Air compressor Solutions

Rotary Screw Compressors – How Do They Work?

For first in class performance and reliability, you can't look past a Rotary Screw Air Compressor 

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For businesses who need a constant air supply or that require consistent, reliable compressed air, there isn’t a better option than a Rotary Screw Air Compressor. 

When you drive past a large factory you can almost guarantee that you will find a Rotary Screw Compressor inside. This isn’t a coincidence at all, Industrial/Manufacturing businesses rely on Rotary Screw Compressors.

Unlike Reciprocating Compressors that use 1 or more pistons to compress air, Rotary Screw machines utilise counter-rotating rotors to produce compressed air. Because of that rotational action there are no mechanical forces or vibrations affecting operation. 

Simply put, Rotary Screw Compressors have near continuous operation that produce high airflow, consistent air pressure at significantly lower sound levels. Making them the machine of choice for medium-large scale operations.

Rotary Screw Air Compressor
Example of Rotary Screw Elements 

How do Rotary Screw Compressors work?

Though they look complicated at first glance, the functions of a Rotary Screw Compressor are very simple and can be broken down into 4 steps:*

  1. Intake: Atmospheric air is drawn through the intake filter and passed through to the airend.
  2. Compression: The air is mixed with oil and is passed through the twin rotors in the airend. 
  3. Separation: Once compressed the air/oil mixture is passed through a separator which removes most of the carry over oil.
  4. Discharge: Before the air is passed through the discharge valve it is filtered a final time to remove any oil mist that wasn’t removed by the separator. The air is now ready to be discharged and used throughout the system.

*These steps all occur simultaneously, from the moment the compressor is turned on and occur continuously until the compressor is switched off.

Simplified view of a Rotary Screw Air Compressor

Advantages of Rotary Screw Compressors

Rotary Screw Compressors are a good upgrade from a smaller Piston Compressor or as an entry point for businesses with a high demand on compressed air. Businesses can operate with minimal stoppages because of their high duty cycles and high air flows. 

Advantages of Rotary Screw Compressors also include:

  • Higher efficiency, up to 33% more air output for same size motor in a Piston Compressor
  • Lower running cost, up to 25% cost reduction
  • Up to 95% duty cycle, for continuous maximum output. Piston is 60% duty cycle for the same life span.
  • Longer Life, up to 4 times service life
  • Low noise, 62-70dba
  • More consistent air pressure
  • Cleaner, Dryer and Cooler air with Integrated machines (fitted with dryer)
  • Single power supply required to run compressor and dryer in integrated package
  • Capability of linking multiple machines together with growth of production.

Disadvantages of Rotary Screw Compressors

Screw Compressors offer first in class reliability, quality and efficiency, they come with a higher upfront price when compared to their Piston counterparts. 

Initially this turns off customers, and many will resort to buying an inferior machine. However over the lifespan of the Screw Compressor businesses will actually pay less per year of use, this is due to their longer service life (7-10+ years). 

Making the investment in a Rotary Screw Compressor is it quickly transforms businesses into an industrial operation, opening new avenues for process efficiencies and new machinery.

Revolutionising how you work with just one piece of equipment.


For businesses who need a constant air supply or that require consistent, reliable compressed air, there isn’t a better option than a Rotary Screw Air Compressor. 

When backed up with quality after sales service, screw compressors are the single best investment to increase efficiency and grow your business. 

Our Product Specialists are standing by to help find the best solution to unlock your businesses potential. 

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