Case Study – B&R Grinding
B&R Grinding: Taking the Time to Get Things Right
When Julio Espino, the General Manager of B&R Grinding, started researching options for a new compressed air system, Fluid-Aire Dynamics wasn’t on his radar. A tip from an industry contact prompted him to seek us out…and he says he knew right away that Fluid-Aire was different. “You could tell they really cared about getting things right. They weren’t just trying to make a sale.”
Challenge: Finding the Right System for the Job
B&R Grinding specializes in high-precision grinding and turning of steel, stainless, beryllium and plastics for specialty applications, including aerospace parts and medical devices. They use compressed air to purge dust and liquids from the parts and machinery during the grinding process. “Compressed air is as much a part of our operations as the grinders,” says Julio. “Some of our machines require air purging to be on 100% of the time, because we can’t have even one drop of oil or water on the Magnescale.” [LS1]
The shop has nine machines hooked up to the compressed air system. For five of these machines, air purging is critical. Julio counts on 100% uptime for his compressed air system to meet his production goals.
In 2022, they decided to replace their aging compressed air system with something that would improve reliability, reduce energy costs and noise, and provide additional capacity for a planned expansion. While most companies they reached out to simply provided a standard bid, Fluid-Aire Dynamics had a different approach.
The Fluid-Aire Solution: Gathering the Data
“The first time Brad [our Fluid-Aire representative] stopped by, I could tell that Fluid-Aire was going to be totally different from other companies,” says Julio. “He was very friendly, and he knew what he was talking about. He didn’t want to just sell us an air compressor. He wanted to make sure we understood what we needed and why we needed it.”
Before providing a quote, Brad first conducted data logging to confirm the maximum CFM requirements and actual usage. To do this, he connected a data logger to the incoming power line for the existing compressor. The data logger collected data for one week to determine usage patterns over the course of several shifts. The logger measures pressure, temperature, moisture dew point, flow, amperage and voltage for the system. [LS2]
Analyzing this data allows air compressor system engineers to analyze periods of peak usage, times when air supply is inadequate for demand, and other key metrics. Based on this data, Brad was able to recommend the right air compressor for their needs and show them how much energy they would save.
Results: A Quieter, More Efficient Shop
Brad recommended a 25HP air compressor with a variable frequency drive (VFD), which adjusts the frequency and voltage supplied to the motor depending on demand. Julio was not initially considering VFD options, but when he saw the energy savings he was convinced.
The new compressed air system is much quieter and more energy-efficient than the one it replaced. It also provides them room to grow tomorrow while realizing energy savings today. Julio says, “I really appreciated that Fluid-Aire didn’t try to oversell. They knew exactly what was right for our shop and our expansion plans, and they made sure we understood how they made that determination.”
Julio appreciates the time and patience that his Fluid-Aire representative demonstrated throughout the process. He says, “With Fluid-Aire, I felt like they really cared about us and what we needed. I would definitely come back to them again.”
““The first time Brad [our Fluid-Aire representative] stopped by, I could tell that Fluid-Aire was going to be totally different from other companies. He was very friendly, and he knew what he was talking about. He didn’t want to just sell us an air compressor. He wanted to make sure we understood what we needed and why we needed it.””
Julio Espino, General Manager
B & R Grinding