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The most critical requisite of running any piece of reliable hydraulic equipment is to keep it clean. Unfortunately, extreme pressure systems provide a constant battleground to fight against potential system contamination by particles, dirt, dust and other matter that can all get into the works. Keeping fittings, pipes, valves, filters and any other components clean is an absolute must if you are looking to run your machine efficiently and with optimised output.
Here are or tips on how to address the cleanliness issue around hydraulic equipment:
· Filters need to be replaced regularly, with fluid replaced annually at minimum. The latter should be done for the entire system, including reservoirs.
· Know that pipes need to have the minimum count of bends. Fittings should also be minimal and securely fastened in addition to being clean. Iron pipes are no longer recommended due to having particles which are likely to dislodge and contaminate.
· Ideally you would consult with your engineer regarding best pipe or tubing for your specific machinery set up. By showing them the schematic they should be able to advise on what is required to run your system at maximum efficiency.
In our experience, we believe that hydraulic piston pumps are preferable to gear and vane pumps. We find that they usually operate over a longer lifespan, even whilst being at higher pressure. Fortunately, the piston pump also comes with another advantage; it actually vibrates far less and sometimes not at all.
If you are unfortunate enough to experience one, there are occasions when a pump failure has been related to improper assembly by the manufacturer. It’s important to capture failure data in order to claim a warranty, where a warranty is due. If you have a full in-house machine shop, always ask whether they can fix up the broken part as opposed to having to order in a new part.
To be certain that you are buying components that are quality, be sure to ask whether they are tested:
· Both dynamically and statically
· To produce full testing certificates and test reports
Although the piston pump may cost a little more than the gear and vane pumps, over a long period of time, they will cost less during the lifetime of the equipment.
Firefighters use hydraulic equipment on a daily basis when they put out blazes and rescue people from burning buildings or crashed vehicles. The ladder on top of a fire engine is raised and lowered by a hydraulic piston, that is controlled by the ground crew, with another set of hydraulic hoses controlling the extension of each section of the ladder independently, allowing the correct length of ladder to be deployed for each situation. The ladder position is also controlled by a hydraulic motor, that turns the ladder left and right, making it easy to get the ladder in exactly the right place by using all three hydraulic components.
It is not just the firefighters ladder that uses hydraulic power, but the rescue and cutting tools, as well. Fire crews are often called upon to rescue people from crushed vehicles and getting them free is often a time sensitive operation, so the large forces exerted by hydraulic cutters, rams and spreading equipment are vital in terms of getting people free as quickly as possible. These tools operate at 720 bar, which is a large enough force to cut through steel rods and easily bend the structure of a car or lorry cab. Often referred to as the Jaws of Life, some hydraulic rescue equipment combines cutting and spreading capabilities into one tool, as both these functions are usually needed in rescue situations. Hydraulic jacks are carried on some fire trucks that are called to the scene of a heavy vehicle crash, as lifting a crashed train carriage or petrol tanker requires some serious force to be applied quickly, especially if there are people trapped underneath or inside the vehicle.
The choice of hydraulic fluid is very important in fire engines, as by nature they are used in situations where high temperatures are present. The fluid used in hydraulic rescue equipment is usually a phosphate-ester fluid, that does not conduct electrical charge and is fire resistant. It is vital that the hydraulic fluid used is fire resistant and capable of operating at high temperatures. Hydraulic fluid does heat up under pressure, so adding this factor to the issues of prolonged exposure to high heat at fire scenes means that there are limited choices of hydraulic fluids for fire engines. If oil based hydraulic fluids are used there is a high risk of fire if a line breaks or there is a leak, so for safety reasons any fluids used on a fire truck must be non-flammable.
Regular checks and maintenance of hydraulic fluid levels should be performed with any equipment that uses hydraulic fluids, but in the case of fire trucks it can make the difference between life and death. Fluid reservoir levels should be checked under the same conditions each time, which is best done when the fluid is cold and the fire engine has not been recently used. Keeping the reservoir topped up reduces the risk of air entering the system through the pump, which can lead to faulty operation and lasting damage to the components. This is a job that firefighters can carry out at their station, but for testing the hydraulic fluid a professional service should be used. The hydraulic fluid should be replaced regularly to keep the equipment in good working order.
Each type of hydraulic equipment may use a different type of fluid, and it is important that these are not mixed up during routine maintenance. Most fire departments display the information clearly at the point of topping up on the inside of cap covers or nearby. It is also good practice to label the fluid containers so they are not accidentally used on the wrong engine or the wrong piece of equipment, as each fire department may favour a particular type of oil for each application, and when fire trucks are loaned out to other departments there is a serious risk of hydraulic fluid mix up.
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.
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 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.
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 .
Our hydraulic power solutions make it possible to deliver hydraulic power at any location. Costly investments can become a thing of the past. By deploying a hydraulic power pack, it is no longer necessary to use machines larger than you need to power a machinery that is relatively small.
Hydraproducts manufacture the hydraulic power pack. Available in 3 different sizes, the hydraulic power pack can be installed and utilised in a broad range of applications.
Being flexible, cost efficient and fast are essential issues for all industrial fields. These issues are also present when it comes to looking for additional hydraulic capacity solutions. Hydraproducts offer tailor-made solutions to cater for these needs.
Each of our solutions are supplied ready to fit and operate, without needing to build or buy new equipment. Maintenance and repair work costs are minimised, whilst you’re in a position to continue to operate and deliver output.
Our Engineers are Passionate about Hydraulic Power
The hydraulic power packs are affordable and powerful. They are built by engineers who are passionate about the hydraulic power field and it’s their expertise and experience that have combined to make it possible for us to offer these reliable and strong solutions.
