You’ve secured the capital cost and spent it on a new compressed air system. Production is now underway using the new compressor. You’ve thought of everything… right? Your compressor is only as good as the maintenance strategy you’ve put in place. Make sure it doesn’t end up costing you more than it should!

When investing in a new compressor it is time to start considering the total life costs. The same is true when you inherit a system. Servicing and maintenance should be in line with initial buying decisions. Effective maintenance strategies can save money, reduce downtime, and increase efficiency.


And the first decision to make is who carries out the maintenance and service support. Now you could self-service your own equipment. But you’ll be adding an extra job to do, more skills and information to learn and, if something goes wrong, it’s your fault.

A service contract with a compressor company gives you all the benefit of their compressed air expertise. The maintenance responsibility falls on the service company. They guarantee availability of the equipment and maintain the manufacturer’s standard.

Read on to discover the most effective maintenance strategies for compressed air:

Genuine parts v pirate knock-offs

During routine servicing components such as filters, valves and oil get replaced.

It can be tempting to opt for usually cheaper non-genuine spares. Especially when you’re trying to cut costs in your maintenance budget.

But non-genuine parts can be harmful to your compressed air system’s performance. They can affect efficiency and energy consumption. And sometimes they can be very damaging, causing your system to fail completely.

So, the initially cheaper parts can cause expensive repairs and unplanned downtime. All costing your business money.

Manufacturer’s genuine spares are the same standard as the compressor they’re intended for. They get tested in a quality-controlled environment to ensure the highest standard of reliability. And you will peace of mind of exactly who and where your parts come from. For example, CompAir and Hydrovane, even manufacture their own airends!

The key components use genuine parts for are filters and lubricants. Filters protect the entire compressor system, including up to point of use, from dust and dirt which could cause unnecessary wear and tear. Non-genuine filters are more likely to have limited capacity for catching particles, allowing more contaminants into the system.

Genuine lubricants not only improve the performance of all the system’s components but can help to extend oil change intervals. This reduces the cost of oil changes and reduces the environmental impact of oil disposal.

So, can you rely on pirate parts?


Protect your warranty

Avoid unexpected costs by honouring the compressor warranty. Most manufacturers offer a wide range of warranty options across their ranges:

  • CompAir’s Assure warranty provides warranty cover for up to 44,000 hours or 6 years (whichever is soonest)
  • Hydrovane Advance is up to 10 years or 48,000 operating hours on all airends
  • BOGE provide a 5-year warranty
  • Champion offer a 5-year warranty

Often you will need to follow the warranty’s terms and conditions to make it valid. These can include using an authorised service provider and genuine parts and lubricants.

But honouring a warranty provides many years’ worth of protection to your production!

Don’t forget the pipework

We service our compressor and downstream equipment to make sure everything is running correct. But what do we do about the distribution network?

For the compressed air to reach point of use, we often rely on a pipework system. Like machinery, pipework can deteriorate and cause leaks. Leak detection surveys are useful for identifying problems. While flow monitors can check the compressed air generation.

According to the Carbon Trust, a 3mm leak could cost £700 a year in wasted energy. And that’s one leak, how much could ignoring your pipework be costing you?


Remote monitoring always watching

The development of Industry 4.0 is an opportunity to share and analyse data and performance. We’re using remote monitoring technology to perform proactive maintenance to customers.

The data enables real-time and predictive analysis. This allows for identification of potential issues before they happen. We get notified about any drops in efficiency or errors to reduce risks and increase uptime.

Royal Mail implemented remote monitoring in 2015. They have only lost production once. within the first 24 hours of the service contract. And this was due to failure of a component fitted under the previous supplier!

The biggest benefits of a compressor maintenance strategy is letting the experts handle the situation. It’s time to move away from reactive maintenance. Let’s start saving money and increasing productivity with preventative maintenance.