The Importance of Regularly Replacing Your Filter Elements
Posted on July 8th, 2020
Compressed air is one of the most important utilities in the world and is known as the ‘Fourth Utility’ because it is so widespread. It is used in industries ranging from automotive and mining, to food and beverage, and medical.
To ensure effective use, the proper functioning of a compressed air system is vital. But many users forget about the importance of replacing filter elements and carrying out maintenance. Many users ignore the effects on both production quality and system longevity. The below guide tells you everything you know about replacing your filter elements:
Why Replace Filter Elements?
Thinking that delaying the replacement of filter elements is an easy way to reduce operating costs is an expensive mistake in the long run.
Filter Elements remove contaminants such as water vapour, oil and dust from the air stream. The impact on filter media can cause harmful and damaging particulates in the air to become trapped between the filter media fibres. This can lead to the filter media becoming blocked, which will lower differential pressure and increase the cost and energy needed to run the system.
During operation, the filter element is also exposed to extreme and changing conditions, such as:
- Vast Temperature Fluctuations
- High Pressure
- Damaging Chemicals/Vapours
Over time, these conditions damage the filtration media, lowering the operational effectiveness and performance, and even product spoilage. Even the smallest holes in the media can cause contaminants to travel downstream into the compressed air system. If this happens, the differential pressure indicator would not alert you to the problem as there will be no drop in differential pressure.
Most modern filter elements can withstand 8,000 hours or 12 months of use and Activated Carbon models can withstand 6000 hours.
Dangers of Failing to Replace Your Filter Elements
Failure to replace your filter elements at the right time could reduce filtration quality and prevent businesses achieving standards, leading to major setbacks.
Examples of setbacks include vacuum sealed products having contamination, defects in paint finishings, and damage to pneumatic equipment. This will cause a fall in productivity and a need for repair.
Some of the main risks that you may face by failing to replace your filter elements include:
- End use contamination
- Damaged machinery – for example, absorption dryer beds
- Damaged products
- Health risks to personnel
- Increased long term costs
- Increased production downtime
One of the largest costs of failing to replace your filter elements is damage to your brand image. If filter elements are not replaced in time, you become liable to any damage caused. Contamination and damage caused to your system and finished goods could go on for weeks without your knowledge, which can lead to safety problems for staff and/or product recall. These both have the potential to permanently tarnish your brand.
Benefits of Regular Filter Element Change Outs
As well as avoiding the above risks, there are many benefits to gain from regularly changing your filter elements. These include:
- Optimum filtration performance
- Protection of downstream machinery
- Peace of mind
- Reduced repair and replacement expenses
- Higher production uptime and productivity
One of the main reasons customers give for skipping element change-out is the costs of the replacement. However, these costs are much lower than those caused by old, ineffective filter elements.
A clean filter works much more efficiently than one that is obstructed with a month’s worth of debris. These ‘clogged’ filters require more pressure to push air and gas through the media, which means it costs more to operate and there is a greater risk of failure. Replacing your filter elements regularly could avoid excess running costs, reduce the risk of machinery failure, and avoid the possibility of product spoilage. By ensuring the smooth running of your compressed air lines, you will be improving your energy efficiency, and reducing your business’ carbon footprint.
Need to replace your filter elements? Walker Filtration has a comprehensive range of filter elements for Walker Filtration’s current and legacy products, as well as alternatives to OEM parts. Find out more here.
You can also contact us on +44 (0) 191 417 7816 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like any further advice on replacement elements.