If you subscribe to the notion that "size matters," you might want to switch to a new paradigm: "Good things come in small packages."
That's certainly the case for the Mobilair M27, a one-tool-size portable compressor that packs enough punch to power a large paving breaker, as Chance Chartters, sales manager-Mobilair for Kaeser Compressors Inc., explains in an interview with New Equipment Digest.
NED: What led Kaeser to develop this portable compressor?
CC: The Mobilair M27 provides 92 cfm at 100 psig—enough to power a large paving breaker, but without excessive flow and therefore without wasted gas.
The one-tool-size diesel air compressor is not common in the market, but we have considered it an important offering in our portable lineup since we introduced the M25.
As with all of our product lines, Kaeser is continually striving to make units more innovative and user-friendly, and to generally improve upon our already outstanding products. So, the M25 begot the M26, and the M26 begot the M27.
The M27 closely resembles its predecessor but instead features a control panel on the back, rather than on the side of the unit. The new placement of the control panel allows for easier maintenance and repair.
Additionally, the roto-molded polymer canopy is even stronger with the M27.
NED: How is this product different from similar compressors currently being offered?
CC: There are not many portable compressors offered in this market that provide less than 185 cfm. The M27 is designed for users that only need to power a single tool. Small but powerful, the M27 can power up to a 90-pound paving breaker.
NED: Any particular problems that came up during the development process?
CC: We faced the main underlying concern during the development process with the M25 a number of years ago: Will the market accept a compressor of this size? Once we determined it would, we began working on a way to increase acceptance in the market.
The M26’s rotomolded polymer dent-resistant shell replaced the M25’s steel canopy and provided a little more cfm. With the M27, we innovated the design again to better meet the needs of the market and to offer the best product possible today.
NED: What was the length of time from conception to final production?
CC: Work on the M27’s design started in 2009. After we decide that we’ll offer a new unit, we take our time to really determine how to best suit the target market’s needs—making things as user-friendly and reliable as we can.
The changes in design from the M26 to the M27 largely consisted of ways to make the canopy even more durable. As a bonus to the added durability, the structural changes in the canopy also give the M27 a sleeker, more modern look.
NED: Did cost factors affect the final design of this product?
CC: The M27 was not a result of Kaeser looking for ways to cut costs to manufacture this size compressor. The M27 was born because we made changes with the customer in mind—namely a stronger canopy in this case.
We use the same amount of materials, if not a little more, to produce the M27 as we did for the M26. The cost to manufacture is actually a little higher, but the benefit to the customer is greater—including a longer life cycle.
NED: Who do you view as the primary users of this container and how will they benefit?
CC: The user that will achieve the best results with the M27 is the compressor user that only needs to power one tool.
The M27 is well-suited for site work. Customers have found it ideal for blowing out larger sprinkler irrigation lines, as well as monument engraving in tight spots.
M27 users do not need the industry standard of 185 cfm, and choose to use the appropriate flow to meet their need—using less gas and benefitting the environment.
NED: Care to add any other interesting sidelights?
CC: The utility-mount design has also been improved from the M26 to the M27. The M27 utility model actually has a steel canopy, and doesn’t have any fenders, which are unnecessary on units that are mounted to service vehicles—so there is no wasted space.
Another advantage of the M27 utility is that the new placement of the control panel allows for easy access from the side of the vehicle.
Also, while we would love to see the Kaeser yellow everywhere, the M27 is available in several different colors.
The M27 will be on display at trade shows in early 2013, including the American Rental Show.