Part of a facility manager's job is to make sure that compressed air treatment systems work efficiently. That includes the intake filters that prevent contaminants such as dust and oil from getting into and compromising the system downstream. Over time, however, compressed air intake filters wear out and need replacement. To save on cost, most facility managers arrange for replacements using aftermarket parts. Although aftermarket filters are cheap, it is advisable to go for original intake filters. This article highlights the reasons.
Specifications -- Although an air compressor intake filter is meant to trap dust and other contaminants, it is worth noting that the filter is designed or configured to operate in different environments. However, most aftermarket filters are not set in a customised manner. For instance, an air compressor that works in a dusty environment needs an intake filter with a fine filter grade. If you replace the filter with an aftermarket part, the chances are that you will get a coarse-grade filter. In a dusty environment, a rough-grade filter will allow tiny dust particles through, thereby compromising the system's integrity.
Structural Reinforcement -- Pressure differential is common in air compressors, and the part that takes the most beating from this occurrence is the intake filter. It is for this reason that original intake air filters have an internal reinforced structure that guarantees form stability during pressure differential episodes. It ensures that the filter lives through its service life without deforming. Conversely, aftermarket filters don't have the structural support and will bulk under the pressure difference with time. The resulting deformation causes seals to open, allowing contaminants to enter the system with relative ease.
Warranty – When you buy an original intake filter as a replacement part for an air compressor, the warranty will stand until its period lapses. However, this is not the case with aftermarket filters. Manufacturers of original filters usually send their technicians to do such replacements. They will also do more, like inspecting the machine's overall performance and making corrections where necessary. Buying an aftermarket filter, on the other hand, will likely void the warranty you have with the equipment's manufacturer.
Cost effective -- Original intake filters allow for efficient airflow through the system. However, aftermarket filters restrict airflow substantially, which reduces the amount of treated air leaving the system. To make up for this difference, the system has to work extra hard, consequently increasing the cost of running and maintaining the air compressor. While they are cheap, aftermarket filters cost more in the long run.
To learn more about compressed air systems, contact a company like MTA Australasia.