How to Identify Hydraulic Malfunctions As we looked at in a recent post about troubleshooting, there should be a process to ensure that any issue solving is approached with a logical sequence. Here’s the process that we use here in Hydraproducts when troubleshooting in order to understand what’s going wrong with a machine. Initial troubleshooting procedure Check flow, pressure and direction followed by interpreting the circuit diagram. Make a note of the different units that will need to be checked for malfunction. Go through each of the units in the order that they operate, looking for noise and vibration in addition to leaks and heat. After this primary test, we do an algorithm test. We then check for the failed unit. Keep in mind that you will have an improperly operating power actuator if you identify any of the following issues: · There is no movement · Movement is not in the right direction · The movement is erratic · The speed is not correct · There is drift or creep · The sequence is incorrect · Or the force is incorrect Whatever the situation is, the issue will most likely be related to either one of the following: · Direction · Pressure · Flow Identify your list of components that may be involved in the malfunction. For example, although the flow may be identified due to a slow actuator, it could be low pressure that is the problem. A relief valve that has not been properly adjusted or is leaking may have an impact on the flow. Now rearrange your list of components into another order. Start with those that you have a good understanding of in addition to those that are simple to check. Now check each unit or component on your list. Check their installation, whether they have been adjusted property and what signals they are giving. Look for other abnormalities such as excessive heat, vibration or noise, etc. If you do not come across any obvious answer, repeat your test without removing any of the units from your system. Checking with instruments should determine the component that is faulty. You will then need to decide whether you can repair it or will need to replace it. Before you re-start the repaired machine, think about what could have caused the issue. If remedial action should be taken but isn’t you will quickly find yourself back in the same cycle of faults again.