For many, troubleshooting pneumatic systems have been considered as a science or an art.
The word troubleshooting in the minds of production managers, plant managers, and maintenance personnel means hours of lost production and downtime. But when it comes to troubleshooting pneumatic valves or systems, it’s a necessary step by step procedure that corrects the functions of systems to regain the proper operations of devices.
Here are some of the steps of troubleshooting such systems:
Observe Safety. One of the crucial parts of troubleshooting is safety. A maintenance personnel should always regard this, first and foremost, as compressed air is an unstable element in a pneumatic circuit. Many have been injured due to explosions from air receiver tanks. It can cause severe injuries to maintenance personnel and can even damage properties. When troubleshooting, you need to be more cautious as the air is also highly compressible.
Moreover, don’t forget to wear protective gear before inspecting any equipment.
Conduct Inspection. Walking around the machine or a visual inspection can help identify problems such as loose and broken components and worn or burst hoses. This is to make sure that you are familiar with the components in the pneumatic system. It is vital to ask as many pertinent questions as possible if you are not familiar with the components or machine operations.
Before trying to troubleshoot, you need to consider understanding the interrelations of all the components.
Read the Schematics. Read and understand the schematics when trying to repair systems. They contain useful information about the pneumatic system such as pressure test point locations, flow rates within the system, air motor speeds, and other essential functions. They can help in identifying if the system is operating within its parameters.
A schematic is a roadmap that explains not only the operation function of the components but also serves a useful diagnostic tool.
Operating the machine. After familiarising with the operation and system components, you can start operating the machine to get a first-hand view of any issues. Don’t forget to check if any malfunction in the machine occurs again, as visual inspection is vital when operating the machine.
Common issues regarding the machine include excessive air leakage, unidentified pressure levels, loose manual operations, and erratic functioning components.
Troubleshooting pneumatic valves or systems can be difficult if you don’t know the proper procedures. With these steps, you will be able to identify and understand the certain steps that you can apply to any troubleshooting problem.
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