More Compressor Accessories

This is page two about compressor add ons, entitled More Compressor Accessories. Here I continue to explore what is out there to help make your compressor operation more suited to your requirements. Page one about other compressor accessories is right here.

It is often worthwhile to get a whole package from a specific compressor vendor (compressor and dryer) as a single source for a system, and equally important in my view, a single source for warranty and maintenance as time goes on and things start to fail.

For example, is the type of compressor drive important to you?<.p>

Compressor Drive Type

You may not have a choice about compressor drive type when it comes to the compressor you have selected, as a variety of drives may not be available in your choice of compressor size or model.

Consider that the compressor might have a 'V' belt drive, a variable speed drive, or be direct driven. Consider the up-front cost of each drive type as compared to the long term maintenance costs to keep that style of air compressor running. Which best suits?

Compressor Enclosures

For purposes of noise attenuation, security, appearance, safety, running in adverse environments, etc. etc., a compressor enclosure, whether acquired from the compressor supplier, or custom built at your plant, is something you likely will want to have.

What Compressor Filters?

There are a variety of filters used in air compressing and compressors.

There is a filter to clean the air entering the compressor intake.

There should be a auto-draining compressed air filter at the receiver discharge line to the plant.

The oil used in the compression of air will need to be filtered.

Determine up front what types of filters comes with your compressor, and what filtration you will have to add after the fact.

Questions that should be answered up front include:

  • How do you change each of the filters?
  • What is the length of time between filter changes?
  • Where do you purchase replacement filter elements?
  • What is the skill level required in changing each type of filter?
  • What are the acquisition costs for each filter times the frequency of change each year?

All of these questions should be considered before you make your compressor choice.

Compressor Run-Time Hour Meter

Most of the regularly scheduled maintenance on your compressor must be performed after a certain run time.

A run-time hour meter is very useful for monitoring compressor use, and having one is key to helping ensure that maintenance is carried out at the appropriate intervals.

If you compressor doesn't come equipped with this, make it a point to ask for it./p>

Compressor Lubricants

Not all compressor oils are created equally, and using the poorer quality oil may have nasty effects on your compressor maintenance and costs in time to come.

How does the maintenance person check the lubrication levels on this compressor?

How many different types of lubricating oil does this specific compressor have?

Ask the compressor vendor what options you have for lubrication, what their recommendations are, and how stepping outside of their recommendation (perhaps you're convinced that another synthetic oil will work better for you) will affect your warranty.

Compressor Oil Level Indicator

Can you drive your truck very far without oil in the engine? Well you can't expect your compressor to last if it runs while low or out of oil either.

Whether it's a simple sight glass, right up to a pressure and temperature oil sensor with alarm function, if your compressor contains oil, you'd best make sure you can check it easily.

Oil Separation

If the compressor you are selecting uses oil in the process of compressing the air (not just for lubrication of moving parts) what system does this model of compressor use to ensure good air / oil separation for the compressed air leaving the compressor? You want to know what user-serviceable parts are part of this system, and how to maintain it.

Typically compressor lubricating oil is not good for downstream components, often degrading rubber seals and polycarbonate air components. Ask about percentage of oil carryover a particular compressor has, how time affects the air / oil separation efficiency, and how best, with that type of air compressor, to keep compressor lubricating oil out of your air lines.

Compressor Portability Options

If your need is for a portable compressor, think about how you'll move it around.

Carrying is OK for a small HP unit, as they might only weigh 40-50 pounds. As your CFM needs increase, so does the horse power, and larger HP means more weight.

Consider a wheelbarrow type construction for slightly larger compressors. Or even a fork insert area whereby you could lift the unit with a hand or powered fork truck should it be necessary to move the compressor.

Portable tow-behind air compressors have portability built in. Maintaining the trailer part of that compressor is something you want to know about up front.

If your air compressor needs to be moved, how will you do it?

Vibration Monitoring

A vibration monitor guards your compressor twenty-four hours a day to send an alarm should the compressor vibrate excessively.

Excessive vibration is a symptom of major failure in the system and you will want to know about it immediately if compressor vibration starts to occur. How will you?

Air Compressor Warranty

Reputable compressor manufacturers aren't afraid to back up their products with good, reliable warranties. You should check with each potential vendor to determine what length their warranties are, what all is covered, what is excluded, and what conditions would render the warranty void.

If there are too many reasons why a particular compressor manufacturer's warranty would not be honored by them, well, it's like having no warranty at all, isn't it?

After Warranty Service

Compressors are electro-mechanical devices. Some will fail within their warranty period due to poor manufacturing practices or lousy quality parts. Others will not fail after years of use. That all air compressors will fail is not the question, since every compressor will fail eventually. When yours does, who fixes it?

I hope that the list of more compressor accessories isn't too overwhelming. Certainly, it is a good idea to consider everything when acquiring a new compressor that may be worth north of tens-of-thousands of dollars.

Take your time and investigate compressor accessories thoroughly. Years after you buy your compressor, having done so will continue paying dividends.

Do you have any questions about Compressor Accessories?