Proper Maintenance of Gas Detection Equipment

No matter the size of your gas system, failsafe operations are always a top priority. Checking and maintaining your hazardous gas monitoring equipment on a regular basis is essential for the safety of employees and for optimum equipment performance. A sensor that has not been properly maintained could lead to false atmospheric readings, which can jeopardize your staff and your investment. With new regulatory standards evolving all the time, how do you know you’re getting the most accurate readings? The answer isn’t just performing periodic bump tests. Only through routine calibrations and careful record keeping can you be sure to maintain the highest standards of safety for your business.

Bump Tests vs Calibration

A simple bump test, or function check, can be performed frequently to verify that the gas detector sensor and alarms are working. A bump test involves briefly exposing the sensors to a higher concentration of gas than normal in order to set off the alarms. This is quick and easy, but bump tests alone aren’t enough to ensure the safety of your facility and staff, as they only check for functionality. Although they can detect the presence of gas in the air, it’s important to remember that they don’t check for instrumentation accuracy or make adjustments to the sensor itself. That’s where the importance of consistent calibration maintenance comes into play.

Regular calibration is crucial to maintaining the overall working condition of the gas monitor. How often you need to calibrate depends on many factors, including the type of equipment, operating conditions, environmental factors, instrument use patterns, sensor replacements and many other variables. Over time, the sensors become less accurate at reading the level of gas. This is known as calibration drift, and occurs with all gas detection systems, no matter how new or well-maintained they are. The best way to guarantee consistent safety is to have a bump check and calibration routine in place in your company’s policy standards. This will ensure you can rely on your detector to alert you in the event of toxic leaks or exposure.

Know Your Records

Keeping accurate and updated records of sensor replacements, equipment updates, bump test results and calibration dates is the best way to predict costs and maintain safety standards. Know the typical lifespan of the sensors in your monitor and note these dates so you can plan ahead. This record will also help your bottom line by allowing you to identify any parts of your equipment that have a history of excessive maintenance costs or often make inaccurate readings. Included with these documents should be the user manuals for all parts and equipment. This will help support a regular maintenance schedule, since equipment manufacturers often include information about the recommended calibration frequency, the parts needed for calibrating your equipment and the calibration procedures. To complete your records, online resources are often available, such as ENMET’s Equipment Video Page or the ENMET YouTube channel, which provides the specific calibration instructions for their gas detection equipment.

Lewis Systems is an authorized distributor for ENMET and can help your company with the right combination of new or replacement gas detection parts and calibration services to ensure your company stays protected. To find out more about the importance of gas detection equipment maintenance, or to get a recommendation for how often to calibrate and check your equipment, contact us online or call 888.382.8077.

Could Leak Detection Help You Cut Costs?

leak detection for air compressors

Compressed air leaks can be a huge energy drain on your business. They can sometimes be the difference between running your normal compressor system and being forced to turn on your backup. To really put this in perspective, consider that a ¼” air leak at 100 psig can waste as much as 104 CFM of compressed air. This is equivalent to a 25 HP compressor, and in energy dollars, can mean losing as much as $8,000 a year in power cost.

Benefits of Detecting and Repairing Compressed Air Leaks:

  • Reduce energy consumption and operating expenses
  • Identify equipment that is failing or not operating properly
  • Reduce the load on your compressed air equipment
  • Improve plant safety

Identifying Leaks Efficiently

There are two major ways to find leaks. The first is to turn off all production equipment, then walk the facility to mark and fix leaks. The second, more efficient option, is to use an ultrasonic leak detector to find the leaks while the facility is in production. Ultrasonic leak detection offers a simple, non-invasive way to quickly identify leaks that can be tagged and later repaired. This technology could help your operation identify costly issues and minimize waste. Think you might have a leak? Contact your local Lewis Systems for more details and pricing.

