The Hydraulic Troubleshooting Silver Bullet

ts-appshortI get a lot of questions about troubleshooting hydraulic problems. This one showed up the other day:

“What is the most effective and efficient method to diagnose internal leakage on a hydraulic machine – without the aid of diagnostic tools, such as pressure gauges and flow meters.”

It’s not a bad question. But upon deeper analysis it smacks of ‘silver-bullet’ seeking. The revealing phrases are “most effective and efficient method” and “without the aid of diagnostic tools…”.

It’s human nature to seek maximum gain from minimum effort. Even if it’s not realistic. And since my job here is to entertain as well as inform, I’ll give you my quick ‘n easy, silver bullet answer first:

I’ve developed and patented a special troubleshooting paint.… continue reading »

Hydraulic Troubleshooting: First Things First

The Hydraulic Troubleshooting HandbookOne of our members wrote to me regarding the following problem:

“We have a hydraulic system that operates two cylinders. The maintenance staff recently reported that the pump (piston-type) had failed – for reasons unknown at this time. The tank, valves and cylinders were cleaned and a replacement pump installed. The new pump is delivering a maximum pressure of 1,000 PSI and appears to be creating heat. Can you suggest some tips to find a solution to this problem?”

In any troubleshooting situation, no matter how simple or complex the hydraulic system, always start with the easy things first. This ensures that the obvious is never overlooked.… continue reading »

2 Reasons Why Hydraulic Pump Change-Outs Must Be Scheduled

Mvc-385fA manufacturing company recently hired me to check the performance of four hydraulic pumps operating a large hydraulic press. The hydraulic pumps had clocked over 10,000 hours in service and the customer’s concern was that if pump performance was down, production would be too.

My test results revealed that the performance of all four pumps was within acceptable limits. So in my report, I advised my client that there would only be a minimal increase in productivity if the pumps were replaced. I further advised that the change-out of all four pumps should be scheduled urgently!

The foundation for this recommendation was that the pumps had exceeded their expected service life, and in the absence of an effective condition-based maintenance program, the probability of an in-service bearing failure was significantly increased.… continue reading »