Tuesday 24th May 2016
A large hydraulic pressing customer had major issues with pump failures in the hydraulic power packs of their press tools. The pumps only lasted 18 months before failing. Each breakdown cost £10k in repairs, downtime and loss of production. The customer was running five similar machines, losing them a lot of money.Filtration Ltd took samples of the 32cst hydraulic oil from a chosen machine. After analysis in our laboratory we determined an ISO code of 19/16/14, high above the recommended ISO code for this type of machinery. This would have a serious effect on the service life on any components the fluid sees. Under analysis the fluid showed both bright metal (new wear) and black oxidised (old wear remaining in the system) metal particles. This confirmed the theory that the current pressure line filter was not enough to remove the wear contamination occurring in the system. We fitted an off-line filter unit to improve the cleanliness, which showed a temporary improvement. Further sampling of the oil revealed contamination was being introduced into the system through clamping and ram operations. This dirty fluid was then being sucked up and passed through the pump causing unnecessary wear in a continuous multi-pass cycle. We installed an upgraded tank top breather along with a new filter housing combined with a good quality 5-micron element on the return line to the tank. The oil achieved an ISO code of 15/14/12. Further oil analyses every three months showed that the system was clean and stable. The service life of the pump has now improved to an average of four years and all five of the company’s similar machines have been fitted with the same filtration upgrade. Filtration Ltd saved the customer a lot of money in repairs and downtime.