Maintenance for Hydraulic Systems
Hydraulic power is created by a circulation of pressurized fluid, such as a water-glycol mix or water-soluble oil, to a motor capable of converting it into a working function that produces more power than a traditional mechanical or electrical system of equal size. Because of their impressive accurate yet rapid responses to controls, hydraulic systems have found many uses across many fields. Some of their more demanding jobs involve heavy industrial machinery, automobiles, and aircraft. Their importance to the successful operations of many businesses requires that careful maintenance program be enacted to keep the systems in good working order.
Multiple Components Need Attention
There are many elements of a hydraulic system, such as oil seals, hydraulic cylinder parts, valves and hoses. Each component has its own maintenance needs, but having regularly scheduled maintenance plan that checks priority areas can help avoid long-term damage and machine downtime. Some of the recommended areas of attention include the following.
- Filter indicators. The indicators assess the contamination amounts being caught by the filter. It can show the level visually through either a gauge or a pop-up indicator. If it shows that the filter has reached the maximum holding capacity for contamination, it is time to replace the filter.
- Sample the oil. Because the hydraulic system is heavily dependent on the successful flowing of fluid throughout the components, checking the oil allows you to test for solid particle contamination or other problematic elements in the oil. Test from an active return line for the best reading.
- Check your temperatures. The temperature has a significant impact on the viscosity of the oil in your system. If the viscosity doesn’t meet the working range of the system, continually pumping oil can reduce the lifespan of the system over time. Too high of a temperature can cause a pressure drop in the lines, which may lead to cavitation.
Taking care of the components of the system helps preserve the functionality and efficiency of the machine. Keeping track of small areas of repair can help avoid major malfunctions down the road.