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It’s not always necessary to replace an entire component in a broken hydraulic system, there are times when repairing it can deliver excellent performance and some welcome cost savings. This is true of many hydraulic system parts including motors, cylinders and even pumps.
When deciding whether it’s more beneficial to repair or to replace, your decision will most likely be based on how expensive the part is to replace. The more expensive it is, the more opportunity to make savings from repairing it. When it comes to the cost of the repair, you’ll need to consider these factors:
· How worn or damaged is the component?
· Do you have the knowledge and the facilities to make the repair?
· How is the repair going to be performed?
In some situations, there are some parts of worn or damaged hydraulic components that can be re-used after they have passed through processes such as honing, grinding, machining or hard-chrome plating. Through skilled workmanship it’s possible to make a reduction in the new parts required in addition to making savings from opting to repair as opposed to sourcing a new part.
It is also sometimes possible to lower repair costs even further by using aftermarket or non-genuine parts. Some of these parts are actually made in the same factories that make the genuine OEM parts and will be of the same quality. In other cases, these parts will be made by other manufacturers and their quality may be considered to be anywhere between poor, questionable and first rate.
Keeping this in mind, it’s worth asking your repair shop whether the parts are proven in terms of quality, performance and service life in addition to whether they are covered by a warranty.
If the repair shop is aware of the quality of the parts and are willing to stand behind them, then you have limited risk in the implementation of your decision. If they haven’t used them before, then you will need to consider what cost it will be to you if the parts are not reliable in quality.
Weigh up the savings made by the unknown parts living up to expectation versus the cost to you if they don’t. You may find that the repair shop will share some of that risk as once they have discovered whether those parts are reliable, they can then offer them as a solution to other customers.
In summary, don’t go ahead with hydraulic component repairs without understanding what risk you are taking. How do the savings you could make measure up against the cost of this experiment failing? It could turn out to be a rather unpleasant and costly mistake.
As with anything, repairs can be made to bring back use to a faulty hydraulic part. In some cases, repairing one small component can save the life of the equipment and nip major expense in the bud before it really takes hold. Replacing an entire cylinder, pump or motor could prove to be costly, with repairing them being a preferred economic option.
Of course, the more costly a component is, the more savings a repair can make. However, the expense of a hydraulic repair will depend upon:
· How severe the damage or erosion of the component
· Whether there are the facilities and skill available to deal with the damage
· Hard-chrome plating
Being able to apply these techniques skilfully can make all the difference as to whether new components are required.
In some cases, hydraulic parts can be sourced from an aftermarket or secondary supplier as opposed to approaching the OEM for a replacement. They can be found manufactured by a variety of companies with variable levels of quality.
This last point is one of the most important to consider when seeking a replacement part. In the long run, a part that is not well made could do the opposite of saving your budget and prove to be very costly.
Only use a replacement aftermarket component when you know that:
· It’s produced by a proven and credible company and has a reputation of excellent performance and service life
· It comes complete with a warranty period
If your part does not come backed by the company and it isn’t known for being a quality part, then you could be running yourself into trouble.
Injuries are a relatively common occurrence for people working with hydraulics, especially those working in the maintenance and/or repair of hydraulic equipment. The most serious injury is a pressurised fluid injection, but accidents can also happen with moving parts when the stored energy in the system is not released before inspections and repairs are made. Unfortunately, it is not routine for tags and gauges to be used to denote places where energy is stored. The engineer must study the schematic thoroughly before starting any investigative work, in order to be sure that there is no danger of anything moving while they are working on the machinery.
If pressure gauges were used to show the residual pressure left in moving parts the engineer could utilise the pressure relief valve to release the stored energy and make the hydraulic equipment safe to work on. Relieving pressure stops anything moving of its own accord, which could be dangerous, and also reduces the risk of high pressure hydraulic fluid injection injuries, which can be fatal.
When inspecting for leaks in seals and hoses, it is important that pressure is released before checking but even then, it is not advisable to check with your hands. Instead, perform a visual inspection and look for other signs of leaks, such as fluid on the floor or on parts of machinery that sit underneath the suspected location of the leak.