Gardner Denver RBS Blowers: Top 3 Design Advantages

Gardner Denver RBS positive displacement blowers and vacuum pumps bring incredible value to the industrial PD market. These robust tri-lobe pumps have a multitude of design advantages. Here are your top three:

  1. Durability
    • Piston Ring Air Seals – ensure oil-free air and last longer
    • Dual Splash Lube – dissipates heat and reduces maintenance intervals
    • Reinforced Bearings – 100,000-hour lifespan
    • High Strength Shafts – allow for higher overhung loads and eliminate the need for jack shafts or pillow blocks
  2. Efficiency
    • Tri-Lobe Rotors – greater performance and efficiencies than bi-lobe blowers reducing operating costs
    • Cylinder and Support Ribs – cast directly into the cylinder reducing deflections under heavy loads
  3. Sound Levels
    • Tri-Lobe Rotors – solid rotor design offers quieter operation reducing enclosure requirements
    • Helical Gears – provide smooth and quiet operation at all speedsadvantages of blowers and vacuum pumps

For more updates on the latest air compressor trends, follow us on LinkedIn. Or, if you need additional information or assistance with your air compressor system, contact us today.

Cold Weather and Compressed Air Systems – A Proactive Approach

It seems like September is a little early to be thinking about colder weather especially here in the South, but that’s exactly what we should be doing. Now is a great time to be proactive and get your compressed air system prepared for what is coming. My favorite definition of “Proactive” is acting before a situation becomes a source of confrontation or crisis. When cold weather hits, compressed air systems can struggle, and a variety of problems can arise.  Slow starting, line freeze problems, sensor malfunctions and equipment failure are all things our service department sees every winter. By taking a proactive approach and preparing your equipment for freezing temperatures you’ll be protecting yourself and your compressed air system from having to deal with a cold weather “crisis”.  Of course, you could just sit back, wait and take the reactive approach which usually consists of emergency service calls, air freighting parts and sometimes a rental compressor…

Here is a basic cold weather checklist:

  • If your equipment is outside, make sure you can air compressor winter tipsprotect it from the wind and use floodlights or heat lamps to keep your controls from freezing.
  • Check insulated areas and make sure the heat is staying inside and the cold is staying outside.
  • Also, check any weather stripping and replace areas that are worn out and not working properly.
  • Check condensate drains throughout your system for proper operation. Excess water in your lines and freezing temperatures are not a good mix. Install heat tape on anything that is exposed.
  • Check the intake for your air compressor. If it’s exposed to the outside elements, your inlet air filter can be damaged from ice and snow.
  • Compressed air receivers should be protected as well. If condensate collects at the bottom of the tank it can freeze.  Insulate any outside pipes feeding the tank as well as the condensate drain for the tank and make sure the drain is working properly.
  • Kind of a no-brainer here, but make sure your compressed air dryer and compressed air filters have been serviced and are operating correctly. Their job is to remove the condensate from your compressed air system.  The less condensate in the system the less there is to freeze and cause problems.

Contact us today if you need any help with addressing your cold weather vulnerabilities. Taking these proactive steps now, can help prevent some major problems once it turns cold outside.

Lewis Systems & Service Co., Inc. Adds Territory in Eastern Virginia

Best-In-Class Compressed Air System Reliability Requires the Right Partner

Lewis Systems & Service Company expands

After an extensive review by Gardner Denver, Lewis Systems has been selected as the new Authorized Distributor in the Eastern and Tidewater areas of Virginia.  But, we are not new to Gardner Denver nor to Virginia.  As their compressed air and compressed air treatment distributor in North Carolina and Central Virginia for the last 30 years, Lewis Systems has the service expertise and dependability to help you maintain your Gardner Denver product warranty while maximizing the efficiency and productivity of your entire compressed air system.gardner denver compressor repair

Lewis Systems & Service Company has been building and sustaining Gardner Denver compressors and compressed air systems for decades. Lewis Systems will leverage its vast industry experience and knowledge to be your local resource for everything related to compressed air systems – from service to a complete system design and installation that takes advantage of Gardner Denver’s broad array of reliable products and technologies.

Lewis Systems is headquartered in Greensboro, NC with branches in Lynchburg, VA, Rocky Mount, NC, and Charlotte, NC. Lewis Systems provides 24-hour, 7 days a week emergency service to compressed air customers. Their team is ready to assist with your sales, service, and technical support needs. The new area, in particular, will be served through their locations in Lynchburg, VA. Lewis Systems can be reached using the following contact information:

Lewis Systems & Service Company

126 Bradley Drive

Lynchburg, VA 24501

434-455-0361 or 877-855-6830

Or visit our homepage for more information.