In a first for South Africa's compressor rental market, compressor and generator rental stalwart Rand-Air recently took delivery of an Atlas Copco DXT85VSD electrically-driven, oil-free air/nitrogen booster complete with high-pressure hoses.
Coupled with their oil-free compressor and dryer, the company can now offer a total solution for 42 bar high-pressure, oil-free compressed air.
The 100kW DXT has a high outlet pressure range of 25 to 42 bars at volumes of 700 cubic feet a minute (cfm): which makes it eminently suitable for a range of specialised industrial applications, from food and beverage packaging.
"Previously, we offered diesel-driven oil injected ‘boosters’ or compressors; which we provided to our customers in response to demand from the drilling and geological exploration market sector,” explains Rand-Air Fleet Manager Craig Swart.
However, enquiries for high-pressure oil-free compressed air from the local soft drink manufacturing and bottling industry highlighted the suitability of the Atlas Copco DXT compressor. Diesel-driven oil-injected boosters were not suitable for this application as there was a certain amount of oil residue in the compressed air they supplied. Also, diesel-driven oil- injected boosters were not designed to provide a 24/7 compressed air supply to manufacturing facilities.
“While in Europe, the DXT is mainly used in steam production applications, we anticipate that in South Africa - as industry sees the potential of this compressor - there could be demand for more units of this type from a number of other industry sectors,” continues Swart. For ease of handling and deployment, the DXT has the same dimensions and attaching points as a standard shipping container.
"This unit is obviously more suited to long-term rental applications. Should we receive more enquiries for machines of this nature, we can speedily supply additional units from Europe,” says Rand-Air Marketing and Communications Manager Byrone Thorne.
"We are pleased to have added the DXT to our compressor fleet, as it is operationally an expansion of our high-pressure oil-free solution offering,” he adds.
“At Rand-Air, the safety, quality and reliability of all the equipment in our rental fleet is non- negotiable. As such, we have ensured that we have the appropriately qualified technical expertise to support all rental items, including of course this new compressor," continues Thorne.
The new DXT compressor is a welcome addition to Rand-Air’s current fleet of some 400 rental compressors, which make up part of a total fleet of 1,100 compressors, generators and related equipment.
Swart comments that with units of this nature, on a long-term rental, customers have the advantage of knowing exactly what their future compressed air costs will be over the next five years, for example. "This makes it much easier for our customers to project future input costs, total cost-of-ownership (TCO) and overall return-on-investment (ROI)," he points out.
“We understand the pressures of working in industry today; and, for that reason, the company has developed an industrial rental model which enables our customers to focus on their core businesses, while we supply their portable air and power requirements. This has been proven to impact positively on our customers’ productivity; while enhancing their operations and ultimately, their bottom line," says Thorne.
“Rand-Air has been in the equipment rental sector for the past 45 years, with consistent and stringent standards of safety, quality, reliability and availability. Despite our lengthy track record and market leadership position, we are however always ready to ‘positively disrupt’ the market with further innovations and developments - to our customers’ strategic advantage and benefit.
The introduction of the DXT compressor – the first of its kind in the local rental market - is a great example of our ethos of innovation and commitment to exceeding customers’ expectations," he concludes.