For manufacturing plant managers, an important aspect of their job is keeping machinery running well. They understand the need for regular service on their machinery to prevent breakdowns. While proper use and maintenance go a long way toward reliable equipment, eventually there will be a breakdown of hydraulic systems or related parts. Luckily, that doesn’t mean a lengthy work stoppage, as almost every hydraulic repair can be handled quickly.
How and Why Hydraulic Components Fail
A number of factors play into hydraulic failures, and studies show that upwards of 90 percent are caused by one of the following:
- Fluid Contamination: This is a frequent cause of hydraulic failures because it increases wear and tear on the pump. Contaminants get mixed into the hydraulic fluid accidentally and wreak havoc on operational efficiency.
- Over-Pressurization: Hydraulic pumps need to be operated at optimal pressure levels; when a pump is over-pressurized, it pushes against internal components of the pump. This type of abuse will result in faster and greater wear-out of the pump, eventually leading to permanent failure if continued.
- Aeration: When compressed air bubbles are allowed to get inside the hydraulic fluid, an implosion effect can remove metal from the pressure plates and increase temperatures to dangerous levels.
- Pump Aeration: When air bubbles trapped in hydraulic fluid are introduced to the pump via faulty seals or joints, a loud and high-pitched sound will emit. These air bubbles often collapse inwardly in a violent manner that results in serious damage to the pump.
- Cavitation: Cavitation is a condition where the hydraulic fluid doesn’t fill the space within the pump. It also produces a high-pitched noise as a warning for the machine operator.
- Poor Viscosity: Fluid viscosity that is too high in a hydraulic pump can cause cavitation and damage. On the flip side, when the viscosity is too low, excessive heat and leaking can result.
- Heat: Though nearly always the byproduct of other factors, it can be a trigger. Excessive heat should be quickly addressed to keep damage at a minimum.
Most failures in a hydraulic system are related to pumps, since they is most prone to contamination. When a hydraulic pump breaks down, it can cause further problems and a chain reaction throughout the system. Installing filters keeps debris out of other parts of the system.
Why Minimizing Equipment Downtime Is Important for Customers
Equipment downtime is critical to manufacturing companies. When people or machines, or both, are idle and things are not being produced, it affects the company’s bottom line. In this situation, time really is money, and minimizing downtime increases profits. For this reason, it’s vital to provide regular maintenance and communicate well with employees.
Aside from filtering hydraulic fluid, keeping the hydraulic components cool is most important to smoothly operating equipment. Heat events and their effects are cumulative, meaning that damages add up over time. Incentivizing employees to monitor hydraulic systems can save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of a piece of manufacturing equipment.
How and Why Rebuilding Hydraulic Components Saves on Costs
No matter how well equipment is cared for, the inevitability is that it will break down and need hydraulic repair. Costs can be reduced by rebuilding hydraulic components instead of replacing them. When a hydraulic system breaks down, it is important to get a solid quote for both the repair and replacement so that a proper decision can be made as to what is best for the situation.
Working with an experienced hydraulic repair facility will give peace of mind; repairs are done right the first time, without a lot of hassle. The pricing is fair, and the agreed-upon timetable for completion of the repairs works for the business. Good hydraulic repair companies know how vital getting their customers back online is and strive to do so expediently.
Rebuilding hydraulic equipment saves on the cost of buying new equipment and gives the business equipment that performs as good as new. Quality hydraulic repair specialists are able to rework components as needed, replacing only those that cannot be repaired.
How Rebuilt Components Are Tested Before Delivery
During the rebuilding of a component, the specialist replaces only worn or damaged parts, leaving the rest of the unit intact. This lends itself well to testing and calibration to verify that the repairs are done properly the first time. In fact, good hydraulic repair companies have testing capabilities as good as the OEM to ensure the parts will work properly upon delivery.
Finding the Right Hydraulic Repair Facility
Partnering with the right hydraulic repair facility can make the difference between success and failure of a manufacturing company. Some businesses make the mistake of looking for a lowest-cost option and overlook the need for an excellent reputation and highly skilled hydraulic specialists. It does a business no good if they save money on a repair but the repair isn’t done right or does not last.
Making sure that a hydraulic repair facility is exceptional can be hard. However, a few tips might help. Ask for and review business references, and tour the shop to see if the equipment is old and shabby or if it’s state-of-the-art. Consider how quickly repairs might be needed on hydraulic equipment; does the repair shop look equipped to handle jobs efficiently and quickly? Will the repair facility check out the machine and provide a firm quote without farming the job out to the manufacturer, which often raises the price?
Advantages to using an experienced hydraulic shop like Western Hydraulics are many. Western Hydraulics has an exceptional reputation in the industry and works to get equipment up and running quickly. One of the best moves a manufacturing business can make is partnering with Western Hydraulics.