Manufacturer of Hydraulic Presses

What You Should Never Do During the Operation of a Hydraulic System

October 19, 2023

Hydraulic systems play a pivotal role in various industries, powering heavy machinery and enabling precise control in critical applications. In construction, manufacturing, or aerospace, the effective operation of hydraulic systems holds utmost importance for ensuring safety, efficiency, and overall performance. While knowing the correct procedures is crucial, it is equally vital to be aware of what actions to avoid during the operation of a hydraulic system. This blog post will specifically focus on one critical aspect that requires careful consideration: the actions and practices that must be strictly refrained from when dealing with hydraulic systems.

The Significance of Hydraulic Systems

Before we explore the "don'ts," let's briefly review the significance of hydraulic systems. These systems use fluids to transmit power, providing a means for controlled force and motion. Key components such as pumps, cylinders, valves, and hoses collaborate seamlessly to produce, regulate, and convey power in hydraulic systems. The merits of hydraulic systems encompass a remarkable power density, precise control, and the capability to transmit force across considerable distances.

A pivotal facet of hydraulic systems lies in their dependence on specialized hydraulic fluids, meticulously designed to meet the demands of high-pressure settings. These fluids serve not only to transfer power but also to lubricate moving components, disperse heat, and shield against corrosion. Considering the intricate nature and significance of hydraulic systems, it becomes imperative to handle them with precision, adhering to best practices to guarantee durability, safety, and peak performance.

Now, let's delve into the critical aspect of what you should unequivocally avoid when operating a hydraulic system.
While there are several considerations and practices to keep in mind, one overarching principle stands out: never neglect proper maintenance and care for your hydraulic system. Maintenance is the cornerstone of reliable hydraulic system operation, and neglecting it can lead to a cascade of issues, ranging from minor inefficiencies to catastrophic failures.

Now, let's break down this cardinal rule into specific "don'ts" to provide a comprehensive understanding of what actions to avoid during the operation of a hydraulic system.

Neglecting Regular Inspections

Regular inspections are the first line of defense against potential hydraulic system failures. Ignoring or delaying routine checks can allow minor issues to escalate, leading to costly repairs and downtime. Components such as hoses, fittings, seals, and fluid levels should be inspected regularly to identify signs of wear, leaks, or contamination.

Failing to Monitor Fluid Contamination

The hydraulic fluids act as the lifeblood of the system, and any contamination can result in severe consequences. Contaminants like dirt, water, and air pose a threat to the fluid's integrity, potentially causing reduced efficiency and damage to crucial components.

Overlooking Fluid Temperature

Maintaining the proper operating temperature is crucial for hydraulic fluid performance. Excessive heat can lead to fluid breakdown, reduced lubrication, and accelerated wear on components. On the other hand, low temperatures can increase fluid viscosity, impeding flow and causing sluggish operation. Implement temperature monitoring systems and ensure that the hydraulic fluid operates within the recommended temperature range.

Ignoring Manufacturer Specifications

Every hydraulic system is designed with specific parameters and tolerances outlined by the manufacturer. Neglecting these specifications, whether it's regarding fluid type, pressure limits, or component compatibility, can have detrimental effects. Always adhere to manufacturer guidelines for fluid selection, pressure settings, and overall system operation to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Neglecting Proper Fluid Maintenance

Hydraulic fluid is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Different systems and applications require specific types of hydraulic fluids with unique properties. Neglecting to use the right fluid or mixing incompatible fluids can lead to chemical reactions, reduced lubrication, and accelerated wear. Follow manufacturer recommendations for fluid selection and change intervals to maintain the integrity of the hydraulic system.

Allowing Air to Enter the System

Air in a hydraulic system can lead to a phenomenon known as cavitation, where air bubbles collapse under high pressure, causing damage to components. Avoiding air ingress requires proper bleeding and purging procedures during system assembly or maintenance. Regularly check for air pockets and ensure that the hydraulic system is properly bled to prevent cavitation-related issues.

Neglecting Hose and Fitting Integrity

Hoses and fittings are critical components of a hydraulic system, and their integrity is paramount. Overlooking signs of wear, such as cracks, bulges, or leaks, can result in catastrophic failures. Implement a proactive approach by inspecting hoses and fittings regularly, replacing any compromised components, and ensuring proper torque during assembly.

Disregarding Safety Procedures

Hydraulic systems operate under high pressures, posing inherent safety risks. Neglecting safety procedures, such as using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) or bypassing safety features, can lead to accidents and injuries. Always prioritize safety by following established protocols, providing proper training to operators, and conducting regular safety audits.

Overpressurizing the System

Exceeding recommended pressure limits is a recipe for disaster in a hydraulic system. Overpressurization can lead to component failure, leaks, and compromised safety. Ensure that pressure settings are within the specified range, and implement pressure relief valves to safeguard against unexpected spikes. Regularly check pressure gauges and address any deviations promptly.

Neglecting System Filtration

Proper filtration is crucial for maintaining clean hydraulic fluid and preventing damage to sensitive components. Neglecting or undersizing filtration systems can result in increased wear, reduced efficiency, and system failures. Invest in high-quality filtration equipment, monitor filter condition regularly, and replace filters as needed to ensure optimal performance.

In the realm of hydraulic systems, the "one thing you should never do" is neglect proper maintenance and care. Each of the highlighted "don'ts" contributes to the overarching principle of prioritizing the health and longevity of your hydraulic system. By adhering to regular inspections, monitoring fluid conditions, and following manufacturer guidelines, you can mitigate risks, enhance efficiency, and extend the life of your hydraulic system. Remember, the success of your hydraulic system depends on proactive maintenance and a commitment to best practices.