Why Your Facility Needs a Customized Compressor Maintenance Plan

For some companies, air compressors are among the most critical and important of all industrial equipment. That’s why you need a compressor maintenance plan, to make sure your compressed air system continues to work as you need it, when you need it most. However, cut-and-paste maintenance plans don’t take into consideration all the variables that make your compressed air system (and the way you use it) unique. A customized compressor maintenance plan, on the other hand, will take into consideration the size and type of your compressor and how you use it to make sure it receives the maintenance services it absolutely needs.

If you rely on industrial air compressors for any critical end use, contact D&D Compressor, Inc. of San Jose to make sure your equipment continues to deliver the compressed air you need to maintain productivity, stay competitive, and prevent costly equipment problems. We can customize an air compressor maintenance plan to suit your needs, no matter the type or size of air compressor you currently use. We also supply a full line of air compressor and vacuum pump replacement parts, so if your equipment needs any repairs we can perform them faster than our competitors who have to wait for the parts to arrive. Call us toll-free at (800) 969-0491 to learn more about our air compressor maintenance services and sales.

How Hospitals Run on Compressed Air

Unless you are work in hospital maintenance, you might never guess the extent to which hospitals rely on compressed air. These air systems are imperative for a large number of critical end uses, so much so that any problems with the delivery or quality of compressed air in a hospital can jeopardize patient health and safety. If you’re curious about how hospitals rely on compressed air, here’s a brief look at some of the specific places and functions within a hospital that demand compressed air. If you work in a medical setting and are researching air compressors, contact an air compressor supplier in San Jose that specializes in medical-grade compressed air systems.

The Operating Room

There is perhaps no more critical end use of compressed air within a hospital than the operating room. Compressed air is used to help keep the patient comfortable and breathing, and can also prove critical in the operation and performance of certain handheld medical tools and devices. Because compressed air in situations when contamination can lead to infection, illness, and even death, it is essential that hospitals have good compressed air filtration systems and testing procedures in place.

The Air Filtration Duct System

For the health of patients, healthcare providers, and hospital guests alike, the air filtration system inside of a hospital requires the purest, driest air possible. High-quality, medical-grade air compressors provide that, ensuring clean and sanitary air for everyone within the hospital.

The Maintenance Department

In any setting, nothing cleans dusty spaces better than compressed air. This is true in hospitals as well, in addition to the fact that compressed air is used for many tools that aid in the repair, replacement, and maintenance of hospital equipment. Hospital maintenance departments, like any other, use compressed air for impact hammers, nail guns, and many other air-driven hand tools. Compressed air is also used to inflate emergency mattresses and wheels on service carts and wheelchairs.

Compressed Air Energy Savings

Factories consume approximately 40% of all available energy, and the demands are increasing. Compressed air is responsible for a large share of a factory’s energy consumption, so it makes sense to identify leaks that could be wasting energy—not to mention driving your operating expenses through the roof unnecessarily. Watch this video to learn more about the importance of leak detection testing in industrial compressed air systems.

If you want to reduce operating expenses, increase productivity, and avoid product and/or critical end use contaminations, work closely with an air compressor company in San Jose to make sure your system is as efficient as possible. As part of an air compressor audit, a company will measure the efficiency of your air compressor and test the air purity to make sure it is safe for its intended use. You might also discover that you stand to save a lot more money in the long run by purchasing a new air compressor system now instead of repairing your old, inefficient one.

Food Processing, Compressed Air, and Safety

Health and safety issues are a big deal in the food industry, and for good reason. Contaminated food products can endanger consumers and cause significant damage to a company’s reputation. Although compressed air is widely used in the food industry, particularly in the packaging and bottling of food, it can be overlooked as a health and safety concern. The potential hazards associated with compressed air are not always obvious, but there are risks that you need to be aware of to make sure that your consumers (and your company) don’t suffer from food contaminated by compressed air.

