The Impact of Technology in the Air Compressor Industry

Technology simply continues to move markets and industries forward. And this includes the air compressor industry.

Yes, while the average consumer may not associate air compressors with major advances in technology and innovation, compressed air systems have come a long way in a relatively short period of time, helping facilities become more efficient, safe, and productive. And this market continues to grow and accelerate. In fact, according to an analysis from Market Research Future Reports, the global air compressor industry is projected to grow at a continuous average growth rate, or CAGR, of 7.5 percent through 2027. This growth is being driven by a variety of things, including the rapidly industrializing global economy, profitability of manufacturers and, perhaps most notably, innovation and technological advances in the space.

In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at a variety of air compressor emerging technologies and how they’re poised to continue to advance the manufacturing environment of tomorrow. Here’s a closer look:

The Air Compressor of Tomorrow is Flexible

There are several complaints involving today’s compressed air technology, notably how such systems run rather inefficiently and use a lot of power. But a key trend that’s driving the future of this technology is air compressors with variable speeds. Today, most air compressors run at fixed speeds. That is, regardless of the application they distribute the same amount of air. But a variable speed air compressor would allow users to adjust the flow of air relative to the application that they’re working with. This could result in a significant energy savings while also making compressors more efficient and productive. Today, a compressed air system can represent up to 10 percent of a facility’s total energy usage, which can represent a significant overhead cost. By moving toward a compressed air unit with variable speed control, the energy savings potential can be significant. This can ideally help a company improve its bottom line by reducing overhead.


Increased portability of air compressors is expected to continue well into the future, with Global Market Insights predicting that this segment will account for about 20 percent of the entire market by 2027. The concept of “power on the go” is crucial for location-based work, and advances in these types of portable compressors look to significantly advance the productivity and convenience of professionals who need to take compressed air systems with them from location to location based on their scope of work for a particular day and week.

Quieter Operation

One thing that’s synonymous with most air compressors today is their sound — and not in a good way. Air compressors are loud and they can represent a significant amount of noise pollution. In fact, the average noise level for air compressors today is 85 decibels, a noise level that typically requires hearing protection and operation within designated hearing protection zones. Studies show that prolonged exposure to noisy environments can have more dire health consequences than just hearing loss as well. In fact, exposure to noisy environments is also linked to stress, lack of sleep, productivity lapses and even cognitive issues. This is all to say that one of the big stressors for new air compressor technology is more silent operation. This is partially being helped by various government entities regulating the noise that is emitted from industrial air compressors. Manufacturers are working to stay compliant to these changing standards as well as permit work to be performed in a more favorable environment by reducing operating noise.

Oil-Less Systems Expected to Continue Surge

Oil-free systems are preferred by many due to being maintenance-friendly and requiring less of an operational investment compared to compressed air units that rely on this natural resource. This is especially becoming a more significant trend as oil prices continue to ebb and flow on a global scale. Oil-free air compressors have several notable advantages over their oil-using counterparts. For instance, they do not release contaminants into the environment, are generally less expensive and can represent a cost savings over time. They’re expected to continue to trend in environments where it’s difficult to acquire oil or in facilities that place a strong emphasis on environmental accountability.

Contact JHFOSTER Today

As you can see, the air compressor industry is hardly one that is remaining static. It continues to move forward and evolve, and the aforementioned developments and technological trends are just a few of the ways that compressed air systems are helping facilities and manufacturing environments run more efficiently and effectively. For more information on the impact that technological advances are having in the compressed air industry and for assistance in finding an air compressor that meets your facility’s requirements, contact us today. We’re standing by and ready to help you take your operations to the next level.