Get in touch today to discuss your requirements
Call: (+44) 01452 523352
It’s not long before hydraulic components start to wear down. In fact, just as soon as you’ve removed them from the wrapper and installed them. Once your system starts to run then you’re going to notice them go through one of the following processes on their life cycle:
Wear down from abrasion – this is when the lubricated surface starts to get scuffed. It might be because two lubricated surfaces are rubbing, or even have a tiny particle stuck between them. This is why lubrication is essential to prevent wear.
Wear from adhesion – this can occur when the two lubricated surfaces continue to scuff together due to lack of lubrication and they begin to create heat from friction. If the heat is high then they will start to weld together causing more damage.
Wear from fatigue – this will usually occur to gears and bearings. Not being even and enduring point loading can result in the components’ surface deforming. This can then lead to cracking and breaking away.
Erosion – this happens where there are large amounts of hard particles that are silt-sized. It works like an abrasive slurry as it passes components at high velocity. It will polish and erode surfaces increasing the distance between them over time.
Cavitation – air or oil vapour bubbles form and then collapse under pressure. This tiny jet that is caused by this collapse has unseen destructive power – which is enough to make a dent in steel. Air bubbles and vapour developing and collapsing causes big trouble for any metal surface.
Corrosion – rusting is an example of corrosion. This is worse when hydraulic oil has degraded due to either heat or water. Acids can also attack metals in particular if water is present.
It’s important for any hydraulic system user or owner to minimise the effects that these types of wear can deliver. Otherwise it’s going to cost a lot of unnecessary expense and damage to your hydraulic system.
Are you interested in what can cut costs when it comes to Hydraulic Power in your business?
We can only imagine that the answer is ‘yes’ as most of us are. Well, we’ve got some good news for you. Today, we’re going to look at what the most common reasons are that hydraulic components fail, even those that have not been in service for long.
These points are worth making a note of:
1. Oil changes. It’s not necessary to keep changing the oil unless you have one of thes2 following conditions occurring.
The oil has degraded so far that the original additives have changed its makeup. Changing oil just because you feel it’s about time it’s changed is going to cost you a lot of outlay as oil is expensive. The larger your reservoir, the worse off you’ll be. However, if you keep operating your system with degraded oil, then that could cost you even more. Even changing the oil based on how long it’s been in service isn’t going to help. Oil needs to be analysed to fully understand its condition.
If you discover that your oil is contaminated with particles, the more economical manner to deal with this is to remove the particles through filtration.
So in summary, only change the oil when the additives have been depleted and the base oil is useless. You will have to perform oil analysis to make your decision.
2. Filter changes. It’s the same story with hydraulic filters. Changing them based on hours in service could mean that you’re too early or even too late. Early brings about waste as their capacity is not reached and you’ll be throwing away an unused amount of filter time. Changing them late is also an error as the particles will not be removed from the oil and therefore, it could lower the lifespan of each component in the entire hydraulic system.
The most effective approach is to only change filters once they have become full of dirt, but prior to the bypass valve opening. This may require a mechanism to be added that will monitor the pressure and deliver an alert when a point is reached. A clogging indicator is one of the most basic methods of handling this. However, continuous monitoring of pressure drop through the use of a differential pressure gauge or a transducer is the optimal solution. In summary, changing filters on hours is not maintenance effective, or cost effective.
3. Heat. If you’re driving along and you notice that your car engine is overheating, you would most likely stop. Most equipment owners won’t run an engine that is overheating. They know it’s going to cause problems. However, the same cannot be said about operators of hydraulic system.
Just as with a car, running an overheated engine is the quickest way to destroy hydraulic seals, hoses and other components. How hot is too hot? The answer depends on the viscosity of the oil in addition to the hydraulic components. Viscosity lessens with increasing temperature, so the answer is when the temperature is high enough to stop the oil lubricating as it should.
When it comes to hydraulic components, it’s worth noting that a vane pump needs more viscosity than a piston pump would. If you have a vane pump in your hydraulic system, then you’ll want at least 25 centistokes to be maintained.