Hydraulic equipment can be just as dangerous as electrical circuits for those investigating and repairing faults; but electrical work is governed by strict regulations which include the use of lockout tags and labels denoting the location of potentially dangerous components. Hydraulic equipment is not covered by such stringent regulations and as such, it is at the discretion of the designer whether pressure gauges and safety accessories are included in the machinery at the time of building. These items can be retrofitted by the owner, but this is not often done and this means hydraulic engineers must spend a lot of time reading manuals and schematics to understand where the dangers lurk, before being able to safely get on with any repair work.
Just because it isn't legally required, there are no good arguments for overlooking these safety precautions, but several reasons why they should be addressed., such as: reduced downtime on repair and maintenance tasks, a reduction in the potential for workplace injuries and a speedier repair. All effected by removing the need to spend time studying diagrams to pinpoint potential dangers. Employee health and safety is of paramount importance to employers, and this could well be the biggest reason why hydraulic equipment should be fitted with pressure gauges, relief valves and lockout tags, to prevent tampering with settings and to alert engineers to the locations to address first.
In this article we want to explain the ins and outs of hydraulic powerpacks. A vital piece of equipment that is used with so many machines we see every day.
In a nutshell, hydraulic powerpacks are self contained units that are used instead of a built in power supply for hydraulic machinery. Hydraulic power uses fluid to transmit power from one location to another in order to run a machine. It really is as simple as that.
So what do they look like?
In order to recognise and better understand hydraulic powerpacks, it is a good idea to get to know the key components. Hydraulic powerpacks come in many different shapes and sizes, some are very large and stationary whereas others are much smaller and more compact. In fact, some hydraulic powerpacks are so compact that they can easily be transported in a small van or even an estate car.
The only real way to identify hydraulic powerpacks is through its main components. No matter the size of the unit, all power packs will have the following; a hydraulic reservoir, regulators, a pump, motor, pressure supply lines and relief lines.
What do these components do?
It may be obvious to some but in this post we wanted to explain every hydraulic power pack component as simply as possible. So here goes.
First up is the hydraulic reservoir which quite simply holds the fluid. Reservoirs will come in different sizes.
Then we have the regulators. Regulators are vital as they control and maintain the amount of pressure that the hydraulic powerpack delivers.
Thirdly we have the pressure supply lines and relief lines. The supply line simply supplies fluid under pressure to the pump and the relief lines relieve pressure between the pump and the valves. The relief lines also control the direction of flow through the system.
Finally we have the pump and a motor. We will begin with the simpler component of the two, the motor. The motor is simply there to power the pump. Easy as that. Now the pump generally performs two actions. Firstly, it operates as a vacuum at the pump inlet and through atmospheric pressure forces fluid from the reservoir into the inlet line and then to the pump. It then delivers the fluid to the pump outlet and pumps it into the hydraulic system. We did warn you that the second part would be slightly more confusing.
So what is the function of hydraulic powerpacks?
Hydraulic powerpacks deliver power through a control valve which in turn runs the machine it is connected to. Hydraulic powerpacks come with a variety of valve connections. This means that you can power a variety of machines by using the appropriate valves.
Hydraulic powerpacks are relied upon by a range of different machines that use hydraulic power to do its work. If a machine is required to carry out heavy or systematic lifting then its likely it would need help from a hydraulic powerpack.
To make it easier for you to understand, we have included a list of trades that regularly rely on our powerpacks. On a building site you will see machines like bulldozers and excavators, which both need hydraulic powerpacks. But, it is not just on building sites that you will find these types of machines. Fishermen and mechanics both need hydraulic powerpacks too. If we did not have them then how would fishermen lift their nets or how would mechanics lift our cars?
When picking a hydraulic powerpack there are a variety of pumps and options to pick from and it is important to pick the right pack to meet your machines needs. It is also important to consider a pack that will help maximise productivity and minimise cost.
