Productivity Pointer: Reciprocating air compressors

Productivity Pointer: Reciprocating air compressors

Reciprocating air compressors are generally used where higher pressures but relatively low flow rates are required. For example, these machines help power pneumatic plant control devices for many different types of industrial operations.

The Productivity Opportunity

Reciprocating air compressor crankcase and discharge air temperatures often exceed 100°C (212°F), which can lead to deposit formation and reduced compressor efficiency, as well as potential safety hazards. With a tailored lubrication strategy, operators can help protect equipment against these conditions, helping enhance equipment reliability and minimize unscheduled downtime.

How Synthetic Lubricants Can Help

Using advanced synthetic oils engineered to perform in these high temperature conditions – such as Mobil Rarus 800 Series oils, Mobil Glygoyle ISO and Numbered Series oils and Mobil SHC 600 oils – can help better protect components and minimize oil degradation that leads to harmful deposits and frequent oil changes. By delivering better protection and longer oil life, these synthetic oils can help operators experience fewer pneumatic device malfunctions and longer oil drain intervals. Ultimately, that means reduced routine maintenance costs and potential repair costs, as well as potential plant up-time gains and reduced maintenance personnel exposure to equipment.

Case Study

A Wyoming-based company that supplies industrial explosives and blasting services to the mining, quarrying, seismic and construction industries operates a Creole reciprocating air compressor, and the machine’s crankcase was lubricated with a standard mineral oil. Maintenance personnel had to change the oil every two months on average. The company approached ExxonMobil and Gray Oil, an authorized ExxonMobil distributor, to determine an alternative lubricant solution capable of extending these oil drain intervals.

ExxonMobil recommended switching to Mobil Rarus 827 compressor oil. After making the switch, the company successfully improved production availability by extending drain intervals, achieving 16 months of uninterrupted service. Through these extended intervals, the company has generated an estimated annual savings of $4,413 in avoided maintenance-related costs.