Hydraulic cylinder maintenance is needed to keep your hydraulic system to function smoothly and efficiently. It will not only lessen the risk of harm in your workplace, but you will also save more money for repairs or replacement. Also, you will keep your operations running smoothly and avoid having downtimes.
So, for you to be spared from having to experience the hassle, here are five tips that you should remember to maintain and repair your hydraulic cylinders.
Keep The Oil in the Hydraulic Cylinders Clean
Maintaining oil levels is one of the simplest and most important things that you should remember. Most cylinder failures are caused by contaminated oil. So, you should filter the danged oil because particles usually move back and forth inside the cylinder. It is also essential to clean the oil the first time that you apply it on the cylinder.
Also, you can install high-efficiency filters in the system and make sure that they’re changed when needed. A differential pressure gauge or indicator can also help you know if a filter gets clogged up. It will also allow you to replace the filter before it goes into bypass (this happens when the oil passes unfiltered through the housing).
Check The Hydraulic Cylinders Regularly
Check the cylinder or rod for corrosion, uneven wear, and pitting. When a cylinder is heavily corroded, it could mean that there is too much moisture which can be found in either the air or the fluid. Having dampness in the liquid is worse as it can wreak havoc in your entire hydraulic system.
In addition, rod corrosion will hasten the wear and tear on the rod seal. It happens because of the damage done by friction to it and the wiper. Corrosion can also cause pitting on the rod aside from physical damage which can also damage the seal.
Uneven wear on the rod is usually caused by misalignment. The side load causes the rod to rub on the sides of the bearing, and it can prematurely cause wear to the bearing, seal, and the cylinder itself. Usually, a slightly corroded and damaged hydraulic cylinder can be refinished by re-chroming and polishing it. On the other hand, if it can’t be repaired, the last resort will be to take it to a cylinder repair shop.
Before you reinstall a cylinder, it would be better to find the root cause of the damage first. By doing so, you won’t have to repeat the routine of changing or taking hydraulic cylinders for repair.
Keep Extra Hydraulic Cylinders
If downtime can’t be avoided, it is wise to keep several spare hydraulic cylinders that you can rotate regularly. By doing so, it will keep your cylinders ready for use despite the likeliness of particle contamination or extreme temperatures while the system is operating. When one cylinder is removed from the system, it can be inspected, disassembled, and repaired if needed.
A cylinder that needs repair should have all of its seals replaced, and they make sense economically. By inspecting the components of the hydraulic cylinders regularly, you will have a better perspective on the condition of the rest of the system. For example, the presence of varnish is a sign that the cylinder oil is running at very high temperatures. So, you will need to adjust the operating temperature.
Take Care of Your Accessories
Accessories like brackets, clevises, ball joints, rod eyes and other devices that connect to the cylinder are also crucial. Whenever the pivot pin or clevis wears down, it will add more slop and play especially in the joints of the hydraulic cylinder. Aside from that, it will also cause the cylinder to misalign, which leads to faster wear or even damage it severely in some cases.
If your system requires high precision, having just a slight clearance between each joint can make it very jerky, add vibration, and cause the machine to be inaccurate. So, while you remove the cylinder for repairs, you should also inspect the accessories if they need to be replaced.
Check Your Lube Oil System
If you are using pneumatic cylinders which usually require their lubrication source, you should check and repair the lubrication system if it is needed. A standard hydraulic system will have a built-in filter or regulator assembly, which is very reliable. However, the cylinder can’t be lubricated if the reservoir has no lube oil. So, you should check the oil level regularly, and you need to fill it.
Even a reservoir that has enough oil provides is not a guarantee that your lubricator will work correctly, so you may need to test your oil line that exits in the FRL. You can do this by connecting a blow gun and spraying on a clean towel. You will know that you’re good to go if there is a patch of oil on the sheet. However, if it’s dry, you may have to check for clogs in the lubricator or replace it altogether. When you are inspecting any lubrication system, see if large amounts of oil aren’t being introduced into the system.
Doing the repairs by yourself is a good idea because it will spare you from having to spend more money. However, if you have no idea what you’re doing, you can’t find replacement parts or you don’t have the time to do it yourself, then you’ll need to call the professionals. Experts like the people from Ryco 24.7 will help you get back to your feet in no time. If you want to know more about Ryco 24.7, visit our website or call (02) 9605-5433.