Health and Safety Risks

Untreated compressed air can contain many potentially harmful contaminants that can spoil food products and cause illness if consumed. The public health crisis resulting from the introduction of microbial contaminants into food packaging or food products can damage your company from a financial standpoint due to damaged public trust and possible litigation from consumers who became ill because of your contaminated food or packaging.

Managing the Risks

Compressor filtration is a good start to managing the potential health and safety risks associated with contaminated food products, but it doesn’t go far enough for most food processing and manufacturing plants. Point-of-use filtration should be in place for all critical points where compressed air is directly or indirectly in contact with food and/or food packaging. Point-of-use filtration puts a physical barrier between the air stream and the end product, effectively safeguarding against microbial contamination.

Food Manufacturing Compressed Air Good Practices

There are a variety of good practice models for the use of compressed air in food manufacturing and packaging facilities. If you are looking for compressed air “good practice” guidelines to institute in your plant or facility, consider one of these existing collections of standards and regulations:

  • U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (21CFR, Chapter 1, Part 110)
  • British Compressed Air Society (Food Grade Compressed Air Code of Practice)
  • International Featured Standards (Version 6)
  • Global Red Meat Standard (4 th Edition)

What are Nitrogen Generators?

Nitrogen generators are largely used today to inflate automotive tires with nitrogen, but they weren’t initially designed for use in the automotive industry. They were originally designed for use in laboratory and clean room environments, but as more and more uses for nitrogen have been found the variety of applications have greatly expanded. In addition to automotive use, nitrogen generators are used in food manufacturing to prolong product lifetime, as an antioxidant in semi-conductor and electric circuit manufacturing, and for the transportation and transfer of hydrocarbons in the petroleum industry. For high-purity nitrogen demand, a pressure swing adsorption (PSA) nitrogen generators provide up to 99.99% pure N2.

If you currently use an air separation nitrogen production system, consider substituting your old, outdated equipment with a new PSA nitrogen generator. An industrial air compressor supplier in San Jose can tell you more about the latest nitrogen generators and the benefits of installing a nitrogen generator as opposed to buying bottled or liquefied nitrogen.

Testing Compressed Air in Food Plants

Preventative food safety has become a major issue in around the world. More and more countries, including the United States, are taking aim at improving the knowledge of risk factors and preventative practices in order to protect consumers and food manufacturers alike. One area that food plants are starting to focus on more than ever is compressed air , specifically the air quality at critical control points in the manufacturing and/or packaging of food. To protect consumers and your company from harm, here are some important things to know about compressed air testing in food plants.

Sources of Compressed Air Contamination

Before you test the air quality of your compressed air systems, you might first be interested to learn where air gets contaminated in the first place. There are multiple sources of contamination in a compressed air system, including atmospheric contamination (air entering the compressor can be contaminated with water vapor, micro-organisms, atmospheric dirt, etc.) and contamination introduced by the compressor, air receiver, or distribution piping.

Air Purity Monitoring and Testing Schedule

Regular air quality monitoring and testing is a best practice within any industry, but it is especially important for food plants. A single test at one point in time is not enough, as compressed air systems are subject to multiple sources of contamination (see above). ISO 8573-7:2003 outlines processes, methods, and best practices of compressed air testing for microbial contamination, including recommended testing schedules.

HAACP Analysis

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) analysis prioritizes air quality testing and filtration at any point-of-use contact between compressed air and food (direct and indirect). Implementing HACCP testing protocols in your food plant is an effective way to mitigate the risks associated with contaminated air. In addition to testing at critical end points, these points of use should contain separate filtration systems or mechanisms to provide additional safeguarding against microbial food contamination.

Behind the Scenes of Plastic Bottle Manufacturing

Fewer and fewer products come in glass packaging these days, which in part explains the boom in plastic manufacturing. Plastic just makes sense for consumers, and manufacturers. It’s lighter, nearly indestructible, and easily recyclable. Watch this video to get a behind-the-scenes look at how plastic bottles and jars are made.

