Air-Powered Industrial Mixers: Troubleshooting Common Problems
INDCO, Inc. manufactures industrial mixers for a wide range of applications. One thing each application has in common is a motor, electric or pneumatic, that provides mechanical energy in the form of rotation. For this blog, we will focus on the most common things to check for pneumatic motors when your mixer is giving you less than expected results.
Pneumatic motors are powered by compressed air delivered to the motor through a system of hard-plumbed pipe and flexible hose. The most common root causes of performance problems result from under-sized compressed air systems, undersized air hoses or contamination delivered to the motor.
A given air motor requires a combination of volume and pressure. A properly sized system supplies air at a flow rate, say 70 CFM, at a given pressure such as 100 psi. Consult your air motor’s performance curve to see the output horsepower resulting from your compressed air system. Next, verify that the pipes and air hoses in your system are large enough to allow full flow to the motor. An undersized air hose will deliver the pressure from your system but constrict the flow needed to run the motor. Finally, verify air quality. Dry, clean air regulated to the proper pressure is critical to air powered equipment operation. A filter, regulator, lubricator (see motor manual for details) is required just upstream of the air motor to prevent contaminants and moisture from reaching your motor. The lubricator set to the right delivery rate keeps your motor running smoothly. Leaving these important components out of your air system will eventually lead to motor underperformance due to dirt or rust build-up.
A slow-running motor can be disassembled, flushed and cleaned per the manufacturer’s instructions. One very important thing to remember is to NEVER use Teflon tape when plumbing your air motor or components upstream of it. The tape breaks down and the fibers will clog the motor and prevent proper function. Use of Teflon tape voids the motor warranty as well.