When you think about utilities, the first thing that likely comes to mind is water, electricity, or steam. While managing these utilities is a critical aspect of an overall asset management strategy, the so-called fourth utility, compressed air, is often overlooked. One of the reasons for this may be is the fact that compressed air is a mystery to many of us.
While most organizations wouldn’t dream of turning over control of their electrical or steam-generating assets to a third party, many have no problem doing so with their compressors. OEMs are happy to oblige and offer turnkey packages for compressor and dryer maintenance. Operations treats compressed air like it is manna from heaven, turning compressors on and off as they would a light switch in their homes.
To ensure that adequate air supply is available, most organizations rely heavily on redundancy, and when a compressor goes down for any length of time, they turn to their OEM, who is more than happy to supply rental units. By the time most organizations rid themselves of the rentals, they have paid for the cost of a replacement unit. But it does not have to be this way.