European Equipment Analysis: Mobile Compressors - Germany

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European Equipment Analysis: Mobile Compressors - Germany (December 2016)

This report examines in detail the market for mobile compressors in Italy, and is an update of the subject that was last covered by Off-Highway Research’s European Service in October 2012.  It assesses the current trends in the market, examines the manufacturers and suppliers, and forecasts the Italian market over the next five years.  

Off-Highway Research's Equipment Analyses are a rigorous evaluation of the structure and development of demand for one product in the UK, France, Germany and Italy in the European Service, and in China and India.

Typical coverage includes:
Construction activity Market Shares Market Size and Trends
Marketing and Distribution Domestic Production Population and End Users
Component Supply Forecasts Foreign Trade
Machines available Pricing Importers 

This study examines the German market for mobile compressors, and is an update of the report that was last published in the European Service in December 2011.  The mobile compressors concerned have screw or vane type ends (piston type ends are not included) with an air rated output from 1.2 to 45 m3/min and are powered largely by diesel engines with horsepower ratings from 10 to 400 horsepower.

The German market for mobile compressors is dominated by helical screw type machines, which compress air between the teeth of rotating screws in a sealed chamber.  Air enters through a port at the drive end and is compressed as it travels down the screws in the space between the lobes and flutes, which gets progressively smaller.  Most common in the portable compressor sector is a single-stage, oil-immersed air end design, where oil is introduced to the compression chamber to help form a vacuum as part of the compression process, lubricate the screws and cool the system.  The air exiting the air end therefore contains oil, which has to be removed in a separation tank and by filters before it is used. However good the removal system is, the air being produced will never be 100 per cent oil-free.

Although this is not a significant issue in construction, there are applications for compressed air such as industrial processes and food production, where it is essential that air is 100 per cent oil-free. This led to the development of oil-free air ends. In these devices, higher manufacturing tolerances are required, while water is used to cool the casing – there is no direct cooling of the screws inside the chamber. The cooling effect is more limited than with oil-immersed screws, and as significant heat is generated as a basic function of the physics of compressing air, oil-free systems usually require two compression stages to reach the desired pressure. This all means much higher manufacturing costs, so oil-free air ends are uncommon in portable compressors, where there are rarely pressing requirements for such pristine air.

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