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74 FDM

/ june 2002
hen Barsanti Woodwork
C orp., C hi cago, moved to
i tsnew 54, 000-square-foot
plant i n December 2001, the ti mi ng
wasri ght to upgrade the compressed
ai r system. Everythi ng i sti ed i nto the
compressor, saysG ene Barsanti , the
companyspresi dent. T he compressor
i san i ntegral part of a number of ma-
chi ni ng operati ons, aswell asdust
control, sandi ng and fi ni shi ng process-
es. So a hi gh-capaci ty system wasi nte-
gral to the smooth operati on of the
new plant.
Barsanti producesa wi de range of
hi gh-end archi tectural mi llwork for
many large nati onally known corpora-
ti onsand hasbeen i nvolved i n a num-
ber of hi gh-profi le projectsi n C hi cago
such asthe H arold Washi ngton Li -
brary, the N avy Pi er renovati on and
M i dway Ai rport.
D e p e n d ab ility a m u st
T he bi ggest problem had been
mai ntai ni ng and holdi ng consi stent ai r
pressure, saysBarsanti . H e saysthere
were just too many fluctuati ons. T he
wi de vari ety of materi alsBarsanti
workswi th, especi ally the soli d woods
and exoti c veneers, requi resa consi s-
tency and reli abi li ty i n machi ni ng and
fi ni shi ng.
A Boge 50 hp oi l-flooded rotary
screw ai r compressor waschosen to re-
place at least fi ve smaller uni tsthat
had been used throughout the shop.
T he volume of customi zed commer-
ci al work that Barsanti doescan result
i n a number of sandersbei ng used i n
conjuncti on wi th the fi ni shi ng equi p-
ment, the Bi esse 24 C N C router, a
DM C sander, a recently purchased
K uper veneer spli cer and the Brandt
Barsanti Woodworking Corp.
Chicago, Illinois
Annual sales:$8.5 million
Plant size: 54, 000 square feet
Number of employees:60+
Product: High-end architectural
millwork for commercial, residential,
institutional and industrial
p l a n t f a c t s
Air system
improves plant
A new air compressor improves all aspects of
the manufacturing process at new
woodworking plant.
Linda O hm
Th e D M C san d e r b y S C M G ro u p is an e xam p le o f m o d e rn e q u ip m e n t at
B arsan ti th at b e n e fits fro m a stab le air p re ssu re su p p ly. continued
76 FDM

/ june 2002
edgebander. When all thi sequi pment
i sbei ng used at the same ti me, the
compressor hasto be able to handle i t
wi th a hi gh degree of reli abi li ty, says
Barsanti .
Barsanti also wanted to have a sys-
tem that would handle the addi ti onal
machi neryhe i ntendsto purchase i n
the future. Although the Boge compres-
sor ori gi nallyappeared to be a more ex-
pensi ve alternati ve, Barsanti li ked i ts
adaptabi li tyand felt that alone was
worth the pri ce.
T he compressor system consi stsof a
50 hp control uni t, ai r dryer and wet
tank kept i n a separate room wi th the
vacuum equi pment for the C N C
router. A large drytank i skept i n anoth-
er area and holdsthe ai r, so i t i sready
to meet the demandsof the plant.
M anysmall shopsand li ght i ndustri -
al shopsuse a pi ston ai r compressor,
when the power requi red i s25 hp or
less. T he rotaryscrew compressor
makesmore sense for larger power
needs. Both compressorsproduce ai r,
but the pi ston compressor produces
more heat than the rotarytype and
therefore wi ll produce more moi sture i n
the compressed ai r.
M o vin g th e air
M ost systemsuse galvani zed pi pi ng
to move the ai r from the drystorage
tank to the areasai r i sneeded. T he gal-
vani zed pi pe usuallyused requi res
threaded connectorsthat are ei ther
threaded on the job si te or purchased i n
pre-threaded 21-foot secti onsthat can
then be cut to fi t. T hen the pi pesneed
to be coupled together and sealed off
ti ghtly. G alvani zed, or black pi pe, asi t i s
commonlycalled, also hasa rougher
surface that can slow the ai r down and
even redi rect i t, thuscreati ng a pressure
drop i n the plant.
At Barsanti Woodwork air isbrought
to the plant areaswhere itsneeded with
aluminum piping and connectorsfrom
T ransair Products. Although thisalu-
minum piping isinitiallymore expensive
than galvanized piping, it hasa smoother
surface and isnot subject to corrosion.
O ne of the most attracti ve character-
i sti csof the Boge system, accordi ng to
Barsanti , i sthat i t i seasyto bri ng the ai r
anywhere i n the plant. T he T ransai r alu-
mi num pi pi ng, qui ck assemblyand drop
bracketsthat are part of thi ssystem all
work together to make the transfer of ai r
through the plant an easysetup.
T he system waspurchased through
Cochrane, one of Bogesdistributors.
Cochrane worked with Barsanti to dia-
air power
h e n air is co m p re sse d , am b i-
e n t air is d rawn in th ro u g h
p re -filte rs an d is sq u e e ze d b y a p is-
to n o r ro tary p u m p to cre ate co m -
p re sse d air. Th is p ro ce ss cre ate s
h e at u p to 1 8 0 F , alth o u g h th e p is-
to n co m p re sso r u su ally p ro d u ce s u p
to 4 0 0 F o f h e at.
B e fo re th e air is d isch arg e d to th e
we t tan k, it g o e s th ro u g h an afte r-
co o le r, sim ilar to a car rad iato r th at
b rin g s th e air te m p e ratu re d o wn to
ab o u t 1 5 d e g re e s ab o ve th e am b ie n t
te m p e ratu re . Th e air is th e n d is-
ch arg e d fro m th e u n it to a we t tan k
th at allo ws all th e m o istu re th at re -
su lte d fro m th e co o lin g p ro ce ss to
d ro p to th e b o tto m o f th e tan k. I n th is
re ce ive r tan k a filte r is b u ilt in th at
trap s an y o il so it can t trave l d o wn -
stre am to th e re frig e ran t air d rye r o r
fu rth e r d o wn th e lin e .
O n ce all th e m o istu re an d o il are
re m o ve d , th e co m p re sse d air m o ve s
to th e re frig e ran t d rye r. Wh e n th e air
le ave s th e d rye r, it trave ls to a larg e
d ry tan k wh e re it waits u n til it is re -
q u ire d in so m e are a o f th e p lan t.
How it works
Ad d in g p ip in g is sim p le . C u t th e ap p ro p riate le n g th o f p ip in g , g rab th e ap p ro p riate Tran sair co n n e cto r o r b racke t, lin e th e
p ie ce s u p an d twist fo r a tig h t, se cu re co n n e ctio n . I t can b e e asily d isco n n e cte d .

