Auto mechanic shops, construction crews, and industrial systems of many types use air compressors and pneumatic tools to get their jobs done, but maintenance can be a mystery for many air compressor systems. Even in some of the seemingly stalwart and well-polished systems, a few specks of grit or employees who drop equipment too often can spell disaster for these sensitive systems. To understand what could go wrong and ways to fix the problem, here are a few air compressor system details.
Air Compressor Release Failure
Pneumatic tools and other attachments for air compressors are based on a precise system of air blockage and release. The opening for the pneumatic attachment has to provide a perfect seal to avoid wasting air--something that the compressor solely exists to provide--while opening wide enough to deliver a strong, consistent burst of air as needed.
The problem is that air can escape through gaps that can't be seen by the naked eye. This means that grains of sand, crumbles of concrete, and other small forms of debris could result in a slow leak that lowers your air compressor's effective force and leads to greater wear and tear.
The same problem can happen from a pneumatic tool being dropped too hard or too often. There's often at least that one person who can't do anything with tools without carelessly throwing things aside or banging them on the floor, and for pneumatic tools, this becomes a dual failure.
First, the pneumatic tool's air blockage mechanism can be knocked loose. It can either become stuck open or fall completely out, resulting in an air leak whenever that tool is loose. Second, the air compressor will have to work harder just like in the debris example, but with a usually bigger loss of air if the blockage piece is lost completely.
Protecting Your Air Compressor From Dirt And Bad Use
To fight against debris problems, a clean work space is vital. It's understandable that many jobs--especially dirty, hands-on jobs--can't exactly keep their air compressors in medical-grade clean rooms. Thankfully, you don't have to go that far.
Air compressors and their tools should be kept on elevated platforms. This prevents the bulk of heavier debris that could be lodged in tools or filters from being kicked into a bad position. In addition to platforms, workstations using pneumatic tools should have rolling carts.
Carts can help workers by giving them somewhere to place their tools other than the ground or hanging in a way that could damage the hose. It's best to choose carts that are close to average waist height for your workers, as it gives incentive to put the tool somewhere that can be reached easily without bending out of place. Workers at low elevations such as mechanics working on tires can use short carts that have tall walls to reduce debris dangers.
Contact an air compressor unit and accessories professional to discuss compressor safety and other innovations that could keep your air compressor investment useful for years to come. Click here to continue reading about air compressor tools.