Preventative maintenance to any moving machine is key in helping it run efficiently. Why should it be any different when it comes to hydraulics?
Some people might assume that hydraulics will continue to run efficiently, without being looked at for potential issues. The truth is that hydraulic equipment is often regularly used, so maintaining it before any problems occur is key in making sure that it runs smoothly.
Irregular maintenance of your hydraulic parts could result in serious harm to those using the machinery, for example in the case where hydraulic fluid might escape.
Keeping your equipment well maintained on a regular basis is key in preventing accidents and adhering to safety standards.
Allowing your equipment to get dirty over time can clog parts of the system. What might seem like a small fault at first can escalate into a bigger issue and may result in the need for a completely new replacement part.
Avoiding these consequences can be prevented through the maintenance of your hydraulics, including keeping your equipment clean and following the correct protocol when you suspect parts may be starting to fail.
Aside from hydraulic equipment breaking and costing you money in repairs, infrequent maintenance for your hydraulics means that you're unable to get the job at hand done on time. If you need to wait for the necessary personnel to come and fix the issue, it could take hours or days to fix, costing your business money and time that could've been spent getting numerous jobs done in the same day.
Maintenance doesn't take long. A simple clean of a part can take minutes out of your day. If you don't choose to repair your machine it can take days to find a replacement part and have it delivered on time for you to complete a job. This also puts the productivity of your staff at a low, where you can lose money due to not having the best machinery at use to you.
There are a host of issues that can occur with a hydraulics system. It's good to have an understanding of how and why your systems might fail in order to ensure that problems can be prevented. Here are some of the issues that can occur:
Damaged hoses are one of the most common issues that can occur with a hydraulic system. Damaged or eroded hoses can lead to a whole host of issues. If a hose is damaged it can result in a loss of fluid which can harm the entire system due to contamination. There are a number of reasons for a hose failure including;
Running dirty oil through your hydraulics system can result in irreparable damage to its working parts. Be sure to check your oil and ensure that it is kept in tip-top condition. This will help filters, pumps, valves and cylinders to operate better and can prolong the life of such parts.
A loss of flow is often the root cause of this problem, which can be caused by an escape from a hydraulic circuit due to leakage. Burst pipes causing leakages are often easy to find, whereas internal leakages are generally harder to identify.
Unusual noises are usually related to air entering the hydraulic system, which can lead to aeration and cavitation problems. When air contaminates the fluid it begins to compress and decompress through the system, causing bangs or knocking noises, referred to as ‘aeration'.
Like any mechanical system, if it is over-worked it can over-heat. You should ensure that the system has time to prepare itself before it is used so that its components can properly lubricate.
An experienced hydraulic services company will have the expertise to assist with your hydraulics issues. Be sure to contact the professionals if you experience any of the above issues, or alternatively arrange a routine inspection to prevent problems from occurring. These are some of the things that might be checked when you book a maintenance:
Hydraulic pumps are one of the components which experience the most wear and tear in a system. Without the pump, the system simply wouldn't work in the same way, so maintaining them is essential in its functioning. There are many causes for hydraulic pumps to fail, including air in the system, leakages and failed seals.
Hydraulic hoses are a key part of a hydraulic system. It's integral that the hydraulic hose functions smoothly so that it doesn't affect any other aspect of the system. Cracks, splits and abrasions are what hydraulics maintenance professionals will look out for when identifying potential issues. If such problems are found early, it avoids damage to any of the other parts of the system.
Keeping your hydraulic fluid clean is key to the prevention of contamination. Hydraulic filters ensure that particle contaminants are removed from the fluid before they get jammed or cause damage to various components.
If they have already been damaged, these parts will be replaced before they cause further problems to other parts of the hydraulic system.
If temperatures are too high, seals can fail before they should. If you're maintaining the hydraulics yourself, always refer to the manufacturer's specifications to ensure they are a good match with the ones that you have. Investing in high-quality, well-fitted seals can ensure a long life-span.
Hydraulic cylinders provide the force and motion to move heavy loads, working by using compression and tension forces. Cylinders can get external damage from excessive wear which can prevent them from functioning- which will require repair or replacement.