Compressed Air Piping Design
Compressed air piping can be tricky to design especially when there are no old drawings to refer to, little information to go by and a deadline that has to be met. That was the the situation with the blower air line pictured here.
The existing line was 48" in diameter and was going to be demolished to create new plant space. The blower line had to be rerouted around the demolition area and hooked up again to an existing 48" line.
All that was known was that there were three blowers sending compressed air into the line and each blower had a thirty inch diameter outlet.
One thing that made the job considerably easier was the availability of satelite photos from Google Earth. Even though no dimensions were provide they could be reasonably estimated by laying the 3D model on top of a Google Earth image and lining up the starting and ending points of the blower line to reference points on the Google Earth satellite photo.
The photo also served as a great way to make sure buildings were modelled correctly. Even though drawings were provided for the buildings, it becaome clear looking at the photo that additions had been made to them which would affect the route of the compressed air line.
The only problem with the Google Earth picture is that it does not show elevation changes. But this information could be determined by paying for satellite photos from other companies.
In this application though, it was more important that the blower line was in the right place and that it was not going to interfere with any obvious obstructions.
Using 3D modeling techniques with Solidworks it was easy enough to place in standard spiral ducting components such as elbows and reducing laterals to make the connections to the blowers using the correct diameter.
A standardized duct support was also designed that could handle a variety of different duct or pipe sizes. The duct support also kept the ducts and pipes at a safe distance above the movement of plant vehicles.