FAQ: How Neglecting Recommended Air Compressor Maintenance Costs Your Entire Operation

A smooth-running compressed air system will keep your company and operation moving along; however, if your compressor is ever down for any period, your business could be losing money quicker than an air leak.

Every manufacturer suggests preventative maintenance, yet so many operations are too busy to bother with it. However, failing to perform recommended maintenance will affect more than the compressor itself, and problems will trickle down to all areas of your operation.

Repairs

Maintenance is intended to prevent any costly repairs in the future and manufactures suggest periodic and preventative maintenance for a reason. Failing to conduct proper maintenance could lead to problems throughout your operation. Simple things like increased oil carryover could cause the compressor to clog or overheat, affecting other equipment down the line which leads to costly repairs and significant downtime.

Deliveries Along the Supply Chain

If your operation experiences significant downtime, you may be forced to find new delivery methods along with paying higher costs for overnight shipping speeds as not to cause substantial delays for your customers. Additionally, you will have to rush order new parts to get your operation up and running again which leads to expedited shipping fees that quickly add up.

Utilities

Your utility costs to run your compressed air system will significantly increase if you delay proper maintenance. Simple things like replacing filters at recommended intervals will help your compressed air system use energy efficiently to save on utility costs in the long-run. If you notice an increase in your utility costs without increased use in your system, it may be time for maintenance.

Rented Equipment

If your entire system goes down because you delayed proper maintenance, you’ll most likely need to rent new equipment to avoid a complete shutdown. These rental costs can add up quickly, and each day that you rely on rental equipment to keep your system moving, your business is eating rental expenses.

Reduced Efficiency

Overall, when the system is down and you must conduct emergency maintenance along the entire system, you will be losing efficiency in the operation. Even if you can keep working while maintenance is performed, the system won’t optimally operate leading to a loss of productivity and possible revenue.

Ensure you don’t run into any of these issues by following your air compressor system’s recommended periodic and preventative maintenance procedures. If not, you could end up losing money in more areas than just the air compressor.

FAQ: Compressed Air Energy-Efficiency Tips for Every System

Across industries, costs are rising. Most notably. Energy costs are becoming more and more expensive each year, and they don’t show any signs of slowing down. Because of this trend, designing and maintaining an energy-efficient compressed air system is crucial to saving money across the board.

In this post, we’ll discuss our recommendations for the most energy-efficient piping system to help you potentially save thousands of dollars in the coming new year.

Pipe Material Matters

Most piping systems will utilize either galvanized steel, copper, or specialized plastics. While each of these materials has its own benefits, they also carry significant drawbacks that can affect the efficiency of your compressed air system.

Plastic piping can bend and bow, requiring more brackets and increased labor costs for installation and maintenance. Copper and other galvanized pipes are affordable however threaded components significantly contribute to leaking and can also corrode and contaminate the air over time. Many experts now point to powder-coated aluminum pipes as the most efficient way to transport air.

Eliminate High-Pressure Points Along the Line

Along your entire piping system, every tool may be operating at different required pressure levels. The problem is, your operation will have to produce pressure optimally for the most pressure-demanding tools. To combat this, we recommend either limiting the use of that piece of equipment, reduce the pressure demands, or purchase newer hardware that is optimized for lower pressure uses.

Your Piping Layout

For maximum efficiency, ideally, your piping system would be one straight line. While this isn’t possible for many operations, you should still do a walk along the entire system and see where you can remove any elbows, unnecessary redirects, or unused pipe. When designing a new layout, instead of elbows, opt for large radius bends. Additionally, your new pipes should be large in diameter for maximum airflow and friction free on the inside.

Utilize Preventative Maintenance to Reduce Downtime

Whenever your air compressor shows signs of maintenance, fix and correct the problem immediately to avoid any costly repairs or lost time because of the repairs. Preventative maintenance will apply to almost every part of the piping system, but most commonly, issues will arise from condensation drains, leaks along joints, and air filters. Be sure to keep a record off all of your maintenance to make the repair process quicker the next time around.

Energy efficiency should be the top priority in any operation. Follow these tips and do a thorough inspection of your piping system and you should be able to find ways to cut costs and improve efficiency.

FAQ: 10 Tips to Save on Energy Costs for Your Compressed Air System

Did you know that over the lifetime of your compressor, the energy costs to run it will cost several times more than the initial price of the unit? For this reason, monitoring and doing everything you can to save on energy costs is crucial. Here are our top ten tips to save on energy costs in your compressed air system.

1. Minimize Use
The most significant energy-saving step you can do is to turn off the unit when it’s not in use. If you’re leaving the compressor on when you aren’t working, you’re paying more for energy than you should be.

