Developing A Pneumatic Tool Inspection And Maintenance Plan

Pneumatic tools are sensitive, but are often in rough hands. Whether you're managing an automotive repair shop or in a heavy industry service department, you'll need to establish some regular inspection and proper care techniques to make sure that your air-powered tools aren't failing every other month. From air compressors to pneumatic wrenches, keep a few inspection and maintenance points in mind to stave off complete failure.

Hose And Connector Inspection

The parts that fail the most often may be the parts handled on a regular basis. The actual pneumatic tools, their connectors and the attached hoses can fail completely if there isn't a perfect air seal once connected.

These air seals fail when the tools are handled roughly. This includes screwing attachments on aggressively in a way that strips the threading or dropping the tools. For labor-intensive jobs, even the most careful team can drop tools due to fatigue or loss of focus.

Breaking the tool isn't the main issue when a tool is dropped. Many tools are built to withstand a bit of dropping and heavy impact due to the already turbulent nature of the job, but the attachments may not be as sturdy.

Metal used for air compressor connections and pneumatic tools can crack or chip away when dropped, resulting in a leak that stops any and all operation. To combat these drops and cracks, try to install racks or waist-level service tables near service areas. Fatigued workers will have an easier time putting the tools down and won't have to go through back-ruining bending to pick the tools back up.

With the right service support, you can save your tools and your workers at the same time.

Air Compressor Filter Inspection

The source of air for your pneumatic tools needs regular maintenance according to its user manual, but there are some conditions that aren't easy to plan for.

Manufacturer defects, improper installation or unique dangers in your work area can result in damage to the air filter on a regular basis. If you're not careful, you'll be buying new filters a lot sooner than you need to.

Before replacing a filter, be sure to look for physical damage. If there are tears, dents or cracks in the filter mesh or the frame, it could mean that the filter loading area has jagged edges that shouldn't be there. It could also mean than the people responsible for replacing the filter aren't installing the filter properly. Be sure to regularly train your team on proper filter cleaning and repair techniques.

One big problem is that not all filter cleaning techniques work for all filters. Some workers may be used to taking a brush to the filter surface and scraping as hard as possible, which can render some filters useless. Make sure to explain the issue--preferably with a test filter to show how bad the damage can be--so that the procedure is more than just a suggestion. 

Contact a hardware professional like Idaho Tool & Equipment with experience in tools, air compressors and pneumatic accessories for help with setting up a reliable maintenance plan that fits your work site's unique needs.