How to monitor air compressor with wireless sensors

August 11, 2022

The air compressor is an elementary equipment for production and maintenance segments of manufacturing processes and its use is necessary from small to large companies. Its most common application has as its main purpose to provide a reliable and continuous supply of air, enabling the tools’ operation, pneumatic equipment, and industrial production lines.  

Because it is vital equipment for several production processes and of continuous use, the maintenance of this asset is a fundamental step for its full operation, because there are several components inside a compressor that require monitoring, such as oil, filters, motor, compressor unit, among others. 

It is common to apply preventive maintenance techniques for monitoring oil and filters, but this alone does not guarantee the health of the whole assembly. 

Therefore, through predictive maintenance techniques, such as vibration monitoring and analysis, we can increase the asset’s reliability, making possible to predict failures in components such as the engine and the compressor unit, increasing the useful life of parts such as bearings, for example. 

Compressor classification and equipment maintenance 

Volumetric models increase the pressure by reducing the volume occupied by the gas. This type of compressor has two rotating shafts in the shape of a screw, which rotate in opposite directions, creating a gear, and are also the most widely used in industry. Dynamic models, on the other hand, raise the pressure by converting kinetic energy into air pressure energy, and are easily affected by external conditions, such as temperature input changes. 

By being energy conductors, industrial compressors are considered critical equipment and need to have a good maintenance plan so that their performance and the other assets connected to them are not affected. 

It is important to pay attention to some points, such as: constant change of hoses and lubricant used, replacement of the air filter, periodic cleaning to avoid the accumulation of residues, as well as leaks and fissures that may result in explosions. 

Check below how predictive maintenance techniques can be allies in monitoring this type of equipment, seeking to always be ahead of failure modes and with a good and strategic plan of action.

Predictive maintenance techniques in compressors 

The compressor unit is responsible for air compression and the clearances between the two screws are extremely tight to ensure the highest collection efficiency. In this case, monitoring the screw bearings ensures that this component is operating under optimal conditions, extending its useful life and increasing the asset’s availability. 

Monitoring operating conditions is an important ally in the search for greater reliability in this equipment. The online monitoring of parameters such as vibration and temperature enables the identification of potential failures well in advance, making it possible to plan future interventions, thus reducing production downtime and increasing the efficiency of the production process as a whole. 

Wireless Sensors in Air Compressor Monitoring 

The installation of wireless sensors in compressors is an efficient alternative to monitor the health of this equipment that operates at high speeds and small clearances. The vibration analysis of this equipment works as an indication of possible failures, which can be detected from the data collection made by the sensors.  

With the process of monitoring the pressure measurement of compressors, it is possible to follow their performance, ensuring that each compressor operates at the exact energy demand, without wearing parts out and other interconnected assets.  

Positioned on the compressor input shaft, as close as possible to the multiplier gear bearing and in regions close to the bearing, they play a role in detecting early stage faults and gear defects in rotating machinery. In addition, the application of continuous monitoring increases asset life. 

Learn more about the use of DynaLoggers in industrial assets and get to know the DynaPredict Web Solution for remote analysis and prognostics. 

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