06 July 2022

Supplied by Atlas Copco

The new ZR/ZT90-160VSD air compressor range incorporates three cutting-edge technologies – advanced screw element, oil-free and Variable Speed Drive (VSD) – to present yet another smart air solution from Atlas Copco. Delivering 100% oil-free certified air at the highest reliability, combined with maximum energy efficiency, these rotary screw machines offer the most complete air compressor package for food & beverage, textiles, oil & gas, power plants, and pharmaceutical production and processing plants.

Given that compressed air production accounts for more than 40% of a plant’s total electricity bill, energy is the most expensive cost component in the total cost of producing compressed air, making up over 80% of a compressor’s lifecycle costs (LCC). “It is well documented that highly efficient, reliable machines deliver increased uptime and reduced operational costs, subsequently presenting the most sustainable route to enhanced productivity and production,” says JC Lombard, Business Line Manager for Atlas Copco Compressor Technique’s Oil-free Air Division. “Our highly reliable and efficient oil-free ZR/ZT90-160VSD air compressors reduce a plant’s energy bill by up to 35%, for lowest overall total cost of ownership and contributing to end-users’ bottom line.”

Over the past 60 years Atlas Copco has lead the global market in the development of leading-edge screw technology, setting the benchmark for durability and meeting triple ISO (9001, 14001, 22000) as well as OHSAS 18001 regulations. The ZR/ZT90-160VSD range’s superior oil-free screw elements provide the optimum combination of high Free Air Delivery (FAD) with the lowest energy consumption.

Atlas Copco’s pioneering oil-free air technology has set the standard for compressed air purity, giving global industry a range of air compressors and blowers that provide 100% pure, clean air. With this engineering prowess, Atlas Copco reached a new milestone as the first manufacturer to be awarded ISO 8573-1 CLASS 0 certification. Zero product contamination is a very important narrative for many applications, from food & beverage, pharmaceutical and chemical/petrochemical to automotive and textile. For these critical environments, air quality that is 100% oil-free is paramount for the production process and end-product as even the smallest quantities of oil can result in costly production downtime and product spoilage. A unique Z seal design, a superior rotor coating for high efficiency and durability and cooling jackets to ensure world-class compression in different conditions, are some of the ZR/ZT90-160VSD’s innovative features that guarantee 100% certified oil-free air delivery.

Now add to all this Atlas Copco’s ground-breaking VSD compressor technology which, for the past 25 years, has been delivering energy-efficient, superior quality, ultra-reliable compressed air solutions to industries globally. Compressors don’t always run at full load because applications often have varying air demands. Atlas Copco’s VSD technology closely follows the air demand by automatically adjusting the motor speed, delivering substantial energy savings of up to 35%.

The integrated Atlas Copco VSD is supported by a combination of components that work seamlessly together: The advanced touch screen monitoring system, Elektronikon®, controls both the compressor and the integrated converter, ensuring maximum machine safety within parameters. Moreover, integrated smart algorithms optimise system pressure and maximise energy efficiency. The system also includes warning indications, maintenance scheduling and online visualisation of the machine’s condition. 

The ZR/ZT90-160VSD’s high efficiency IP 55 TEFC motor is specially designed for low operating speeds with focused attention to motor cooling and compressor cooling requirements. The electric motor protects against dust, chemicals and humidity and delivers continuous operation even under severe ambient temperature conditions. The air compressor range’s efficient intake air filtration, which comprises a 2-stage dust removal system (99,9% for 3 micron), ensures minimum intake losses and a low pressure drop. The water separator efficiently separates the condensate from the compressed air ensuring low moisture carry-over, protecting downstream equipment.

The ZR/ZT90-160VSD machines’ efficiency continues on the maintenance front. Service parts are smartly grouped together for ease of access, keeping service time to an absolute minimum. Moreover, all components are designed for serviceability and long lasting lifetime.

The ZR/ZT90-160VSD range’s sound-proof design, which features a silenced canopy combined with optimised internal ducting and an integrated pulsation damper, greatly reduces noise levels, leading to comfortable working conditions for all personnel in the immediate environment.

The all-in-one ZR/ZT90-160VSD package includes internal piping, coolers, motor, drive, lubrication and control systems. This complete plug-and-play solution offers fault-free installation, easy commissioning and quick start-up. 

Wrapping up, Lombard points out that a complete smart air solution comprises more than just the air compressor. “Therefore, alongside our efficient and reliable machines, we also manufacture and supply a range of class-leading compressed air products including Atlas Copco dryers, filters, controllers, energy recovery systems, nitrogen and oxygen generators, air receivers, coolers and boosters. By combining our air compressors with these products, we are able to offer end-users the most optimal, reliable, energy efficient quality air solution that will contribute to their sustainable productivity.”

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