Hydraulics Know-How: Just-In-Case versus Just-In-Time

hydraulics manualsOn a recent flight, I listened to an audio recording in which a business coach talked about just in time versus just in case learning. His premise was, when an entrepreneur or manager is starting and/or growing a business, there is much to learn – but the time available to do so is scarce. So this coach’s suggestion was to learn what you need to know – as and when you need to know it – something he referred to as just in time learning, as opposed to spending scarce time learning about something which may be useful to know … continue reading »

A Simple Way To Remove Water From Hydraulic Oil

how to heat hydraulic oil safelyIf you’ve worked with hydraulic equipment for any length of time, it’s likely that you’ve come across a hydraulic system with cloudy oil. Oil becomes cloudy when it’s contaminated with water above its saturation level. The saturation level is the amount of water that can dissolve in the oil’s molecular chemistry and is typically 200 to 300 ppm at 68°F (20°C) for mineral hydraulic oil.

Note that if hydraulic oil is cloudy it indicates that a minimum of 200 – 300 ppm of water is present. I recently audited a hydraulic system with cloudy oil that was found to contain … continue reading »

Why You Should KNOW Your Hydraulic Oil’s ‘A.N.’

hydraulic oil drumThere are generally two conditions which necessitate an oil change. One of these is oxidative degradation. And the only way to know if the oil’s life has expired based on this condition is to do regular oil analysis.

A hydraulic oil’s oxidative condition is determined by an absolute measure of its total acid concentration. When oxygen combines with hydrocarbon molecules a chain reaction occurs, which results in the formation of organic acids. These substances darken the oil, increase viscosity, reduce foaming resistance and air release, and form varnish and sludge. In other words, the oil becomes unserviceable.

The total acid … continue reading »