|Mechanical equipment, whether in a home or factory, needs to be maintained in order to run efficiently. Industrial compressed air systems are no different and need regular inspections and maintenance.
Reasons to Maintain Compressors
One reason to keep air compressors working properly is efficiency and saving money. If all the parts are cleaned, oiled, and in good repair, they will be operating at peak efficiency which will save money in energy costs. A costly problem that may be avoided with regular maintenance is down time.
When maintenance is not performed, there may be problems with moisture control, operating temperatures, contamination, and air leakage, to name a few. Maintenance includes inspections which can show minor problems that can be fixed easily. This will also save money from expensive repairs down the road.
Here is what can happen when maintenance is not performed. The impellers in a compressor start hitting the shrouds so the proper volume of air can not be moved and this causes the motor to fail. Condensate traps were never inspected or cleaned and they became clogged. This affected the amount of moisture and caused a decrease in product quality. Maintenance would have taken care of these issues before they caused major problems.
Regular Maintenance Requirements for Air Compressors
For compressed air systems, it is very important to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer. Sometimes you may want to shorten the intervals between scheduled maintenance as that will protect the equipment and ensure that it is running properly.
Compressor lubrication maintenance is essential because either too little or too much can be bad. The wrong amount of compressor lubrication is one of the main reasons that motors fail prematurely. Lubricant not only lubricates moving parts, but seals and removes heat as well. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, compressor lubrication needs to be checked and changed between two months and 18 months. This time frame will depend on the number of hours in a day the air compressor is running and at what speeds.
In addition to compressor lubrication maintenance, the system will need to be cleaned thoroughly. It is important that the air passages are clean and have nothing clogging them. If there is not enough air to properly cool the motor, that could cause inefficiency and the life of the motor may be shortened. Other maintenance tasks include checking the belts, making sure the drain traps are not stuck in one position, and looking for leaks.
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