Printer's Resource FAQ

What's an oiler and how does it work?

An oiler is a device designed to lubricate components and protect parts from corrosion by injecting oil into pneumatic lines and is usually part of a lubricator/filter/moisture trap assembly located at the point where pressurized air enters the press. The purpose of this assembly is to protect all the pneumatic components of the press from particulate and moisture contamination. Failure to supply the equipment with clean, moisture-free air may result in premature failure of pneumatic components such as air cylinders, seals, and valves.

Air coming straight from a compressor is laden with moisture that over time can damage the small moving parts inside air-driven components. The first line of defense against moisture should be a refrigerated chiller/air dryer, installed between the compressor and press. This device condenses the moisture in the air and removes it from the line. The filter removes particulates from the air, preventing them from damaging pneumatic components.

The final device in the assembly injects oil into the line. The oil lubricates pneumatic components, preventing corrosion, and reduces friction and wear on moveable parts. Most oilers are adjustable and should be set to inject at factory-recommended rates. Oilers should be checked regularly to make sure oil level is maintained.