Maintaining an efficient and good quality hydraulic system doesn’t have to be too difficult – firstly, you need to know what the normal parameters are for things like speed, pressures, sound and heat levels. Knowing these is important because you can monitor any changes that occur and then diagnose any problems from there. Your hydraulics system should be under constant and careful observation.
Preventative maintenance should be carried out regularly on any hydraulics system. There are certain checks, like fluid level checks and leak inspections, that can be quickly carried out every day in order to keep your hydraulics system working effectively. Some checks can take some time to carry out, but should still be done as regularly as possible, as they can provide data on any changes in performance which can then be used to determine potential or current problems. Complex tasks like these are often left undone due to their time consuming nature, which unfortunately can diminish the potential lifespan of the system.
Pump performance testing, system pressure settings checks, cylinder and motor wear condition monitoring, cleaning of the reservoir and fluid particle counts are all important checks and tasks that people choose not to do, resulting in the hydraulic systems running into problems much earlier in their lifespans.
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Another maintenance task that should be carried out on hydraulics systems is hydraulic fluid testing and lab sampling. When done correctly and thoroughly, it can save you money on any unnecessary replacements of filter elements, but can also tell you when to drain and replace the hydraulic fluid. It can also indicate pump problems, which avoids pump failure and, again, saves money in the long run.
Hydraulic fluid levels in the hydraulic system needs to be maintained as it not only provides the energy for the system to work, but also cools the entire system. Make sure to check the fill level as often as possible. Also, the hydraulics system should be checked for leaks – should you find one, avoid touching the surfaces near the leak, and return the system to a zero pressure state before inspecting the leak. Temperature is also an important thing to monitor – if all components seem to be functioning normally, then an increase in temperature might indicate an internal leak. This can then be checked and the problem can be resolved before it is too late and it causes any damage.