A hydraulic machine has lots of moving parts to maintain. In fact, a hydraulic system is one of the most complex systems to maintain effectively. And here’s one more item to add to the list: the machine’s drawings. A machine’s hydraulic (and electrical) schematic diagrams don’t wear out, but they do tend to become inaccurate over time.
Even absent a major refit or redesign, it is not unusual for minor changes to be made to the hydraulic circuit over the course of the machine’s life. This could involve: change in make or model of components; additional filtration-or a reduction in filtration components, if, for example, a suction strainer is removed; re-routing of conductors-drain lines for example; installation of additional cooling capacity or the installation of pressure test points, oil sample points and other maintenance accessories.
In a perfect world, a drawing would be updated as and when changes are made. But this is easier said than done. Especially when you don’t have the drawing in electronic format and/or the necessary software to change it. That said, there really is no excuse for not keeping a change log. In its simplest form this is a written record of what was changed, by whom and the date. That way, even if the drawing itself is not accurate, there is an accompanying list of what section(s) of the drawing no longer represent the actual circuit. Not only is this helpful to a technician who may be relying on the drawing as a troubleshooting aid, it can also be handed to a drawing office at some point, so the drawing can be effectively updated.
An accurate drawing has a certain inherent value. But this value is depreciated the less accurate it becomes. So while this is one maintenance task that can be neglected up to a point, it should be not neglected indefinitely. Doing so can be a costly mistake. And to discover 6 other costly mistakes you want to be sure to avoid with your hydraulic equipment, get “Six Costly Mistakes Most Hydraulics Users Make… And How You Can Avoid Them!” available for FREE download here.