Contamination Control: Are You A Victim Or A Volunteer?

Contaminated Hydraulic OilI don’t bang the contamination control ‘drum’ very much. Reason being, I think the message has reached saturation point – meaning that anyone who wants to listen has at least heard the message. And that’s a good thing.

But the other reason is, in isolation, contamination control is not a silver bullet for hydraulic equipment reliability. These days, best-practice contamination control is more like an accepted precondition for reliability. And given contemporary advances in technology for excluding and removing contaminants, it could be said that failure to control contamination is a failure of machine design, rather than a failure of … continue reading »

Hydraulics 101: The Importance Of The Unimportant Detail

how to heat hydraulic oil safelyDetails matter in hydraulics. A lot. Take a deceptively simple task like topping off the hydraulic tank. There’s one right way to do it, and 101 ways to screw it up.

Just in the last week I’ve had two emails from people with stories about cross-compartment contamination of the hydraulic tank. In the first, the hydraulic tank was topped off with diesel – by an apprentice who was apparently clueless; and in the second, the hydraulic tank was topped off with gear oil – by an owner-operator who foolishly thought whatever oil he had on hand would do.

Needless to … continue reading »

Hydraulic Conductor Configuration For Noise Reduction

hydraulic hoseNoise reduction in hydraulic systems often involves isolating the pump/prime-mover assembly using flexible mounts (isolators). In these cases, the use of hose is necessary to maintain the isolation between the pump/prime-mover and the rest of the system.

The flip-side to this though is, although long lengths of hose can reduce structure borne noise, hose is actually an efficient radiator in the frequency range where most of the energy is generated, typically around 600, 900 and 1200 Hertz.

In terms of vibration and noise conductivity, a long length of pipe or tube is the worst configuration. A long length of hose … continue reading »