When compressed air is directly integrated as the process medium in certain methods this is referred to as so-called process air. As far as the context of manufacturing processes are concerned, it therefore comes in direct contact with products and must have a corresponding high quality and purity criteria. The guidelines of the respective industries, the quality classes in accordance with ISO 8573-1 as well as the recommendations of the German VDMA hereby provide information about the quality class which must be fulfilled.
The pharmaceutical industry also implements process air to e.g. manufacture and package tablets. Depending on the production stages, the compressed air must be dry, germ-free and sometimes even sterile.It is also particularly important in the food industry to utilise caution with regard to oil and sterility in the process air, which means that an additional sterile filter must be utilised in the event of a direct contact with the product. Compressed air will be utilised, for example, to spray or blow-off foodstuffs or for transporting foodstuff.
Compressed air can therefore be utilised as high-quality process air in the context of surface treatments: When painting - one of the most energy-intensive and expensive processes in the context of automotive manufacturing - it is essential that prevention of so-called paint-wetting impairment substances (PWIS) is guaranteed.