Coolers are critical to the operation of a compressor. They remove heat and they improve the efficiency of the compressed air process and protect the equipment, when working properly.
There has been very little change in the design of compressor coolers, over the past 40 years. The primary designs are still the shell & tube and the finned style. However, there are other changes that have an impact on compressor owners, such as the following:
- Coolers used to be pulled for cleaning and testing on an annual basis. The high cost of downtime gradually eliminated this preventative maintenance strategy. Companies spend time and money on chemically treating the cooling water, which helps in some situations. In many cases, the approach seems to be "run to fail" and then pay extra for emergency cooler repairs or replacement of the entire exchanger.
- The use of coolers that are produced in factories located in Southeast Asia or Latin America. The use of these products, on new compressors and by aftermarket suppliers, is becoming more common every year. The general consensus is that these offshore products cost less to produce, but customers are not reporting lower prices.
- The landscape of the industry has changed as a result of acquisitions and mergers. This has involved small cooler companies and larger firms that once had strong brand name recognition. After the press release announcement, you begin to notice that some products are declared obsolete, the names change and factories close. These moves likely help some shareholders and executives, but they ultimately limit the options of a compressor owner.
A Cooler Option
As the heat exchanger industry becomes less customer friendly, one company has become an outstanding option for the compressor owner. This company is Pingel, which has its factory located near St. Louis, MO.
We have interviewed customers who have bought from Pingel for 3 decades as well as new customers from the past year. In all cases, they give this vendor the highest ratings for value, quality and customer service.
These people know their business, and you will see that from your first call. A computerized part number cross reference system is available to search the part numbers you have or they can identify the cooler with a few quick dimensions.
They stock 2,000 of the most common shell & tube compressor coolers. If they have to manufacture your cooler, their delivery is often much better than the competition. A fast delivery is possible because they keep 1/2 million feet of tubes made from admiralty brass, 90-10 copper nickel, stainless steel and copper. And, they stock tons of carbon steel and brass for making tube sheets and other parts.
Pingel follows ASME Code and TEMA specifications on new cooler production and in their cooler repair service. You will find their products meet or exceed the original design specifications and you will become a repeat customer after your first experience with this exceptional vendor.
Send an email to coolers@CompressorWise.com if you want a quote on a compressor cooler. You can use the same email address if you have any questions.