Heads up, laser and shop people: I've installed an automatic controller and valve on the air compressor. The controller will turn the power on the compressor as well as opening the valve from the tank to the air lines (i.e. what we had to do manually). It will do this whenever a laser is in use (based on a valid RFID fob/card being present at the laser) as well as having a manual trigger on the control box on the wall next to the compressor. In addition, it has a "watch dog" feature that will detect when the compressor has been running too long and cut off its power. This should prevent damage to the compressor in case we have an air line blow out again.
What you need to know if you are using the laser: You no longer have to manually switch the compressor on/off and open/close the ball valve on the compressor. In fact, don't mess with the power switch or ball valve at all (there is no need anymore). In combination with the earlier changes made to the lasers, compressed air for laser cutting is now completely automatic. No need to open or close any valves manually at all! You still have to manage the vent fan and blast gates (at least for now).
If you are in the shop and you need the compressor turned on, press the big green button on the control box on the wall next to the compressor. This will turn power on the compressor for 60 minutes. You can cancel this operation buy pressing the big red button on the control box. Note that if someone is using a laser cutter, the compressor power will remain on.
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Fort Collins, CO 80524