2. Eliminate Leaks
For every quarter-inch air leak at 100 psi, you’ll be wasting $2,500 a year on energy costs. If your compressor has a pesky leak, make sure that you fix it as soon as possible.

3. Stick to Required Pressures
There’s no need to push the pressure of your system if you don’t need to. Staying within the recommended pressure ranges and reducing if possible will add up to tremendous savings.

4. Maintain Your Compressor
Properly maintain your compressor will ensure it is operating optimally and will reduce your maintenance costs by avoiding any downtime.

5. Prevent New Leaks
For the same reason as the last point, make sure that all of your pipes are free of dust, corrosion and sludge to ensure they remain leak-free.

6. Optimize Your Piping Infrastructure
Your system should be comprised of pipes that optimally and efficiently transfer air to your point of use. Increasing your pipe width and shortening the distance the air travels has been shown to reduce pressure loss which leads to lower energy costs.

7. Change Your Filters Frequently
Instead of changing filters whenever a problem arises, be sure to check and replace your filters throughout the entire airline on a systematic basis to ensure your system is running optimally.

8. Are Your Drains Open?
If your condensate drains are stuck open, you could be losing precious air pressure. Be sure to check them periodically and consider installing zero-loss drains for maximum pressure conservation.

9. Re-Use Your Heat
You can recover and use the heat produced by your compressed air system for some different uses including heating water in your washrooms and more. Take a look at your operation and see where you could be reusing this lost energy.

10. Use Compressed Air Only Where Needed
Don’t use your compressed air system if it isn’t necessary and instead keep it powered off. Identify areas of your operation where you could use a different method other than compressed air, and you’ll begin to see opportunities for energy savings.

FAQ: What You Need To Know About Oil-Free Compressors

Chances are, you’ve probably heard about oil-free air compressors over the last couple of years as they’ve become a staple in the pharmaceutical, laboratory, and electronic industries. There are tangible benefits that oil-free compressors offer over traditional systems, and they are incredibly useful for sensitive applications where contaminates must be kept to a minimum.

However, a lot of false information is spread, leading people to believe that oil-free compressors are the solution to every single problem within their industry. In this article, we’ll examine the differences between traditional and oil-free compressors, the benefits of oil-free compressors, and some common myths.

Lubricated Systems vs. Oil-Free

For air compressors to do their job, an internal piston draws in air from the inside which is then compressed inside the storage tank. For the piston to move and efficiently compress the chamber, it needs some form of lubrication.

This is the primary distinction between the two compressor types; oil air compressors will need to lubricated periodically and maintained to ensure oil-levels are optimal. Oil-free compressors come from the manufacturer pre-lubricated, commonly with a Teflon coating on the cylinder.

Benefits of Oil-Free Compressors

Less Maintenance

Because lubrication is not necessary for the internal chamber, users will spend less time maintaining the compressor over time although some other functions of the compressor may need to be addressed periodically.

Fewer Contaminants

Most commonly, air is contaminated by either water or oil. By removing the oil from the internal compression tank, the chances of contamination drop significantly. Oil-free compressors can’t eliminate all contaminants, and a purification system is still advised.

Savings on Oil and Energy

While not 100% environmentally-friendly, oil-free compressors are generally more economical that lubricated systems because the user doesn’t need to fill the unit with oil as often. Less oil use will result in cost-saving benefits along with an eco-friendlier approach.

Common Myths

They Don’t Use Any Oil

The name may seem misleading, but oil-free compressors still use oil as lubrication for most of the moving parts and to cool down the unit. “Oil-free” refers specifically to the compression chamber, not the entire system.

The Air is 100% Contaminant-Free

While oil-free compressors will significantly reduce the number of contaminants in the air supply, there are still ways for the air to become contaminated. This occurs most often from the atmospheric air drawn into the intake that is already contaminated by dust and oil vapors floating around.

Conclusion

Hopefully, that clears up some of your questions and the common misconceptions floating around about oil-free air compressors. They are excellent systems, and if used in the right setting, can provide tremendous benefits for your operation.

FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About Diesel Portable Compressors

Portable air compressors are essential for many jobs and are used extensively in the construction, automotive, and manufacturing industries. They come in many shapes and sizes and can be powered in different ways, the most common being electric and gas-powered.

In this post, we’ll be discussing diesel air compressors, including their operation, who they are intended for, and the benefits they have over their electric, stationary counterparts.

How Do They Work?

An internal diesel motor powers these portable compressors and they work in a similar way to electric compressors. The air inside the chamber of the tank is pressurized either by rotating impellers or by collapsing the air containment chamber, which will force the air to compress in a smaller space. A motor will cycle on and off to maintain a constant level of air pressure within the tank which can then be expensed via a valve to power pneumatic tools to fill up tires.

Who Are They For?

