Pumps are the heart of hydraulic systems. When the pump fails, the entire system is down until the pump is operational again. This poses a serious threat to any operation relying on hydraulic systems for productivity. Recently, a hydraulic valve manufacturer was losing 25 pumps a year on their centralized hydraulic system at a cost of $2,440 each. That’s only the pump cost, when you account for maintenance resources, lost oil and lost production each failure costs ~$25,320.
Today’s oil suppliers are often required to provide fluid at or below a specified ISO Cleanliness Code. One such supplier was experiencing short filter element life (15 days) on the system (7 element multi-round housing) used to achieve the required ISO Cleanliness Code of 18/16/13 in a single pass as 15W-40 oil is transferred from their bulk storage tanks to tanker trucks for delivery.
An automotive stamping plant operating large presses to produce body panels was experiencing high surface finish defect scrap. Lubricating oil contamination was causing surface imperfections that would be visible after painting.
The uncoiler / washer lube oil system was protected by an off-line filtration system fitted with CJC stacked disc cellulose media filter inserts (elements). Oil analysis revealed an operating ISO code of 23/19/11. Patch analysis showed cellulose fibers were shedding into the oil from the filter inserts downstream of the filtration system.
The ApplicationAn Australian aluminum refinery was consistently performing premature gearbox lube oil changes on 7 base drive units due to oil and particulate contamination. With an average operating ISO code of 20/18/16 and average water levels of 4742ppm, the 360 liters / 90 gallons of ISO VG320 gear oil was being changed far too often. Cost per gearbox oil change (excluding crane, lost production, labor) is $17,962.60 which adds up to $125,738.20 for all 7 units.
A hydraulic valve manufacturer required pristine fluid (< 14/12/9) to test flow across an 80 micron orifice on their test stand. Gross amounts of contamination in the fluid would skew the test results, invalidating any data collected. The system held 100 l (26.4 gal) of ISO VG 32 fluid with a flow rate of 25 lpm (6.6 gpm).
Through observing the manufacturer’s sampling practices, discussing fluid handling best practices and interpreting their lab reports; 3 independent problems were identified:
Do you have trouble translating your fluid analysis reports into useful information you can act upon? If you were to notice high levels of Ba on your report would you know what it is and where its likely coming from? If you could use a hand we’ve got the perfect tool in our new Fluid Analysis Reference Guide.
Topics: Fluid Analysis
One of our V1S vacuum dehydrators was recently put to the test in a marine application with hydraulic oil contaminated by more than 2500 ppm of water. Sink or swim? Find out below.
The Problem- When a seal fails on your net hauler hydraulics out at sea, the costs and lost profits stack up quickly. In this instance, salt water began entering the hydraulic fluid on a 245 ft (75 m) purse seiner through a seal leak, rendering the net hauler out of commission. Faced with frequent fluid exchanges at a cost of $9300 plus disposal, or worse, substantially larger lost profits from downtime for replacement of the seal, the vessel owner was in desperate need for a solution to allow him to continue operating without fear of malfunctioning equipment.
Subpar fluid handling practices and inadequate filtration are the leading cause behind system reliability issues today. Contaminated hydraulic fluids foul valves and other components causing them to eventually fail and bring your production process to a screeching halt. This also happens when contamination within lube oils damages the system components the fluid is meant to protect. Your hydraulic fluids and lube oils are the lifeblood of your systems, and on a larger scale your entire operation, so they should be cared for as a precious resource from reception to disposal. One of the best ways to reduce contamination in your system is to prevent it from ever entering it in the first place so let’s discuss the best practices for receiving and storing new fluids.
Topics: hydraulic fluid, contamination, water in oil, fluid cleanliness, water, dirt, Water Contamination, hydraulic filters, iso cleanliness codes, ISO Fluid Cleanliness Codes, maintenance, new oil, filtration
The Hy-Pro Filtration Contamination Tool is now available for download on your iPhone or Android.
What can you do with the app?
- Calculate the amount of contamination passing through system components annually by specifying current flow rate, daily hours of operation and ISO fluid cleanliness code.