Cost of Compressed Air Leaks


Cost of Compressed Air Leaks

Compressed air leaks can be viewed as throwing money in the trash can. The Compressed Air Challenge and CAGI (Compressed Air and Gas Institute) both state that compressed air systems older than five years have at least 20% of system capacity wasted to leaks. Here's an excerpt from the Compressed Air Challenge.

"Leaks can be a significant source of wasted energy in an industrial compressed air system, sometimes wasting 20-30% of a compressors output. A typical plant that has not been well maintained will likely have a leak rate equal to 20% of total compressed air production capacity."
quoted from

If you’re wondering what air leaks have to do with energy savings when compared to cordless tools you’re not alone. Many manufacturers feel compressed air is free. What’s being missed is the additional cost from all the small leaks throughout the plant. Sure, one could say that the leaks would still exist even if there wasn’t an air tool but that’s not necessary true.

Below is an example real scenario to show how much a manufacturer could be spending on energy costs to supply air leaks.

Example Application

A manufacturer puts together 60 parts per hour and each part requires 2 fasteners. They are running 2 shifts, 8 hours each, 5 days a week and with two weeks of shutdown.

Cost of Compressed Air Leaks

In the example application 20% of the tools rated cfm is approximately 3 cfm. A 3 cfm leak is equal to a very small 3/32" hole. Such a small leak doesn't seem like it would cost that much but it's actually quite a bit of money.

The total money wasted to supply an air leak for the single tool equals $246.35 /yr.

Now put this same example into your plant. Estimate the number of tools in the plant then multiply that number by $246.35. Say the plant has twenty tools (20 Tools x $246.35 /yr. = $4,927.00 /yr. to supply leaks).

Think about this, if your plant has 20 tools your taking $4,927.00 /yr. and throwing it right in the trash.

Consider running cordless assembly tools which are up to 99% more energy efficient than air tools and start saving $245.35 per tool (in this example application) by replacing the air tool and closing the valve at the head to eliminate any air leaks.

Find out how much air leaks are truly costing your company through our simplified Cost Savings Calculator. Fields can be updated with an actual plant application which will show how much your company is spending to run that air tool and supply those pesky air leaks.