What is a rotary screw compressor?

A rotary screw compressor is a type of air compressor that uses two rotating screws (also known as rotors) to produce compressed air. Rotary screw air compressors are clean, quiet and more efficient than other compressor types. They are also supremely reliable, even when used continuously. This makes screw compressors the preferred solution for professional and industrial applications across the globe.

A wide range of benefits

Rotary screw compressors are by nature of their compression technology energy efficient. Because energy costs make up the bulk of the expenses related to compressing air, this makes them a great investment.

In addition, screw compressors are built specifically for long lifetimes of reliable use. That makes them a great choice for operations that require (close to) continuous compressor operation.

Other advantages include that rotary screw air compressors do not require a lot of maintenance and are very versatile. In addition, they are relatively quiet. That means that screw compressors can be installed closer to the point of use without violating noise standards. This is important for workshops or other small businesses with limited space.

There is one other reason why you can now find rotary screw compressors in virtually all industries that rely on compressed air. They come in different forms and sizes. For example, there are screw compressors with belt drives, gear drives and direct drives. In addition, there are dry-running and oil-flooded compressors. In other words, no matter what you need, there is a rotary screw air compressor for you. 

Air compressor innovation process

How does a rotary screw compressor work?

How can these compressors combine all of these benefits?

The answer to that question lies in the ingenious rotary screw technology that gives them their name. The operating principle of rotary screw air compressors is called positive displacement. It is as simple as it is clever. They compress air by using two meshing helical screws, the so-called “rotors.” In the case of a dry-running rotary screw compressors, timing gears guarantee that the male and female rotors maintain a precise alignment. In the case of oil-flooded rotary screw air compressors, lubricating oil is used to bridge the space between the driving and the driven rotors. This forms a hydraulic seal and allows mechanical energy to be transferred between the two rotors. To watch a video of how these compressors work, you can go here

Benefits of the three types of rotary screw air compressor drives

To make sure that there is a Ceccato rotary screw compressor for you, we have developed models with three different types of drive. Each has distinct advantages.

  • Belt drive: This screw compressor is robust as well as easy to install and maintain. In addition, it has the lowest initial investment cost. This combination makes it a great choice for any small operations without experts on staff.
  • Gear drives: Its gear drive makes this compressor quieter. While its investment cost is higher, it is more energy efficient. Therefore, if the compressor is used a lot, this will pay off over time.
  • Direct drive: This is the pinnacle of rotary screw compressor technology. The innovative direct drive offers unmatched efficiency and performance. Due to its low energy consumption, this compressor will quickly recoup its higher initial investment cost. From that point on it will keep racking up savings. In addition, it is the quietest of the three.

There are different types of direct drive rotary screw air compressors. This includes the basic design of smaller models and the energy-saving variable speed drive units. 

Applications for rotary screw air compressors

In light of their many benefits, types and sizes, the applications for Ceccato screw compressors are virtually unlimited.

However, there are some uses that are a particularly good fit. Stationary screw compressors are the optimal choice for large industrial applications with a continuous air demand. These can be found in manufacturing or food packaging plants.

Smaller rotary screw air compressors are often turned into mobile units. They are a great fit for construction sites or mining operations in remote locations. These are applications where their ease of installation and robustness is a decisive advantage.

As noted above, you will also have the choice between an oil-injected and an oil-free compressor. You would use the former when the air quality is of secondary importance. That is the case when you have to power pneumatic tools. Other applications for oil-injected rotary screw air compressors include gas refrigeration and hydrocarbon processing.

However, there are many other applications where compressed air quality matters a great deal. The pharmaceutical industry, medical research, the food & beverage sector or in semiconductor manufacturing are just a few examples. Here, you should only consider an oil-free screw compressor. 

Got questions? We have answers.

Of course, a Ceccato expert is always ready to answer any questions you might have about rotary screw compressors. Do you need help determining your compressed air needs? Are you unsure which compressor size or model would be the best investment for you? Contact us today!