Airmaster: keeping energy consumption under control

With energy costs constantly rising, keeping energy consumption under control is essential in order to stay competitive in the market.

On airjet machines, compressed air accounts for up to two thirds of total energy consumption. Whereas electricity consumption tends to be relatively invariable, air consumption is definitely not. Indeed there is a lot the weaver can do to keep it under control.

Given that additional air consumption of just 1 Nm³/h represents an extra cost of around 60-70 euros on a yearly basis, having the proper tools to manage air consumption is clearly a good investment.

That's why Picanol has developed the AirMaster system which so far is the only fully integrated Air Management system available on the market.

AirMaster consists of an air consumption meter and a software module installed on the machine. This allows the user to see the actual and average air consumption during operation. These values are constantly shown on the display and compared with a maximum value set by the user.

When several machines are running the same style, this enables their consumption figures to be compared: the perfect way to check for the optimum settings and to see the condition of the pneumatic settings on the machines.

The consumption data from the individual machines can also be collected on the central computer, providing the necessary data for weaving managers and the technical team.

Managing consumption also means being able to test the condition of the insertion system on the weaving machine. With AirMaster this is now fully automated on the OMNIplus Summum. The weaver can activate an auto-check mode during which the machine makes a diagnosis of all important elements of the insertion system, not only for air consumption (leakages) but also to verify if all valves and regulators are still working as they are supposed to.

Drawing on the user experience of key Picanol customers along with the technical possibilities of the OMNIplus Summum insertion system, the AirMaster has now been taken to an even higher level with new functions.

The fully electronic settings on the OMNIplus Summum make it possible to adapt the pressure levels automatically. The microprocessor controller goes through a routine in which functional groups are switched on and off while their consumption and response times are checked. After pushing the start button the machine does the rest. Upon completion, the machine generates a full report. These data are stored in the machine and can be consulted at any time.

All these features make the Airmaster a key feature in air consumption management, available as a fully integrated option on the OMNIplus Summum. AirMaster is also available as an upgrade for previous machine generations.