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atlas copco jan. 16
Technology, Oil-Free Air Compressors

How to Maintain Your Oil-Free Screw Compressor


Like all electro-mechanical equipment, oil-free rotary screw compressors require periodic maintenance to operate at peak efficiency and minimize unscheduled downtime. Inadequate maintenance can lead to lower compression efficiency, air leakage, pressure variability and other issues. All equipment in the compressed air system should be maintained in accordance with the manufacturers’ specifications.

Routine maintenance for oil-free rotary screw compressors

Oil-free rotary screw compressors require relatively minimal routine maintenance. With this type of compressor, the microprocessor control panel is responsible for monitoring the status of the air and lubricant filters.

Daily maintenance – Following a routine start, observe the various control panel displays and local gauges to check that normal readings are being displayed. Use previous records to help determine if current measurements are within normal range. These observations should be made during all expected modes of operation (i.e., full load, no load, different line pressures and cooling water temperatures).

After initial 50 hours of operation – Essential readings of operating conditions should be verified and any necessary adjustments made.

Every 3,000 hours of operation – The following items should be checked every 3,000 hours of operation:

  • Check/change lubricant charge and filter element.
  • Check/change air filter element.
  • Check/change sump breather filter element.
  • Check/clean control line filter element.
  • Check/clean condensate drain valve.
  • Check condition of shaft coupling element and tightness of fasteners.
  • Measure and record vibration signatures on compressor, gearbox and motor.
  • Annual rebuilding of the inlet is normally recommended.

As always, refer to manufacturer’s documentation for recommended maintenance of the motor and additional parts. Make sure to subscribe to our blog for more important tips on compressor maintenance.

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