Hydraulics Now

January 12, 2017

Even in tight economic conditions, lower than normal sales volumes, fewer maintenance personnel available for required repairs, and minimally present proactive maintenance procedures, EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE MUST BE COMPLETED to maintain operational conditions and production schedules.

 

As director of technical sales with DANCO Hydraulics Service LLC, I am called upon to help customers in assisting in trouble shooting procedures to determine the reason a machine is not functioning as designed. When it is determined why a component has failed prematurely, I ask the question “ How can we avoid future premature component failures?”.

 

In almost 90% of the instances I have been involved in my 40+ year career, I have found hydraulic machinery maintenance and preventative maintenance procedures are limited or non-existent. I find it ironic that the tools used as prime income producers are not maintained in a fashion that could enhance profitability, increase equipment service life and reduce downtime by as much as 50%.

 

In this global economy we find ourselves in international competition for products and services. Particular attention must be paid to company equipment and their maintenance

requirements. AND YES WE ARE OPERATING IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY! 

 

 As technology keeps changing in all fields of industry, nearly 60% of hydraulic systems are computer, PLC, or have interactive electronic controls which present more of a challenge for non-trained maintenance people. These enhancements offer better fuel economy, safer operator interfaces, increased speed control, higher product output, and require higher skills of trained maintenance personnel.

 

Higher hydraulic pressures, smaller component orifices, hydraulic remote signals, closer component tolerances and feed back sensors tend to be problem areas where system pressures operate up to 7,500 PSI and contamination plays a major roll in machinery malfunctions.

 

Operators:

 

Managers, Owners, department heads, division managers, Plant managers and Plant engineers face tremendous pressures to maintain product output with unrealistic delivery schedules and impossible maintenance and or repair budgets. Operators of your equipment can make the difference in profit or no profit conditions to meet management demands. Equipment operators, ( not necessarily high paid employees) can be effective in keeping the equipment running smoothly and meeting company goals.

 

A baler operator that knows the machine can avoid jams, identify unusual sounds, report leaks, and prevent machine shutdown due to conditions not conducive to the optimum goals or output. Wire tie malfunctions on baler operations are a particularly high area of malfunctions and require special attention.

 

 

The excavator, dozer, and backhoe operator needs to be trained on their equipment to know the equipment limitations. This can save downtime from bent hydraulic cylinder rods and overheating problems that occur from stressing the machine to limits it was not designed. It appears that at many facilities operators are not responsible for their equipment. Summer temperatures can reach extremely high numbers and just a simple air hose to blow off the equipment/heat ex-changer may mean the difference of completing a project on time or days of delay due to overheating the machine which will reduce the service life of the equipment.

 

A daily check list must be established and completed before commissioning the equipment's next shift or days performance.

 

WOULD YOU GO DOWN THE ROAD 8 HOURS WITH A FLAT ON YOUR CAR? YET DECISIONS ARE MADE TO RUN EQUIPMENT WITH IDENTIFIABLE EQUIPMENT FAULTS. DON'T DO IT!

 

The real truth is that small or rather minor problems that may down the equipment can be remedied much faster, less costly, and without catastrophic component failure.

 

When I ask, “ Are maintenance procedures done?” the answer is always there is no money in the budget”. Yet there is always money for repairing items that end up being catastrophic and render the machine inoperable; or repairs are postponed to keep production going which will actually cause as much as ten times more damage to the equipment.

 

Personnel training is the key to efficiency and profitability.

 

Our expertise and training plans will help you stay running;

contact us for a free consultation and evaluation.

 

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