How to Know if a Hydraulic Solution is the Right One

hyd_dwgThere are a lot of power transmission applications hydraulics has a monopoly on. But what about those applications for which there is viable competition from mechanical or electro-mechanical alternatives?

When biases such as ‘getting rid of the oil’ (and the leaks that usually go with it) and eliminating the need for in-house hydraulics expertise (which is getting harder to find and retain) influence end-users’ buying decisions, a hydraulic solution becomes much harder to ‘sell’.

Oil leaks and finding and retaining specialist expertise do impact life of machine ownership cost (LOMOC). And it’s LOMOC which should be the definitive guide for the end user when choosing between competing power transmission solutions.… continue reading »

Hydraulic Cylinders: Why Air and Oil Don’t Mix

hydraulic cylinder failureOne of our members who works for a hydraulic seal manufacturer wrote me this recently:

“We receive many seal-failure complaints. And while most of these failures can be attributed to installation, assembly, poor hardware preparation or even misuse of the product, we always try to educate our customers as to the cause of failure and provide them guidance to prevent future problems.

It’s not often that we receive seals returned with a dieseling failure but occasionally we do. And while it’s easy to spot the dieseling we can’t always explain to the customer exactly where and how it happened…”

As this member knows, when a mixture of air and oil is compressed in a hydraulic cylinder it can ignite and burn, or even explode!… continue reading »

How To Mount A Hydraulic Pump – For Life!

Not an ideal pump mounting positionA pet hate of mine is hydraulic power units in which the pump is made ‘lift’ the oil into its intake. In other words, mounting the pump above the tank or more precisely, above minimum oil level. Like a suction strainer, it’s another ‘engineered’ barrier which prevents the pump’s chambers from filling freely and completely.

According to most manufacturers, mounting the pump above minimum oil level is an ‘approved’ mounting position for most pump designs. ‘Approved’ meaning, the manufacturer says it’s OK to do it. But ‘approved’ doesn’t mean it maximizes pump life. Because making the pump lift its oil does the opposite.… continue reading »