Avoid Downtime with Filter Press Preventative Maintenance

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
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Filter Press Preventative MaintenanceYour filter press isn’t doing you any good if it isn’t running at peak efficiency. Filter Press downtime means higher operating costs and lower revenues, not conducive to the demands of today’s business environment. To keep your filtration equipment up and running smoothly, you’ll need to make certain its receiving regular preventative maintenance.

Calling in our maintenance and service professionals on a regular basis to inspect, troubleshoot and service your presses is an important tool in maximizing your filtration equipment investment. You should always adhere to the prescribed preventative maintenance schedule recommended by your press manufacturer, whether Micronics or another equipment manufacturer. In addition, there are daily checks that all properly trained press operators can perform.

Supervisors should make certain these checks become part of the daily routine for press operations. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Below we’ve detailed some valuable tips for optimal filter press preventative maintenance that should become part an integral part of your filter press operations.

Here is a partial list of daily maintenance checks:

  • Check fittings and hydraulic lines for leaks. A small leak can rapidly develop into a large mess and a larger problem. If you discover a leak, tighten the fittings or replace them along with the hose. Keep an eye on your repairs to make certain no further problems develop.
  • Make sure the hydraulic oil used in your filter press is clean. Contaminated oil can cause damage to components which can throw your operation into complete system failure. Now you’ve got unplanned downtime on your hands. Periodically sample the oil for cleanliness.
  • Monitor oil levels and temperature when the filter press is operating. An improper oil level may lead to hydraulic power unit inefficiency. If the oil is too hot, your press could fail. As a rule of thumb, replace the hydraulic oil filter whenever you change your oil.
  • Check the nuts and bolts on a regular basis. Tighten anything that needs tightening, and replace anything that needs replacing such as parts that may be corroded. When the bolts are at proper torque, add a baseline mark that can serve as an easy-to-spot indicator for future checks.
  • Keep the press safety systems in peak condition. If you find a defective safety device, lockout the press and perform service on the unit immediately. Proper functioning of automated devices such as light curtains, cake shields (deflectors) and drip trays are key to ensuring peak filter press performance.
  • Keep a log of press data including cycle time, cake consistency (edge, center), air blowdown time, filtrate clarity, etc. While a log is a fairly simple tool, it is also a very useful tool for monitoring and optimizing system performance.

Routine Service Maintenance
In addition to your daily checks, making certain that your filter press is routinely serviced by trained and certified professionals can extend the life of your filtration equipment.

Routine Cleaning and Replacing Filter Cloths

Filter cloth is a key ingredient to optimized press operation and filter cloth life can be affected by many factors including mechanical wear, chemicals, abrasion, blinding and the type of cake being generated. An important part of preventative maintenance is ensuring that your filter cloth is routinely cleaned and replaced as necessary, based on your specific operating conditions.

When you find the filter cake is becoming wet or slimy, and is not as dry as it should be, consider cleaning your cloths. Once you’ve cleaned the cloths, if you still find you’re getting wet, slimy filter cake, it may be time to consider replacing the cloths or evaluating process improvements. Our service technicians are able to work with you to conduct on-site slurry testing which may be useful for optimizing your filter cloth and evaluating improvements to your process, which could result in getting a drier filter cake.

As an adjunct to your daily filter press maintenance protocol, contact us to learn more about our cost-effective preventative maintenance programs that are tailored to your operation’s specific needs. With regular filter press maintenance, you can ensure more up-time for your dewatering operation.