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Three Ways to Stop Your Hydraulic System Terrorising You

Is your hydraulic system stuck in a breakdown and repair cycle? In today’s blog post we share with you 3 simple ground rules that will provide you with the opportunity to stop being terrorised and exhausted by this.

As with anything in life – the more you put in, the more you get out. This fact also applies to the results that you can gain from hydraulic equipment. You do the maintenance, and you can expect an increased level of reliability. Keep maintaining your system for best results.

Any machinery should be an asset to your business. You shouldn’t be in a position that you are beset by issues that are both time and profit consuming. Continually replacing oil, seals, pumps, cylinders, filters and valves can be costly, let alone the down time caused by an unreliable machine that can stop work at the most disadvantageous of times.

Even if your troubling fault has gone away in the short term, you know that it will soon be back, helping itself to your finances and sending your employees to spend the afternoon playing cards whilst they wait for the engineer to fix things up. Even if your company can afford to support such times, it certainly isn’t doing it any good.

If your machine is becoming more of a drain than an asset, then it could well be time to look for what the core problem is so that you can fix it, once and for all.  

Before you get started, know that you are capable of fixing this issue and if you follow these 3 ground rules then you’ll be working your way to a satisfying ending:

How’s the heat?

Your first mission is to identify the temperature operating window (TOW) of the machine. The TOW is vital for the machine to run at optimal output with minimal downtime. Even if you tune up the machine with all the latest components, if it’s run outside of the TOW, then you will experience ongoing issues.

We’ve seen that many people don’t spend the time that is necessary to truly understand what the TOW is of their machine. However, it’s something that is essential knowledge for the wellbeing and reliable operation of your machine.

Something that will directly connect to the TOW of your hydraulic machine is the viscosity of the oil. This will determine what the minimum and maximum temperatures are that your machine will operate in safely.

Exxon Mobile Industrial produced data that specified that the initial viscosity is what the TOW depends upon. You should also be checking whether the machine’s actual temperature operating window is within the optimum temperature operating window. If it isn’t, then there is a need to change something.

A balancing act

The next point that you need to consider in your quest to keep your machine running well, is that each machine has an efficiency that will depend upon both its design and the components that are in use. However efficient the machine is at converting input power into work, will be closely tied to the level of heat that is being produced.

If the temperature is not within the safe TOW then it could get heat damaged and this in itself will make it unreliable.

Keep it clean

Of course, clean oil is essential for hydraulic machines to be reliable and blessed with a long life. There are many aspects of this including the contamination caused by particulates and water. You’ll need to check whether you have optimal operating pressure, whether the components are suitable and of course, what type of system you’re running.

It’s not always easy to control how much contamination you have. However, it’s key to remember that contamination plus temperature work well to create oil failures. You can experience sludge build up and varnish as a result of not keeping on top of filter changes, prevention of water contamination and failing to test oil samples.

According to our own engineers in addition to our contacts in the hydraulic industry, most of the major failure causes (up to 90% of them) can be avoided by following these three rules. Wouldn’t you rather have a machine that is reliable? 


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