Hydraulic equipment used at major construction or industrial projects is very sophisticated and well engineered these days. Given good practices, this equipment will last for a considerable period of time without failure and can be expected to deliver a great return on investment. However, the key words here are "good practices", and, unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you are suffering some downtime as a result of a hydraulic equipment failure and this is by no means an isolated incident, what should you be looking at to try and avoid this type of situation in the future?
Sometimes, certain employees may be lax when they interact with hydraulic equipment. On occasion, these employees can take shortcuts and, without knowing, can introduce contaminants that will subsequently cause a hydraulic failure.
For example, it's not unheard of for hydraulic fluid to be added to the machinery through breather or filler caps, just like the "old days." However, these caps have very porous mesh and are not particularly good at keeping tiny particles of contaminants out.
Also, additional shortcuts may have been taken when attaching accessories or other pieces of equipment to a main hydraulic tool. It's very important for a high level of hygiene to be maintained whenever these couplings are removed and reconnected, as it is very easy for dirt to enter the system otherwise.
The Price of Contamination
Without due care, a variety of different contaminants can get into a system, including metals, silicon, rust particles and fibres. Sometimes, water can enter inadvertently as well, and this can cause interior rusting which can lead to the generation of particularly hard contaminant particles that will then start to circulate.
Over time, these particles will present a considerable risk, as they are insoluble and will continue to circulate under pressure. They can be driven into minute clearances that surround valves, causing them to stick in one position, or they can cause other damage to connectors elsewhere. In most sophisticated equipment, some of these internal valves are particularly small and barely move when they open or close. It's hardly surprising, therefore, that a contaminant particle of the right shape and size can easily jam such a valve and cause the entire process to fail.
As you call in a repair expert to handle hydraulic equipment repairs, consider how you can institute new processes and procedures that may help avoid such contamination in the future.