Manufacturer of Hydraulic Presses

Hydraulic Press Leaks, Money Down the Drain

November 26, 2014

Can you afford to lose 420 gallons of oil in a year? If one of your hydraulic shop presses leaks just a single drop a second, that’s what you are losing over the course of 12 months.
 
Over all industries, it has been estimated that more than 100 million gallons of fluid is lost from all types of hydraulic and other types of lubricated machinery in North America annually. Figure half that is from hydraulic machinery. That’s a stunning 50 million of hydraulic fluid going down the drain each year.
 
What is this costing you as a business owner and the population as a whole? The upfront and long-term costs are formidable. Consider these:
  • money to replace the leaked fluid
  • increased capital costs
  • inefficient machinery operation
  • inefficient use of limited energy resources
  • damage to the environment
  • time, energy and money to clean up the damage
  • increased rate of accidents from spills and as a direct result of damaged equipment
  • shortened lifespan for equipment
 

Leaks Impact Your Bottom Line

Statistics tell the story. Mobil Oil conducted a study several years ago that determined the national Hydraulic Fluid Index for the U.S. is 4. On a practical level, that means that every piece of hydraulic equipment in a factory uses four times more than the equipment in reality can hold.
 
Figuring 50 million gallons of hydraulic fluid a year, at a cost of $5 gallon, means North American industry is wasting $250 million a year. Clearly, preventing leaks, finding them early and fixing them saves money in the long run.
Spills from leaks cause accidents and accidents cause downtime on the factory floor and costly liability issues. One more compelling statistic is the fact that each day in North America at least one machine operator slips on leaked hydraulic fluid. Consider the full range of costs each of the accidents involves:
  • downtime
  • lost wages
  • workers comp
  • medical bills
  • lawsuits
 
Spills also result in fires from pressurized hydraulic fluid that causes connectors, seals or hoses to rupture. If the fluid is petroleum based, it can produce a mist that extends up to 40 feet. Once it hits a hot surface, it can easily ignite causing a fire to erupt and spread in seconds.
 

Avoiding Leaks

Press Master, a leading hydraulic press manufacturer, advises its customers to schedule regular maintenance for all hydraulic machinery. Among other tasks, that includes checking filters, alignment, oil temperature, hoses and fittings.
 
In addition, highly complex equipment like a C frame press or H frame press needs to have the oil analyzed. Oxidation and contamination are the culprits for many hydraulic problems. Both can cause machine failure and leaks.
What is needed it careful monitoring four times a year, testing for viscosity, spectroscopic wear levels and water levels. The results should be compared to industry benchmarks. If problems are discovered, they need to be fixed quickly and completely.
 
Though maintenance and monitoring may seem like an added expensive, actually they are an investment in a longer lifespan for your equipment, a more efficient work flow, fewer employee accidents, less downtime and a cleaner environment for everyone.