If you’re in the business of plastic bottle manufacturing, you already know what the process looks like. You also already have an air compressor system in place, but is it fully meeting your needs? Your entire operation (and indeed your bottom line) is in large part dependent on the performance and efficiency of your compressed air system. That’s why you should contact an air compressor maintenance and sales provider in San Jose to see if you can’t make your air compressor more efficient and more productive.

What is a Compressed Air Audit?

Depending on your industry and the size of your company, compressed air costs can be among your biggest operational expenses. In addition to the energy costs associated with the production and delivery of compressed air, there are external costs related to the efficiency and productivity of your compressed air system. Fortunately, a compressed air audit can identify opportunities for you to improve the efficiency, performance, and productivity of your compressed air delivery system. Here is a look at some of the factors included in a full compressed air audit. If you don’t have the budget for a full audit, contact a compressed air sales and service company in San Jose to discuss your current system and how you can get more out of it.

Air Demand

Any air compressor audit should include a measurement of your plant’s compressed air demand over a weekly cycle to identify energy costs and potential savings. Professional air compressor auditors are able to measure flow rates and air demand without interrupting service or affecting performance.

Air Leaks

An important part of accurately auditing your compressed air system is detecting leaks within the air delivery system. Because leaks can be very costly for your compressed air operating costs, having an audit performed can pay for itself by identifying leaks in the system that you can then have repaired.

Air Quality

Microbial contamination is a concern for most industries that make use of compressed air, particularly food manufacturing planta and healthcare facilities. That’s why any full professional audit should include an air quality assessment. If your compressed air is not within safe bacterial levels for your industry or compressed air application, your auditor will be able to recommend filtration and air cleaning solutions.

Should You Sign Up for a Compressor Maintenance Program?

If your business relies on compressed air for any reason, it’s in your best interest to weight the pros and cons of signing up for a compressor maintenance program. For a small monthly or annual fee, your air compressor will be maintained by air compressor professionals who know exactly what it takes to keep your air compressor running at peak performance. Consider some of the benefits of a compressor maintenance program and then contact an air compressor service company in San Jose if you are interested in signing up or learning more.

  • Peace of mind knowing that your air compressor system is professionally maintained
  • Money savings resulting from improve air compressor performance and fewer air compressor repairs over time
  • Expert recommendations from an air compressor professional regarding your system and improvements that can be made to improve air compressor performance overall

Signs Your Air Compressor Needs to be Serviced

Regardless of the size of your compressed air system, if you rely on compressed air for any reason related to your day-to-day business operations it’s important that you learn to recognize the signs of compressor trouble. As your air compressor goes out, it will run less efficiently and the performance output will drop, both of which can cost you money. If you recognize any of these following signs, contact an air compressor repair provider in San Jose .

Excessive Compressor Noise

One of the most obvious signs that your air compressor needs to be serviced is excessive noise during operation. Noisy operation can be caused by multiple things, including loose components that need to be tightened, lack of oil in the crankcase, or foreign matter in the compressor cylinder head. The only way to know for sure is to schedule an inspection with a professional air compressor service technician.

Oil in Discharge Air

Another obvious sign of trouble is oil in the discharge air at point of use. Again, there are multiple things that can cause this problem, including worn piston rings, restricted air intake, and excessive oil in the compressor. This can be a serious problem if you use compressed air for fabrication as the oil can contaminate the end products, so schedule air compressor service as soon as you notice oil in the discharge air to prevent costly product loss or production stoppage.

Insufficient Air Pressure

You may also begin to notice insufficient air pressure at point of use if your air compressor requires service. Leaks or restrictions are usually to blame, but it can also be caused by slipping belts or service hoses that are too small. A compressed air service company can determine what’s causing the air pressure drop so you can get back to using compressed air as you need it.