Industrial Engine Rotary Screw Compressor Applications

Does your job require more compressed air than your current compressor can handle?

If you answered yes, then VMAC may have an option for you. Most industrial engines have a factory option for a reciprocating compressor that was designed for intermittent duty air brake applications. For industries like dust collecting, spray foam applicators, prime assist water pumps, road patching and air arc welding, a more robust and higher performing compressor is required. VMAC offers continuous duty rotary screw compressors ranging from 20-150 CFM for the following engines. Don’t see an application for your engine? Contact us.

Engine SupplierEngine Model
CFM @ Engine RPM
System Photo
B3.3L Turbo EPA Tier 4i
60 @ 1860 RPM
QSB 4.5L Turbo
37 @ 2250 RPM
QSB 6.7 EPA Tier 3
59 @ 2200 RPM

2.94 L4 TD Tier 4 Final Compliant
60 @ 1800 RPM
John Deere
JD4045 4.5L Turbo
25 @ 1600 RPM
John Deere
JD4045 4.5L Turbo
63 @ 2500 RPM
John Deere
JD6068 6.8L Turbo
70 @ 2550 RPM
John Deere
JD6068 6.8L Turbo
90 @ 1950 RPM

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It was 250 years ago - in 1765 - the first reciprocating compressor built and considered cutting edge technology. In the intervening years, little has changed. Reciprocating compressors contain many moving parts and use a piston/cylinder to compress air, just like they did in 1765. They require a receiver tank for heat dissipation and the provision of consistent airflow. Since so little has changed, it is no surprise that today’s workers find many faults with the design of reciprocating compressors.

Some common complaints of reciprocating compressors include:

  • The air pressure in the receiver tank must reach a certain level before any tools can be used. The tank must be constantly refilled, and under heavy loads the compressors cannot keep up with demand. This means constant stop-work intervals throughout the completion of a job.
  • Reciprocating compressors are notoriously loud and have low frequency noise levels with decibel levels that may exceed the 90dB limit recommended for extended periods of time. This leads directly to damaged hearing – a major safety concern in mines, on construction sites, in train yards and on highways to name a few of the places these compressors are found.
  • They are naturally prone to heavy vibrations, which are hard to dampen with most mounting systems.
  • Reciprocating compressors tend to run VERY hot (more than 500F or 260C). They need extra space for cooling purposes. The air the pump out must be treated and cooled or you risk damaging your tools or downstream equipment requiring the air. The high heat also accelerates the breakdown of parts, increasing the need for frequent maintenance and parts replacement from normal usage. Oil also breaks down faster and requires more frequent changing.
  • There’s another issue created by all this excess heat… Oil carryover. A common problem with reciprocating air compressors, and the older the compressor, the worse it becomes. Oil can be sucked past the piston rings into the air where it quickly turns into vapor from the excessively high operating temperatures. When the vapor cools, it can combine with water vapor to create harmful emulsions. The oil can also burn, forming fine carbon soot particles, which when cooled, becomes sludge.

Even with these many challenges, it took about 200 years after the first reciprocating compressors were used for rotary screw compressors to start making an impact. This trend started in the 1950s. Although originally patented in the late 1800’s, radical innovations in materials and technology have enabled the rotary screw compressor to leapfrog past their older predecessor. The advantages of the rotary screw compressor include:

  • Extended lifecycles: 6,000-8,000 hours, and 20,000-30,000 with proper maintenance.
  • Simple routine maintenance: They only require changing the oil, oil filter and air/oil separator about every 500 hours or every 6 months in mobile applications—dramatically reducing maintenance costs and service time.
  • Rotary screw compressors generally do not require a receiver tank.
  • They can run at full capacity all day, with no need for breaks or worries of overheating. To avoid breakdowns and overheating, Reciprocating compressors must be used at 60% duty cycle or below and given frequent breaks.
  • Screw compressors also generally have lower discharge temperatures.

VMAC’s OEM group is here to help you with your air compressor needs. Whether you are looking for a total engineered solution or just need advice or knowledge, give us a call.

Air Brakes
Better suited for high-duty cycle usage, VMAC offers a rotary screw air compressor solution for your demanding air brake needs.

Air Suspension
More and more passenger buses are using kneeling suspension systems. Traditional compressors are either not available for many of these chassis or do not provide sufficient air volume or duty cycle. Switching to a rotary screw compressor alleviates the challenges.

Spray Foam
Portable, lightweight spray foam systems air available for many applications. Adding an onboard air compressor rather than towing one to the job site reduces the need for another vehicle or a second trip.

Pothole / crack sealing
Turn your pothole/crack sealing trailer into an all-in-one package. Adding an air compressor to your existing engine provides your customer with added value and reduces the need for additional pieces of equipment.
Air arc gouging
When the job calls for structural steel welding and other rugged outdoor work, you need an engine-driven welder that covers all your process needs – stick, MIG, TIG, flux-cored and gouging – and also meets the latest diesel fuel emissions standards. Upgraded for Tier 4 Final (T4F) compliance, the Air Vantage series has been re-engineered to deliver smoother arc characteristics and improved pipe welding capabilities. The Air Vantage® 600 SD includes a VMAC belt-driven compressor with separate gauges to monitor compressor hours and pressure.

Air tools
Sometimes you just need air to power traditional air tools, blow off your equipment or fill a tire. Give yourself that option by including a rotary screw air compressor with your equipment or machine.

Railway Maintenance
Railway maintenance is tough enough without having to manage more and more pieces of equipment. Use an existing unit to power your air compressor by adding a rotary screw compressor system to it.

Compressed air foam firefighting
Mobile compressed air foam fire-fighting requires vehicles that can quickly reach the scene. Adding a light-weight, powerful rotary screw compressor to your CAF system’s engine provides a compact unit ready to go when you are.
Compressor / Generator
Many applications have a diesel engine driven generator supplying power to their equipment, while at the same time supplying power to run an electrically driven air compressor, on the same application. Instead of powering the electric motor driven compressor with the generator, why not use the diesel engine to power both the generator and the air compressor at the same time and save a step. One driver instead of two.

VR70 Components

VR70 Air End

VR70 Air/ Oil
Separator Tank

VR70 Air to
Liquid Cooler

VR70 Liquid to
Liquid Cooler

VR70 Spline Drive
Air End

VR150 Components

VR150 Air End

VR150 Air/Oil
Separator Tank

VR150 Liquid to Liquid

VR40 Components

VR40 Air End

WHASP Tank combo
Air/Oil Separator Cooler

Other Components

60CFM Primary Air/Oil
Separator Tank

Manifold Assembly

45CFM Primary Air/Oil
Separator Tank

VMAC strives to provide the best warranty service in the industry to give you the peace of mind you need.

*For more information about VMAC's Warranty Policy, please visit

VMAC VR40 - 40CFM Rotary Screw air compressor spec sheet
VMAC VR70 - 70CFM Rotary Screw air compressor spec sheet
VMAC Knowledge Base – A source for online technical data
VMAC Service Kits – A listing of VMAC service kits by application and the components contained in those kits
Manuals – VMAC’s Owner’s and Support Manuals

For further support, please contact VMAC’s Technical Support Team at 1(888)241-2289 or (250)740-3200 or .