A systematic troubleshooting methodology needs to be enforced when a hydraulic system behaves erratically. That’s right, this is an issue that calls for intelligent forethought and a diagnostic temperament, not a reckless attitude that throws expensive spare parts at a floundering machine. Remember, modern hydraulic equipment is complex, so use a logic-driven approach to minimize downtime and ensure a cost-effective solution is engaged. To this end, here’s a guide that will help end users to avoid hydraulic troubleshooting mistakes.
Begin with the Obvious
Contrary to a reflex-like repair strategy, it makes no sense to begin the system diagnosis process by tearing down the equipment. Run the hydraulic gear to see if the issue repeats. Then, when the symptoms are readily apparent, look for obvious issues, such as a leak or a bad seal. Visual inspections reveal many problems, so don’t become a thousand dollars poorer by making an erroneous assumption, one that switches out a part that’s performing perfectly well, in the first place.
Understand the Laws of Fluid Dynamics
In the same way an electrician is versed in the laws of electrical resistance and power consumption, a hydraulics engineer has an in-depth knowledge of flow and pressure. This required skill set enables the diagnosing engineer to measure system variables properly, so fluid-related problems are quickly assessed and addressed. In short, engineering acumen illuminates the problem in a way that the naked eye can’t.
Don’t Shoot in the Dark
Again, the smart approach keeps costs down. A parts-swapping attitude only adds up to a pile of wasted spare parts and more downtime, so don’t gamble, not when replacement parts are expensive. A streamlined problem-solving strategy isolates the issue, so oil problems are evaluated and checked for degradation, not just changed because that seemed like the right thing to do at that moment. Similarly, don’t replace used oil with substandard hydraulic fluid. There’s a narrow band of properties and viscosity variables to account for, so the equipment will likely age faster and break down more often unless the chosen replacement fluid is selected from this narrow band of products.
A sealed fluid distribution system is a powerful asset, but it’s one that doesn’t easily submit to a problem-solving process, so avoid hydraulic troubleshooting problems by playing smart. Little system gremlins are always possible, but this unhappy circumstance doesn’t have to amount to a costly overhaul. Instead, use a systematic problem solving strategy, a methodical approach that streamlines the repair and promptly isolates the defective culprit.
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