Air compressors perform a vital role on construction sites around the world but, without proper care and maintenance, these integral machines can transform from asset to liability, costing companies thousands of Rands in repairs and lost productivity in the process.
The Danger of Varnish
So, what exactly causes an air compressor to go from the picture of efficiency to a labouring bucket of bolts? In a word: varnish. The term ‘varnish’ embodies the by-product stemming from lubricant degradation, with this sticky substance capable of causing untold damage to your system.
If left to its own devices, varnish will build up, either solidifying and clogging the system or attaching itself to unwanted stray particles that can damage the components of the machine itself.
Allowing varnish to build up and reach a critical mass can affect your air compressor in a number of ways, however, what should really concern a business owner is how this process can affect a business’s bottom line.
It is hardly surprising that a gunged up air compressor is less efficient than its clean counterpart, resulting in an inferior output and lost productivity, but an unmaintained air compressor has other hidden costs as well. For instance, bearing in mind that some air compressors already consume vast amounts of energy, varnish-stricken machines take this consumption to the next level as added friction within the system leads to additional heat. Further to this, this increase in temperature shortens the life span of the machine’s components and its oil life, necessitating extra avoidable expenditure
Prevention and cleaning
Preventing and controlling varnish isn’t as easy as simply buying better quality lubricants. Rather, it is a continuous process involving careful handling of both the machinery and its oil. Hence, one should perform regular oil analysis on the in-use lubricant, with this step providing some indication of the state of lubricant degradation. Not changing lubricant when the oil analysis demands is a costly mistake that can quickly lead to severe and debilitating varnish build-up.
That being said, excessive lubricant use is another leading cause for varnish in air compressors. If you wish to clean your air compressor upon discovering varnish build up, the best methods include off-line filtration of the lubricant or buying a cleaner to run through your equipment.
Given the importance of air compressors in the work place, choosing to not maintain and clean your air compressor could prove to be a naïve and expensive mistake. It is always possible to remedy the situation through some urgent TLC, and the professional team at Doosan SA is always standing by to assist you with any service enquiries, contact us today.