Diesel powered air compressors have many applications, though they are most commonly used on construction sites, during road work operations, and for anyone that needs the functionality of a compressor with the flexibility to take it anywhere.

They are optimal for use during temporary construction projects when equipment must be transported to and from the job site on a daily basis. Portable compressors can be hitched to a tailgate like a trailer and effortlessly towed to the job site, and some models even attach directly to the sides of a utility truck.

Many people will also use diesel compressors as a back-up for their stationary compressors in factories. If the power goes out, just fire up the diesel compressor and keep the work flowing.

Benefits of a Diesel-Powered Portable Compressor

Portability
Diesel-powered air compressors can be taken anywhere, which is their most significant benefit over traditional compressors. Regardless of weather conditions, power availability, if the compressor is well-maintained and you have diesel on-hand, you can get the job done.

Reliability
Diesel-powered compressors are famously known for their reliability and durable construction. They are built to withstand the elements along with bumps along the way since they are usually towed behind a truck when en route to the job site.

Simple to Operate
Portable air compressors are simple to operate with clearly labeled buttons and switches, and give the operator precise control over the power consumption, pressure range, and more. Maintenance is also simple as many portable diesel air compressors feature pneumatic-lift hoods to quickly and easily change parts.

FAQ: Atlanta Compressor’s Preventative Maintenance Program

Atlanta

FAQ: A Quick Guide To Oils And Lubricants

Everyone knows nearly every compressor requires some form of oil or lubricant to operate correctly and keep the gears, bearings and seals in working condition, but which oils, lubricants, and guidelines are the best to keep your compressor running smoothly for years? That’s the question…

Let’s start with oil.

The first step is to use the right oil. The oil you use for your compressor can’t be car oil or hydraulic oil for one main reason: Compressors get hot! Many compressors run at 120 degrees Celsius (That’s almost 250 degrees Fahrenheit), and car or hydraulic oil aren’t built to do the job compressor oil can do at these temperatures. Compressor oil not only lubricates the moving parts, it also removes heat from the compression and cools important parts of the compressor element.

However, even when you use the right oil, it’s still important to know how long your compressor oil will last as well. While every scenario is different, here is a general chart you can follow:

oil and lubricants table

Remember… As the operating temperature increases, your oil life decreases, especially above 210°F. So, using the right compressor oil will help you avoid the higher temperatures.

Now, let’s talk about lubricants.

The best compressor lubricants are premium-grade turbine oils with ISO viscosity grades of 32 or 46.

These premium-grade ISO VG 32 turbine oils are going to give you some good benefits to prolong the life of your compressor.

• First, they help to prevent acidity, sludge, and deposit formation.

• Second, they are extremely effective at protecting against rust and corrosion, even during shutdown.

• Third, they efficiently shed water that enters the lubrication system and control foaming.

• And last, they are easily filtered without losing the effectiveness of additives.

Oil

You many not think the extra cost of premium-grad lubricant is worth it, but it’s been proven that using a high-grade lubricant can extend the life of your compressor for years. And the initial fill of lubricant can often last beyond 30 years.

The bottom line is that it’s important to put in the right oil and lubricants and also put in high-quality oils and lubricants. By following the guidelines above, you can ensure your compressor runs properly and smoothly for years. However, every compressor is different, so it’s important to check with your manufacturer for the recommended lubricants for your specific compressor.

FAQ: Compressed Air Systems: Not All Piping Is Created Equal

If you have ever set up an air compressor system, you’ll know that piping is one of the most crucial components to keeping the air moving consistently at a constant rate and pressure. If you are using inferior materials, your system can turn into a disaster. In this post, we’ll discuss the best and worst pipes you should utilize in your compressed air system and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

The Absolute Wrong Pipes to Use

PVC
PVC pipes are readily available at nearly every hardware store across the country. They can be great for plumbing applications, but you should avoid using them for compressed air at all costs. PVC pipes can’t handle immense pressure, and over time they will crack and become brittle which can lead to a catastrophe and a possible fine from OSHA.

Galvanized Pipes
These are also excellent for plumbing but should not be used for distributing any pressurized gas. The coating on the inside of the pipe meant for resisting water damage can flake off and become lodged in your tools and equipment.

Middle-of-the-Road

Black Pipes
These pipes are very commonly used in many compressed air systems because they are cheap, readily available, and easy to install. Black pipes will work for a little while, but over time, they can cause rusting issues with pneumatic tooling due to their lack of internal coating.

Recommended Pipes

Copper Pipes
Copper not only looks aesthetically appealing, but it’s also strong and won’t contaminate the air passing through. The most significant downside to using copper pipes is in installation as they require soldering which can be both time consuming and difficult for the less experienced assembler.

