The compressed air industry allows users to access pressurized air for a variety of needs. From manufacturing equipment, to automobiles, to oil and gas access, there are numerous devices that many of us use every day which benefit from compressed air technologies.
Even the human body produces compressed air through the lungs.
The origins of the compressed air industry can be found in the invention of the bellows, with early models appearing around the 15th century BC. It wouldn’t be until the 19th century when we would begin to use compressed air to transmit energy. The first compressor plant was built in France in 1888, eventually creating 18,000 kilowatts of energy.
Today’s compressed air industry features air compressors and energy transmission products found on a variety of vehicles and equipment. You can also purchase compressed air in a can to spray away internal dust from equipment, such as a computer.
Important Compressed Air Industry Statistics
#1. Air compressor and gas compressor manufacturing in the United States is an industry valued at $11 billion. In 2016, the output from the manufacturing industry offered a gross output value of $9.5 billion. From 2012-2017, the industry was relatively stable, achieving an annual growth rate of 0.4%. (IBIS World)
#2. There are about 300 firms currently active within the compressed air industry in the U.S. right now. Combined, they are responsible for the direct employment of about 20,000 people. Atlas Copco, Dresser-Rand, and Gardner Denver are the leading firms in the industry. (IBIS World)
#3. In 2015, 41% of the market share experienced by the compressed air industry came from its oil and gas segment. (Technavio)
#4. The oil and gas segment was responsible for a significant share of the $20 billion in global revenues generated by the industry in 2016. (Grand View Research)
#5. The North American air compressor market is expected to achieve revenues of $6.6 billion annually by 2020. Rotary air compressors are expected to be the leading segment, followed by centrifugal compressors, then reciprocating compressors. (Grand View Research)
#6. Oiled air compressors reflect a leading share of industry revenues for the compressed air industry. (Grand View Research)
#7. Stationary air compressors are expected to be a leading segment in the industry as well, outselling portable units on a 2:1 scale. (Grand View Research)
#8. 35% of the compressed air that is produced globally is wasted because of leaks. The average operator can save up to 25% of their operating costs by simply having an air audit performed on their equipment. (Compressor Pump and Service)
#9. For every 10 PSI of excess pressure produced by an individual unit, there is a 5% increase in the power cost that users must pay. (Compressor Pump and Service)
#10. Up to 50% of electrical costs generated by a compressed air system can be eliminated by performing regular maintenance on owned units. (Compressor Pump and Service)
#11. 70% of all manufacturers use some type of compressed air system. That is because the compressed air industry works with machine tools, separation equipment, material handling responsibilities, and even spray painting. (Quincy Compressor)
#12. For the typical SCFM installation, energy wastes of compressed air average about $9,600. For a 1,500 CFM installation, the wasted compressed air is valued at more than $32,000 per year. (Quincy Compressor)
#13. A 1/8-inch diameter leak in a 100 PSI compressed air system can cost more than $12,000 in unused energy each year. (Quincy Compressor)
#14. Air compressors convert up to 90% of their electrical energy into heat. (Quincy Compressor)
#15. In 2016, almost 13,000 units of industrial air compressors were manufactured in South Korea. (Statista)
Compressed Air Industry Trends and Analysis
Growth is dependent upon technological innovation with a mature industry like the compressed air industry. One example of this is the GA VSD+ compressor that was incorporated into Atlas Copco products beginning in 2013. Not only did this technology make users more productive with industry products, it reduces the energy consumption of each unit by 35% when compared to a fixed-speed compressor.
Based on the idea that more innovative ideas are in the research and development chain, the compressed air industry is expected to rise by 7% over the next 5 years. With oil and gas industry expansions occurring in China, the U.S., and the Middle East, the industry looks poised to experience great levels of success.
Look for household appliances and automobiles to support industry growth as well. Should an economic recession reach the U.S. economy, or the U.S. dollar grows stronger against global currencies, then these growth figures may not hold up. Otherwise, the compressed air industry looks poised to achieve a value nearing $40 billion by 2024.