Why It Is Crucial to Observe and Maintain Hydraulic Pump Operation
In a high-volume manufacturing environment, it's crucial that all mechanical and hydraulic components operate efficiently and to maximum capacity. It's particularly important to ensure the productivity of any hydraulic pumps that are part of the solution. These pumps need to be maintained so that they meet manufacturer recommended performance, but also so that they do not fail prematurely. What's at risk when careful attention is not given to hydraulic pump repairs?
Whenever new components are installed in a production environment, it's important that manufacturer recommendations are taken into account with regard to their likely shelf life and maintenance intervals. This information needs to be kept to hand and integrated into the overall maintenance schedule. In addition, the maintenance programme needs to be focused on the condition of each component, so that any natural deterioration can be countered and productivity can be kept up.
What's at Risk
Hydraulic pumps come under a great deal of pressure and will typically work effectively through their lifetime. However, should they fail in service much damage can be caused elsewhere. This is because failure will typically generate a large volume of metallic particles, which will immediately enter the system through the hydraulic fluid. As these particles travel to other components, damage can be caused before filters within the system can remove the offending items. It's also possible that a big failure can result in the filters themselves being clogged completely, which will then result in the unfiltered fluid being recirculated, causing additional damage before the system may be shut off.
Any component that fails while in service will cost a lot more to rebuild than if it were removed prior to failure and refurbished. Typically, internal parts of the component will be damaged through a hard failure and may not be salvaged during the refurb. In fact, a major failure could result in the entire unit being deemed uneconomical to fix, consequently pushing up the bill to bring everything back online.
Pushing the Boat out
It can sometimes be safe to extend service life over and above that which is recommended by the manufacturer, but only if condition-based monitoring is implemented carefully and conscientiously. This can be achieved by analysing the debris rate within the oil.
If there is any doubt as to the condition of hydraulic pumps in your system now, or if condition-based assessment is not part of your plan, it's best to schedule a comprehensive analysis and repair before it's too late.