A piston or reciprocating air compressor is positive displacement equipment (a machine that increases pressure in air to compress it). It works on the principle of reciprocation, meaning to do something equivalent in response to a specific action.
Reciprocating air compressors require regular maintenance to keep running smooth. Normal wear and tear can cause machines to become inefficient, which may lead to costly downtimes. That’s why ongoing preventive maintenance is crucial for keeping your reciprocating air compressor in optimal working condition.
Here are some maintenance tips.
1. Create a Maintenance Schedule
“Inspect your compressor and its parts routinely to ensure optimal functionality” – Hertz Kompressoren.
All facilities that employ high-tech machinery like air compressors need a regular maintenance schedule to ensure machine operability and longevity. So consider creating a preventative maintenance program. That way, you’ll never forget to pay attention to your reciprocating air compressor. You can catch mechanical problems early before such things necessitate expensive repairs.
2. Change the Air Filters
Air compressors produce clean compressed air that can power various tools and functions. Air must be filtered, removing impurities before leaving the machine. None of that is possible without clean air filters.
When the air filter is dirty, unwanted dust and particles can corrupt the compressed air, which will affect your tools. Your air filters should be switched out at regular intervals based on the given environment. Typically, the air filter can be changed every 2000 hours of use, though a higher frequency is required for dirtier settings.
3. Change the Oil Filters
The oil will degrade the compressed air quality if it passes through to the end application or pneumatic tool. It can corrupt surfaces and environments, such as when using a spray painter or air cleaner. Therefore, removing oil from compressed air before it reaches the end application is critical.
Check your oil filters weekly. Depending on the unit, you can replace the oil filters after 4,000 to 8,000 hours of use or much sooner. Like with air filters, the state of your environment will determine the frequency.
If you have an oil-injected air compressor, lubrication is a vital aspect of keeping it working.
Lubricant allows all the internal metal parts plus joints of your air compressor to operate smoothly without conflict and corrosion. It prevents tension from occurring between touching metal surfaces. And if corrosion takes place, rust can spread and eat through specific mechanical parts. Therefore, you must check lubrication daily.
Furthermore, old lubricant can lose its fluid friction or viscosity and become corrosive. So every six months, wipe off the lubricant and apply a fresh coat. Ensure the separator element is changed each time lubricant is reapplied.
Maintain Your Reciprocating Air Compressor
The components mentioned above are essential to inspect, clean, or lubricate on a schedule to maintain your air compressor. However, other components are also important, such as ensuring the belts have proper tension and the intake vents are clean. You should also inspect the amps, air dryer performance, oil level, vibration, voltages, and temperatures weekly. Good luck.