Hydraulic systems and crimpers do very
important, very high-risk work. Preventative maintenance on these items is
crucial for safety and reduced chance of failure, which would lead to downtime.
Don’t run the risk, check out these tips to stay safe and save money.
Hydraulic Hose Assembly Preventative
Hydraulic hose assemblies are the
lifeline of modern hydraulic systems. They carry fluids under tremendous
pressure to deliver power where it is needed. They provide the power to move
the earth, drill through rock, lift heavy loads, and enable complex production
operations once thought to be impossible.
Some modern hydraulic systems reach
pressures of over 10,000 pounds per square inch, and fluid temperatures can
reach 300+ degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, hose assemblies must perform under
all types of adverse conditions.
Typical applications for hydraulics
are subject to vibration and shock. Heat, cold, caustic solutions, and sunlight
are other factors that make life tough on a hose. If you add-in flexing,
bending, and physical abuse, you can see why hose failures are the most common
cause of hydraulic system problems.
Since about 50% of hydraulic system
downtime can be traced to hose or coupling failures, it’s obvious that
preventing these failures can save thousands of dollars in downtime
Preventative Maintenance Checklist:
Always turn off the equipment’s power
and release pressure in hoses. Chock tires if necessary Release pressure from accumulators
along with the system pressure Place equipment and components in a
safe or neutral position (use lock-out). Make sure components are not in
mid-stroke, mid-cycle, or holding a load Allow cool down time
Remove access panels and inspect hose
and fittings for leaks or damage (additional information found in Section
Look for: Hose abrasion, nicks,
blisters, hardness, color changes Look for: Leaks via puddles of fluid,
low reservoir, greasy dirty looking hose Look for: Routing – hose rub, high
heat sources, twisting or kinking, proper slack.
Repair or replace as needed. Inspect other hydraulic components. Inspect pump, cylinders, valves for
leaks and damage
Be aware of your equipment, always
looking and listening for anything unusual. Rely on your senses. Smell burning
oil? Is hose reinforcement showing? Is hose hot to the touch?
Crimper Preventative Maintenance
If cared for properly, a crimper
should last a long time. As with other types of equipment, it is important to
A typical crimper is a hydraulic ram
that uses fluid under pressure to extend the ram and crimp the fittings. Fluid
flows from the pumps to the cylinder under pressure. This extends the piston,
rod, and pusher down onto the dies or collets, and rings. Pumps can be manual,
electronically driven, or air driven.
Crimper Maintenance Checklist:
Regularly apply a high-pressure grease to the inside
surface of the die bowl or cone. Wear on dies or
collets can lead to out-of-spec crimps. When crimper is used in a dirty and
dusty environment, occasionally clean out existing grease in the bowl and provide
a fresh layer. Use a high grade hydraulic oil and maintain
its level to within ½” of the top of the reservoir. Periodically inspect the dies or collets for
any chips, scratches, gouges, or cracks. Replace if necessary. Periodically inspect the hose assembly
connecting the pump to the crimper. If necessary, replace the assembly with one
of the same size and type. If there is a loss of crimper ram
force, first check the level of oil in the reservoir. Check the crimper for
leaks around the piston and cylinder. If there are no leaks and the reservoir
is full it may mean that the pump seals are worn and need replacement. Measure the nominal crimp diameter
approximately every 40th crimp made with each size die/collet. Match the
measurement with the manufacturers crimp specification chart to insure proper
finished crimp diameters.
Preventative maintenance can save you
time, money, and a headache. Not to mention, it helps promote a safer work
environment, as well.