Keeping up with preventative maintenance is a vital part of maintaining a compressor's efficiency and lifespan. This requires periodic replacement of air compressor parts such as air filters and lubricants.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are manufactured specifically for the equipment for which they were designed. These parts provide ultimate compressor performance for the applications they power. Very often, there are parts sold under the pretense that they function just like OEM parts. When these parts are used, there is an inherited risk of the part not functioning per the original manufacturer’s specifications and the result may not be completely obvious, but over time could severely impact the operation of the compressor.
Air filters remove contaminants that can cause damage to the compressor operation. The air filter is the front door to any compressor and is an essential item to the compressor's well-being. The inlet filter must be of the highest quality and performance to have a reliable, predictable compressor for production. Dirty, overused filters reduce efficiency and cause the machine to operate less efficiently resulting in an increase in operating costs.
If a compressor air filter element doesn't have the correct surface area, it can become clogged very quickly and even collapse prematurely. If that happens, various particles from the collapse will go into the 1st stage impeller and damage the machine. An air filter with the wrong filter membrane size could allow larger particles to reach the impeller and again cause harm to the gearbox.
A final question to ask yourself is how will the manufacturer of the compressor support any type of compressor failure if a third-party air filter is used. What support will this third-party company supply to the plant to restore the plant to its operational best?
At first look, a lower-cost air filter causes little difference to the compressor operation. However, what is that lower-priced air filter letting in the front door of the compressor? What is the real dollar value risk to production? Could it be that it is saving $40 only to spend millions on a production shutdown from a compressor failure? These are essential questions to consider. Hence, centrifugal air compressors are engineered machines that require periodic maintenance using specially designed and tested OEM parts. The risk of having the compressed air system shutdown does not match the value of a third-party or non-OEM air filter.
Contact your authorized FS-Elliott channel partner or sales representative for more information on properly maintaining your centrifugal compressor with high-quality and dependable OEM parts and services.