Routine Maintenance: The Unsung Hero 

It’s Wednesday afternoon on a warm Summer day. The AC in the maintenance office kicks on providing you a brief blast of cool air as an interruption from the sound of an alarm rings through the facility. The crackle of the radio goes off and you hear the worst three words a production manager wants to hear, “compressors are down.”

You arrive in the compressor room to find the unsavory sight of a bright red service light and fault message stating, “Shut-Down High Temp”. A quick glance at the unit has a phone number for your service provider and you make the call to get a technician on site. The tech arrives shortly and with 20 minutes has you running again. No parts, oil or materials needed just an invoice for labor and the cost of lost production.

Your filter changes are up to date. No changes to production schedule or shifts, so why the shut down? One reason might be… Routine Maintenance.

One of the factors leading to longevity of a compressor’s life and less interruption to production is the implementation of a proper routine maintenance program. Simple daily and/or weekly checks of specific points of data can head off a service call, or worse, a shut down. What to check and why?

Discharge Temperature:
Temperature is one of the number one indicators of a compressor in need of some attention. Any number of factors can lead to climbing temps including low oil, air end failing, clogged coolers or improper air flow. Almost all rotary screw compressors will have discharge temperature located on the main controller.

Oil Level: As above the oil level should be checked often to ensure proper lubrication. Most units will need oil levels checked when the compressor is in an OFF position.
Coolers: These can become clogged with dirt, oil and debris which can restrict air flow. A quick blowdown or cleaning will keep air flow strong and oil temps at a good level.
Drains: Water needs to go somewhere. If a drain is clogged or fails, the next stop could be your production equipment. There are likely multiple drains in your system, hit the “test” button on all routinely to ensure proper operation.
Differential Pressure: As a separator clogs the pressure differential increases. A drastic or quickly trending change in DP can indicate a need of service.

These are a few simple routine checks which can make a lasting impact on how often you see the smiling face of your friendly, neighborhood IAC technician.

Reach out to your IAC contact to get a “Routine Maintenance Checklist”