Into the Vortex

Published:  07 May, 2014

Iain Cameron, Meech business unit director, dicusses how Vortex technology can help companies reduce costs.

Iain Cameron believes there are four key issues affecting industry today in regard to compressed air needs, namely: cost, education, maintenance and energy efficiency.

He commented that his company’s aim is to assist companies to reduce both compressed air consumption and overall compressed air running costs by manufacturing a range of energy efficient compressed air products: “Compressed air is still used by a large number of companies operating in the UK manufacturing industry. The benefits of compressed air are well documented - it’s a safe, reliable and versatile commodity but can also be expensive to run and difficult to maintain. Compressors need to be serviced in order to run smoothly and air-lines need to be maintained to avoid air leaks. For this reason, a growing number of businesses are seeking alternatives to traditional compressed air solutions. This is not to say compressed air is dying out, there are many applications that still require this resource and this is where Meech Air Technology products can reduce costs. We also find a certain amount of education is needed to understand how compressed air works and the costs associated with it.”

Cameron explained that because of the difficult financial climate, businesses are now looking more than ever towards economic and energy efficient solutions. He added that the company has also noticed a surge in interest for its MAT range, as the products are relatively inexpensive and don’t require any capital expenditure or special maintenance.

He believes that as companies become more aware of both compressed air costs and energy efficiency, he anticipates there will be a greater demand for these types of products. Leak detection and more efficient compressors will also become incisive factors that will determine interest in alternative solutions to compressed air. From a company point of view he says there is a need to promote the obvious benefits of investing in MAT equipment and the need to evaluate how compressed air is employed in each production environment.

Cameron highlighted the benefits of Vortex technology - a key component in the range: “Meech Stainless Steel Vortex Tubes convert compressed air into two airflows, one extremely cold and the other extremely hot. Compressed air enters the spin chamber, which causes the column of air inside the tube to rotate at very high speed (up to 1 million rpm). The air on the outside of the column moves at remarkably high speeds, making it very hot and produces a lot of energy. In stark contrast, the air at the centre of the column moves relatively slowly, produces smaller amounts of energy and is cold. The hot outer air is released at one end of the tube and the cold inner air at the other. Vortex Tubes have no moving parts and can produce temperatures as low as 50°C below the inlet air temperature and as high as 110°C.”

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