Compressed Air system design

April 12, 2021 8:00 am Published by

Designing the pipework system to meet the needs of your production facility is critical to the long-term performance of the system. What considerations should you have in mind when planning the upgrade of existing pipework or a completely new installation? We have looked at pipework types in our other blog this month and Harrier Pneumatics will always be happy to discuss the best options for your application.

Pipe layout and routing

The two main types of pipework layout are ring main and spur. Looped pipe systems are best suited for regular shaped production areas. The air can flow through pipes around the perimeter of the factory and drop down to each point of use. A straight header pipe with branches to feed the points of use can be used in longer, narrower plants. Using a pipework layout unsuited to your facility’s machinery and working area distribution can lead to unnecessary air pressure drops or increased costs from extra pipework. Pipework diameters need to be considered as well depending on the location of compressors, and other components relative to the areas where the compressed air supply will be used.


If your compressed air system is distributed throughout a production facility, especially in older factories, there is a good chance that the whole pipework system is not housed in the same room or even building. They may pass through other rooms, underground or even outside. Knowing the temperature fluctuations in these areas is important. Hot pipework can lead to air expansion which can be dangerous to employees and lead to disruption in air supply to production. Low temperatures can lead to condensate within the system which can freeze at some times of year.


Future maintenance concerns should be high on the list when planning any part of your compressed air system. If maintenance needs to be carried out, is a bypass pipe required to continue transporting compressed air through the system to maintain production? How will the system be upgraded if additional points of use are required? The routing of pipework and distribution of components through the factory is also something that should be looked at from a maintenance point of view. It is impractical to carry out repairs with pipework situated in the middle of a packing area for instance.

Harrier Pneumatics believe in designing and producing compressed air systems to meet your requirements now and in the long term. We can produce a circuitry design to suit your production facility.  Our engineers’ long experience in working in factories and other plants will ensure you have a system that works and provides a good return on investment in reduced energy and maintenance costs. Get in touch to learn more.

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This post was written by Harrier Pneumatics