Our Breath-taking History

Monday, January 14, 2019

If you go back far enough, one of the earliest and most recognisable uses of the air compressor – which is basically a method of pressurising room temperature air to power other devices - was the humble bellow.

BOGE history

If you go back far enough, one of the earliest and most recognisable uses of the air compressor – which is basically a method of pressurising room temperature air to power other devices - was the humble bellow.

 

Used mostly in metalworks, the bellow was a handheld tool that allowed air to be pumped through a flexible animal skin or bag via a nozzle, delivering a concentrated blast of air. The fire was then stoked, increasing its heat to a temperature hot enough to melt gold and copper.

 

It wasn’t until 1762 that British engineer, John Smeaton, created a water wheel-driven blowing cylinder that eventually replaced the bellows. In 1776, another Brit inventor John Wilkinson, created a blaster machine that eventually became the blueprint for the modern mechanical air compressors we have today.

 

The technology was then utilised in more and more applications as the benefits were realised for mining and ventilation in underground construction. In 1857, the construction of the French-Italian rail system was expedited with the introduction of the compressor. Railway managers decided to use a newly invented pneumatic rock drill to connect the two countries with an 8-mile rail tunnel under Mt. Cenis. The work began with manual drilling in 1857, but a few years later engineers installed "wet" compressors (which used water to cool air inside the cylinders) on the French and Italian sides, and two teams drilled through the rock toward each other.

 

With more advanced pneumatic components the increase and usage of compressed air systems spread. Today, we use compressors across industry in pharmaceutical, textile, food and beverage, automotive, metal and wood works, energy generation and supply and so much more.

 

Today turbo technology, has catapulted air compressors into a new era saving both resources and energy without using a drop of oil. Noise levels are minimal but still maintaining high speeds (HST). Now with Industry 4.0, the benefits of predictive maintenance, analytics and optimisation, means we are already hitting exciting new milestones and getting ready for a breath-taking future.

 

Reaching a milestone is a great time to reflect on the incredible that services so many businesses and sectors. So, let’s celebrate BOGE and the historical milestones that have shaped industry and our lives today.