


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FS-Curtis at SEMA Show 2014!

Posted by Kent Waldeck

Oct 22, 2014 11:43:15 AM


Headed to SEMA this year? So are we and we have all you need for a complete compressed air system - compressors, dryers, & a variety of filters for both general shop air & final clean-up for automotive refinishing!
Come learn about our compressed air solutions and exciting promotions at Booth #16810!  
Enter to win one of the portable air compressors we'll be giving away daily!
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Compressed Air Piping System Optimization - Save Money!

Posted by Kent Waldeck

Sep 18, 2014 11:17:32 AM


Do you know or understand your compressed air system?  Do you know the effect that each component can have on your production and ultimately on your profits? When it comes to compressed air most people really do not understand their system and how it is a key part of their business. If I asked, “Do you care about your compressed air system?” most want to ignore it, but in reality everyone needs it to be functioning and productive for their operation to be successful. Everyone takes note of their electricity, water and gas.

These are the three primary utilities we all need and use daily.  Most people also have a fairly good understanding of their three primary utility costs. The air compressor and the components that make up the system are termed the fourth utility and most always the utility that gets the least amount of attention. Every compressed air system begins with the compressor and associated components like a refrigerated dryer and in most cases downstream compressed air filtration and maybe a regulator in the most basic of systems.

One area that is overlooked even more than the compressor system is the piping system. As with any of the above mentioned components the piping system in a facility can greatly impact the production and profitability in any shop or plant.

When looking at any piping system it is very important to design the system with efficiency in mind as well as all locations where drops will be required for the immediate needs as well as some thought as far as future needs. The purpose of the compressed air piping system is to deliver compressed air to the distribution points of usage. The compressed air needs to be delivered with enough volume or flow (CFM), with the appropriate quality a user requires, and the correct pressure (PSI) to properly power the components that will use the compressed air. Compressed air is costly to produce. A poorly designed compressed air system can increase energy costs, promote equipment failure, reduce production efficiencies, and increase maintenance requirements. These are key factors as to why one should put emphasis on the piping system within their facility. As mentioned previously the compressed air system is the Fourth Utility within your plant or garage or shop and the piping system is part of this system in a key way.

Click below to download a free white paper and learn more about how you can optimize you piping system to ultimately save money and reduce production losses!


Free White Paper! Compressed Air Piping Layout and Savings CLICK HERE!


Click here to learn more about our Connect Piping System!

Check out this short video on FS-Curtis' Connect Piping System and see why it's the most affordable and easy to use piping system available today!





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Understanding Lifecycle Costs for Oilfree Air Compressor Technologies

Posted by Kent Waldeck

Aug 14, 2014 12:16:33 PM


Do you have an application that requires oilfree air?  Overwhelmed by the different technologies and have a hard time understanding the full cost of ownership?  The initial purchase price of an oilfree rotary screw air compressor is only a portion of the total cost of ownership over the life of the compressor.
Download this detailed white paper to learn more about the differences in the cost of ownership for oilfree rotary screw air compressors specifically and how the savings over the life of the compressor add up!

Free White Paper! Understanding Lifecycle  Costs for Oilfree  Air Compressor  Technologies CLICK HERE!


And for more details on the FS-Curtis ZW Series Oilfree Rotary Screw product line click here!

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