Temperatures over 82°C will cause damage to seals and hoses in addition to accelerating the oil’s degradation. Never allow your hydraulic system to operate above 82°C with a viscosity lower than 10 centistokes.
4. The wrong oil. The most important element of any hydraulic system is always the oil. It’s what keeps everything lubricated and it is also what transfers the power. With these two major tasks to handle, keeping an eye on viscosity is a must.
The viscosity of the oil is what will determine the temperature at which the system should be run. You may have heard this referred to as temperature operating window or TOW. A temperature that is too high will prevent the oil from flowing or lubricating as it should. Oil that has a viscosity that is too low will not deliver adequate lubrication either. Keeping an eye on this will also ensure that you power isn’t lost due to either internal leakage or mechanical friction.
You don’t want increased power consumption as it will cost you more. The best way to handle this is to check what your machines temperature operating window is and to ensure that your machine operates within that window at all times. We won’t go into how to do this here, as it’s rather complex, but it’s something that does need to be addressed.
5. Filter locations. There are two locations for filters that cause the most problems – the piston pump and motor case line and the pump inlet. You may have a strainer attached to the pump inlet to collect any ‘garbage’ in your oil, but this oil is being drawn from a reservoir, not somewhere where there should be any garbage.
The pump inlet is also positioned off the bottom, so there should not be a lot of dirt passing through. By placing filters here, it can affect whether you get maximum pump life. If there is any form of restricted intake, it can reduce the lifespan of the gear pump by as much as half. Hydraulic pumps are not built with ‘sucking’ in mind! The way to handle this is to remove any suction strainers or depth filters on either the pump inlet or the piston pump.
Applying these points should be helpful to any hydraulic system operators and should deliver methods to save yourself and your business great expense.
Until next time..
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 .
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:
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.
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.
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?
System performance and longevity can be greatly affected by using different viscous fluids as well as the various individual system components that can suffer reduced lifespans and early failures if the wrong fluid is used.
The size and also the structure of molecule chains are the crucial factors in measuring a fluids viscosity and the larger the molecules, the thicker the fluid.
To get around this hurdle, multi-grade fluids are used which typically have a high viscosity index and are less sensitive to temperate change than a typical monograde oil.
As lubrication is the prime objective of hydraulic fluid, it is essential that full lubrication is maintained even if temperatures fluctuate. If this does not happen, boundary lubrication is witnessed which means that only a thin layer of fluid works with system componentry, thus leading to possible friction issues and component wear.
If you’re in charge of the hydraulic machines for your company, one way of really annoying the company’s budget holder is to run your machines too hot. It’s going to cost you far more than either you or the financial director had bargained for. Another way that you won’t be a favoured employee is if you don’t get leaks fixed up, but we’re going to look at that at another time.
Here’s how an overheating hydraulic machine can cost so much money:
O-rings are going to fail. Running a machine outside and above the manufacturer’s or designer’s recommended temperature limit is going to cause issues, in particular with the o-rings and seals. The fluid will degenerate them and in turn, degrade the oil faster.
Your hydraulic fluid will need to be replaced more regularly. It will also affect how the hydraulic fluid performs and could cause it to deteriorate in terms of quality and cleanliness as viscosity will fall below optimal value.
Check your fire resistant hydraulic fluid. If you are using this, which is quite likely if your hydraulic machines are run underground or in any other very enclosed area, then you will need to check that it’s compatible with the rubber compound used in your o-rings and seals.
Running a hydraulic machine too hot is probably one of the most costly mistakes that any engineer can make. It needs to be brought down to under 82°C to operate in a way that isn’t going to be using up all spare company cash in repairs and replacements.
We recommend that you take these actions to ensure that your machine is not affected negatively;
· Bring the temperature below 85 degrees – knowing that even at 82 there could be some damage
· Check the condition of your seals and o-rings
· Check whether the fluid is fire-resistant
If you don’t check these then you could find yourself on the ‘naughty list’ of your finance director.
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.
Hydraulic Power Pack
Connect with us
Connect with us on social media or eBay