When’s the last time you checked and maintained the air compressor you have hard at work in your own place of business? If you’re like many business owners, then it’s probably been a while. Fortunately, we asked the experts at SMC Pneumatics for some of their favorite tips on the best way to maintain your air compressors and keep them working longer than you had ever thought possible.
Air Compressor Maintenance Tips
Selecting reliable machinery from the beginning is extremely important. Invest in a high-quality air compressor, like those sold by our organization, so you won’t have to worry about getting something that’s been built with faulty components. At the same time, you’ll want to make sure that everything from the chillers to the cylinders is more than capable of handling the type of workload that you plan on processing in your place of business.
Keep this in mind when shopping, because overworking a piece of equipment is an excellent way to eventually have it start to fail. Even well-made gear will eventually fail if it’s being exposed to conditions that it wasn’t designed to handle, so an otherwise strong piece of equipment might not be able to hold up if it’s simply being asked to do entirely too much as far as its specifications go.
At the same time, there’s a good chance that machinery even as simple as an air compressor will get dirty to some degree during the workday. If that sounds familiar, then just the bare minimum of cleaning can go a long way toward ensuring that your equipment stays in good shape for longer. That includes maintaining a healthy air temperature for the machine.
While you’re working with the gear you have on hand, consider following a checklist too so you can be sure that you get everything done each time you perform maintenance. Naturally, you won’t have to worry about touching on each of these tasks every single time you do things, but getting into a good rhythm is going to be an excellent idea.
That’s especially true for those who have to do all of the chores themselves without the aid of additional technicians. In these cases, it’s easier to get into a schedule and stick with it as opposed to trying to always rush at the end of some time period to try and get everything up and running again.
Air Compressor Maintenance Checklists
You’ll want to go over these checks when making sure that your entire system is working correctly. Over time, you’ll need to take a look at the pump oil level, the pump oil itself and potentially the air filter element as well.
- Disconnect the unit from its power source
- Make sure it’s on a flat surface
- Remove the fill cap
- Look for debris in the oil in the crankcase assembly
- Make sure that you don’t have oil inching past the sight glass halfway point
- Place the collection container beneath the oil drain cap if you need to change it
- Let the oil drain out, if changing
- Replace it and ensure a great seal if at all possible
- Unscrew the filter top
- Separate it from the base
- Remove the element from the base itself
- Get rid of any dust and debris from the filter element
- Replace the filter itself if at all necessary
- Reconnect the top to the base and then secure it
Of course, you never want to do any of this with a warm air compressor. Make sure that you have it powered down and cool for some time before you attempt to do any of these potential repair steps. Anything else could be a potential way of getting burned.
Once you’ve gotten into the habit of doing at least some of these tasks you’ll be ready to start implementing a good schedule that will help you and your organization stay on top of all the maintenance tasks that you find yourself grappling with.
Preventative Air Compressor Maintenance Schedule
Check the pump oil level and inspect the system for leaks every single time you use it. Think of it the same way that you would a push lawn mower that needs to be constantly looked after. Drain the water out of the tank once you’re done and inspect the air connections and hoses each time as well. Those that use compressors with visible belts will also want to inspect these for any potential degree of damage or wear.
Once the belts are worn out or start to show some signs of potential breakdown, you’ll need to swap them out for replacements. While you’re at it, you might want to consider investing in additional replacement parts like air clamps so you’ll never have to worry if you experience a sudden failure and have to start replacing some components later on.
Some maintenance chores, like cleaning or replacing air filters, need to be done on a weekly basis at least. Checking the safety relief valve and tightening bolts should be done monthly. Make sure to service the pump or whatever power source you’re working with around every 200-250 hours of use.
For some people, this might be every six months or so but don’t just rely on the count of a calendar if you’re using your compressor an awful lot. Keep a log of the number of hours worked, so you know when it’s time to start taking the extraordinary steps to get the machine working again like normal.
For that matter, don’t rely on just anyone to get you the kind of supplies that you need. You’ll want to find a supplier that works every bit as hard as you do at your company. That’s why we’re always here for you to help with clean air.
Get the Parts to Maintain Your Air Compressor System At SMC Pneumatics
SMC Pneumatics wants to save you time and money on maintenance. While it might seem difficult to keep up with all these maintenance chores, they’ll eventually become almost automatic as a result of repetition. Those who work with small groups might want to dole out different jobs to different people.
Regardless of how you decide to accomplish these tasks, you’ll want to get in touch with SMC Pneumatics using our convenient online contact form so we can help you find all of the parts you need. We’ll make sure to get them out to you so you can keep your machines moving and, more importantly, your business doing productive work irrespective of anything that might be going on.