Airman’s box-type compressor still a mining favourite

If there’s a service truck out at a remote mining site, the likelihood is it will have a box-style Airman portable diesel compressor mounted on its back. This compact Airman design is ‘standard’ in the mining sector, according to Rohan McIntyre, director and product manager for portable products and hire with Compressed Air and Power Solutions (CAPS) Australia.

“It’s usually the machine of choice for the mining industry. The compact box design can easily be mounted on the service trucks, which go into pits where there is no electricity and they don’t have the capacity for a trailer,” Rohan explained. “The Airman has a wide range of applications in these remote environments, such as servicing a piece of mining equipment, helping to refuel a vehicle or pumping up tyres.”

Having worked with CAPS – Australia’s largest independent compressor supplier – for over 18 years, Rohan is a seasoned expert when it comes to the Airman box range. It’s also a range of equipment he says has been a popular choice among Australian mining companies since it was introduced to the local market over 15 years ago.

“They’re reliable machines. They’re Japanese manufactured and designed specifically so they can be custom engineered. With mining specifications being so different from site to site, the ability to customise the machinery is a key feature,” Rohan said.

CAPS Australia have the in-house engineering capabilities to customise Airman compressors to the desired specs of any given mining operation. The company has a 2200-square metre, ISO9001-accredited manufacturing facility in Welshpool, Western Australia to provide such customised designs.

Importantly, the Airmans are quality-built from the beginning. They are a proven performer with a solid reputation for being able to withstand the harsh climatic conditions of the Australian environment. Rohan explained that this was due to their larger engine and air-end.

“The Airman tends to have more horsepower than its competitors which run on smaller engines but use the same amount of fuel. For instance, in a remote mining environment, a 100 CFM compressor compared with a 185 CFM Airman will not last as long because the smaller engine will be overworked. Whereas the Airman will stand the test of time – in fact the warranty on an Airman machine is for 10,000 hours,” Rohan said.

The fuel efficiency of the portable Airman is an appealing feature, as is its quieter nature. The Japanese engineering teams have finessed these features over the years. And as long as an Airman is regularly serviced – which is simple for mining maintenance teams to do – than the compressors can last at least 15,000 hours.

A significant feature of all the Airman box-type compressors is their serviceability. Easily accessed by cabinet-style doors, all the service points, controls and indicator levels are on the one side of the compressor, making it easy to perform daily maintenance, drain off lubricants and change air and oil filters.

This serviceability feature also ensures a higher level of safety for operators. The Airman box compressor has been designed so that the control panel is situated at chest height when it is mounted on the back of a service truck. This eliminates the risk of causing back and hand injuries from having to reach up overhead to access the machine’s service points. It also supplements the fact that as there is no trailer or chassis needed with the Airman box design, there is less risk of a vehicular accident.

Rohan further said that CAPS provide a spare parts kit with every Airman unit they supply and provide nationwide 24/7 customer support.

“We’re always happy to assist. We have workshops in nine locations around the country with parts and service engineers. Any Airman parts purchased also get the 10,000 hour, 7 year warranty, so customers are assured of their quality.”

For more information about the Airman box style portable diesel compressors, or to discuss what might suit a mining operation, go to the website for more details.

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