/ june 2002 77
gram the placement of the equipment
and advise the companyof the require-
mentsof the system. However, the plan-
ning and final placement of the pipes
and connectionswasthe work of Scott
Navis, computer specialist at Barsanti.
O verhead pi pesrun throughout the
shop. Addi ng addi ti onal pi pi ng hori -
zontally requi resthe appropri ate
length of pi pi ng and a T ransai r con-
nector. C onnecti ng the pi pi ng to the
connector requi resli ni ng the pi ecesup
and twi sti ng for a ti ght, secure connec-
ti on. I t can be di sconnected easi ly as
well maki ng i t very adaptable.
I f a verti cally dropped li ne i sre-
qui red, a hole i sdri lled on the top of a
hori zontal pi pe runni ng over the area,
a drop bracket i sposi ti oned over the
hole and the pi pe i sconnected to the
bracket. Wi thi n mi nutesthe li ne i si n
place and ready to use. T he ai r travels
up through the hole and i sthen di rect-
ed down to where i tsneeded wi thout
the possi bi li ty of moi sture si nce any
possi ble moi sture would stay at the
bottom of the hori zontal pi pi ng.
T he compressor at Barsanti i stak-
i ng on approxi mately 35 percent of
the ai r needsof the plant. Although
the vacuum table for the C N C router
i staken care of by a separate uni t, the
ai r power provi ded by the Boge com-
pressor i sused to control the tool
change operati on.
T he compressor i salso used to
power the sander and edgebander. Ai r
power i salso used asa blower to clear
dust from all surfaces, for the sprayi ng
and fi ni shi ng operati on and for nu-
meroussmall ai r-powered tools.
Barsanti saysthat the compressor
hasworked very effecti vely to provi de
all the power needsof the plant.
Altendorf America
Altendorf sliding table saw
Brandt edgebander
Biesse America
Rover 24 CNC router
Boge America
Compressor system
SCM Group USA Inc.
DM C sander
Stiles Machinery
K uper veneer splicer
Air distribution system
For more information on these
products visit fdmonline.comor
contact the company directly.
78 FDM

/ june 2002
When the compressor wasfi rst put
i nto acti on, i t wasset at 100 psi . Ex-
peri mentati on and experi ence led the
company to change the setti ng to 97
psi , a more effi ci ent use of the system.
C urrently the plant setup works to
move parts through the plant effi -
ci ently, says Barsanti , but that can
change qui ckly. H e says that a sys-
tem li ke the Boge makes movi ng the
pi pi ng an easy part of any plant re-
desi gn or modi fi cati on, whi ch makes
thi s adaptable system i deal for hi s
company. L
air power
Afte r th e air g o e s th ro u g h a p artial co o lin g in th e co m p re sso r u n it, it is th e n
d isch arg e d to a we t tan k th at allo ws all th e m o istu re th at re su lte d fro m th e
co o lin g p ro ce ss to d ro p to th e b o tto m o f th e tan k. I n th is re ce ive r tan k a filte r is
b u ilt in th at trap s an y o il. I t th e n g o e s to th e re frig e ran t air d rye r, rig h t, th at
re m o ve s th e re m ain in g m o istu re .
A B o g e 5 0 h p o il-flo o d e d ro tary
scre w air co m p re sso r was ch o se n to
m e e t th e air p o we r n e e d s fo r B arsan ti
Wo o d wo rkin g . E ve ryth in g starts h e re
with th e co m p re sso r co n tro l u n it th at
take s th e am b ie n t air an d p ro d u ce s
co m p re sse d air.