Many people will overlook the necessity of hydraulic powerpacks, but they really are vital to ensuring our society runs efficiently.
Do you need to maintain hydraulic powerpacks?
Yes you do and this is hugely important! Hydraulic powerpacks require regular maintenance to ensure they are working properly and safely and to help extend their life. Maintaining hydraulic powerpacks is relatively simple and includes checking the tubing, this can be for any noticeable problems such as dents or cracks. It is also vital to regularly change the hydraulic fluid and look at the reservoir to check for any corrosion or rust in hydraulic power packs.
What hydraulic powerpacks do we provide?
Generally we provide four different types of hydraulic powerpacks. You can pick from a standard powerpack, a mini powerpack, a micro powerpack or a bespoke powerpack.
The standard hydraulic powerpack uses a standard range of modular components and is ideal for the most demanding industrial applications. The mini powerpack is ideal for applications requiring up to 5.5kW. The micro hydraulic powerpacks were originally produced for mobility applications, so are great for when space is limited. Finally, if none of these seem to fit your needs then we offer bespoke hydraulic powerpacks ensuring your application gets the hydraulic powerpack it requires.
Finally, who is the genius behind hydraulic powerpacks?
The man behind hydraulics was Laissez Pascal. A French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher who lived in the mid seventeenth century. Pascal made observations about fluid and pressure which led to Pascal’s law. Pascal's law states that when there is an increase in pressure at any point in a confined fluid, there is an equal increase at every other point in the container. Hydraulic powerpacks have been designed based on Pascal's law of physics, drawing their power from ratios of area and pressure.
So, interested in our Power Packs? Come on over to the main website and see what we can do for your Hydraulic Power Pack Needs .
In today’s uncertain economy it’s critical to practice proactive hydraulic system maintenance to avoid untimely failure of components and the associated cost. If you suffer from a failure, then check whether your components are still under warranty from the supplier. If they aren’t, then your maintenance budget will have to bear the cost.
Avoid component failure
For this reason, our recommendation is to put focus on the following activities to lower the risk of component failure:
· Maintenance should be proactive as opposed to reactive
· Apply the rock solid principle of using the right oil and keeping your machine dry, cool and clean
· Design your hydraulic system to deliver the results you want in terms of reliability and maintenance goals
· Apply the use of checklists to ensure regular maintenance and to determine hidden failures
However, the reality of operation is that it’s still possible for failures to occur even when all these preventative fundamentals are applied. When a component fails the first query is usually about who will cover the cost? Normally it would be the party who has been negligent. But identifying who has been negligent and then getting everybody on the same page with it, is often far easier than it sounds.
Factory Produced or Refurbished?
If the component in question was installed pretty much straight from the factory floor, then questions will be asked whether it was installed correctly and about the conditions of its operation. These questions will include how clean the oil was, how hot it was and whether the oil had the correct viscosity. Was there any wrongdoing by the operator, faults with the circuit design or incorrect operating pressure? Although it’s possible that the manufacturing plant produced a defect, it’s not common and this will usually be ruled out.
However, if the component was refurbished or rebuilt, then the quality of this in addition to the above questions will be asked.
Whatever the source of the failed component is, it’s critical that a complete and detailed analysis takes place to identify the cause. In truth, analysis of component failure is a critical task that plays into proactive and preventative maintenance of any upkeep program.
The rationale behind this is that if the reason why a component has failed is not found and rectified, then the same fate could happen to a replacement part.
Handling analysis of the component failure requires specialist expertise. There needs to be a full understanding of hydraulic circuits in addition to a good understanding of the construction of the component and their methods of failure. This will usually be taken on by the manufacturer or the rebuilder of the component. This then leaves the machine owner’s perspective out of the equation, which can cause some frustration depending on what information you may have to add.
Having witnessed and been involved in a number of warranty claims – both here and at previous companies, we have learned the following:
1. The analysis of a failed component is not always clearly determined.
2. Although a rebuilder may recognise that he has made a mistake, he is not always willing to admit to it.
3. It’s not everybody who gets involved in a warranty claim that has the expertise and experience to do so.
4. Of course contamination and cavitation can have adverse effects on components, they cannot always be used as reasons why.
