Is It Time to Upgrade Your Nitrogen Equipment?
A nitrogen generator is an essential piece of equipment for the real-time production of high-purity nitrogen gas for several industrial applications, including food packaging and preservation, pharmaceuticals, pressure testing, etc. Like other industrial machinery, this equipment requires regular maintenance and replacement at the end of its lifespan. This article explores several factors that affect your choice between repairing or upgrading your nitrogen equipment.
How Do I Know if it’s Time to Upgrade My Nitrogen Equipment?
Several factors determine when it is time to upgrade your nitrogen generator, including the life expectancy of the equipment. The older the generator gets, the more susceptible it is to wear and tear and the less reliable it becomes. In addition, frequent issues arise that increase the need for regular repairs as the nitrogen equipment approaches the end of its life.
What Is a Nitrogen Generator’s Life Expectancy?
Manufacturers design nitrogen generators to have a prolonged life expectancy exceeding thousands of operational hours. However, some common factors that impact the overall life expectancy of the equipment include:
- Purchase condition: new or old
- Nitrogen generator type: PSA nitrogen generator or membrane nitrogen generator
- Air quality
- Environment the equipment operates
- Repair frequency
- Preventive maintenance schedule interval
Should I Repair My Nitrogen System Instead?
The choice between upgrading or repairing a nitrogen system depends on how much life repairs have to give the equipment, the cost of repairs compared to outright replacement, and the limitations of repairs due to part and expertise availability. Moreover, you must decide if repairing the equipment is more economical in the long run and ensure that the equipment shows little to zero signs of replacement.
Signs You Should Replace Your Nitrogen Equipment
There are several signs that your nitrogen generator is due for replacement. Some of these signs include:
- Age of the nitrogen equipment
- Low working efficiency
- Equipment leakage
- Incessant repairs
- Obsolete features
- Low purity levels
- Unavailability of manufacturer or service technician
Age of the Nitrogen Equipment
The older the nitrogen generator, the more susceptible it is to replacement. For instance, a generator several decades old or whose purchase date is unknown would show clear indications of aging due to the breakdown of machine parts from continuous use, such as frequent malfunctions and equipment-based downtimes. Therefore, it is more economical to replace such a generator than to take it for constant repairs.
Low Working Efficiency
An inefficient nitrogen generator produces low-purity nitrogen gas, increases maintenance costs, and constitutes a safety hazard. If you notice equipment inefficiencies and low production standards, replacing it may be a better option than repair, especially after several maintenance rounds.
Small nitrogen generator leakages are harmful to the daily operation of your equipment, and the gas is hazardous to workers since it is colorless, odorless, tasteless, sickening, and lethal. In addition, excess nitrogen in a confined space can cause suffocation, loss of consciousness, and death. Thus, such leakage indicates that your nitrogen equipment is due for replacement.
When your nitrogen generator requires more maintenance or repairs than scheduled, it is due for replacement. The recurrence of a malfunction is indicative of the breakdown of internal systems and mechanisms in the equipment. Moreover, aging and improper care of the equipment significantly contribute to these repairs. While replacement is a likely option, seeking a professional opinion is essential when in doubt.
Technologies have evolved to accommodate better features in nitrogen generators in light of user and environmental friendliness. Newer nitrogen generator models are more user-friendly than the older ones and offer simplified equipment operation and maintenance capabilities and easy-to-read fuel levels. Moreover, these recent models are less likely to impact the environment, ensuring higher air purity. You can only transition to these new features by outrightly replacing your generator.
Low Purity Levels
Nitrogen generators can secure up to 99.999% nitrogen and 95% oxygen purity levels when working in optimal conditions. However, several factors, such as air contamination, faulty generator filer elements, and inadequate installation, significantly minimized gas purity levels. If the generator still produces low-purity gas after troubleshooting the equipment and handling these factors, it needs servicing or replacement.
Unavailability of Manufacturer or Service Technician
If the nitrogen generator manufacturer is out of business or there are limited service technicians that can maintain the equipment, it is a top indicator for replacement. The unavailability of the manufacturer translates to significant difficulty in finding spare parts. Therefore, it is essential to replace the nitrogen equipment using a reputable manufacturer with a preventive maintenance package.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Nitrogen Gas Generator
To prolong the life of your nitrogen gas generator, you have to create and implement a maintenance plan. This plan commonly contains preventive maintenance schedules at intervals and in-between routine visual equipment checkups to ensure it maintains the usual operating pattern. Moreover, some tips you must adhere to for regular preventive maintenance of the equipment, and prolonged life, include:
- Ensuring each operator works safely on the equipment
- Constantly monitoring oxygen levels and the quality of the produced nitrogen gas
- Adequate ventilation of the nitrogen generator housing
- Making sure the hands of operators are dry before touching the equipment
- Preventing non-professionals from diagnosing or repairing the equipment
Onsite Nitrogen Generator Maintenance Services at NiGen
At NiGen, we are dedicated to providing high-quality nitrogen generation systems that meet consumer and industry standards. Our expertise in these systems is ideal for supporting our customers to seamlessly achieve their onsite nitrogen generator maintenance plan, significantly prolonging the lifespan of the equipment.
Contact us today for more information about all your onsite nitrogen generation needs.