Preventive maintenance for Air compressor


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Air compressor is a device which stores air in high potential energy. The compressor absorbs air from surrounding atmosphere and compresses the air into a fixed volume using different mechanisms, such as reciprocating and rotary screw compressor.

Common maintenance checklist for compressors:

  1. Frame:
    Annually check the frame for corrosion and paint the frames if required.

  2. Compressors drives:
    weekly check: Check the V-belts for slippage, dress and tight the V-belts as required. Tighten the lubricate chain as well.
    Annual check : Check for wear and ageing of belts. Check shaft runout of direct coupled machine with the dial indicator and check shaft alignment.

  3. Cooling system:
    weekly: Check for the accumulation of dirt in cooling fins and check the water or coolant flow to the compressor.
    Annual: Flush and clean all water lines and repair leaks. Check for corrosion and thoroughly clean the cooling fins.

  4. Piping and valves:
    Annually clean and repaint the pipes, repack and reset valves.

  5. Air intake:
    Weekly: Check the filter and inlet for obstruction.
    Monthly: Remove intake filter and clean and replace.

  6. Reciever tank:
    Weekly: Drain the tank using drain valve and check for leakage.
    Annually: Open, inspect and clean the interior of the tank. Pay close attention for the joints, seams and fitting.
    The compressor should be checked under safety and health standards

  7. Traps:
    Weekly: allow manually to drain.
    Annually: Check for automatic trap, clean strainers and corrosion.

  8. Aftercoolers:
    Check for internal corrosion and leakage

  9. Dryer:
    Replace dryer annually and check refrigerated and desiccant types.

  10. Pressure regulating valve:
    Verify annually for proper pressure regulation, correct downstream pressure.

  11. Pressure relief valve:
    Verify operation annually.

  12. Gauges:
    Weekly: Check the gauge pointer if it is stuck or error calibrate it or replace it
    Annually: Remove gauge and calibrate

  13. Pressure and temperature sensor:
    Monthly: Check pressure cutin and out. Check temperature switch setting

  14. Bearing:
    Weekly: Lubricate and fix the bearing if there are any vibration and noise.
    Once in a while disassemble compressor and inspect the condition of bushes.

  15. Uploader:
    Weekly; Check the compressor is not being loaded until the operating speed is achieved
    Annually: Inspect for valve airline for leakage, Verify solenoid for insulation lose and lose connection

Other than these one have to do separate maintenance tasks for different compressor such as the reciprocating and rotary screw compressor.

Additional checklist for Reciprocating compressor:

  • Lubrication:
    Weekly: Check the oil cup are full and crank case oil is at the proper level. Check oil feed rate to the cylinder.
    Annual: Clean oil grease cups and piping.

  • Packing gland:
    Weekly: Check for excessive leakage, adjust packing as necessary.
    Annual: Replace packing as necessary

  • Crosshead:
    Weekly: Check fit and lubrication
    Annual: Check bearing shoes for scoring and wearing. Check pins and bushes for wear and replace or refit as required.

  • Piston:
    Check for wear in piston. check clearance with microammeter. Replace if necessary.

  • Connecting rod:
    Check for bending. Check the nut and bolt, replace if it is damaged.

Rotary Screw Compressor:

  • Air end:
    Check condition of rotor and bearing. Replace it if compressor efficiency is reduced.

  • Oil reservoir and separator:
    Monthly: Drain condensation from the bottom of the reservoir.
    Annual: Check condition of the separator element and service or replace if oil consumption is excessive.

  • Oil filter:
    Annual: Replace or clean oil filter as required.