While it’s true that pneumatic equipment is more reliable than hydraulic or electrical gear, it still needs proper maintenance to avoid lost productions, unplanned shutdowns or some other challenges.
Here are some tips to ensure your compressed air system works for a long time:
Before you start assessing what’s wrong, it’s important to ensure that you’re taking proper safety precautions. Make sure the system is powered off before you perform any inspection or maintenance. Use lockout valves wherever possible in order to prevent accidental operations.
Read the schematics
Always check to ensure that the circuits of your pneumatic systems are correctly assembled. Refer to the service manual and schematic drawings to have a better insight on the component functions.
The schematic drawings contain useful information about the pressure setting of the valves, cylinder stroke lengths, flow rates in the system, air motor speeds, and much more. On the other hand, the service manual offers valuable troubleshooting advice to help you determine the source of malfunction. Even if you’ve been working with pneumatics for a quite a while, these documents can turn out to be valuable diagnostic tools.
Ask the three Ws
Before repairing a system breakdown, ask these three questions:
What is occurring in the pneumatic system operation that deviates from the normal settings?
When did the issue begin? Was it a gradual or sudden failure?
Where did the issue occur in the machine cycle? Does it occur at startup or after the machine is well into operation?
By asking these three Ws you can reduce downtime without having to guess what’s wrong. Recurring problems in the pneumatic system should be maintained in records to make the troubleshooting process faster. However, if the questions don’t yield a satisfactory diagnosis, the next step should be to troubleshoot the problem by visually inspecting the machine.
Repair or replace
After troubleshooting the issue, the next step is to decide whether you need to repair or replace a component. However, there are many factors that can influence this step. Repairing the parts immediately may increase machine downtime, which in turn, affects the profits. While on the other hand, simply replacing the component would reduce the machine downtime but the inventory cost now becomes a significant factor to consider. Moreover, component availability may also influence the repair-or-replace issue.
If you’re looking to replace your pneumatic fittings, head over to our store to get your hands on quality pneumatic fittings including quick connect and push to connect air fittings. We also provide air filter regulators at affordable prices!
Get in touch with us for more information.