Avoid Choosing the Wrong Industrial Compressor this Year!

Avoid Choosing the Wrong Industrial Compressor this New Year!

Choosing the right industrial compressor for your business can be tough.  You have to sort through the compressors technologies, sizes, CFM (cubic feet per minute) and PSI (pounds per square inch) requirements, and other specs to determine which air compressor would best fit. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when choosing your industrial compressor:

1. Selecting the Wrong Air Compressor Size

Not every compressor will fit inside the confides that you’ll need. Every brand and every compressor is different. Knowing the exact operating pressure and the maximum compressed air volume flow of your process is key! If you choose a compressor that is oversized, it will lead to huge energy bills, largely caused by the spike in energy produced when the compressor starts up. On the other hand, if an air compressor is too small, the applications won’t be complete due to lack of compressed air supply. So make sure you’ve got your sizing all down.

2. Choosing the Wrong Compressor Technology

We know there are TONS of compressor technologies on the market right now! From rotary screw and reciprocating compressors, to scroll and centrifugal compressors. Choosing which compressor type is best for your specific application can be tough. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making that decision:

  • Screw air compressors are a great option for businesses that are looking for a compressor with lower noise levels, and higher energy efficiency levels. They’re also a great option when it comes to longer daily use.
  • Reciprocating compressors are great choices for businesses where daily demand and duty cycle requirements are lower and has reduced maintenance needs. They are also ideal for businesses with smaller space.
  • Scroll compressors are fit for applications in research and development, universities, breweries, dental offices, and hospitals. These compressors operate quietly and provide 100% oil-free air.

3. Not Thinking About Air Quality Requirements 

Different applications require different air quality. Some, like those in the medical or pharmaceutical industry, require 100% oil-free air. Other applications, such as general manufacturing, might not have as tight air quality requirements. If you’re unsure of what your requirements are, our guys at 3C can help you figure that out. 

4. Underestimating Compressor Costs

You have to factor in three major things when it comes to an industrial compressor’s lifecycle cost: 

  • Initial investment
  • Lifetime maintenance costs
  • Lifetime energy costs

When choosing, keep in mind that up to 80% of the compressor’s lifecycle costs are credited to energy consumption. This means that the energy efficiency of your machine is extremely important when determining how much your compressor will cost to run over its lifetime.

Have Questions?

We understand that choosing the right industrial compressor is a tough choice with a handful of variables. If you still have questions, give 3C Industrial a call today – 361-452-2749. We’re always ready to help! 

Prepping your Air Compressor for Winter

air compressor condensation in winter

It’s getting to that time of the season where us Texans bring out our winter coats and slip on gloves before we head out to work. Just as we prepare ourselves for the winter months, our air compressors need some prep work to navigate properly through the cooler temperatures. Prepping your air compressor helps malfunctions and maximizes your air compressors longevity to make it last all winter long and beyond! Here are our tips as an industrial air compressor manufacturer for winterizing your industrial air compressors. 

Tip #1 Check for Condensation

Condensation left within your air compressor tank creates significant problems as the temperature drops. When it freezes, water expands. If water accumulates in the tank because of condensation, it’ll freeze and cause significant damage within the interior of the air compressor.

So, check your compressor for any condensation and remove it by placing the receiver tank at a low angle so that the moisture drains. Depending on what model air compressor you have at your facility, your air compressor may drain automatically. Even if you have an automatic compressor, we still recommend checking for excess condensation just in case. 

Tip #2 Replace Worn Weather Stripping

Sometimes it’s about those little things that help the big stuff. Over time, weather stripping wears away and requires replacement. We recommend inspecting your weather stripping before the coldest temperatures of the year hit. The weather strips may come loose, thus trapping in condensation. Replacing weather stripping is an inexpensive and simple task to prepare your air compressor equipment for the chilly season. 

Tip #3 Adjust Your Louvers

Louver adjustments are important for keeping the cold air out of the compressor inlet. When you adjust the louvers, it recovers heat that’s headed toward the compressor outlet. You’ll also find the louver adjustments keep moisture out of the oil circuit while maintaining adequate lubrication of moving parts. Louver adjustments direct warm air towards your  industrial compressors. This minimizes the negative impact of compressor exposure to cold temperatures.

Tip #4 Service Drains, Valves, and Separators

At the end of fall, and any season really, is a good time to inspect drains, valves, and separators. Inspections should include detailed cleaning of all essential air compressor components. Drains, valves, and separators are subject to moisture exposure, and moisture exposure is one of the biggest factors leading to winter malfunctions of air compression systems.

Tip #5 Inspect Hoses and Belts

Rubber equipment is easily susceptible to failure in the cold weather. Unfortunately, cold weather wreaks havoc on rubber equipment. Hoses and belts connected to air compressors are generally made of rubber. Inspect hoses and belts for cracks as part of your winter prep procedure. Replace cracked hoses and belts because winter weather expands such cracks and makes air compressor malfunctions even more likely.

BONUS Tip

Prepping your air compressors can be a lot of work. Our tips are just the beginning of winter prepping. At 3C Industrial, we help businesses all around Texas with their preventive maintenance needs on your schedule. Your compressor’s preventative maintenance is tracked in-house by one of our trained PM Coordinators, available 24/7, to ensure your air compressor gets the quality care it needs for any season, including the winter!

Why Compressors Need Preventative Maintenance

3C Preventive maintenance blog

Air compressors are the backbone of the industrial world. They help make facilities all across the globe run smoothly and efficiently. However, air compressors are machines, and we must treat them that way. Instead of waiting around for a problem to arise, we must stay on top of our equipment. We call this preventative maintenance and at 3C, we’re big on this.

Why is Preventative Maintenance Important?

