Why is header blowdown so demanding?

What is the big deal with harvester cleaning compressors? Why do some compressors make the grade, and others not?

This short article goes over some of the challenges this niche market offers, including why an industrial compressor won’t be ideal for harvest blow down.

The first aspect is obviously the heat; the Australian grain harvest generally falls within the hotter months, late August through to December or January. This creates strain on the compressor as it has to operate at very high load during the heat of the day, which in turn heats up the engine, compressor and components inside the cabinet and could cause the compressor to shut down. Often a user will open the cabinet to his compressor during use, to allow more air-flow through, however this is not recommended with the Bruder. So excessive heat can cause industrial compressors to shut down in peak demand, leading to downtime for the operator, header driver, chaser driver and any auxiliary staff, while the compressor cools down enough to use again.

The other reason is not so obvious initially; have you noticed especially lower-flow industrial compressors need the air end oil topping up more frequently? This is because the compressor relies on some back pressure from the tool or point of use, often a jack hammer or pavement breaker, to allow the compressor to maintain a steady minimum pressure in the air/oil separator. Below this pressure, the air/oil separator cannot perform properly and oil will flow through to the tool or blow gun. This is why some operators who are using the machine at full-flow will crack the valve shut a fraction at a time while still using it, monitoring the pressure and keeping it at a constant level. In itself this is not a huge issue, the problem presents itself when the air-end runs low or out of oil, which can then cause it to overheat. If the airend seizes you can be up for a new compressor (hint; Bruder have a good unit!), or at best a total rebuild. Higher flow compressors don’t face this issue so much, as they have plenty of capacity to maintain the required pressure and keep the separator doing it’s job.

This is why a compressor that is properly sized for the requirements is important, and we believe we have the perfect machine in the AG176.

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