A major compressor manufacturer was looking for a new drying technology for their oil-free piston compressors, especially those used in medical and laboratory applications. They had been experiencing high rates of returns and increasing service cost, due to failures of their desiccant dryers. Having had negative experience in the past with other membrane suppliers, they reached out to Pentair to help build a new and customized solution.

problem statements

  • Warranty claims and failing dryers (especially for single tower desiccant systems)
  • Unstable dew point suppression
  • High cost of twin tower desiccant systems

core issues

  • The single tower desiccant dryers used on their system could not handle the volume of moisture produced when the air was compressed and failed prematurely
  • The twin tower desiccant dryer capital expenditure was very high for some of the end users
  • Membrane technology had failed in the past because of liquid water and pressure cycling


Pentair developed a new membrane dryer that would deliver the required dew point suppression for their applications (down to -20°C outlet dew point) and at the same time is designed to withstand the challenging physical stresses that are created in a piston air compressor (vibration and pressure cycling*). 

Casestudy Medical

The dryer is designed to withstand several hundreds of thousands of on/off cycles for years of dependable performance. The Pentair membrane dryer was built to cost less than a twin tower desiccant dryer, allowing the manufacturer to increase profit margins without having to worry about costly warranty claims.

 * Pressure cycling: fast pressurization and de-pressurization in a compressor system.


After beginning internal testing of the membrane dryers in 2010, the manufacturer now has thousands of compressors using Pentair membrane dryers in the field.

Maintenance free
The end users appreciate the maintenance free and silent operation of the Pentair membrane dryer.

Better value proposition in the market

The manufacturer’s sale of the product line that has an integrated membrane dryer has increased 30% year over year.