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Industry, Oil-Free Air Compressors

Ask Atlas Copco: What Affects My Compressor’s Maintenance Costs?


Costs for maintaining your compress system are expected, but what all should you take into consideration when you’re estimating these costs?

The total budget for maintenance is affected by:

  • Type of compressors
  • Auxiliary equipment (dryers, filters, control and regulation equipment)
  • Operating cycle load/unload
  • Installation conditions
  • Media quality
  • Maintenance planning
  • Choice of safety level
  • Energy recovery/cooling system
  • Degree of utilization

While all these elements may affect your total budget, perhaps the two most impactful are maintenance quality and adding auxiliary equipment. Let’s take a look at how planning and equipment affect the amount of money you spend on your compressor system.

Maintenance planning

Anticipating compressor maintenance is a good way to minimize downtime costs and extend the life of your system. Many of today’s machines come equipped with advanced electronics for diagnostic exams. With technology like remote monitoring, users can get automated data and alerts sent directly to their mobile devices for access to information 24/7. The need for reconditioning components can be discovered at an early stage before damage becomes significant, thereby avoiding subsequent damage and unnecessary downtime.

Maintenance planning should be assessed by a specially-trained technician who can also conduct training with your in-house first-line maintenance staff. In-house skilled staff should be available to perform daily inspections and keep an eye on things that remote monitoring equipment cannot.

Auxiliary equipment

It’s easy to expand an installation by adding pieces of auxiliary equipment, like increasing air quality or monitoring the system. However, auxiliary equipment also requires servicing and incurs maintenance costs for things like filter replacements, drying agent replacements, adaption to other equipment and staff training.

Secondary maintenance costs also exist with the addition of auxiliary equipment. For instance, the distribution network and production machines are affected by the quality of compressed air and include deposit costs for oil and filter cartridges. These secondary maintenance costs should be evaluated in the cost of ownership calculation that forms the basis for any new compressor investment. 

Next time you’re on the market for a new compressor system or simply looking to upgrade, make sure you take into account how maintenance will affect your total cost.

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