5 ways to prepare compressors for summertime heat

Contingency planning and short-term rental services can be the difference between downtime and continuous operations.

By Ryan Cook, Ingersoll Rand

Hot temperatures vs. air compressors are an epic matchup in the ring. Summertime heat is the enemy of compressed air. High ambient temperatures outdoors, combined with the heat that a compressor generates, creates more moisture in the system.

And, where there is higher moisture content, there is higher risk to your system uptime. This is because when a compressor runs hotter, the equipment also runs more inefficiently. Here are five actions you can take to combat compressed air issues that arise during the summer months, and avoid your temper from rising above the heat index.

1.  Look ahead. Whether it’s preparing for the heat or an influx in production, look ahead a few months to forecast what the potential changes are. Is the climate about to change drastically? Are you generally busier in the summer months? Most manufacturers use more air during certain times of the year, so they should determine when those times might be by looking at historical data or demand. Air compressor rentals present a seamless, reliable alternative to ensure minimal impact to operations. Just as every operation thinks about all of its financial targets or business goals for the year, they should also prepare for other scenarios like unexpected downtime or planned maintenance.

2.  Don’t wait. Whether manufacturers employ their own service technicians or an outside service provider, it’s important they schedule and perform maintenance at the recommended time. Don’t wait until the last minute or until something goes wrong. Changing the oil/lubricant at the recommended periods helps a compressor run better, and also keeps the machine cool. Compressors are more likely to overheat during the summer. Regularly check to see if the condensate valves are operating correctly, and that the coolers are cleaned. Also have consumables readily available, such as lubricant, coolant, and parts, to streamline planned or emergency maintenance scenarios. If regular maintenance isn’t sustained, summer months can expose manufacturers to bigger problems, which can result in downtime.

3.  Create a plan. Every manufacturer should have a contingency plan in place to prepare for summertime downtime. When an air compressor goes down due to power outages or overheating, it may not be cost-effective to continue operations with reduced production capacity. In these situations, short-term rentals can ensure there is less risk of loss due to downtime. A service partner can help create customized contingency plans based on a manufacturer’s unique operations, which gives you peace of mind with the following benefits:

  • Reduces the risk of financial loss
  • Decreases time needed to install temporary equipment 
  • Schedules building modifications for temporary solutions in advance
  • Identifies any existing weaknesses in the compressed air system
  • Provides flexibility to schedule maintenance and new equipment installation

4.  Identify a service partner. You will need a service partner that has a full rental fleet that includes compressors, dryers and other air treatment components. These solutions help combat extra moisture in a system during summer months. Quick installation is key when rentals are deployed. Ensure the service provider has rental-specific or rental-scoped units, meaning the compressors have mounted connections so they can be installed in any environment safely and efficiently. Lastly, it’s important for plant managers to have the opportunity to speak with a compressed air expert that understands a facility’s specific application and capacity requirements. Don’t just accept anything an OEM has available – they should place a compressed air solution that can accommodate your specific applications and operating capacities.

5.  Don’t settle. When manufacturers think of rental equipment, they often still think of diesel-powered compressors, but many of today’s rental partners have updated their fleets with electric compressors that help streamline the installation process. The days of having to replenish expensive diesel fuel every 12 hours are gone. Diesel compressed air systems are 2.5-times more expensive to operate than electric-driven compressors.

Whether it’s preparing for the summer months or future changes, contingency planning and short-term rental services can be the difference between downtime and continuous operations.

Are you ready for the heat?

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