Air compressors are critical for numerous industrial applications, and ensuring they are maintained optimally can bring efficiency, cost reduction, and equipment longevity benefits to your plant. As we transition into good weather here in the northern hemisphere, it is important to prioritize specific maintenance practices to account for the higher temperatures that the machines will need to get used to operating in. Often, operational leadership within factories are aware of advanced maintenance strategies that maximize your air compressors’ efficiency and lifespan during the warmer months, but the specific roadmap to put it into practice is lacking. We hope to fix that for you in this 5-minute read that doubles as a list for your team to use.
But first, let’s remind ourselves of the benefits of proper maintenance of your air compressors:
- Less downtime: Regular spring maintenance helps prevent unexpected disruptions to your operations.
- Better energy efficiency: A well-maintained air compressor uses less energy, which translates to significant cost savings in the warmer months.
- Longer equipment life: Proper maintenance ensures a longer working life for both the compressor and the equipment it powers, reducing repair and replacement expenses.
- More safety: Maintaining your air compressors reduces heat, vibration, pollution, and noise, creating a safer work environment for your staff.
Foundational Checklist for Maintenance in Warm Weather
Here’s the essential checklist every plant manager must practice each spring as soon as the weather reliably stays in the double digits.
- Dust off system components: After a long winter of closed off use, your components need cleaning to prevent overheating that will no longer be buffered by frigid winter temperatures. This means you’ll need to remember to clean or replace filter mats on incoming air, and ensure dampers are set to the summer position. Check inline filter elements for soiling and inspect all visual gauges under load to confirm they are not approaching the red zone.
- Schedule your annual dryer service: Have a qualified technician service your refrigerated air dryer before the hot summer weather arrives. The technician will check the condenser coil, refrigerant pressures, and ensure proper pressure dew point.
- Review daily checklist or consider cloud monitoring: Implement a daily checklist to monitor important system parameters and predict potential downtime. This will prevent the cost and stress of calling in professionals reactively when something goes wrong. Alternatively, consider installing an AIRMATICS cloud compressor monitoring system, which allows online monitoring and sends notifications if the system moves out of an acceptable range.
Document a Comprehensive Maintenance Plan for Compressors.
For truly top-notch efficiency in your plant, consider documenting an advanced maintenance strategy. Set a detailed inspection and maintenance schedule, assign specific tasks to your team members, and create a system for tracking progress. This will promptly address performance issues internally and allow you to easily decide when you need to engage professional help. Remember the trio of clean, cool, and well-oiled for all your equipment!
- Prioritize cleanliness: Often the basics exist for a reason. Clean = safe. Keep your compressor free of dirt, dust, and debris to ensure smooth and efficient operation. Regular cleaning undoubtedly prolongs the lifespan of your compressor and reduces energy consumption.
- Don’t dismiss optimal operating temperatures: Adequate ventilation and clean air filters are critical to preventing overheating, especially during warmer months. Relocate your compressor to a cooler area if necessary.
- Monitor oil levels and lubrication: Regularly check oil levels to prevent overheating and motor damage as well as follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for lubricating moving parts, to reduce friction and wear.
As always, CRU AIR + GAS is available 24/7/365 for all your compressor service needs. However, by the time you call for a service tech, your plant is already in distress and so instituting proactive and systematic maintenance is key to needing people like us less and less! That said, if you have any questions, concerns, or professional maintenance needs, please reach out to our team of experts for further assistance via our contact page.