Hydraulic power packs can be used in the following way to provide:
· Long term installation to replace a previous hydraulic power pack that is not performing well
· A temporary solution for a fixed period of time
· An attractive solution that makes costly investments unnecessary
· Bespoke customised hydraulic power packs
Our power packs are known for delivering reliable hydraulic power transmission solutions. Whether it’s for your transport drive shaft or a winching system, our power packs have been designed to not let down the team.
Call us today for more information on what you can use our hydraulic power packs for.
Businesses all over the world are now looking at how to move away from fossil fuels such as oil and our utter dependence upon them. A variety of experiments using alternative fuel are now being performed in many different areas of several industries. One of these experiments is to test whether water might be able to take the place of hydraulic oil.
Most hydraulic equipment uses oil to power the cylinders, pumps and valves that are at the core of the operations of industrial equipment such as hydraulic machines. Once the hydraulic oil is under pressure it can power the cylinders by exerting force. But is it possible that water can do the same job?
Although some hydraulic equipment has been used successfully with water, in particular for applications that require a high level of fire resistance, most hydraulics need the water to have an additive used. This then makes it possible for there to be lubrication in the machine, even if 95% of the fluid is water.
There are some exciting results coming from engineering company, Danfoss, who has been designing and manufacturing hydraulic equipment that can operate with just water. Working without any additives, this hydraulic equipment prototype is 100% green. It has made it possible for suitable components to be manufactured to support the hydraulic system.
Advantages of water hydraulics
Because water is not flammable, and it can be used for other purposes such as fire safety, it can work well. However, it operates at a much lower pressure as it’s not as viscous as oil. This means that it can transmit power far more efficiently than oil, and in a far smaller area. So it could actually be more powerful than oil when it comes to hydraulic powered activities.
As water transfers heat better, it will also mean a smaller heat exchanger than is necessary for oil.
However, because water is lower when it comes to viscosity, this could prevent an issue with greater leakage. Rubber seals would need to be used and there wouldn’t be such great lubrication, so finishes to components would need to be smooth to aid movement.
In addition, because water will easily turn to vapour, there will need to be pressurized lines into the pump. If temperatures are low, the machinery might not be able to operate as the water could freeze at a far lower temperature than oil.
Watch this space for latest news as more exploration is done in the area of replacing hydraulic oil with water.
In this economic climate, it’s important for everybody to focus on optimising productivity, decreasing maintenance and service costs for hydraulic equipment. It’s for these reasons that it’s vital that technicians pay attention to contamination control.
Effectual contamination control is not something that is always easy to handle. It’s something that needs you to set targets and demand the results that you want. This is why it doesn’t hurt to include consideration of any fluid into your hydraulic equipment system. To give a better understanding of what’s necessary, read this case study of what happened on a sugar cane farm in the USA.
With 15 cane harvesters in operation, it was becoming increasingly expensive to maintain the harvesters. There appeared to be a continual need to replace components that had failed. When technicians were called in to test the fluid, it was reading ISO 20/22 and this was proving to be very expensive. Every season each machine was needing a new pump at least three times.
The investigating technicians stated that the company would need to upgrade their filtration to expect better results. Work on this started by creating a prototype by modifying one of the machines. This proved to have potential, and two more machines were then modified.
Four years later, all the machines had been modified and there was only one pump going down at a rate of one time per 3 seasons.
With their data in hand, the sugar mill owners asked the manufacturer of the cane harvester whether they could make some modifications to their machinery before it left the factory.
In addition to improving the filtration, a few other points were improved upon such as modifications for pressure and temperature. Doing this also improved conditions resulting in the pump life being extended, but this result was mostly related to the filtration. For the owner of the hydraulic equipment, they could now see what a difference better filtration made in terms of running costs and machine reliability.
Set your own cleanliness levels
Take into consideration the following factors when attempting to set your own levels of cleanliness:
How sensitive are your components?
This measurement is known as contamination tolerance.
Another important factor is that of pressure. Remember that the greater the pressure, the more sensitive your components are going to be to contamination issues.
Finally, you’ll need to take into account the duty cycle severity, the fluid type, safety concerns and the machine criticality. All of these should be considered to create the levels of cleanliness that you’re looking for to ensure that your hydraulic equipment runs as it should without regularly component failure.
Although in our case study, they purchased a lot of pumps before establishing what they needed from a hydraulic system, they did get there in the end. The message from this article is that it’s essential to consider each of these factors prior to purchasing a hydraulic machine.
With the end game in mind, the reliability and maintenance outcomes have a high hope of being achieved, even before you have had any newly ordered hydraulic equipment delivered. Just as we saw in the case study, you can achieve the contamination control targets that you set just as long as you know what they are.
Your approach for this should be to start with the hydraulic oil that you’re most likely to use, take the weight and the viscosity index so that you can establish minimum viscosity for what the max running temperature of your machine will be. You can then inform the manufacturer what the maximum temperature should be in addition to what’s required in terms of cooling capacity using the typical temperature of your location as a guide You can then have a custom temperature system as opposed to a standard system.
Once you have done this, you can consider yourself as rather a seasoned hydraulic machine user. This will be particularly true if you specify that you want a flooded inlet for the hydraulic pumps, and no depth filters are installed on the motor case drain and piston pump lines.
If you don’t take it this far, then at the very least, you should define what you want from your hydraulic system in terms of cleanliness and operating temperatures. For the more reliable and dependable hydraulic system, you should ensure that these considerations form part of your selection process.
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