Manufacturers may be losing productivity and money without even knowing it. Slowly but surely, one of their most important energy sources could be escaping through imperceptible cracks in their equipment, hurting their ability to work effectively and efficiently.
Compressed air leaks are some of the most common issues found in production facilities, but they can be challenging to detect. When vessels, valves or hoses have holes or gaps, pressurized air escapes through them. This can have numerous negative impacts to a plant’s operations.
The pressure loss means machinery won’t operate as well as it should, resulting in lost production. It also means tools have to run longer to make up for this, which cuts down their life span and leads to more downtime. This is why plant managers and engineers have to pay close attention to these issues and know what to do about them.
Recognizing Potential Causes
There are many factors that could contribute to leaking compressors, which include:
- Materials: Unfortunately, countless manufacturers believe they can skimp on the materials for their systems. However, the inferior quality makes equipment much more susceptible to breakage and deterioration.
- Installation: A rushed installation can lead to improperly applied seals and mismatched piping. Cutting corners or using wrong techniques will prevent everything from being sealed completely, which creates opportunities for air to escape the system.
- Not following procedures: Simple mistakes and neglect can lead to a lot of problems. Workers who forget to close valves or shut down tools open the door for leakage. Educating your employees about the proper protocols along with regular reminders can close the loop on this issue.
- Wear and tear: Factories are notoriously rough-and-tumble environments. Your compressed gas system can get banged up by forklifts or other equipment over the course of a normal workday. Punctures, broken seals and cracked pipes can happen easily if you’re not careful.
Finding and Fixing Leaks
It may not be possible to see most leaks, but they can be heard. During off-hours when production is stopped, walk around the facility and listen for any high-pitched sounds.
These noises could be indicators of air slowly escaping from your systems. Your best bet for locating them is with an ultrasonic acoustic detector. This sensitive instrument can detect sounds that exceed the range of normal human hearing.
Once you locate an issue, air compressor leak repair often is a relatively simple matter. Tightening hoses, sealing cracks or replacing worn-out components will usually solve the problem. Of course, prevention is always preferable to shutdowns and repairs.
One of the best ways to prevent these problems is to have high-quality compressors and equipment at the beginning. Kaishan USA offers a full lineup of innovative and reliable compression systems. To learn more about what we have to offer, reach out today.