Top 6 Preventative Measures For Optimum Compressed Air System Health
As they say, prevention is better than cure, and taking preventative measures with your compressed air system will certainly influence how healthy and economical it is to operate. In this blog we look at the top six preventative measures that can assist you in operating a healthy and efficient compressed air system.
- Stop. Look. Listen
It is recommended that on a daily basis a compressed air user checks key information on their equipment such as the; oil temperature, oil pressure, discharge pressure and so on. Keeping a record of this data will ensure that you will be alerted to any irregular readings that may occur, allowing corrective action to be taken without delay. As an example it is important to ensure that you are operating the compressor within the manufacturers recommended temperature range. Operating at the wrong temperature can lead to condensate (or water) in your oil which will cause undue wear and tear to your compressor.
Listening for air leaks on a regular basis may also pay dividends. Unfortunately, whether you operate a high tech compressed air system with the most advanced piping or not, leaks will occur! (Read more). With air leaks estimated to account for up to 50% of compressed air production, identifying and repairing them will have a significant impact on the efficiency and overall health of a compressed air system as well as the all up operating costs.
- Check Oil Levels
As part of the daily checks it is advisable that users operating oil lubricated compressors check the oil level and top it up as necessary. To ensure optimum performance the lubricant should then be changed according to the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) recommended intervals. This would usually be performed by a qualified Service Technician as part of a scheduled preventative maintenance visit.
- Condensate Drains
To ensure your compressed air system remains healthy, it is also suggested that condensate drains are installed on air receivers and low points in the air network and that they are regularly checked.
Condensate drains need to operate efficiently to ensure that the associated air treatment equipment can effectively remove contaminants (oil, water and dirt) from the compressed air. Aside from ensuring that the air treatment is able to effectively do its job, if condensate drains are not operating efficiently this could also cause premature wear and tear to the associated air treatment equipment. Both consequences would be potentially costly for your business.
- Observe the OEMs Recommendations
It may sound obvious, but you will be able to significantly contribute to the overall health of your compressor and associated equipment by simply reading and observing the recommendations presented in the OEMs operating manual. Have you read the operating manual? Are you following the recommendations presented to you in the manual?
- Follow the prescribed preventative maintenance schedule
Here’s another top tip to ensure your compressed air system remains healthy – follow the prescribed maintenance schedule! There are a number of checks which should be completed, and consumables which should be changed by a qualified Service Technician at these prescribed maintenance visits, which are key to the ongoing efficiency of your compressed air equipment such as;
– inspection and cleaning of air filters. Air filters which are not maintained correctly lead the compressor to work harder, increasing your associated operating costs. An inefficient air filter will also compromise the quality of your compressed air which can lead to any number of issues not least product spoilage,
– periodic replacement of separator cartridges. To ensure the efficient separation of oil from the compressed air outlet, it is important to periodically replace the separator cartridge in your oil lubricated compressor. An inefficient separator will increase your all up energy costs.
- Opt for OEM authorised personnel & spare parts
Last but not least, make sure that you opt for a qualified OEM Service Technician that uses only genuine spare parts.
Only genuine spare parts have been rigorously tested by the OEM for their; durability, performance, efficiency and safety with the compressed air equipment. Inferior parts may well lead to inferior compressor health (Read More).
And, don’t forget to contact your maintenance supplier prior to the scheduled service date to prevent any unnecessary production stops!
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Please note: It is recommended that all in-house checks are performed by a Competent Person.