Stainless Steel
If you don’t know how to solder pipes together or simply don’t want to deal with the hassle involved with copper pipes, stainless steel pipes are a great alternative. They provide strength and durability while also remaining rust and corrosion-free so your equipment or pipes won’t become damaged over time.

Infinity Piping Systems
Infinity pipes combine the strength of metal pipes with the cost-effectiveness of plastic pipes and are an excellent solution for both industrial and commercial installations. They utilize brass and nickel-plated fittings, which form a leak-proof seal around the pipes without the need for glue or solder. This lightweight system can be assembled by one person and will last for years.

Whether your system is for commercial or private use, using the right piping can save you money and headaches down the road. So design your system carefully, and choose your pipes wisely.

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FAQ: Store More, Do More With Air Receiver Tanks

Air receiver tanks are useful addition to your air compressor system, and they are recommended in almost every circumstance. They increase the storage capacity of your compressed air system, and that alone can make them invaluable, but they also do so much more.

Air receiver tanks remove temperature fluctuations and reduce the load on other components. They provide more consistent airflow, which eliminates pulsing and compensates for occasional surges in pressure. They also lower the energy costs associated with starting and stopping the motor.

Types of Air Receiver Tanks:
● Wet Receivers: Wet receivers remove moisture, installing them after the moisture separator works best, this will reduce the load on dryers and filters. They help remove contaminants, stabilize pressure and reduce pulsation.
● Dry Receivers: Dry receivers can guard against drops in air pressure by storing air for sudden demands. This ensures reliable performance from dryers and filters. The dry receiver is placed after the air dryer.

Safe Installation And Operation

Air Compressors can be dangerous if misused or poorly constructed, so they are regulated heavily. Nothing substitutes for reading the regulations, but here are some good principles to stick to:
● Keep Off the Ground – Place your receivers on a slightly elevated foundation so that they remain dry and do not rush
● Watch the temperature – If your receiving tank is outdoors, the condensed moisture could freeze
● Provide Proper Clearance – Allow plenty of space for maintenance and drainage
● Use Automated Drainage – Use a drain with an electronic timer or other automatic valve
● Install Safety Valves – Make sure you have nothing installed between the receiver and the safety valve
● Position Safety Valves – Position the safety valve in a way which will protect bystanders if it blows
● Secure Your Receiver – Bolt down or otherwise securely mount your receiver to avoid catastrophe

Servicing Your Receiver Tank

We recommend having your air receiver tanks serviced regularly. If it’s an older tank, the thickness should be measured and readings should be taken to examine corrosion. It’s good practice to hydrotest your tanks once a year.

To make sure your gauges stay accurate and give quality readings, they should be recalibrated about every 6 months. You’ll want an isolation valve installed to keep up tank pressure while servicing the gauge.

Though your tank should always have an automatic drainage system, it should still be regularly checked and drained to avoid problems. This is necessary when there is more condensation built up or when there is a risk of freezing.

FAQ: The Importance Of Proper Filtration

Clean air is essential to the functioning of your compressor. If you think the compression process obliterates the dirt, dust, water and oil particles which make their way through the intake vent, you’ve got another thing coming. When that junk gets into your equipment, it combines to form a mess of gunky residue which seriously impairs the operation.

Proper filtration keeps your system clean, avoiding premature wear on your components and ensuring reliable performance. Appropriate and correctly sized air filters are vital for the efficient operation for your equipment. Here’s a handy reference for selecting the right filter for your situation.

What’s In Your Filter?

Filters have a deceptively simple mechanism, the contaminated air enters in one end and passes through the filter material, where particulates are trapped, allowing only clean air to come out the other side. The housing and the filter element work together as a team. You can often keep the housing and swap out used filters when it’s time to replace.

Not all filter housings are created equal, so check the label to see compatibility and features. Some filter housings are designed to whip the air moving through them into a cyclone, which agitates oil, water and dust particles so that the solids are broken up before they reach the filter element.

Common Filter Types:

● Particulate Filters – In this simple filter, particulates flow through a very fine mesh or net which keeps everything but the air from escaping. The mesh can be sized for the application, and is measured in microns, or millionths of meters.

● Coalescing Filters – Coalescing filtration is a two stage process, best for situations where you’ll be dealing with liquid contaminates. Moisture is captured by an inner layer and then forced outward and drained separately.

● Activated Carbon Filters – Carbon filtering uses a chemical adsorption method. You read that right: adsorption is a process that takes advantage of the large surface area of carbon to trap contaminants.

Quality Matters

The quality of your filter is important. You’re placing a porous barrier between your intake air and your output, which can result in some drops in pressure. To maintain the efficiency of your compressor, you’ll want a filter that doesn’t unnecessarily restrict flow. It is always a good idea to change the filter when you notice any decrease in performance, as even the best filters can clog or simply reach their capacity sooner than you expect.