There are a number of errors that plants operating hydraulic machinery make time and time again, which means that many people in the industry must not be aware of the issues surrounding these simple mistakes, or how they can be corrected. With that in mind we have put together the following article of two of the mostcommon hydraulic mistakes to help you put the best practices in place:
Incorrectly set hydraulic pressures
On every single hydraulic system, there are a lot of adjustments that must be made. When a fault with the machine occurs, the hydraulic pump’s valves and knobs are adjusted in order to find out if this can solve the problem. Regrettably, the person adjusting these settings may have little idea of the effect that will be caused by them doing so.
Pressure in hydraulic systems is normally set higher than they need to be, with the thought being that the higher the pressure, the quicker the machine will run, However, the high pressure can actually cause the machinery system to go into shock, which can cause any number of malfunctions, or less than optimal conditions.
Correcting this common problem is simply a matter of setting the pressure to the right value as recommended by the manufacturer, or by an expert who known the optimum pressure for the application being carried out by the machine.
No hydraulic safety procedures of accumulator
When a piece of machinery equipment is repaired, the electric drive motor of the pump is turned off and lockout procedures are undertaken. However, it is rare for the pressure gauge of the machine to be checked before work on the machine is started. Accumulators store hydraulic energy as pressurized fluid, and most hydraulic machines have a manual or automatic dump valve, which will let the high-pressure fluid present in the accumulator dump out into the tank, upon which the pressure will fall to zero. If closed, the automatic dump valves can fail, which means that the accumulator will remain pressurised.
If this is the case, and a component is removed, a person can be injected with high-pressure oil, causing them to be seriously injured.
In order to avoid this, it is vital that a pressure gauge is located on the accumulator, so that employees can be certain that the pressure levels of the equipment are at zero, before they begin work on the equipment.