Maintenance Technology April 2017 - 39

COMPRESSED AIR

Top Tips For
Maintaining
Air Compressors
Use these tips
to improve
air-compressor
performance and
increase uptime.

AIR COMPRESSORS and their output are valuable assets on
which countless plants depend for efficient daily operations.
Regular attention to and proper management of the health of
these critical equipment systems can save time and money in all
manufacturing systems.
John Skalka, service manager for Sullair (Chicago, sullair.com)
offers several tips for maintaining your site's air compressors.
According to Skalka, following these procedures to help monitor
and maintain air-compressor performance can result in reliable
equipment and reduced downtime.
-Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

Maintain filters and separators.
Proper maintenance of a compressor's consumable
filters and separator elements will not only help to
ensure maximum unit uptime, but also maximize its
efficiency and performance.
Air intake and oil-filter maintenance should be
conducted every 2,000 hr. Monitor the oil filter for
contamination and wear metals, leading indicators
that air-end maintenance is required.
Air/oil separator elements should be changed every
8,000 hr., along with compressor fluid. Proper air/oil
separator maintenance will ensure oil carryover stays
within the manufacturer's specifications.
Remember that use of OEM service parts and
lubricants in compressor maintenance will help ensure
optimal equipment performance.
Sample oil.
Regularly acquiring and analyzing oil samples helps
monitor the condition of the compressor lubricant, as
well as the unit itself. A robust oil-sampling and monitoring program will alert the user to fluid degradation
resulting from increased viscosity, ingestion of chemicals or particulate, and high water content. It can also
identify the presence of wear metals, which is a sign of
bearing degradation, prior to catastrophic failure.
Oil-condition monitoring makes it possible to
change the lubricant only when necessary to maintain
peak performance. Samples should be drawn quarterly,
during routine service maintenance on a compressor.
Remember to always draw your samples through
a clean oil-sample port or from the center of the oil
sump. Doing so will ensure that the results are free
from particulate contamination.
Keep variable-speed drives clean.
Many of today's compressors are equipped with a
variable-speed drive (VSD) that increases efficiency
and reduces energy consumption. While VSDs are
electrical components, they are not completely maintenance free.
Most VSDs contain cooling fans and heat sinks that
can accumulate dust and dirt during regular operation.
Maintenance activities will help them run cooler and
prolong their service life.
Eliminate the guesswork.
For plants that are unable to ensure regular compressor maintenance with in-house resources, outside support is available. Check with your local air-compressor
sales and service center about plans that allow skilled,
factory-trained technicians to routinely service your
compressor(s) and related air-system equipment.
Finally, keep in mind that proper maintenance will
help you realize years of reliable service from your
compressor. MT

Sullair, part of Accudyne Industries (Luxembourg and Dallas, accudyneindustries.com) has been developing and
manufacturing air compressors since 1965. For more information, visit sullair.com.
APRIL 2017

MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 39


http://www.sullair.com http://www.accudyneindustries.com http://www.sullair.com http://www.MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology April 2017

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