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Multiple Compressor Management Made Easy

AirMaster™ is a “true load-sharing” solution that manages multiple air compressors of different types, models, sizes, and manufactures by integrating them into one master control architecture.

In multiple compressor systems, efficiency is gained by continuously matching demand with supply by balancing the load across the available compressors. AirMaster™ achieves system optimization by automatically starting, stopping, and throttling each unit based on a variety of select parameters. This yields a very smooth and efficient delivery of air on demand as demanded. By eliminating the inefficiencies of an independent control scheme or inferior master controllers we present the opportunity to effectively reduce waste, improve reliability, and capture an attractive ROI.

We offer two master control solutions to automate any compressed air system, AirMaster™ and AirMaster3PX™. Our AirMaster™ program is the preferred solution of choice when the system consists of only centrifugal type compressors and each has been equipped with a Case Controls AirLogix™ controller.

AirMaster3PX™ is the solution for every other situation. The 3PX (third-party exchange) solution utilizes a dedicated Master PLC to integrate each compressor and host all of the functionality, data, and coordination under one automated system.

AirMaster™ - Product Datasheet

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For Centrigugal Compressors

Managing multiple compressors, particularly centrifugal compressors, for energy efficiency is an intricate and complex challenge we’ve been exceeding at for decades.

Unless you are the exception to the rule, your demand profile does not perfectly match your supply side capacity.  For maximum efficiency, you need load-sharing (also called load shedding or load balancing). The OEM local controller is designed to control and protect its unit regardless of what the other compressors are doing. This leads to one inescapable fact: You cannot accomplish true load-sharing without having an open local controller that is designed to dovetail with the master controller.

AirMaster™ is a PLC based application that sequentially throttles centrifugal compressors to ensure each compressor completes it’s own turndown before subsequent compressors are throttled. Sequencing maximizes the turndown of all centrifugal compressors in the system to eliminate unnecessary blow-off. It works by utilizing the throttle range of multiple compressors to prevent blow-off valves from opening while maintaining system demand so that any nonrequired compressors can unload and timeout. User-defined settings allow an unloaded machine to be shut down and restarted automatically to further maximize energy savings.

This architecture does not require a dedicated Master PLC, each program resides within each compressor PLC. We commonly refer to this as floating AirMaster™. This design reduces system complexity and PLC hardware while adding robust redundancy.

For Non-Centrifugal Compressors

AirMaster3PX™ meets the challenge of managing multiple compressors of different types, control platforms, makes and models by creating a foundation that allows for two-way communication to each compressor. With communications and control established, AirMaster3PX™ becomes the intelligent decision maker utilizing a dedicated Master PLC in which the system management and control is executed.

AirMaster3PX™ circumvents the need to replace the existing local third party OEM proprietary control system for each compressor. This makes AirMaster3PX™ extremely versatile and effective for all types of scenarios and compressor rooms making it the go-to platform for systems requiring additional automation beyond the compressor itself. A few examples include multiple header management, cooling water control, and dryer integration into the overall architecture.

We understand that no two plants are exactly the same and that’s why each AirMaster3PX™ system is designed specifically to fit each individual application. With this many moving parts it’s important to get it right from the start.

FEATURES & BENEFITS

Maximize System Efficiency

Maximize system efficiency by running only the required compressors to meet plant demand

Precise System Pressure Stabilization

By controlling all of the air compressors to a single pressure signal and common group of setpoints

System-Wide Integration

Complete integration and coordination of multiple compressor types and manufacturers

Data and Trending

Centralized compressor data including air pressures, temperatures, vibrations, and operational status data

True Load-Sharing

Load-sharing of all variable capacity compressors utilizing intelligent algorithms for precise and accurate control flexibility

Proactive Functionality

Prevent major pressure deviation due to a compressor trip/shutdown by adding additional capacity immediately when the event occurs vs waiting on the pressure to decay

Standardization

User friendly HMI with intuitive navigation and graphical display puts monitoring and adjusting the compressor right at your fingertips

Security

Multi-level security architecture to adjust system automation parameters and set points

Centrifugal Compressors

• Prevent compressor caused pressure oscillations due to multiple compressors responding local independent pressure signals.

• Utilize full inlet throttle capacity of all compressors to minimize or eliminate bypass

• Superior surge protection and detection algorithms

• Minimize compressor starts/stops

• Precise pressure regulation using inlet modulation of one or more compressor.

• Capacity based automatic unload algorithms to unload/stop compressors based on available reserved capacity of throttled compressors.

Rotary Screw Compressors

• Prevent compressor short interval load/unload cycling caused by multiple compressors responding to local independent pressure signals.

• Prevent unnecessary load/unload cycling caused by selecting the right compressor for the trim position.

• For variable speed motors, utilize the full capacity regulation by one or more VSD compressors to precisely respond to changing plant air demands.

• For compressors with variable capacity control (ex. Sullair Spiral valve) utilize the full capacity regulation by one or more variable capacity compressors to precisely respond to changing plant air demands.

• Capacity based automatic unload algorithms to unload/stop compressors based on available reserved capacity of throttled compressors.

Reciprocating air compressors

• Prevent compressor short interval load/unload cycling caused by multiple compressors responding to local independent pressure signals.

• Prevent unnecessary load/unload cycling caused by selecting the right compressor for the trim position.

• For recips with partial load capability, 3 and 5-step loading, utilize the multi-step loading to more precisely control to the system pressure signal.

Engineered Systems

We understand a one-size-fits-all approach frequently doesn’t offer the best solution and an engineered approach is the right way to go. With decades of experience building control systems we have become fully capable of designing custom control systems tailored to your specific plant needs.

Incorporate AirGate™ into this architecture and achieve a truly complete system-wide integration and orchestration for performance and data that goes unmatched.

Whether it’s hardware, designing for redundancy, or plant demand load-balancing and advanced programming, AirMaster™ is the right choice. Just one more reason Case Controls is the industry leader in compressed air automation!

 

 

HARDWARE SPECIFICATIONS

*The following configuration is an example of a standard build. Each control system can be customized to meet your specific requirements.

ENCLOSURE

Rating

NEMA 4/12

Dimensions

24”h x 24”w x 12"d

Color

Light Gray

Weight

80 lbs.

ALLEN BRADLEY PLC COMPONENTS

Processor

CompactLogix L33ER

Analog I/O

Customized

Digital I/O

Customized

FRONT PANEL DEVICES

HMI

10” PanelView Plus (Touch)

COMMUNICATIONS

Ethernet

Port Used for Connection to HMI

Other

Custom Options Available

POWER REQUIREMENTS

120VAC; 10A

COMMON OPTIONS

Enclosure System

•Nema 4X SS Enclosure Rating
•Purgeable Instrument Access Door for HMI
•Vortec Panel Cooler
•Panel Air Conditioning
•Panel Heater
•Larger Display

PLCs

•ControlLogix L7X, L8X
•CompactLogix 5380

PLC Components

•Analog Inputs - Up to Eighteen
•Analog Outputs - Up to Four

Visualization

•AirViewSE, single station or server client
•AirView Cloud

Ready to

TAKE

CONTROL?

Compressor automation isn’t only about efficiency and reliability. It’s about delivering a solution that lends peace of mind. An autonomous, real-time monitoring, state of the art product that solves the need for tedious, daily, manual manipulation, and guess-work. With real-time monitoring and data collection you can rest easy knowing you’re getting the most out of your system. Don’t settle… do more, take control.

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Case Controls

Case Controls