FREE COMPRESSOR RELATED CHARTS- PDF DOWNLOADS:
>>Air Compressor Glossary of Terms
>>Air Flow Pressure Drop Chart through Schedule 40 Pipe
>>Air Flow through Orifices - Guage Pressure in Receiver- Pounds
>>Useful Compressed Air Conversion Tables
>>Compressor Pump-Up Time Chart
>>Free Compressor Service Record Charts you can Print & Use
Ask a Question:
"What are the keys to maintaining an efficient compressed air system?"
Key #1: PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE (go to the PM Checklist)
is the key to maintaining an efficient compressed air system?" The
best reply would have to be -- Preventive Maintenance.
WHAT IS PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE?
According to "Wikipedia": Preventive maintenance (PM) has the following meanings:
care and servicing by personnel for the purpose of maintaining
equipment and facilities in satisfactory operating condition by
providing for systematic inspection, detection, and correction of
incipient failures either before they occur or before they develop into
major defects. Maintenance, including tests, measurements, adjustments,
and parts replacement, performed specifically to prevent faults from
from Federal Standard 1037C and from MIL-STD-188 and from the
Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms
maintenance activities include partial or complete overhauls at
specified periods, oil changes, lubrication and so on. In addition,
workers can record equipment information and deterioration so they know
to replace or repair worn parts before they cause system failure.
The ideal preventive maintenance program would prevent all equipment failure before it occurs.
BENEFITS OF PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE:
-Improves system reliability and helps keep equipment working and/or extend the life of the equipment.
-Decreases system downtime and actively helps prevent unbudgeted maintenance expenses from cropping up.
-Decreases the cost of having to replace equipment as often.
-Records operational data that can help you troubleshoot an emerging problem (called "Data Trending")
trending is the recording of basic operation parameters including
pressures, temperatures, and electrical data. For example, a slowly
increasing temperature indicates a variety of maintenance requirements
including cooler core cleaning, overloading of system and possible
mechanical problems. Another example might include slowly decreasing
pressure, indicating increased system flow requirements, reduced
compressor performance or increased system leakage. Make sure someone is
looking at this data on a regular basis. If the data is never reviewed
then the benefit is lost.
THE VALUE OF PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE:
determine how valuable regular air compressor PM is to you and your
business... you need to know what your "down-time" is worth. In some
operations, down-time can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars an
There are many misconceptions about preventive maintenance...one being that it costs too much.
line of thinking says regularly scheduled downtime for maintenance
costs more than operating the equipment until repair is absolutely
necessary...or until the equipment breaks. This may be true for some
components, but don't forget to consider the long-term benefits and
savings associated with preventive maintenance that have been previously
regular Preventive Maintenance can help reduce unexpected downtime that
results in loss of production, time and materials or the ruining of an
expensive plant process--then it is well worth the investment. Not to
mention that unscheduled shut-downs can be extended if the correct
equipment parts or repair technicians are not readily available.
"How effective is your PM program?"
The answer is: "If your PM program isn't finding problems, it isn't effective."
Key #2: CORRECTIVE MAINTENANCE
Corrective maintenance, usually called "repair", is conducted to get equipment working again
or fix any problems found during Preventive Maintenance.
primary goal of maintenance is to avoid or reduce the consequences of
failure of your compressed air equipment. PM is designed to preserve and
restore equipment reliability by replacing worn components before they
Key #3: ASSESSING YOUR EQUIPMENT: When to maintain and when to replace.
Here are several factors to consider when assessing your compressed air equipment:
-How critical is your compressed air equipment? If equipment fails, what is the impact on production or safety.
-What is the age & history of your equipment.
histories will prove that most failures occur during infancy (newly
installed or recently overhauled) and old-age (self-explanatory).
How many times has this equipment failed in the past?
-How much do you trust this equipment to perform as designed when scheduled to run?
-Do you need newer technology on your equipment?
the answers to these questions will help you determine when your older
equipment needs fixing or replacing. Preventive Maintenance will help
your equipment last longer, run better, and save you loads of money in
the long haul.
