Compressed air is readily available and simple-to-use, but it can be the most expensive form of energy in your application. Air leaving a compressor can also be dirty, and depending on the outside temperature, can contain moisture. The presence of moisture in the air line can damage and shorten the life of downstream equipment, such as pneumatic tools and Liquid/Powder spray equipment. Unregulated or improper air pressure can result in increased compressed air demand, which results in increased energy consumption. Excessive pressure can also increase equipment wear, resulting in higher maintenance costs and shorter tool life. Before compressed air can be used it should be Filtered, Regulated and in some applications, Lubricated.
Filters clean compressed air. Compressed air can carry condensed water, oil carryover from compressors, solid impurities (dirt and rust) generated within the pipelines, and other wear particles from the ambient air. These contaminants can cause problems at every point of use, and should be removed by installing suitable filters.
Regulators reduce and control pressure in compressed air systems. They are used to control pressure to: air tools, such as impact wrenches and sanders, liquid and powder spraying devices and many other pneumatically powered manufacturing applications. Optimally, a pressure regulator maintains a constant output pressure regardless of variations in the input pressure and downstream flow requirements. Downstream equipment flow and pressure requirements must be determined to properly size the correct regulator for the application.
Lubricators add controlled quantities of oil into a compressed air system to reduce the friction of moving components. Most air tools and other air driven equipment require lubrication to extend their useful life. The use of an airline lubricator solves the problem of too much or too little lubrication that comes with other methods of lubrication such as a grease gun or oil, as well as supplying the right kind of lubricant for the tools being used. Once the lubricator is adjusted, a metered quantity of lubricant is supplied to the air operated equipment and the only maintenance required is a periodic refill of the lubricator reservoir. Adding lubrication to a system can also prevent synthetic compressor oil build-up on system components.
Clean air is a key ingredient that enables effective and efficient operation of tools, equipment, and machinery in almost every industry. As such, the use of air preparation devices, such as filters, regulators, and lubricators (FRLs) is an excellent way to keep your air supply in top condition, as well as enabling your tools and equipment to operate at their peak performance. Air Power can help you identify the cause of your airline issues and find a solution to keep your airlines clean and controlled.