Author: Tronserve admin
Wednesday 4th August 2021 03:08 PM
Maximize Performance and Minimize Downtime of Pneumatic Systems
With the ever-rising complexity of modern pneumatic components, it becomes very important to know what to look for and what is best suited to your system. Choosing and maintaining system components carefully, right through from compressors to workstations, can help save the expense of unforeseen downtime or costly rebuilds. Conversely, a few wrong choices can lead to everything from wasted energy to system failures. To stop these pitfalls, here are some simple steps to take when looking to enhance the performance of your company’s all-important pneumatic components.
Preventive and Predictive Maintenance
Such as carrying out maintenance tests and oil changes on a vehicle, pneumatic systems also demand continual upkeep to prevent more serious issues down the line. In compressed air systems, it will be important to make certain that lubricators are not left to run dry; filters are cleaned; and all contaminants such as rust, metal shavings, water, and unwanted oils are removed.
Predictive maintenance is all about being proactive, rather than reactive, to stop component failures, and it is often the work of sensors (available for almost every factory component) that alert you to potential problems. A flow sensor that fits in-line with a Filter Regulator Lubricator (FRL) unit are able to identify blocked filters, while continuous position sensors can be an indicator over time to the wear to which cylinders are exposed.
Compliance and Safety
Ensuring that a system is compliant with current standards is also crucial to refrain costly downtime and equipment overhaul. The lately-updated standard known as DIN ISO 8573-1 governs filtration levels. Defined down to the micrometer, it identifies the solids, water and oil that should be split out to maintain a well-functioning system.
Like most checking system compliance, carrying-out a risk assessment and consulting an administrative body that serves those involved in workplace health and safety are critical procedures to help minmise the risk of workplace injuries. Bringing in light curtains, interlocks, machine guarding or safety exhaust products to block or prevent hazards can be impactful measures in this regard.
Specification and Integration
From the start of the specification process, selection of accurately sized equipment saves money and valuable energy, which oversizing wastes. As alternatives to oversizing and waste, think of implementing pressure boosters that allow the flow from a compressor to the largest workpiece, and pneumatic zoning on manifolds that can be used to mix pressures. The simple step of locking regulators prevents workers from adjusting a system’s overall pressure to supply more air to individual workstations which eventually could damage a sealing system, waste energy, or even cause physical harm.
Updates in terms of the connectivity of the factory floor are worth considering as well. Low-cost Ethernet connections are more often swapping hardwired solutions and associated trunks of cables to provide network-based connectivity across a facility. IO-Link connectivity, to run field-level devices back to the IO-Link master, provides further opportunity for savings in time, wiring, component cost and troubleshooting. Furthermore, many of today’s advanced network nodes are able to supply prognostic data for predictive maintenance and in-built sensors to check for shorts, over current, cycle counting, thermal management, among other things.
This article is originally posted on manufacturing.net