It’s Time to Style Up Preventive Maintenance for Hydraulic Cylinders
Time to time, you’ll hear machine operators complaining of poor machine performance. Well, this is not that far-fetched as they really whine. Sometimes it’s just the cylinder; and a little check-up can bring the whole system back to normal functionality. And by the way, ignoring this seemingly minute inspection might cost you a screaming thousand dollars (or more).
Coming to think of cylinders, anything (unneeded) can be a problem. And you definitely know that every problem is a cost. Because of this, Stretched Perfections brings you a guide on how to extend your cylinders’ service life by applying these simple tricks.
- Regular inspections
I will say this again (and again if need be). Carrying out constant check-ups on your hydraulic system and each component helps note any adversity in advance. It is never too early to check the condition of the cylinders once in a while or more often. After all, huge gaping might cost you a fortune in repairs and replacements.
Check out the rod for wears, pitting or corrosion. Corrosion and pitting can amplify seal damage. Mostly, these glitches arise from misalignment; which causes load weight to impact on one side of the rod, causing uneven wear.
Consider re-chroming or re-polishing the rod if the wear isn’t intensive. Otherwise, get a reliable manufacturer like Stretched Perfections to produce another new hydraulic cylinder for you.
SOS: Fix the root problem first before repairing the cylinder. Otherwise you might find yourself doing repairs more often than necessary. If the cause was misalignment, straighten it first.
- Servicing the accessories
If it were not for the accessories, there wouldn’t be a cylinder. The point is that these fittings are nearly (or equally) important as the cylinder. It thus goes without saying that any wear on the clevis, pin, brackets, ball joints, rod eyes or any other connections can cause severe damages to the cylinder and the whole hydraulic system.
Watch out for vibrations, jerky and inaccurate motions as they might indicate joint misalignments which further causes fittings’ wear.
Replace or repair any damaged fittings during your maintenance routines. This will ensure a continuous running of your equipment and save you any downtime costs.
- Cylinder rotation
This is a definite sucker’s punch. Downtimes are a real nightmare to any hydraulic operator. But having some spare cylinders can save you all this mess. Do regular rotations by removing working cylinders and replacing them with fresh ones.
Disassemble the removed cylinders, examine them and do any repairs if necessary. These hydraulic cylinders should then be used in the next rotation.
Among other things, the cylinder condition reveals the situation in the whole hydraulic system. A varnish may indicate that the oil is operating under continuously hot temperatures. Particulate matter within the cylinder is a clear sign of contamination.
Take care of these before reassembling the cylinders.
- Check fluid and fluid contamination levels
Now this is serious. It’s easier to deal with low fluid levels that contaminated fluid. If the fluid is insufficient (and if this happens often), you might need to inspect the hoses and other adjacent components such as the pump and hoses for a leak. Be sure to repair these.
Save your hydraulic system by changing the hydraulic fluid every now and then, mostly after 2-3 days. It will help keep contamination levels at the lowest point.
Keep them tight. Seals keep most external contaminants at bay. Also, install a particle counter to monitor the level of particulate matter in the fluid. Better still, send bottled hydraulic fluid samples to local labs for contamination analysis to know the water, air and particle levels in the fluid. That’s not enough. You need to change or top up the fluid.
You don’t wanna miss this opportunity…
At Stretched Perfections, we take care of your equipment, their hydraulic systems, and individual systems. Whether it’s a new installation or a repair we’ve got your back. Just contact us; any time.