Time, efficiency, and reliability are all critical elements for any business. Preventative maintenance helps ensure that your compressor continues to hold those functions, decreasing the risk of any elements shutting down the entire production process. We can compare this to a car. We take our cars for regular, routine maintenance to keep our vehicles in tip-top shape and so they don’t crap out on us in the middle of the road. The same goes with your air compressor! The more you put into investing in preventative maintenance, the less likely it is to die on you unexpectedly.

Benefits of Preventative Maintenance

  • Cut Those High Bills: Oil leaks, old oil, or blocked filters can all make your compressor perform horribly and cut your production rate. The result of this? High energy bills from your compressor trying its best to keep up with your production line. Lower production from your compressor’s low performance. And if your compressor system hits the hay, you’ll spend more time and money for emergency repairs or purchasing a whole new compressor.
  • Avoid Safety Issues: It’s important to realize that your compressor can cause an unsafe workplace. A poorly serviced compressor may be generating excessive heat and noise, both not safe for a normal work environment. There may also be unseen issues that can lead to fire hazards and electrical shorts. The last thing you want is for your compressor system to lead to an injured employee.
  • Extend Life Expectancy: Air compressors are a big investment, so you don’t want it to die earlier than it needs to. Preventive maintenance helps you achieve a long and smooth life for your compressor system. 

Schedule Regular Maintenance Today

A regularly scheduled maintenance check is a must! It’ll help with energy bills, safety hazards and extend your equipment’s life expectancy. At 3C, our PM Coordinators keep track of all your equipment’s maintenance needs, so you never have to worry about it. Let us help with your  preventative maintenance today!

Summer Maintenance Tips

Summer maintenance tips

Summertime is officially here in Texas. The summer brings long, hot and humid days, all of which can take a toll on your air compressor. Skyrocketing temperatures combined with condensation can strain your equipment’s performance unless you’re prepared. Here are some summer maintenance tips that we at 3C have put together to help you with your preventative maintenance.

1. Clean Your Cabinet and Intake Air Filters

Seems like routine maintenance, but it’s easy to forget when you’re day-to-day tasks take over . A compressor runs cooler and uses less energy when filters are clean. When you have dirty, clogged filters, they can lead to pressure drops. This causes the compressor to work at higher levels to accommodate the demand. It’s important to follow a regular maintenance schedule and add checks for seasonal changes.

2. Check Compressor Room Ventilation

Increased airflow helps us breathe easier and the same can be said about our machines. Air and oil filters require a little extra attention in the summer. Check the compressor room frequently and adjust ventilation and airflow accordingly. Air contaminants, such as pollen and other air pollutants that are prevalent in the summer, can clog up your compressors. When you check your compressor room, make sure to clean and clear the ventilation system. 

3. Look Through Your Drains

The high humidity in the summer causes more condensation when air cools and eventually come out of the drains. Check to ensure that your drains are clear and in working order so they can handle the increased flow. The condensation is sometimes mixed with the compressor oil, so we recommend treating the water before being released directly into the drain. While you’re checking the drains, you should also look at the unit’s filtered and separation tanks. 

4. Clean Your Coolers

During the summer, your air compressor is running not sprinting. To make sure it doesn’t pass out from the heat, you must unblock or unclog your coolers. When your coolers are blocked or clogged, this can cause your air compressor to overheat.

5. Adjust Your Water Cooling Systems 

With your water-cooled compressors, adjust the temperature of the water entering the system. This helps compensate for increased ambient temperatures and to ensure that it is adequate for summer conditions. 

Taking these preventive steps will help sustain your air compressor system in the summer and your business as a whole helping prevent downtime. If you find yourself with no time to do these regular and seasonal maintenance checks, let 3C help you! We’re here for all your summer maintenance along with preventive and corrective maintenance needs. 

Air Compressor Preventive Maintenance – What All Does it Entail?

Air Compressor Preventive Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance is an essential part of keeping your air compressor running at optimal levels. Although PM can seem costly if you aren’t used to regularly servicing your compressor, the biggest expense you face is downtime should your equipment fail. What exactly is included in a PM service? 

There are two intervals at which you should get your compressor serviced: quarterly and annually. Read below for a breakdown of what happens at each:

Quarterly Maintenance

  • Change Air and Oil Filters: regular maintenance of filtration improves oil quality to ensure extended life of your air compressor.
  • Perform In-depth Multi-point Checklist – a full inspection of the equipment. Check for things such as exposed wires and loose fittings. We bring recommended corrective maintenance to the forefront and inform the customer of any needed repairs.
  • Blowout Coolers – without proper airflow across air and oil coolers, there can be a negative impact on the operating air temperature. Increased air temperature can lead to breakdown of oil and possible machinery failure due to high-temp shutdown. Failure = downtime.
  • Oil Samples – as needed per manufacturer warranty requirements.
  • Clean Compressor Area – ensure the compressor region is free of debris that can get sucked into the air intake filter.

Annual Maintenance

  • All services included in Quarterly Preventive Maintenance.
  • Change Compressor Oil – people think they can run their compressors for a certain length of time based on oil type (i.e. an 8,000 hourr oil can run for four years if using 2,000 hours/year). While this is true if the equipment is running at perfect factory settings, such as 0% humidity, 70° ambient temp, most compressors are typically housed outdoors under awnings. Although they are protected from the elements, they aren’t protected from Texas temperatures.
  • Change air oil separator – help prevent oil carryover problems.

At 3C Industrial it is our goal to help save you significant time and resources by taking proactive measures to ensure your equipment is taken care of. Keep your air compressors running smoothly with Preventive Maintenance. Invest in protecting your equipment and your business from downtime. Schedule your PM today.