Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 37


FLUID HANDLING

Consider Your
Air Compressor's
Maintenance Budget

Forgetting or deferring maintenance can cause
annual air-compressor costs to skyrocket. Updated
annually, an air-compressor's maintenance budget
can reveal maintenance patterns that help you
schedule and perform future preventive work.

Type of compressor
The type of compressor(s) you run can
greatly affect service costs. For instance,
oil-lubricated compressors have more oil
to change than oil-free compressors, thus
increasing the cost of service.
Installation conditions
Equipment installed in severe-duty
applications may require more-frequent
service. If your compressor is housed
in a hot, humid, or dusty area, take that
fact into account when planning your
maintenance budget.
Operating cycle
If your equipment operates on a cyclical
schedule-seasonal production is a good
example-your maintenance schedule
will need to be adjusted accordingly.
Remember that your equipment should
never go more than a year between service
interventions.

For more information on
compressed air systems and
services, visit atlascopco.com

OCTOBER 2016

LARGE CAPITAL PURCHASES, such as compressors, require careful
planning and financial forecasting. After the initial cost, many organizations
still have to pay down interest and principle. While they typically include
those line items in their budgets, they often forget to factor in another crucial
cost: annual maintenance. According to Atlas Copco's Trey Ragsdale, while
maintenance only composes about 5% to 10% of annual compressor-related
expenditures, those costs can increase exponentially if maintenance is
forgotten or deferred, causing unexpected and expensive downtime.
Compared with the overall life-cycle cost of compressor ownership,
maintenance expenditures are minimal. A sound maintenance budget will
help ensure they stay that way. To develop an accurate picture of these costs,
Ragsdale, who's with the company's Compressor Technique Service (CTS)
division in Rock Hill, SC, says it's important for end users to pay attention to
these seven aspects of their compressor systems:

Degree of utilization
Generally, maintenance requirements
grow with increased equipment-operation
hours. If you have back-up compressors
and auxiliary equipment, operating
hours can be cycled and the maintenance
schedule lengthened.
Cooling system
Your cooling-system's maintenance
requirements should be evaluated
separately from your compressed-air
equipment. The type of cooling system also
affects the compressor service schedule.
If you house an open cooling tower or
air-cooled compressors in a space with
dust, particulates, or lint in the air, the
compressor's coolers could need more
frequent cleaning.
Auxiliary equipment
It's not just your compressors that have
to be serviced regularly; dryers, filters,
and other associated compressed-air
equipment also require service. Keep
in mind that auxiliary equipment often
needs more-frequent servicing than the
compressors.

Safety levels
An organization's safety policies also define
how often its equipment must be serviced
or inspected. Knowing your company's
requirements up front can help you avoid
unforeseen costs later.
In addition
Ragsdale said it's important to review
and restructure your air-compressor's
maintenance budget each year. Changing
conditions, i.e., added compressor units,
increased air demand, and other factors,
may alter how much money you need to
set aside to keep equipment and processes
running smoothly. Annual maintenance
can also reveal inefficiencies in equipment
that is underperforming or overworked.
Generating and updating this type of
budget can reveal patterns that will help
you schedule and perform future preventive work.
Regarding the service-agreement approach: High-quality agreements will detail a plan that covers regular maintenance,
machine upgrades or improvements, and
breakdown repairs at a fixed annual cost. A
baseline of your annual compressor-maintenance costs can show you if a service
agreement is worth your time
and money. MT
-Jane Alexander, Managing Editor

MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 37


http://www.atlascopco.com http://www.MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology October 2016

Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 1
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 1
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 2
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 3
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