How Do You Maintain Air Tools?Adding more infrastructure will increase your running costs, increase pressure drops and reduce efficiency. Planning the overall air infrastructure for your operations is advisable for maintaining productivity as well as cost and energy savings. Other considerations for air tool management include:
- Look and listen for leaks
- To ensure efficiency, do not use hoses longer than 3 to 5 metres
- Use the correct type of hose
- Use full flow couplings
- Use a regulator to set and monitor air pressure to optimum levels
- Always use clean and dry compressed air
Improve the Air LineIncorrect hoses and smaller size couplings can lead to significant drops in pressure. Follow the guidance here to achieve efficient compressed air management. There are a number of factors that can affect your air line and the following checklist should be considered:
- Lubrication: Usage and lifetime of air tools can be prolonged through lubrication. Some air tools require direct lubrication such as those with short operating times while oil fog lubricators are needed for those with long operating times.
- Distance: For maximum efficiency and performance, the distance between the offtake and the air tool should be no greater than 3 to 5 metres.
- Air Consumption: The air consumption of the tool corresponds with the pipe size of the air line system. The larger the air consumption, the larger the air line system size and accessories. To ensure the correct air pressure to the tools use pipe size and couplings that are correct for the tool’s air consumption.
- Inlet thread dimension: The connection between air tools and hoses varies in size as well as standards. Make sure to select the correct nipple for the air tool. It is also recommended to use safety couplings which release pressurized air mechanically before disconnecting.
- Working Environment: Tailor your air line system to your working environment. Outdoor use or rough environments such as shipyards and foundries can cause corrosion from exposure to water and moisture and require more resistant air lines compared to indoor environments.
- Allowable Pressure Drop: Sufficient air pressure is needed for air tools to function optimally. The maximum allowable pressure drop of the air line system should be considered and the air tools chosen accordingly.
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