There are many areas for potential cost savings when it comes to compressed air production and this is especially true for compressed air system monitoring and control. Kaeser's latest generation Sigma Air Manager (SAM) provides users with the transparency and performance required to tap into these savings. An all-in-one master control system and web server, the SAM plays a key role in optimising the availability and energy efficiency of compressor and blower stations alike. The new SAM is now more effective than ever, thanks to its innovative adaptive 3-D-Control.
Efficiency in compressed air production depends on how well the components within the compressor or blower station work together. In essence, the main factors to consider are operational reliability, compressed air availability and energy efficiency.
This is where the Sigma Air Manager (SAM) makes a real difference. With a powerful industrial PC at its core, the SAM not only controls and monitors the system as a whole, but also provides the user with exceptional transparency of operations processes, energy consumption and costs. The latest version uses Kaeser’s innovative and adaptive 3-D-Control (patent-pending) which considers the three crucial factors that affect energy-efficient compressor control within a compressed air station, namely:
- Switching losses associated with compressor start-up and shutdown.
- Additional energy consumption for pressure increases above the required pressure.
- Control losses resulting from idling and FC losses.
In order to ensure optimum performance, the SAM constantly analyses the relationship between these factors, calculates the best possible result and controls the compressors or blowers accordingly. This strategy therefore achieves impressive energy efficiency even with widely fluctuating compressed air demand. An added advantage is that the number of switching operations – i.e. the number of start-ups, load/idling switching sequences, and shutdowns – is also considerably reduced.
Featuring Kaeser’s new adaptive 3-D-Control technology, the SAM also strives to deliver best possible pressure performance values. The decisive factor of course is that the system pressure, in so far as possible, should not fall below the prescribed pressure required by the application. One of the main problems in maintaining the necessary pressure using control processes up until now stems from the system-inherent lag in the reaction of compressors and blowers - this is particularly evident in regard to the dead time between a start signal and the commencement of air delivery. Adaptive 3-D-Control however makes allowances for this delay through anticipatory switching operations and it is this adaptive optimisation which enables the required pressure to be maintained better than ever before.
Moderate increases above required pressure aren’t a cause for concern in most applications. The 3-D-Control optimises the compressed air station’s performance within this "pressure tolerance" range, taking into account the “three dimensions” of energy efficiency mentioned above.
The Sigma Air Control Basic visualisation tool is also provided as standard: The integrated web server is able to display current operational status data via automatically generated HTML pages. Information includes real-time compressor status, current SAM control panel status, and a network pressure log for the previous operating phase, as well as maintenance and alarm messages. All that’s required to access and view the data is a PC with standard web browser, an analogue modem and a telephone line or an Ethernet connection. Furthermore, data from the SAM’s long-term memory can be displayed in graphical format using the optionally available Sigma Air Control Plus version of Kaeser’s advanced visualisation software. A password protected function enables information such as on-load and off-load status, system pressure, power consumption and compressor duty cycles to be displayed and evaluated from various aspects over longer periods. This capability therefore provides the basis for detailed compressed air audits and allows the user to keep a constant eye on compressed air costs and system performance. All operating hours counter information can also be called up to enable easy maintenance coordination. In addition, the specific power of all connected compressors or blowers within the system can be displayed in comparison to a reference value. This allows the user to determine at a glance if the compressor system is performing as efficiently as it should be.
Available for systems comprising up to four, eight or sixteen machines, the SAM can also be connected to Kaeser’s Teleservice facility, which provides remote diagnostics and demand-driven maintenance to further increase compressed air supply dependability. Not only is this highly flexible management system able to control, analyse and monitor performance of the latest generation of Kaeser compressors and blowers, it can also do the same for older third party models and components within the compressed air station, thereby ensuring optimum performance at all times.