Key #4: KNOWING YOUR EQUIPMENT WHAT IT NEEDS:
piece of compressed air equipment should come with a set of MAINTENANCE
INSTRUCTIONS and some type of operations& parts manual. Your
operators should review the equipment information and keep it handy for
future reference. If you purchased used equipment and don’t have the
manuals, contact your equipment distributor for a copy.
- Follow the maintenance guidelines for your equipment.
BASIC PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE CHECK LIST FOR
RECIPROCATING (PISTON) AIR COMPRESSORS:
performing any maintenance function, switch main disconnect switch to
"off" position to assure no power is entering unit. "Lock Out" or "Tag
Out" all sources of power. Be sure all air pressure in unit is relieved.
Failure to do this may result in injury or equipment damage.
1. Check oil level of both compressor and engine if so equipped. Add quality air compressor lubricant as required.
Drain moisture from tank by opening tank drain valve located in bottom
of tank. Do not open drain valve if tank pressure exceeds 25 PSIG.
Stop, Look & Listen for any unusual noise, failure to compress,
overheating, vibrations or belt slippage and correct before damage of a
serious nature develops.
4. Turn off compressor at the end of each day's operation. Turn off power supply.
1. Clean dust and foreign matter from cylinder head, motor, fan blade, air lines, intercooler and tank.
2. Remove and clean intake air filters
not exceed 15 PSIG nozzle pressure when cleaning element parts with
compressed air. Do not direct compressed air against human skin. Serious
injury could result. Never wash elements in fuel oil, gasoline or
3. Check V-belts for tightness. The V-belts must be tight enough to transmit the necessary power to the
compressor. Adjust the V-belts as follows:
a. Remove bolts and guard to access compressor drive.
b. Loosen mounting hardware which secures motor to base. Slide motor within slots of base plate to
Check the manufacturer’s specifications for correct belt tension. Apply
pressure with belt tension checker to one belt at midpoint span. Make
further adjustments if necessary.
d. Check the alignment of pulleys. Adjust if necessary.
e. Tighten mounting hardware to secure motor on base.
f. Re-install guard and secure with bolts.
Never operate unit without belt guard in place. Removal will expose
rotating parts which can cause injury or equipment damage.
EVERY 90 DAYS OR 500 HOURS MAINTENANCE
1. Change crankcase oil. Use type and grade oil as specified.
Check entire system for air leakage around fittings, connections, and
gaskets, using an ultrasonic leak detector or using soap solution and
3. Tighten nuts and cap-screws as required.
4. Check and clean compressor valves, replace gasket valve asssembly when worn or damaged.
CAUTION: Valves must be reinstalled in original position. Valve gaskets should be replaced each time valves are serviced.
5. Pull ring on all pressure relief valves to assure proper operation.
GENERAL MAINTENANCE NOTES:
PRESSURE RELIEF VALVE:
The pressure relief valve is an automatic pop valve. Each valve is
properly adjusted for the maximum pressure permitted by tank
specifications and working pressure of the unit on which it is
installed. If it should pop, it will be necessary to drain all the air
out of the tank in order to reseat properly. Do not readjust.
TANK DRAIN VALVE: Drain valve is located at bottom of tank. Open drain valve daily to drain condensation.
not open drain valve if tank pressure exceeds 25 PSIG. The automatic
tank drain equipped compressor requires draining manually once a week.
The pressure switch is automatic and will start compressor at low
pressure and stop when the maximum pressure is reached. It is adjusted
to start and stop compressor at the proper pressure for the unit on
which it is installed. Do not readjust.
Drive belts must be kept tight enough to prevent slipping. If belts
slip or squeak, see V-belt maintenance in preceding section. CAUTION: If belts are too tight, overload will be put on motor and motor bearings.
If compressor fails to pump air or seems slow in filling up tank,
disconnect unit from power source, drain air tank, and remove valves and
clean thoroughly, using compressed air and a soft wire brush.
cleaning exceptional care must be taken that all parts are replaced in
exactly the same position and all joints must be tight or the compressor
will not function properly.
When all valves are replaced, perform a timed pump-up test and check to see that it meets factory specifications.
Valve gaskets should be replaced each time valves are removed from pump.
Line: One of the main keys to maintaining an efficient compressed air
system has been and still is “Preventive Maintenance.”