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Capital expenditure on equipment such as air compressors is rarely undertaken lightly; a company that purchases a brand-new air compressor is doing so based on a business case that demonstrates the need and the likely return on the investment in offsetting the cost.
We couldn’t agree more – having the right air compressor for the load and demand of any plant or machinery is critical to operating an efficient and profitable business, facilitating optimum levels of output. However, the purchase of the new equipment is not the end of the story; as with any machinery with moving parts, valves and environmental demands, the need to keep it in good working order is paramount in ensuring that the operating levels that you forecast are maintained throughout its working life. We take a look at why air compressor maintenance is critical to prolonging the lifetime if the equipment, and how working with an air compressor service schedule could save you money and keep your business profitable.
The lifetime of your air compressor is dependant largely on operating hours; if we assume that you are using the correct type and size of compressor for your working environment and load levels, then the greatest factor that will influence the longevity of your equipment is the time that the machine is operational for. If you carry out regular air compressor maintenance, many compressors will have a life expectancy of somewhere around 10-15 years, with rebuild levels of maintenance at intervals of around 3 years for piston compressors and 8 years for reciprocating compressors – having said that, if you are working your compressor hard and are using it in a harsh environment, these numbers may be reduced and it is even more critical that air compressor services are carried out regularly.
If your air compressor services are not carried out regularly, some of the problems that may arise include:
Although an air compressor is not a hugely complex piece of equipment, each component has a critical job to perform and must be maintained in order to do so. The problems listed above can be caused by a number of issues, some of which include leaking seals that have worn from general friction in use, clogged air filters that need replacing, insufficient lubrication, a dirty oil separator that needs replacement or a worn or dirty airend. Each of these items should be checked as part of an air compressor maintenance schedule.
There are some who take the view that, when an air compressor breaks down, the part at fault can then be replaced – this may look like a cost saving on the surface but is, of course, a false economy. When an air compressor is not maintained, not only is it not running at its optimum performance level – and therefore allowing your plant run inefficiently – but other parts of the equipment is potentially being damaged, ultimately resulting in a higher bill. For example, if the piston seals leak as a result of normal wear and the oil is allowed to travel to other parts of the compressor (which use different lubricants), it is likely to cause seals to crack or swell, and if that oil comes into contact with plastic parts of the machine this can be very damaging as they become brittle and split. It could also mean that the compressor runs low on oil and lacks the lubrication that it needs, again causing damage.
If you are not in a position to carry out your own air compressor maintenance and services, Glaston offers a full maintenance service to save you the trouble, and, as demonstrated above, ultimately save you money. Our handy air compressor maintenance checklist outlines the basic tasks that you need to perform to ensure that you carry out the right kinds of air compressor services during its lifetime. However, if you really want to ensure that your air compressor maintenance provides you with optimum performance and an extended lifetime of service, contact us today to find out more about our air compressor service packages.