Paul Thomas’s Guide to Preventative Maintenance

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Working as Service Manager at PPS, Paul Thomas has helped many customers get their air compressor back up and running after an unexpected breakdown.

Knowing how much downtime these can cause, he would recommend every business to put in place a programme of preventative maintenance.

Take a look at Paul’s Guide to Preventative Maintenance and enjoy the peace of mind of knowing your machinery won’t let you down.


PPS Service Manager Paul ThomasHaving helped hundreds of customers with emergency repairs, I’m familiar with the damage and the cost these can cause. Rather than shut the door after the horse has bolted, why not talk to us about preventative maintenance.

Here are a few FAQs:

Q: Why should I spend money on preventative maintenance when our machinery seems to be running fine?
A: Everything may look fine from the outside but parts could be wearing away and machinery could have developed a hidden fault that might only be found during preventative maintenance – or when the machine suddenly stops working when you’re rushing to meet an order deadline.

Q: Times are tight, how can we afford to spend money on maintenance?
A: The question should really be, can you afford not to? Downtime is costly, not only at the point when it happens and you fall behind schedule, but also longer term, when you lose a customer because you haven’t delivered on time.

Preventative maintenance costs are almost always going to be cheaper than emergency call outs in the long run.

Q: What sort of issues will preventative maintenance resolve?
A: Air compressors are finely tuned machines and our job is to ensure that they are running at optimum capacity. The sort of issues we expect to find that could affect performance and cause breakdowns include:

  • Contamination eg dust or condensation in coolers/condensers
  • Operating temperatures that are too high
  • Insufficient moisture control
  • Filters, seals and lubricants that need replacing

Q: What else might preventative maintenance show?
A: During maintenance we would measure a range of features, including but not limited to:

  • Airflow
  • Power
  • Pressure
  • Temperature

Through checking these operational features, as well as taking a look at things like filters and lubricants, our highly trained engineers will be able to advise on the small steps that could make a big difference.

Q: All of this sounds costly – is it really necessary?
A: In short, yes. Not only does ongoing maintenance prevent costly shutdowns but it can throw up everyday energy-saving and money-saving solutions.

For example, our engineers might find an air leak that, once repaired, can dramatically improve the performance of your compressor. Or they may find that you are wasting money by producing more air than you need or burning your machine out by overuse.

In some cases, they might recommend data logging a machine to find out if it would work out cheaper in the long run to invest in a new machine – for example, replacing a fixed-speed model with one of the latest high-performance Atlas Copco variable speed drive (VSD) air compressors.

Q: I run a busy site, how can I be expected to make time for preventative maintenance?
A: In many cases we can monitor machinery while it’s running without the need for shutting down production. We also like to offer a flexible service and can time our visits to suit your production schedule.

Finally, don’t forget that if you don’t maintain your machinery, you might find yourself with plenty of time to sit looking at a production line that has ground to a halt.

To find out more about how preventative maintenance can benefit your business, get in touch here, contact service@pps.co.com or call 01422 321 772.

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