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Air End Repairs and Rebearing

Air End Repairs and Rebearing

Compressor air end overhaul (or air end rebearing) is an extremely specialised compressor repair task requiring advanced levels of skill and precision. CDH Group is one of the only organisations in the UK with the engineering expertise to offer a professional air end overhaul service for all makes of rotary vane, scroll, screw and piston air ends and motors.

What is an air end?

The air end is the beating heart of every compressor, where the compression of ambient air takes place. The air passing through female and male helical rotors is compressed to the required bar using external forces. Radial and axial bearings, gaskets and seals all play an important role in ensuring the compressor works effectively and efficiently. 

The importance of regular maintenance

Regular maintenance will optimise the running hours of a compressor, often beyond its expected lifespan and ultimately save your business money. All equipment will require air end overhaul or rebearing dependent upon total running hours. This will ensure operational reliability and avoid the possibility of catastrophic failure.

Why do compressor components become damaged?

Over time, and dependent upon hours run, bearings and seals are subject to wear and tear. Where play occurs, damage can be caused. The more out of specification the air end becomes, the less efficient the entire process. Where seals are not maintained, contamination is possible, which will accelerate the process.

Compressors often operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Maintenance requirements are usually based on total running hours. 

The requirement for total air end overhaul may be indicated by hours run. It may also become evident during routine maintenance checks or where efficiency levels drop.

The cost-benefit of air end repair over a complete system overhaul

The cost of an air end overhaul is typically less than a third of the projected cost of catastrophic failure. Once overhauled, the projected life span of the compressor is significantly extended. This makes preventative maintenance the best solution for reducing cost and keeping downtime to a minimum.

CDH Group repair and servicing

CDH Group service engineers begin by removing the air end and shipping it to the Group’s specialist repair centre. Here, the unit will be stripped down using purpose-designed pressers and pullers for extracting the bearings. 

Where the air end remains serviceable and the issues have been caused primarily by bearing or oil seal failure, CDH engineers identify the required remedial action and submit a condition report.

The entire unit is thoroughly cleaned and reconditioned using specialised heated wash machines. Replacement bearings and seals are identified and sourced. This is usually from extensive in-house stockholding matching most types of compressors including oil free and rotary compressors.

Purpose-designed air end overhaul workshops 

The engineering team then rebuild the air end, using new bearings and oil seals. Bearing are heated to a specific temperature to ensure a correct fit. CDH Group’s purpose-designed overhaul workshops are equipped with lifting gantries and other appropriate machine handling equipment to optimise operational safety and equipment security.

Where problems are identified with compressors in use, diagnostic vibration monitoring techniques may be used to assess the condition of the compressor. Timely vibration monitoring can reduce the incidence of compressor failure and costly downtime.

Diagnostic services

Where problems are identified with compressors in use, diagnostic vibration monitoring techniques may be used to assess the condition of the compressor. Timely vibration monitoring can reduce the incidence of compressor failure and costly downtime.

Air end exchange service

For critical equipment, CDH Group can offer a service exchange service for applications where downtime is a more serious operational issue. 

Here, engineers attend on-site to remove the compressor and replace it with an alternative unit to the specified duty. This will enable processes to continue until the air end overhaul is complete and the original unit can be recommissioned.

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