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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.
Keeping contamination out is one of the key elements of maintaining hydraulic fluid lifespan. By keeping a close eye on the filters installed in a hydraulic system, it’s possible to glean some excellent insights into the overall condition of your system and an understanding of whether your filters are working properly.
Many hydraulic engineers opt to install electric clog-indicators and others will run a visual test. The former will indicate if the pressure drops due to a clog in the filter.
A more advanced approach to hydraulic filter monitoring is to install a number of pressure gauges that will indicate whether there has been a change of pressure caused by a clogged filter issue.
By continually monitoring any change in pressure caused by a blocked filter can provide an early warning of component failure. For example, if your pressure dropped from 1 Bar to 3 Bar then that could indicate imminent failure or even a major contamination ingression.
It’s important to monitor pressure and condition of oil on a regular basis. Not to do so could prove to be costly in both maintenance and production output.
There are a number of different contaminants that could block your filter. There are the hard particles such as dust and metals from wear and tear. There are also soft particles such as sludge and products from oxidation. Even if you manage to keep the hard particles within a range that is under your control, the soft particles can quickly accumulate and clog filters.
Hard particles will usually do more damage to hydraulic components than soft particles. The space afforded by clearances needs to be taken into account in addition to the shape, size and quantity of hard particles in the fluid.
Small particles can often be the most dangerous of all. They can cause wear and degradation of components.
If you're reading this then the operation of hydraulic motors is probably no secret to you, but perhaps the people you work with or machine operators struggle to grasp exactly what is happening inside the equipment, and more importantly, why? We have put together a short, user-friendly guide to hydraulic motors that can serve as an educational tool, for those not in the know and will hopefully reduce the number of repeat questions you have to answer.
In a nutshell, all hydraulic power systems comprise the same four basic elements. They are:
The size of these components can affect the speed, pressure, flow, strength and efficiency of the hydraulic motor but the basic concept is the same across the board. Essentially a hydraulic motor uses varying pressures conducted via hydraulic fluid to increase and magnify force in an energy-efficient and reliable manner.
The jargon terms used to describe hydraulic motor operation can seem confusing and complex to the lay person, but learning what these words mean and how they relate to the hydraulic equipment is important to fully understand what is happening during normal running, and also what is happening where there is a system failure.
Torque is probably the most important term which refers to hydraulic motors. It is used to describe the ability of the engine to translate pressure into motion and is measured in Newton Metres (Nm) or inch pounds (lbf). A hydraulic motor will have a starting torque and a running torque. The starting torque is the force required to start the motor turning and the running torque refers to the pressure generated to maintain operation, at a certain pace. Torque ripple refers to the difference between the minimum and maximum torque delivered during a single rotation of the motor.
Motor displacement is an important term to know. It refers to how much hydraulic fluid is needed to turn the motor through one revolution and is measured in centimetres or inches cubed per revolution. A motor may be a fixed or variable displacement type, meaning that either torque or speed is the priority. A fixed displacement motor has torque as the priority, running at a constant pressure. Speed can be controlled by varying the amount of fluid going into the motor. In a variable displacement motor both torque and speed can be controlled.
Hydraulic fluid replacement is also something that machine operators should be trained in, if they are expected to top up the reservoir or replace the fluid. Hydraulic oil comes in a variety of weights, which refers to the viscosity of the fluid. Different types of hydraulic fluid can withstand different temperature ranges and different chemical make-ups of hydraulic fluid are recommended for different applications. It is vital that the correct fluid is used, as any mistakes can cause costly damage to the equipment. When replacing or topping up hydraulic fluid, it is important that it is filtered before entering the system, (we have written more about this topic previously on this blog). Contaminated hydraulic fluid causes the same problems as using the incorrect product and it is crucial for operators to know how their actions can affect the operation of the machinery and cause problems.
Of course, there is a lot more to hydraulics than we have covered here, but the very basics that we have covered, should help hydraulic machinery operators understand a little more about their equipment, how it works, and most importantly, what can cause it not to work.
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 .
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.
If you’re new to the world of hydraulics, then you may have a few questions about what hydraulic power packs can offer. In this blog post we look to answer some of the most basic questions about why you may want to use them.
Hydraulic systems are used in machinery and tools to lift, pull or push weights. In addition to being utilised in the industries of construction, fishing and farming they can even produce the power for your favourite rides at amusement parks. The dustmen use them to empty your wheelie bins of rubbish. Even rescue workers make use of hydraulic power when they use cutters and car mechanics use hydraulics to lift up cars to work on.
Another application of hydraulics is to work the brakes on your car. When your mechanic tells you that he needs to ‘bleed’ your brakes it’s because any air in the system will prevent the brakes from working correctly. A broken or leaking hose will interfere with the fluid level too.
The liquid that can take such high pressure in the hydraulic power unit is known as hydraulic fluid. Fluid is used as it’s able to pass freely through tubes and hoses to control the operation of the machine. It’s important to keep this fluid clean and free of any foreign particles. This is the reason that filters are used. Any excess fluid is passed through a reservoir.
The hydraulic power pack is a component of a hydraulic system that provides the power to push the uncompressible liquid through the hoses or pipes to lift or leverage a weight. Used in combination with pipes, hoses, the hydraulic oil and reservoir tank, it’s amazing what’s possible with hydraulics. They have been in operation since 6000AD and now play such an integrated part in our everyday life that we don’t always recognise them when they are in use.
To find out more about hydraulic power packs, visit our Hydraproducts Power Pack page at www.hydraproducts.co.uk/hydraulic-power-packs.aspx
HPUs deliver mechanical force that is produced though the use of fluids. Hydraulic power units are used in industries where it’s necessary to move heavy or large items very smoothly. For example, theme parks, farming, construction, fishing and more.
If you’ve seen a garbage truck in action, you’ve seen an HPU operating. This is also the case for cranes, forklifts, loaders and backhoes. There’s even a hydraulic power unit inside the ‘jaws of life’ that rescuers use to free people from cars involved in serious road accidents.
Surprisingly, most people have hydraulic power units in their homes. If they own a car, they will have brakes, which run from hydraulic power. Whenever the brake pedal is pushed, hydraulic fluid (in this case, known as brake fluid) will push a piston, which will move the brake pad against the rotor in the wheel, and will slow the car. This is why it’s important to keep brake fluid levels adequate and to ensure that there is no air trapped in brake lines.
The power behind hydraulics comes from the law of physics that liquid cannot be compressed. Although it may take the shape of any container that it’s in, it is not possible to compress it. This means that it hydraulic fluid can be pushed through a number of tubes without needing gears and levers to help it.
Most hydraulic fluid is made up of water, petroleum oil and antifreeze. It all depends on what the job is that needs to be done. Using a hydraulic filter can help to keep the liquid contaminant free of particles. The fluid is stored in a reservoir when it’s not in use, this enables it to be accessible as soon as the machine needs it.
HPU are some of the most versatile mechanical aids in use. If you’d like to discuss more about what your business needs, contact us today at our main website plus more info can be found on Hydraulic Power Units here.
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