It’s so dependable, you might forget it needs maintenance from time to time.

After 30+ years in business, we’ve seen a thing or two. Nothing surprises us anymore. Some of our clients make maintenance a priority – and it shows, with consistently high solvent returns and equipment that beats even our high expectations for longevity. We’ve seen systems last 20 to 30 years, and recently got a call from one of our first systems in the 80’s, still humming along. In stark contrast, other clients neglect upkeep and call us 10 years later with concerns about low solvent returns, long heat-up times or overall poor performance.

What gives? The systems are both built for life; the only difference is basic maintenance. What are a few of the causes for maintenance to fall off the priority list? We’ll explore these top reasons below, and how you can combat them. (NOTE: the system in the headline image above is desperately in need of an oil change.)

1. Remember Your ROI? Sometimes, Corporate Memory is Fleeting

In companies where a recovery system has been in operation for a long period of time, the “new normal” for solvent costs with a distillation system is no longer new anymore. The initial Return On Investment (ROI) for solvent recovery is long forgotten, and the company’s bottom line now depends upon the recovery system, without even remembering how expensive solvent used to be. Sometimes it can be helpful to dust-off the old ROI, and communicate to management how many cycles the unit has run since inception, to give you an idea of the money saved.

If you have reason to believe your system may have lost a great deal of its original efficiency and would like to know what its original efficiency was, don’t hesitate to contact PRI. We can help determine the system’s capabilities based on original performance. Our team would be happy to assist. We take a hassle-free, consultative approach.

2. “Well, If it’s Still Running, We Don’t Ask Questions…”

Treating a piece of large capital equipment like an appliance is a recipe for poor performance. In some instances, we see plant employees with the mindset of “as long as it runs, we don’t mess with it. If you’ve neglected to change your oil, and it takes 8 hours to heat up the system in the morning, something is wrong. If your system is performing in a way that causes you to question it, don’t ignore that gut feeling.

The system’s operating parameters should be understood by the operators and maintenance personnel, so that poor performance can be noticed, and addressed. It goes back to the above point – this system is a revenue stream, it is a money-saver. The more efficient the distillation system is, the more money it shaves off your company’s bottom line.

We build every system with the highest durability goals possible. What we cannot account for is a lack of care for basic consumables and system fluids. Here are a few steps you can take to stay up-to-speed on your system’s maintenance schedule:

  1. Find Your Manual: There’s a list of regular maintenance items in your manual, including a schedule, consumable parts, fluids and more. Start today, and begin to develop a rhythm to regularly keep up. Lost your manual? Contact PRI Service, we can provide you a copy of it.
  2. Onsite PRI Technical Evaluation: Still not certain your system is running at top efficiency? Have a PRI Technician visit your site and provide an evaluation of what service and/or replacement parts may be needed to bring it up to full efficiency.
  3. Annual PRI Preventative Maintenance: Once you have established a consistent baseline for your system, consider adding to your annual maintenance budget an onsite PRI Preventative Maintenance Service. We’ll come to you, perform in-depth preventative maintenance, and provide you a report on your system.

Our experience has shown that well-maintained equipment lasts for 20+ years, continuing to provide a valuable revenue stream for your business in the process. Our service team is dedicated to fully supporting our clients and keeping your system running at peak performance. Contact PRI Service and we’ll help you work through the process of making sure your PRI system is the top-performing cash flow engine it should be.