The fifth tip for cylinder maintenance

Inspect your lube oil system

If you are running pneumatic cylinders, which often need their own source of lubrication, inspect and service your lubrication system, as needed. A basic system will have a lubricator built into the filter/regulator assembly, which is fairly reliable. However, no lube oil can be provided when the reservoir is empty. Inspect the oil level regularly, and top off as needed.

Even a reservoir full of oil provides no guarantee your lubricator is working, so you may need to test your oil line exiting the FRL by hooking up a blow gun and spraying a white paper towel. If there is a patch of oil on the towel, you’re good to go. If it is dry, you may have to remedy a clog in the lubricator, or replace it if it cannot be fixed.

When testing any lubrication system, check that excessive amounts of oil aren’t being introduced into the system. I’ve seen lube systems introducing so much oil as to hydrolock a pneumatic cylinder, preventing it from cycling full stroke rapidly. Only a fine mist is required to help an air cylinder overcome friction.