AirSep has been a quality manufacturer and provider of oxygen concentrators for a number of years. Their latest release, the Companion 5 Compact Stationary Oxygen Concentrator, may be their best yet. Combining modern technology with easy-to-use controls in a sleek, innocuous case, the Companion 5 is an excellent machine for providing oxygen therapy while at home or on the road.
The Companion 5 is relatively easy to transport and very durable, though somewhat large when compared to many other similar concentrators. The Companion 5 is designed and built with reliability, quality performance, and ease-of-use in mind. .
Companion 5 Highlights:
1. The Companion 5 is transport thanks to its four roller wheels.
2. The Companion 5 uses state-of-the-art technology to deliver consistent oxygen flow while consuming less power and causing less noise.
3. The Companion 5 can offer as much or as little oxygen as you need, offering a maximum setting of 5 liters per minute.
4. A simple control panel and concerted effort by the designers to reduce internal complexity have made the Companion 5 easy to use and maintain.
Dimensions, Design, and Density:
The AirSep Companion 5 is by no means the smallest oxygen concentrator on the market. With the exterior casing measuring in at 21.5” x 12.5” x 13.5” (54.6 cm x 31.8 cm x 34.2 cm) and the entire device weighing in at 36 pounds (16.3 kg), the Companion 5 isn’t particularly difficult to pick up and move. Plus, the four roller wheels attached to the bottom allows a range of transport options.
The entire machine is encased in a sleek, gray plastic case that can easily blend into the background when moved off to the side. Located on the front right panel of the machine is a simple control panel with a toggled on/off switch, rotating oxygen flow adjustment knob, and easily understood LED lights. The left front panel has a humidifier bottle stand for easy access and detachment. The metal cannula barb is securely connected to the front of the device as well.
The Companion 5 utilizes two unique technologies developed internally by AirSep to drastically increase the efficiency and convenience to the patient when operating the device. The two patent-pending technologies are:
• ultraSILENT technology: This development drastically reduces the noise levels produced by the machine when in use. It uses a special intake filter and a unique dual-chambered muffler to mask the majority of any intake noise. The ultraSILENT tech doesn’t just reduce intake noise. It also features a particular purge muffler to reduce the exhaust noise as well. Thanks to this new technology, the Companion 5 is an excellent choice for patients with high noise sensitivities as it runs at a muted 40 dB when set at 2 LPM. For those who are unaware of what 40 is on the decibel scale, Industrial Noise Control uses a library or ambient bird calls as an example of 40 dB.
• autoFLOW technology: The second of AirSep’s unique technology improvements helps increase the power efficiency of the Companion 5. The autoFLOW tech reduces the power requirements of the device when in use by manipulating the valve cycle timing in accordance to flow rates. The lower the flow rate, the shorter the valve cycle. However, this doesn’t just help in reducing power requirements. It assists in further reducing noise during operation as well as supporting a higher purity of oxygen flow. Additional benefits include reduced pressure at lower flow rates and lower operating temperatures.
Caire Medical, parent company of AirSep, states that these two technologies drastically help improve the Companion 5’s performance, durability, and efficiency.
Oxygen Capacity and Delivery:
With the nasal cannula right on the front of the device, setting up the Companion 5 for an oxygen therapy session is a breeze. With the capability to provide anywhere from 0.5 to 5 LPM of oxygen, the Companion 5 gives a lot of room for therapy adjustment in regards to oxygen needs. Regardless of the flow rate selected, the Companion 5 can reliably administer a continuous flow of oxygen with purity somewhere between 87 and 95 percent.
The oxygen is continuously delivered with an accuracy of plus-or-minus ten percent, or 200 ml, per minute at an average pressure of 4.6 psig (31.7 kPa).
Operating Environment and Power Usage:
While the Companion 5 might be a little bulky compared to other compact oxygen concentrators, it is extremely durable and can operate under a wide range of circumstances. The Companion 5 can operate at an altitude anywhere from -1,253 feet up to 9,878 feet. The temperature tolerances of the device are significant as well, with the range of operation sitting between 41° F and 104° F (5° C and 40° C). The Companion 5 is also capable of operating in a humidity of up to 95 percent.
The electricity requirements of the Companion 5 are not particularly heavy. The power of the device sits at 120 V, 60Hz in North America and 230 V, 50 Hz in Europe. When using the device, the average rate of electricity consumption sits around 250 watts per hour when running at 2 LPM. However, since the device can provide up to 5 LPM, the maximum electricity consumption is 350 watts.
When operating your Companion 5, you need to take care where you set it up. Setting it up in a badly ventilated room or location or blocking any of the vents can lead to breakdowns and other issues. Considering the flammability of oxygen, especially pure, setting up your device anywhere near a significant heat source can be disastrous.
Service and Quality:
One of the core design tenets of the Companion 5 is a focus on quality service and simplicity. The device features a number of tweaks and improvements that make both operation and maintenance as simple and easy as possible. Besides the easily accessed front panel, nasal cannula, and humidifier stand, the Companion 5’s front panels open up like a cabinet to reveal the relatively spare internal mechanisms. The AirSep designers spent some serious time reducing the number of internal parts and connections in order to facilitate the rapid replacement of broken parts and keep the machine as simple as possible.
Regular maintenance is only required once every two years. The intake filter and sieve beds are easily accessible; the filter is accessed through a door on the bottom of the machine and the beds are accessed through quick-release clasps. The simple LED display on the front control panel can show a number of alerts and diagnostic codes alongside the audible alarms.
The Bottom Line:
While the Companion 5 is larger and bulkier than a lot of comparable oxygen concentrators, it is still an excellent choice for both private home use and mobile clinics. The Companion 5 is simple, but highly efficient, durable, and powerful.