Good practice

Digitally tracking air leaks

Digitally tracking air leaks
© industrieblick, #69658775, 2018, source:
Manufacturing of machinery and equipment
High cost
Payback time:
0.2 - 0.5 Year(s)
Associated cost savings: Energy:
20 - 30%
Payback time:
Very fast return on investment provided it can reduce leakage by 20 or 30 %
Premises and operation areas:
Production processes
Size of company:
Large (more than 250)

Expected and unexpected benefits

  • An app that pays for itself within a couple of weeks
  • Digital tool to map out compressed air leaks in a production hall
  • Freeing up funds for more repairs

There is no such thing as a flawless airtight compressed airline. Though leakage appears to be inevitable, there are ways to optimise repairs and maintenance which can ultimately increase resource efficiency and lower production costs. 

Cooper Standard Automotive produces brake lines for the automobile industry. Like any other factory where machines are powered by the pressure of a compressed air line circuit, leaks are a common occurence during production and can be very costly if not spotted and repaired quickly.

To this end, Cooper Standard Automotive recently implemented a tablet app to track down and monitor compressed air loss. When a leak is discovered, it is analysed and assigned an identification 'QR' code. This code provides all the information needed by technicians to locate the defect and assess the size of the leak, the materials needed to repair it and how much it is likely to cost.

Data collected on all incidents can be aggregated and analysed into reports on the overall costs and savings achieved thanks to resource efficiency measures. These analytics also help management to refine its overall production strategy and free up funds for further optimisation and repairs.

Key impacts 

  • Improved and faster maintenance of air leaks
  • Ability to calculate energy savings thanks to fast, proactive repairs and maintenance
  • Better data upon which to base budgeting decisions

“We’ll never get compressed air completely under control. But if I can reduce leakage by 20 or 30 %, then the app has paid for itself within a couple of weeks.” -- Gerhard Bühle, Cooper Standard Employee

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