In some cases, it really does make you wonder whether avoidance of taking responsibility is a strategy to avoid warranty claims.
However, it’s important to understand what has compromised the longevity of a component. Is it operational issues, storage or erroneous installation?
Component suppliers worth their weight in gold are those that advise on potential pitfalls.
In summary, if there’s one thing that needs to be applied in this industry, it’s this: Wherever you are positioned in the component cycle, manufacturer, supplier or operator, it’s your duty to take reason steps to stay outside of the warranty claim process.
When building a hydraulic power unit, components play a vital role in the units functioning and it is important that they are supplied to the right specification ensuring system reliability and efficiency.
At Hydraproducts, we recognise this, and with our ever growing stock of hydraulic components, we have decided to form a Components Division which offers a range of stock components from well-established manufacturers such as OMT, OT and Setima for which we are official UK Distributors.
We have handpicked all of our stock components we offer for their tried and tested reliability, efficiency and value, so our customers get the best components for the best prices and with our experienced team of engineers, we can guide our customers to the part they require and the exact specification needed for their hydraulic system.
For those looking to create a bespoke system, we offer a selection of bellhousings & couplings, gear pumps, accumulators, valves and more.
Below we give you more of an idea of the hydraulic components we stock and their function:
Bellhousing & Coupling – Bellhousing is a crucial component that makes the connection between the hydraulic pump and the motor. They are commonly made from the lightweight aluminium material and are available in two different configurations, single piece and composite; the latter containing a flange or distance ring for a more flexible range of pump adjuster solutions.
Like bellhousing, drive couplings are traditionally made from either aluminium or steel and work alongside the bellhousing to form a shaft connection between electric motor pumps. OMT are a world leading manufacturer of both bellhousings and couplings and as official UK distributor of these components, we have a wide selection in stock covering a range up to 132kW motors.
Gear Pumps – The main function of gear pumps is to pump hydraulic fluid through the system and they come in many different specifications dependent on the correct fluid flow needed in a given application.
Hydraproducts is an official UK distributor of OT-Oil Technology (Brevini) gear pumps, a world renowned Italian manufacturer of hydraulic pumps. These pumps offer excellent quality, strength and durability and we have been using and supplying them for a number of years now, with excellent feedback.
The OT100, 200 and 300 range of pumps, which vary in size and function are fully compliant with European Build Standards.
Accumulators – are tasked with storing hydraulic energy under pressure. In damping applications they help to lengthen the life and functioning of a system, as well as giving the benefit of noise reduction and general running cost savings.
We stock two different types of OMT accumulators, bladder accumulators and diaphragm accumulators, with the bladder version working with volumes up to 500 litres and diaphragm up to 3.5 litres.
Hydraulic Valves – When hydraulic motors and actuators are operational they need valves to help control pressure and direction together then complete a hydraulic circuit.
Valves are commonly interchangeable and at Hydraproducts we stock Cetop, directional control solenoid valves, flow and pressure relief valves and pilot operated check valves.
As well as the components above, we also stock the following:
· Manifold Blocks
So, with the new Hydraproducts Components Division you can now fully customise your hydraulic system in the knowledge that you are using a trusted, quality supplier with industry leading components.
Feel free to visit our new Components Division page here - https://www.hydraproducts.co.uk/hydraulic-components.aspx
Hydraulics has been around for a very long time. But are you aware of how far it has actually come? You wouldn’t be alone if you responded with no. It is a very technical subject that can be quite difficult to understand, but in this article we want to tell you the story of hydraulics! We want to share with you who discovered hydraulics, what it was originally used for and how hydraulic power got to where it is today.
So why don’t we start at the beginning! Where does the word hydraulic come from?
The word hydraulic originates from the Greek word ‘Hydros’ which means water. Why water? Well, this is because water was the first liquid to be used in the hydraulic system. Today, hydraulics includes the physical behaviour of all liquids, not just water.
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