Thursday, January 18

Traveling & Compressed Air

Cold weather in the Midwest means a lot of us start to book vacations to warm weather locations!  Did you know that compressed air is a major utility powering different facets of the travel industry? Let’s look at a few industries in the travel world that rely on compressed air:

Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is a huge market for compressed air! With increased automotive technologies over the years, and a large consumer demand for vehicles, compressed air has helped make a more efficient automotive industry in many ways.

The manufacturing and building stages are where compressed air is used the most! First, compressed air is used in the pneumatic tools during assembly.  These pneumatic tools, powered by compressed air, can be completing tasks assembling large or small parts that are constructed of steel, metal, plastic, or rubber. Compressed air is also used to power the conveying system that moves the product through the factory from one stage to the next. Compressed air also can be used to carry the bulk of the heavy lifting by powering machinery that lifts, transports, and positions the vehicle being assembled.

Next, the cleaning and painting of the final product is powered by clean compressed air. Compressed air is used in the paint guns to spray an even, contaminant free coat of paint over the vehicle as many times as needed. Compressed air is also used to blow off and clean the final product to ensure it is contaminant free and pleasing to the consumer’s eye.

After the automobiles are manufactured and sold, autobody shops utilize compressed air for maintenance and repairs. These shops use compressed air in their pneumatic hand tools that are used to fill tires, screw in parts, ratchet nuts and bolts, or so many other vital maintenance and repair duties. The process of grinding or cutting metal may need to take place in these shops, and compressed air will also be used to power the saws and machinery that perform this task!

Railroad Industry

Air compressors needed to operate railroad operations are unique in the fact that they need to operate under extreme conditions in environments that can be highly contaminated or very hot.  These compressors carry out a handful of vital purposes in the railroad industry.

First, some locomotives in the railroad industry utilize mechanisms called pantographs to move from one destination to the next. Compressed air powers these pantographs so that they can draw currents from overhead wires along the tracks and move the cars along the track.

Next, compressed air is used to power both the suspension system and the brakes of a train. Brakes are the most important emergency feature on the train, and without reliable compressed air to power this stopping mechanism, severe dangers could result. The suspension system is responsible for allowing and controlling the motion between the tires, springs, and other components that connect the wheels to the train car.  Without a steady suspension system, turbulence can occur that can range from uncomfortable for the passengers to extremely dangerous.

Lastly, compressed air is also used to power the automatic doors that open and close when a train is at a destination. Of course, with improper operation, doors could open at dangerous times, like when the unit is moving, or stay shut when they need to let passengers off, trapping them on the train.  Reliable compressed air is crucial to ensure smooth and correct function of these automatic doors.

Aerospace Industry

Air compressors are used for multiple purposes throughout different stages in the aerospace industry. 

First aircraft manufacturers rely on compressed air to help manufacture the components that build the physical plane. From engine manufacturing to metal finishing to wing structure testing, compressed air is used to create and ensure vital pieces of the aircraft are reliable and durable. It is also used to simulate “in-air” conditions to safely test the functioning of these crucial parts.

Next, air compressors are used to provide and maintain clean, uncontaminated airflow to the passengers while onboard the flight. When airplanes reach a higher altitude, there is less pressure surrounding and within the airplane.  This is what causes the oxygen molecules to spread out and thus creating a challenge for humans to receive the proper amount of oxygen needed to maintain a comfortable level and/or survive. The air compressor helps the airplane process the outside air, turn it into breathable air, and release it into the cabin for the pilots, flight attendants, and passengers.

On ground support is another important process within the aerospace industry that relies on compressed air.  Equipment used to repair and maintain parts, like grinders, hammers, and welding gear, are all powered by compressed air.  Without compressed air, these hand tools would not have the energy or power to turn on and operate.  Compressed air is also used to inject fuel directly into the engine’s cylinders.



Zorn is the Midwest leader of custom, engineered compressed air and vacuum solutions. We provide the best customer experience by understanding your applications and needs and offering an unparalleled commitment to customer satisfaction. 

Our comprehensive product and service solutions keep you running 24/7.

  • Reliable equipment
  • Trusted brands
  • Seamless, easy installation
  • Post-sales support
  • Local, 24/7 service

Our compressed air experts look forward to meeting you to discuss your equipment and support needs. Please contact us directly at (262) 695-7000 with any questions or to schedule service for your system moving forward.

how can we help you?