The regulator is typically selected to match the port size of the upstream filter. It adjusts the pressure of the filtered air between a given range (typically 20-130 psi), with lower pressure ranges often available for more precision applications. Pulling the knob up and rotating it changes the air pressure, and the knob locks to a pressure setting when pressed down.
Equipment design often dictates the required operating pressure. Many machines require that a minimum operating pressure must be maintained, and the level sensed by a pressure switch to alert the operator or shut down the machine. Although higher pressure than required may cause some machines to run faster, this can cause excess wear and tear due to the banging caused by fast cylinder motion. While over 100 psi may be supplied to a machine, operating at 60 to 80 psi is a good design goal, and leaves some "head room" in case the plant air pressure should sag slightly from time to time.
Features to look for in a quality regulator are a pressure relieving design and a built-in pressure gauge. The pressure relieving design will relieve pressure if the set point is lowered or if a downstream condition raises the pressure. The only way to reduce the pressure in a non-relieving design is via manual blow-off or to cycle the downstream equipment. An integral pressure gauge is always a good idea to provide quick indication of system air pressure, and to assist when setting the regulated pressure.
A variety of accessories are available to mount these lubricators individually, OR in combination with filters, lubricators, shut off values and other accessories. NITRA regulators AND the combo filter/regulators shown below all feature a threading mounting ring (and nut) and a mounting bracket is included.
HELPFUL HINT: Specify FRL components with the same fitting sizes for ease of connection and mounting.
NITRA® Air Regulators start at $22.00
Combination filter/regulator air prep units are also available. These units have all the capabilities of the separate filters and regulators combined into a single unit. This design can reduce cost, and save significant space if it is appropriate for the application.