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iPM Motors and VFDs reshaping industry norms
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iPM Motors and VFDs reshaping industry norms

June 5, 2024 6:23 pm

According to Gopal Reddy, National Marketing Manager, Industrial Air, Atlas Copco leads innovation in the compressor industry, offering customized solutions for diverse sectors like food and beverage, automotive, and textiles. By integrating Industry 4.0 principles, Atlas Copco ensures energy-efficient operations, emphasizing the Make in India initiative and addressing evolving customer needs. 

How does Atlas Copco’s product portfolio drive growth across diverse industries?

The product portfolio of Atlas Copco encompasses energy-efficient air compressors, gas generators, and air blowers, catering to a wide array of industries and applications, including emerging sectors such as Electric Vehicles (EVs), Solar Energy, Green Hydrogen, and Carbon Capture. The company’s certified service technicians and high-quality parts ensure optimal operating costs and maximum availability of compressed air equipment. Also, comprehensive maintenance contracts and Total Responsibility contracts underscore customer support. 

Atlas Copco’s environmental strategy goal is to reduce energy consumption. Its product line includes Premium Efficiency Variable Speed Drive Oil Injected Screw Compressors (GA VSD+), SF Series Scroll Compressors, Onsite Industrial Gas Generators (Nitrogen and Oxygen), AQ Water Injected Screw compressors, Z Oil Free Air compressors, and high-pressure boosters. The company is also at the forefront of technological advancements, developing Smart factory solutions such as SMARTLINK, Optimizer 4.0, and Equalizer 4.0. These solutions offer connected, automated, and efficient products ready for the future of industrial applications, aligning with the requirements of Industry 4.0. 

What is your strategy to capture growth opportunities in the compressor segment?

We envisage substantial growth opportunities in the compressor segment in the domains of electrification of the transport sector and renewable energy. The company is a crucial partner for customers engaged in developing energy storage solutions and products used in renewable energy production, such as solar panels, wind turbines, hydrogen and Battery solutions. With the escalating demand for renewable energy sources, this sector offers immense growth potential. 

Please elaborate on the diverse applications of compressors across different industries.

In the pneumatic applications area, we offer a wide range of compressors suited for diverse industries and tailored to meet specific requirements. Within the food and beverage (F&B) sector, our compressor applications include powering control valves and actuators in automated filling, packaging, and bottling production. They also aid in pneumatically conveying substances like powdered milk or cocoa powder and tasks such as bottle cleaning, packaging preparation, and mould shaping before filling. The compressor function also contributes to air blowing, aeration, fermentation, food storage, and cooling and spraying processes within the F&B industry.

We provide dedicated Class 0 & AQ series water Injected screw compressor, ensuring oil-free air for safe and high-quality end products. For cement plant applications, the compressors are used for pneumatic conveying, bulker and train unloading, silo fluidization, combustion air, cooling air, and airlift. We offer technologies that meet the pressure and flow demands of the pneumatic conveying process. 

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In the automotive industry, compressors provide instrument air, pneumatic conveying, pick and place, car spray painting, laminating, testing of windshields, wastewater treatment, and electric car battery production. In the textile Industry, compressors are used in spinning, texturizing, air-jet weaving, pneumatic conveying, fiber production, garments process, winding, coning and dyeing non-woven textiles, warping, sizing, combing, and carding. 

Atlas Copco has set the standard for contamination-free compressed air in the F&B industry. It is the first air compressor manufacturer to achieve ISO 8573-1 (2010) Class 0 clean air, certified by TÜV Rheinland. We have also obtained ISO 22000 certification for our oil-free air division production facility in Antwerp, Belgium. 

How do Industry 4.0 principles enhance efficiency in the compressor sector?

Our innovative offerings seamlessly integrate with Industry 4.0 frameworks in the compressor sector. These solutions include SMARTLINK, which captures real-time data from compressed air equipment to provide actionable insights, enhancing service planning and parts handling for improved machine uptime. SMART AirNet gathers valuable data across the factory by integrating Smart pressure sensors, flow meters, and dew point sensors into the Airnet installation. Central Controllers optimize the efficiency of the entire air compressor system by managing integrated machines at their optimal points. Optimizer 4.0 ensures efficient operation of the compressed air system, maximizing energy savings and maintaining units in good condition through proactive online monitoring.

How is Atlas Copco addressing the economic limitations and global challenges impacting the compressor market?

The challenges currently impacting the compressor markets include the volatility of oil and gas prices, advancements in alternative energy sources, and environmental concerns related to greenhouse gas emissions. Global tensions and wars have disrupted supply chains, decreased production capacity, and increased operational costs. Atlas Copco is currently expanding its manufacturing presence in India by constructing a new facility in Pune as part of its strategy to address challenges. Additionally, the company is focused on R&D globally, resulting in regular product launches. The company is developing more energy-efficient products in response to rising demands from end-users and evolving energy efficiency standards, 

How are advancements in motor technology impacting industrial machinery efficiency and energy savings?

The advancements in energy efficiency have led to the development of high-efficiency motors such as the interior Permanent Magnet (iPM) motor. This motor, a key component of our VSD+ compressors, is designed to curtail energy losses,  enhancing efficiency and reducing operating costs. It is the only motor in the market that meets the IE5 Super Premium Efficiency standards. Furthermore, the advent of Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) has revolutionized electric motor speed control, enabling optimal performance based on fluctuating demands. Integrating new generation and dedicated VFDs developed by Atlas Copco with induction motors can yield up to 50 percent energy savings. Another advancement is the Direct Torque Control (DTC) method, which controls an induction motor’s torque by directly gauging the stator flux and rotor position, leading to improved dynamic performance and increased efficiency. 

The iPM motor shares a rotor with the unit’s top-tier asymmetric compression elements, rendering it direct-drive and highly energy efficient. The entire VSD+ drive train operates in a closed circuit, where both the motor and elements are cooled with oil, leading to additional energy savings. With no coupling or gears between the motor and screw element, VSD+ compressors operate silently. In conclusion, advancements in motor technology are influencing the design and efficiency of industrial machinery and robotics. They are also driving substantial energy savings and operational efficiencies. 

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