Maintenance of Compressors After Lockdown

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

In the South-Asia Pacific region, many industries have been temporarily shut down due to the covid-19 pandemic. As restrictions are lifting across numerous countries, it's important now to understand how this lull in operation will have impacted your compressor set up.

 

In this article, we're going to discuss the maintenance issues you might face when restarting your compressors after a period of inactivity.

Boge Compressors Singapore Mantainance after Lockdown Covid19

In the South-Asia Pacific region, many industries have been temporarily shut down due to the covid-19 pandemic. As restrictions are lifting across numerous countries, it's important now to understand how this lull in operation will have impacted your compressor set up.

 

In this article, we're going to discuss the maintenance issues you might face when restarting your compressors after a period of inactivity.

 

What Happens to a Compressor During Lockdown?

 

Any finely tuned piece of equipment like BOGE's compressor models, will need to be handled with care after a sustained lack of use. If you have followed your manufacturer's guidelines for shutting down a specific compressor, then, hopefully, such issues can be avoided.

 

Procedures for ceasing air production include:

 

  • Manually stopping the compressors rather than using a centralized controller.
  • Keeping minimum electrical supply in place to keep capacitors charged.
  • Ensuring that you isolate any cooling systems.
  • Inspecting system to identify any issues that can be rectified before going into lock down, such as air leaks or valve failures.
  • Cleaning and Lubrication parts that can get rusty and preparing the machine for long storage.
  • Using a proper material to cover the equipment will prevent dust and small insects/animals entering inside that can damage the equipment.

 

If you have followed your manufacturer's guidelines for shutting down your specific model, then you should be able to safely restart your compressors.

 

Restarting Compressors After Inactivity

Again, the restart procedure will vary depending on your model of air compressor. However, the following steps must be taken to ensure the safety of you, your employees, and your equipment.

 

  1. Wear the Correct PPE: Covid-19 is especially dangerous because it can be passed through droplets in the air. Needless to say, using compressed air around such droplets can increase their spread. Wear the correct PPE at all times to protect yourself and those around you.

 

  1. Power Source: We mentioned above that you should keep your electricity supply on to keep capacitors charged (especially important with variable speed drives). Now is the time to turn this power supply off. You want to be able to fully inspect your air compressor safely.

 

  1. Leak Inspection: Condensation, oil lubricant, pumped fluids, or coolant can all leak if a valve or other component has failed. Complete a visual inspection of the machine and the outlet line. Look for any tell tale signs of leaks. If you find any, you will need to attend to this before starting up your compressor.

 

  1. Oil Discolouration: One thing to look out for is any particulate matter in the oil. This will mean the oil needs replaced. Discolouration will also indicate an oil change is necessary. This may need to be carried out by your service provider. Do not avoid this, as particulate matter can result in damaged parts when the compressor is switched on.

 

  1. Assess Air Intakes: Ensure that all intakes are unblocked. And clean from dust.

 

  1. Inspect Filters: Look at any filters and make sure they are clean and have no mould or spore growth on them from being inactivate.

 

  1. Lubricate: You should top up any lubricant and ensure that your equipment is primed correctly for a safe restart. Use the same grade and brand as the oil already present in your compressor. Also, make sure that you place oil on the suction cup before you switch the machine on.

 

  1. Inspect Belts for Tension: If your compressor model uses belts in its design, these can loosen over time when not used. Ensure each belt is tightened to the correct tension.

 

  1. Motor Test: Condensation can sometimes make its way into the motor casing. Carry out an insulation test for this before starting the compressor.

 

  1. Power  Up Controller: The controller you use for your compressor will require rebooting. It will have a specific power-up sequence. Refer to your manual to ensure this is carried out correctly. Also, inspect the controller unit for any liquids that might have dripped onto it, and ensure it is safe to turn on.

 

  1. Initial Start:  It should be safe now to start up your compressor. We advise to start off with the outlet valve of the receiver in the closed position. Wait until operating pressure has been reached in the Air receiver/Air Dryer and then equalize the pressure to the factory by opening the valve a small amount at a time.

 

We hope this guide has helped. If you have any other questions about BOGE products or operating your compressor after lock down, our trained staff are standing by waiting to assist you.