Although it is fair to say that preventative maintenance and reliability procedures play an important part in keeping hydraulic systems in tip-top shape, alone they are not enough to ensure that you will be free of problems. There are a number of additional reliability checks that should be performed while the system is running in normal conditions, which should be carried out to stop machinery failures from happening, and significantly lower instances of downtime. Here are some of the most important:
Examining the filter bypass valve
The vast majority of filter assemblies feature a bypass check valve, which is there to avert damage should the element get plugged up with various contaminants. It does this by opening up each time the differential pressure across the filter reaches the top spring rating value of the valve, which usually amounts to between 25 and 90 pounds.
If these valves were to fail, any oil in the system would bypass the element unfiltered. This is disastrous in terms of early failure of components downstream of the flow.
Luckily, most of these valves can be removed and inspected with ease, but when doing so, it is a good idea to refer to the manual, to ensure nothing is missed.
Length and condition of hose
It is important to check the condition of any hydraulic systems hose, as leakage is one of the most common problems experienced by hydraulic operators. It is one that can easily be avoided by properly assembling hoses, and monitoring them so that they can quickly be replaced when found defective.
It is also important to aim for a hose that is no longer than 4-6 feet, as hoses longer than this are more likely to rub against each other, or other parts, and this can cause them to malfunction early.
Check for correct clamping
Correct hydraulic pipe clamps are a must. It is not a good idea to use conduit clamps because of the vibration caused by hydraulic lines. Not only that, but it is also important to inspect clamps regularly, looking particularly for loose mounting bolts or broken clamps, which will need to be replaced immediately.
Although these checks may be simple, they are extremely important, and by carrying them out you really can keep your hydraulic equipment in much better shape, thus saving you time, and money, and increasing the efficiency of your operations.