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I've worked in places with many miles of black pipe used for both instrument air and service air (tools, etc) and they were nothing but trouble. Its mostly (25% of the problem) about how well you process that air when it leaves the compressor(s) AND how careful you are during installation of the piping (75% of the problem) that will make the difference in air quality down the road.
We used refrigerated air driers and automatic drain valves at the compressors. Each individual lab installed there own devices at the points of use.
Just make sure not to use the thread protectors as couplings. I have seen that happen a few times with air lines.
I think I remember being told in school to have the branch of the tee facing up and using two 90's to make the drop. I was told this would help with moisture issues (especially when the system is off by preventing water from accumulating in the drops).
Basically, most of the inplant systems that we had in the factory were black pipe, usually run across above the work areas, along an I-beam or whatever. They'd drop a "leg" down to the tool area, using a Tee to feed the tool or hose connection (sometimes with a valve or regulator connected to control the air to the tool) at the side of the Tee. Off the bottom of the Tee a "drop leg" or what we often referred to as a "condensate drain leg, with a valve at the bottom, would be employed. The drain valve could be manual or automatic, so as to occasionally drain any condensate build up. Sort of looked like this:
The thing with the main line would be to ensure that any condensate would not drain back to the compressor or flow into the tool line.