How to Improve the Life of Your Hydraulic Pump
When a failure brings normal hydraulic piston pump operation to a stop, it can cost your business dearly. To help you prevent such malfunctions, let’s take a look at the difference between preventive and routine maintenance, as well as how a hydraulic system maintenance checklist with regular monitoring can safeguard pump lifespan.
Why Is Hydraulic Pump Maintenance Important?
Performing maintenance ensures that the hydraulic pump operates at its maximum efficiency. This helps maintain optimum performance of equipment and machinery, reducing energy consumption, and preventing any downtime.
Proper maintenance also extends the lifespan of hydraulic pumps by minimising wear and tear. Regular inspections, lubrication, and checks on components help identify any potential issues before they become major problems.
Neglecting hydraulic pump maintenance can lead to expensive repairs or even replacement if the damage becomes severe enough. Routine maintenance helps in the early detection of issues such as leaks, overheating, or contamination that can be addressed promptly, thus avoiding costly breakdowns.
Additionally, regular maintenance ensures the reliability of hydraulic systems. By identifying and resolving issues in advance, the risk of unexpected equipment failure is reduced. This helps to minimise downtime, increase productivity, and improve overall operational efficiency.
Equally important, hydraulic pumps often operate under high pressures and can pose a safety risk if not properly maintained. Regular inspection and maintenance ensure that all safety features are functioning correctly, reducing the likelihood of accidents or injuries.
Preventive vs. Routine Maintenance
Preventive maintenance and routine maintenance are both important aspects of equipment upkeep, but they differ in their purpose and approach.
Preventive maintenance focuses on proactively identifying potential issues before they cause major problems or breakdowns. It involves regular inspections, servicing, and replacing or repairing components that show signs of wear or deterioration. The goal is to prevent unexpected failures, optimise performance, extend equipment lifespan, and reduce repair costs.
Routine maintenance, on the other hand, focuses on performing basic tasks to keep equipment running smoothly and ensure its reliability. These tasks are usually performed at specific intervals and involve standard procedures that do not require extensive diagnostics or in-depth inspections.
Hydraulic Pump Checklist
- Inspect for leaks.
- Check hydraulic oil level and quality.
- Check and maintain proper filtration.
- Lubricate moving parts.
- Inspect belts and pulleys if applicable.
- Check for abnormal noises or vibrations.
- Check operating temperature.
- Inspect seals and gaskets.
- Verify pressure levels by monitoring pressure gauge readings.
- Perform regular maintenance tasks.
- Conduct performance tests when needed.
- Maintain accurate maintenance and repair records.
How to Monitor Hydraulic Systems and Prevent Failures
In addition to following a maintenance schedule, it is important to use one or more of the following types of preventive maintenance program monitoring to extend the life of your hydraulic systems and pumps:
The primary purpose of vibration monitoring is to assess the condition of machinery and identify any potential issues or faults before they lead to failures. By analyzing vibration patterns, frequencies, amplitudes, and other characteristics, maintenance professionals can gain valuable insights into the health and performance of equipment.
Make sure pump vibrations are at normal levels. Various hydraulic pump vibration analysis tools can help you identify deviations outside acceptable ranges.
For certain pump systems, special sensors can be used to provide data about the pump, fluid life, and more, directly over a Wi-Fi connection and into a monitoring app. You can set up alerts on the app to let you know when something is out of normal operating parameters.
Condition monitoring is a proactive maintenance approach that involves continuous or periodic monitoring of various parameters and performance indicators to assess the health and condition of machinery or equipment. Use portable and fixed-condition monitoring solutions to identify potential pump failures and plan maintenance and part replacement prior to breakdowns.
Hydraulic fluid levels, condition, and quality are often directly related to the likelihood of pump failure—monitor these! The fluid should be replaced as needed, especially if there are signs of contamination.
When to Replace Hydraulic Pumps
Some signs that indicate it may be time to replace hydraulic pumps include:
- Increase in noise: If you notice an unusual increase in noise coming from the hydraulic pump, such as grinding, banging, or squealing sounds, it could indicate internal mechanical issues. These issues might not be repairable and may require replacing the pump altogether.
- System slowing down: If you observe a decrease in the overall speed or performance of your hydraulic system, it could suggest wear or damage to the pump’s components.
- Rise in temperatures: An unexpected rise in operating temperature can signal excessive friction or fluid flow restrictions within the hydraulic pump. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can lead to accelerated wear and damage.
- Significant wear or damage: If critical components of the hydraulic pump, such as pistons, valves, or seals, are excessively worn or damaged beyond repairable limits, it’s generally more cost-effective to replace the entire pump rather than trying to fix individual parts.
- Continuous breakdowns or failures: If a hydraulic pump consistently fails despite repeated repairs and maintenance efforts, it may be an indication of underlying issues that repairs will not resolve. In such cases, replacing the pump might be a better long-term solution.
- Reduced performance: A decline in fluid pumping efficiency or performance could signal internal wear within the pump itself or clearances increased beyond acceptable levels. If attempts at optimisation have been exhausted without improvements in performance levels, replacement may be necessary.
Invest in Quality Parts for Reliable Operation
It’s also important to keep a stock of replacement parts, pumps, and other essentials for operation. High-quality parts can be ordered directly from the hydraulic experts at White House Products, Ltd. Browse our products online or call us today at +44 (0) 1475 742500.
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