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Product Spotlight: Shop Air Compressors


Durability, performance and reliability are just as important to shop owners as cubic feet per minute (cfm) and pressure (psi) when it comes to air compressors. Whether gas or electric, air compressors serve many daily purposes in the shop, from providing compressed air to inflate tires to being the essential engine of the dozens of air-powered tools found in a typical tire and auto service center. Busy shops need air compressors that are low-maintenance, quiet and accurate every time. A reliable warranty and maintenance plan from distributors also are essential.

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Atlas Copco
Atlas Copco Compressors has expanded its GX 2-11 range with the new 10 hp GX 7 EP. Generating 29.2 cfm, the GX 7 EP combines a compact design with Atlas Copco’s oil-injected screw element and load/unload regulation, providing tire dealers with economical and reliable performance, the maker said. With a compact footprint and low noise emission, the GX 7 EP is designed for installation directly into the shop. Additionally, the entire line of GX compressors discharges cooling air from the top, which permits placement in a corner or against a wall, Atlas Copco added. Available in floor- or tank-mounted variants, the GX 7 EP features an optional integrated dryer that saves additional space and installation costs. 

BendPak’s Tri-Max air-compressor is an ASME-certified powerhouse that features the Tri-Max extreme-duty 3-cylinder pump, designed and manufactured to operate with maximum efficiency under all load conditions, according to the company. The 100% cast-iron pump has a “W-3” configuration that provides 360-degree cooling efficiency, and a splash lubrication ensures total reliability, BendPak said. Additionally, a low RPM pump combined with a 7.5 hp motor packs a lot of power but makes little noise.  

Campbell Hausfeld
According to Campbell Hausfeld, its VT6290 air compressor is specifically designed for the heavy-duty do-it-yourselfer or professional user. Features include a fully-enclosed protective beltguard with indirected-in cooling fan, oil level dipstick for easy oil maintenance, rugged cast iron, oil-lubricated, two cylinder pump, high performance 5 hp peak motor and a 19-gallon ASME code tank for tough jobs, the company added. The Hausfeld VT6290 is more than 35% quieter and 60F cooler than aluminum pumps with cast iron cylinder sleeves.

Champion said its heavy-duty compressor oil is designed for use in single-stage reciprocating compressors, two-stage reciprocating compressors, multi-stage reciprocating compressors and rotary screw compressors in which the manufacturers recommend this viscosity grade. It possesses low forming tendency, coupled with a select additive package, which enhances lubricity and protects against rust, oxidation, sludge and various deposits, the maker added.

Chicago Pneumatic
Chicago Pneumatic has introduced the new RCP-C Iron Series reciprocating air compressors, featuring an all-cast-iron pump with automotive-style road bearings, wrist pins and concentric ring valves. This rugged construction lengthens service intervals and extends the compressor’s lifecycle, lowering the overall cost of ownership for users, according to the manufacturer. Standard models include 5, 7.5 and 10 hp simplex compressors and 20 hp duplex compressors. A 10 hp premium model includes a low oil level switch, automatic tank drain and belt guard aftercooler. All RCP-C Iron Series compressors are backed by a two-year CP secure warranty. Gasoline models also are available.  

Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand is offering a new single-phase control scheme for its small UP6 5-15c line of air compressors. The versatile compressor is ideal for vehicle service applications up to 28 cfm, the maker said. Additionally, Ingersoll Rand added a run-on timer and load/unload and blowdown solenoids to improve the compressor’s reliability and performance. The compressor has an integrated Total Air System dryer and filtration option to provide clean, dry air in a single package. This minimizes installation costs and footprint and allows single-point maintenance and monitoring, according to the manufacturer. It utilizes a 3-in-1 heat exchanger to improve energy efficiency and has lower operating costs than traditional stand-alone dryers, Ingersoll Rand added.  

Kaeser said its new Airtower compressor packages combine a rotary screw air compressor, storage tank and dryer in one durable and compact unit. Designed for light industrial and commercial workshops, Airtowers are available in 4, 5 and 7.5 hp models and deliver up to 28 cfm at pressures from 80-217 psig. Additionally, the industrial-grade, energy efficient Sigma Profile airend provides more air with far less noise and vibration than piston compressors, according to the company. The vertical receiver tank with automatic drain and integral refrigerated dryer deliver cleaner air to protect tools and improve product quality. With their fully integrated and compact design, Airtowers are easy to install and fit almost anywhere, Kaeser said.  

Sullair has released the E900H electric portable air compressor in the 460/60 markets. According to the company, the E900H was designed to combine the clean, quiet efficiency of electric drive technology with the Sullair reputation of rugged air ends and portable compressor designs. It also provides many of the same features as its diesel driven counterpart, but without the time and expense required for re-fueling and diesel sourcing. Additionally, the E900H features standard 460-volt/3-phase/60 Hz cam-lock electrical connections for quick connect installation using standard electrical power or portable generators for either indoor or outdoor applications, Sullair added.

Created specifically for the mobile market, VMAC’s Raptair60 system delivers true 60 cfm at 100 psi. Utilizing intelligent digital controls, VMAC said the 100% duty cycle Raptair60 turns itself on and off with air tool demand, contributing significantly to reduced idling and fuel costs, as well as a greener environmental profile, while still packing enough muscle to power up to a 60-pound jackhammer or a 1-1/4-inch impact wrench. It measures 18wx34.5lx28h inches and weighs 450 pounds.  

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