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For most industrial manufacturing processes, a reliable compressed air supply with a degree of purity matched to the application is a basic requirement. The growing demands that the manufacturing industry is facing due to digitalization and the need to save energy have led to the development of the Ultrapac™ Smart compressed air purification system, which combines all process steps - from prefiltration, drying to fine filtration and condensate removal. The compact stand-alone version can be used directly as a plug & work solution. The MINI and MIDI series cover nominal flow rates from 3 to 60 cfm / 5 to 100 m³/h with ten types.
For economical use as control air or process air, the selection of the purification components downstream of the compressor is crucial. The coolers, cyclone separators, coalescence filters, condensate drains, refrigeration compressed air dryer and/or adsorption dryers and particle filters used according to the application profile are arranged in series. This is standard for centralized purification. This does not exclude decentralized purification for those consumers with specific demands for compressed air. Providing high compressed air quality centrally for the entire compressed air network is uneconomical. Therefore, in order to ensure process and product integrity — especially in food and beverage and pharmaceutical industry, electronics production, and for supplying, for example, painting systems as well as sensitive pneumatic control units - it is necessary to use an additional purification stage directly at the point of use. With the Ultrapac™ Smart, a compact purification system is now available that can significantly reduce the cost of providing clean compressed air with low investment costs and through savings in installation and maintenance. The modular design also allows a wide range of installation and mounting options in machines and systems.
The three-stage purification system, combined in the compact Ultrapac™ Smart system, reliably achieves compressed air quality in accordance with ISO 8573-1:2010, which corresponds to quality classes 1-2:1-2:1-2 as well as 0, specified according to the application and better than class 1.
When developing the system, several prerequisites had to be met that are essential for direct use: Controlled and consistent quality compressed air according to the specifications for the respective application, low-noise and energy-efficient operation, easy maintenance, and, finally, the possibility of integration into existing production lines. The continuous detection and control of the specified pressure dew point (DTP) is of importance. The DTP is set to -40 °C/-40 °F as standard. This is of importance because the dew point temperature changes with changing pressure. The system version with an integrated dew point transmitter, which measures directly in the compressed air flow, proves to be particularly energy-saving. The switchover between the two dryer cartridges - filled with a highly adsorptive stable desiccant - only takes place when the desiccant is saturated. This minimizes the compressed air requirement of this heatless regenerated adsorption dryer, which, in contrast to heat regenerated dryers, requires no heating energy for the regeneration process. The noise level during the changeover process has been reduced to the 60 dB(A) range with a newly developed UltraSilencer. The Ultrapac™ Smart can therefore be used without sound insulation directly at the workplace or integrated into machines.
The UltraPleat™ energy-saving filters used in this purification system ensure optimum filtration performance at low differential pressure. When the compressed air enters, the pre-filter already effectively separates or retains liquid and solid particles before the air flows into one of the two desiccant cartridges. The afterfilter, which removes solid particles down to 0.01 μm, is the effective safety element to ensure that the dry compressed air is available in accordance with the purity.
The greatest challenge in developing such a system was to make it compatible with existing plant technologies and processes for a wide range of applications while maintaining the same performance - whether as a stand-alone solution or modular. This was achieved through the flexible design and compatible sensor and control technology. A removable display enables convenient monitoring even in tight spaces. For safe operation, it is crucial that this compressed air purification system achieves a level of digitalization that allows continuous monitoring of the functional processes and predictive maintenance of the easily accessible components.