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Hope Air Systems Home › eNewsletter Article Archives › High Pressure PET Compressors—How Do I Know the Best System for Me?

High Pressure PET Compressors—
How Do I Know the Best System for Me?

After 30+ years in the PET bottle blowing industry providing compressed air solutions I often get this question asked. My answer is that depends…

What does should the system selection depend on? Here are some criteria that I've used over the years.

Type of Facility – are you a startup or a seasoned plant with multiple blow machines

Air Quality Requirement – does your customer base demand absolutely oil free air or will they be satisfied with properly maintained three stage clean air filtration

Pressure Required – are you blowing a complex bottle design requiring 550 PSI and up or have you got a lighter bottle with a simpler design which now can blown more economically at lower pressures around 400 PSI

Space Available– what have you allocated for the space for the compressors and accessories for new system or expansion
Hours Per Year – how many hours do you run each year – 2000 or 8000?

Backup – can you depend on one compressor to run your blow machines for the hours that you absolutely have to be in production or do you need backup

Maintenance – do you have the internal ability to do routine maintenance checks on a daily and weekly basis as well as simple or complex repairs

Power Cost – usually PET compressors are one of the larger motors in a facility – if your power costs are over $.08 KW you need to consider most efficient unit you can afford

Investment – what's the budget – usually we recommend allocating 20% of a new blow machine investment with molds budget for a high-pressure PET compressed air system

Once you've determined answers to the questions above you can start zeroing in on what type of compressor system makes the most sense for your company. There are four basic types of systems to choose from. Here is a short recap.

  • 3 Stage Lubricated Air Cooled Piston – 15/40 CFM – lubricated only – compresses from atmospheric to 580 PSI – maximum flow 40 CFM each so must be used in multiples – provides backup – good space utilization – moderately efficient – 10/12 year service life – very cost-effective for small systems

  • Single Stage Boosters – 10/500 CFM – available in lubricated and non-lubricated configuration– uses existing or required inlet air from 125 two 175 PSI depending on pressure – moderate space utilization– reasonably efficient – 10/15 year service life – very cost-effective solution to provide PET compressed air

  • 2 Stage Boosters – 600/2000 CFM – normally oil free and water-cooled – uses 125 PSI inlet air – low rpm – requires large space – fairly efficient – moderately high cost – 20/30 year service life – used where a large amount of low pressure air is available – realistic costs for large systems

  • High Pressure 4 Stage Centrifugal – 1800/5000 CFM – oil free – space efficient – power cost inefficient unless full load – long periods of low maintenance with costly major rebuild – moderate cost per CFM – 10/15 year service life – realistic choice for baseload in large systems

  • 3 Stage Water Cooled Piston – 90/1400 CFM – oil free – water-cooled – reasonably space efficient spending on configuration – most efficient – can be high maintenance costs if routine checks are not done at 4000/6000 hours – highest investment cost per CFM – 20/30 year service life – staple of most large production PET plant compressor systems

You now have PET compressor selection questions assembled in one spot. If you can provide answers to these questions above,
I can probably get you over the "that depends" portion of the decision process. Send me an email at or give me a call at 508-351-1834 with the particulars on your PET air system questions.



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High Pressure PET Compressors—How Do I Know the Best System for Me?

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