How to avoid issues when restarting machines- contact Compressed Air Controls
If your air compressors or pneumatic equipment ever have a break- say over Christmas- you may come across issues with this equipment on startup.
Here's how to avoid them when you are leaving the site:
- Disconnected the compressors main power line to avoid short circuitíng
- Kept the compressor doors closed to avoid dust entry
- Closed the cable entry points to avoid rats getting in
- Avoided moisture and dust entering the system by closing the air outlet valve (after de-pressurizing the system and line) and closing the dryer and downstream filters in and out valves.
Here is a list of issues your pneumatic machinery/air compressors/dryers may have:
Weakened circuit breakers or fuse links could finally trip causing loss of power to the machine.
Sticky valves will cause machines to malfunction- MAC Valves don’t stick so we can replace any problematic valves with MAC Valves.
Jammed/sticky condensate drains may stay open rather than automatically closing when air pressure builds up
A compressor may not “load up” running but not producing air for the factory.
Air dryers will take an hour plus to reduce air temperature and remove water.
System does not build pressure as drain valves are open in the factory
How to prevent issues:
Start machines up one at a time to prevent overloading the power supply causing fluctuation/surges that may cause circuit breakers/overloads to trip.
Take caution when starting up compressors as pneumatic machinery that operates on compressed air could have gone into a “relaxed” state due to the compressed air being off. Isolate machines prior to starting the compressor as air pressure is regained then components may start moving.
Make sure your staff are not in ‘holiday mode’, encourage them to take extra care, check the air is isolated, check electrically that nothing is going to be compromised.
Ensure air intakes and ducting are clear of debris.
Things to check before starting up a compressor:
- Clean the cooler, pre-filter, air filter and complete machine. (Use dry air with pressure below 2.5 bar). Ensure cleanliness of control panel.
- Ensure tightness of power cable, control wiring, connectors, transmitters, motor terminal connections and VFD cables – check for damages
- Check for free rotation of airend and motor
- Ensure oil levels are as recommended in the manual
- Ensure oil condition is good and there is no de-colourisation, emulsification, solidification or dust contamination
- Drain moisture from separator tank and air receiver
- Clean moisture separator ADV and air receiver ADV
- Ensure that it is not overdue for a service (i.e. Oil and consumables change, Motor greasing must have not crossed beyond recommended hours/months whichever earlier, as given in manual)
- Disconnect the air outlet pipe and ensure there are no rust particles
Things to check once it is powered up:
- Check incoming voltage as per specification and change the transformer tapping accordingly
- Ensure there are no alarm and trip messages in the PLC
- Ensure earth voltage is less than 3 volts
- Check the direction of motor rotation (as per the sticker on motor)
Things to check once you have started the compressor:
- Check for smooth running without abnormal sound
- Ensure there are no air and oil leakages in the compressor
- Ensure there is no water leakage (applicable for water-cooled compressors)
Things fo check for compressors with a VFD:
- Check for foreign particles, condensation, insects inside panel and VFD. Clean the drive with dry air (air pressure less than 3 bar)
- Tightness check of all wirings (L1, L2, L3, U, V, W)
- Check for corrosion on bus bars and earthing (Applicable for standalone VFD)
- Check the insulation of motor and cables
- Clean the heat sink, cooling fan and duct channels
- Check for alarm and warning during power-up
- Check cooling fan operations
- Check the healthiness of monitoring parameters on display
- Start VFD and run in manual unload mode
- Run system with load