Recently we have been asked by many of our customers “why can’t we just use a nitrogen tire inflation unit for our industrial application, the units are so cheap”. Below we try to address this question.
Nitrogen tire inflation companies are experts in nitrogen tire inflation. They are not experts in nitrogen generation. The equipment they sell has been designed specifically for tire inflation and can rarely be used for industrial applications. The pricing of these units is often very attractive compared to industrial units, and we will explain why in detail below.
Many nitrogen tire inflation units are manufactured in China and typically do not have UL listed electrical components or ASME vessels.
Since many of these units are made in China, finding maintenance parts (proprietary valves; fittings; PLC’s; etc.) will be very difficult. The components will all be metric.
Nitrogen generators designed for the tire filling industry operate on a very intermittent demand. They run for less than a few hours per day/ week at most. These units will not stand-up to the demands of continuous usage in an industrial application.
PSA nitrogen generators have two towers filled with a chemical called Carbon Molecular Sieve (CMS). Each tower shifts back and forth every minute. This is not an issue on industrial units since they utilize high cycle valves which are rated for over 1 million cycles. Tire filling units use standard valves since the usage requirement is very low. These standard valves will not hold up in an industrial application that operates even on a single shift application.
Manuals for nitrogen tire filling units are very vague. They explain how to turn the unit on and when to change the filters. There is no description on how to service the unit; part numbers; descriptions; etc.
Marketing, this is the true strength of tire inflation companies. They state the nitrogen purity is “adjustable” yet there is no description of how to do it in the manual. “Guaranteed purity up to 99.9%” yet the specifications state 95-99+%. “5 Year warranties” are claimed yet there is no mention of their warranties on their websites and their manuals state a 1 year warranty.
Service. We receive calls regularly from car dealerships and service garages asking if we can service their nitrogen tire inflation units because the manufacturer is no longer in that business. Examples: Ingersoll Rand; Atlas Copco; Kaeser; Purigen98; Air Products. The list goes on!!
There are other “technical” reasons why these units are not designed for industrial applications. Please contact us directly to discuss your requirement in greater detail and we will provide you with the best solution for your needs.
PLEASE KEEP IN MIND, IF NITROGEN GENERATION COMPANIES BELIEVED THESE TIRE INFLATION UNITS WOULD WORK SUCCESSFULLY IN AN INDUSTRIAL APPLICATION, ALL OF THEM WOULD BE SELLING THESE UNITS!!