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An Introduction to Air Preparation

An Introduction to Air Preparation

Air preparation refers to the treatment of compressed air to remove oil, water and particles from the air stream that could damage downstream components. In order to protect pneumatic components, there must be a steady supply of clean, dry air. This ensures that the components are working properly and efficiently. Preparing the air before it is used will provide a longer service life for the pneumatic machine, and give it the best possible protection.

Read more of our helpful guide to find out everything you need to know about air preparation in pneumatic systems.

Air Preparation products and components

Mindman air preparation. MACP- Air Preparation- Filter Regulator Lubricator (FRL)

There are a variety of products and components for air preparation systems. Typically, air preparation in pneumatic systems includes filters, regulators and lubricators. These can be specified as a configured 3-piece unit, known as an FRL Unit, which is designed to deliver accurate pressure regulation, high moisture removal efficiency, and proportional oil delivery over a variety of air flows. These types of combinations not only save pneumatic panel space, but can also be cost-effective too.

Mindman air preparation components come in all sizes and combinations of filters, lubricators and regulators. Depending on the requirements of the pneumatic machinery, the components will differ.

Pressure regulation and filtration components can be fitted at the point of use for operator air tools and where automation circuits connect to the air distribution network. Reducing the pressure with the use of a pressure or filter regulator allows the downstream circuit to operate at the optimum pressure without increasing the risk of leakage loss.

Proper design, implementation and maintenance can lead to an efficient and trouble-free air preparation system.


Compressed air filters should receive the air supply first and work to reduce the contaminants and moisture in the compressed air of the machine. Filters are available in a range of sizes depending on the needs of the application, with standard filters able to remove particulates of around 40µm. Finer filters can remove particulates as small as 5µm or less. Process instrumentation and high-speed pneumatic tools require finer particulate filtration.

Filters require preventive maintenance in order to maintain high efficiency and effective filtration. The main area of maintenance for a filter is the filter bowl, which is where all of the collected pollutants are stored.


After the air has passed through the filtration system, a pressure regulator will take the clean, dry air and control the pressure downstream. To operate a regulator, a valve can be turned to determine the pressure. Turning the valve clockwise will create greater pressure to pass through.

Filter regulator combinations have all the capabilities of separate filters and regulators, but save significant space and cost.

LubricatorsMAL302 Lubricator Unit

A lubricator can be added to the system to provide downstream pneumatic components with a constant supply of oil lubrication. It does this by introducing a small amount of oil to the compressed air stream. The oil is then dissolved and transported by the air stream, in the form of fog, to the point of use. It guarantees the best lubrication of components, keeping the machine at its most efficient for longer.

Lubricators are available in a variety of sizes to match other air preparation products and components. Although, some modern pneumatic machines do not require lubrication because they are pre-lubricated.

Air Preparation with Matara

For all of your air preparation needs and requirements, Matara is here to help. Boasting an impressive selection of air preparation solutions in a wide range of sizes, types, combinations of components and functionalities, you can be confident that you’ll find what you’re looking for with us.

For any more information or assistance with air preparation products, don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts on 01684 850 000 or email sales@matarauk.co.uk.

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