« Knock-knock. Who goes there?  « I’m the breakdown! This hydraulic oil leak that will create your production stoppage « 

What is industrial equipment maintenance?

There is nothing worse than an unforeseen breakdown to carry out the maintenance of your industrial equipment. Whether or not you work in the industrial sector, you have obviously already heard about industrial equipment maintenance. Only, do you know exactly what it is? Do you know that more than 60% of industries use hydraulic systems? Anyway, industrial maintenance is full of surprises.

 

The importance of hydraulic equipment maintenance 

Currently, we are facing a great technological and computerized advent, that is why the maintenance operations of industrial equipment occupy an important place in our daily life. Moreover, the facts prove it. When hydraulic machines stop, even if only for an hour, productivity is down and at the same time it generates a big loss of money.

The principle of hydraulic maintenance 

The maintenance of hydraulic equipment is based on the principle that prevention is better than cure. In other words, it is better to maintain machines long before the first problems appear. Although a temporary stoppage is to be expected, it is always better than a total, or even prolonged, stoppage following a breakdown.

There are two types of hydraulic maintenance:
– Curative maintenance,
– Preventive maintenance.

As curative maintenance is carried out after failure, it mainly concerns repairs and troubleshooting. It is therefore a matter of emergency maintenance with a very important and harmful Man-Machine impact. This translates into an intervention that must be fast, which can rarely be the case depending on the resources you have (qualification of your technicians, delays in the availability of equipment to be changed at your suppliers as well as a lack of control of the intervention schedule of your external service providers).

Preventive maintenance, on the other hand, aims to reduce the probability of failure or degradation of a machine. It therefore aims to avoid having to resort to curative maintenance. We distinguish between systematic preventive maintenance, conditional preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance.

Who is entrusted with the maintenance of hydraulic equipment?

Preferably, the maintenance of hydraulic equipment should be performed by a specialist. Moreover, there are professional trainings in maintaining, and diplomas are actually delivered at the end of the course. However, if your means do not allow you to recruit a professional, you can always trust the usual user of the equipment concerned. Admittedly, the budget is different depending on the situation. And as you probably know, training is good, but with experience in the field it’s better!

The different levels of hydraulic maintenance 

A maintenance is also initiated in order to facilitate the decision making process according to the 5 levels of maintenance. Level 1 only applies to simple adjustments. It is generally recommended by the equipment manufacturer. Level 2 requires the intervention of a specialized technician, as it concerns the troubleshooting of materials by standard exchange of the planned elements. It is at the third level that faults are identified and diagnosed. Sometimes a component exchange is carried out, sometimes no exchange is necessary.

It thus carries out the repair of the equipment according to the recommendations previously established: standard exchange of the elements provided or modification of the part while respecting the safety standards recommended by the control bodies and the manufacturer.

For level 4, the work becomes more and more important, which is valid for both preventive and corrective maintenance. Thus, it is no longer entrusted to a single professional, but to a whole team. AMACH ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION could very well take care of it. Finally, level 5 involves renovations, reconstructions and repairs. Here, a maintenance workshop or even a service provider takes care of it.

In short, maintenance of industrial equipment is therefore an operation designed to keep the equipment itself in perfect condition at all levels. However, there are times when maintenance concerns repairs or troubleshooting. In any case, for any industrialist, it is a necessary task that should not be taken lightly!

HYDRAULIC BLACK BOXES: HOW TO CONTROL YOUR INSTALLATIONS & YOUR PRODUCTION

You have maybe heard of them or you may be equipped with them. However, do you really know what they are? (…)

Let me tell you a short feedback.

I visited an industrial a few years ago who, faced with a hydraulic issue with his installation. As a new employee, he didn’t have lot of information on his equipment and so far, he never used similar installation before. In addition to his, his company didn’t have any hydraulic archives or diagram of is installed. He spends a lot of time questioning his team to understand the problem on his installation and didn’t success. He lost his times and productivity because of this hydraulic black bloc.

 

Origin of your hydraulic black boxes

Very often, hydraulic black blocks, more commonly called hydraulic black boxes are sets of unidentified hydraulic components. By definition, a hydraulic black box can be a complex hydraulic power plant whose components and how they work are unknown to your teams. You can be equipped with black hydraulic boxes for several reasons

– Absence of archival documents due to the loss of your documents in paper or digital format

– Departure or change of position of your qualified personnel

– Modification of your hydraulic installation by your teams or an external service provider without this being mentioned in your diagrams and other documents.

Meaning so, a hydraulic black box can be a big issue that any industry can have without even knowing it. And as many reasons can cause you heavy damage.

What are the risks associated with your black box?

Some will say that « usually, when everything is going well, there is nothing to worry about ». However, on the contrary, it is better to prevent risks. Indeed, one of the main consequences that can harm you is above all the loss of production. When you have a breakdown, before you even intervene for maintenance, you must determine the type of breakdown: is it a mechanical, electrical or an hydraulic problem… is it a hydraulic pump that has failed, a motor and if so, is it a loss of pressure due to oil pollution or filter clogging that requires a stronger thrust from your pump?

 

The advantages: reactivity, anticipation and optimisation

In contrast to the example above, those who identify their black box will be able to better control their equipment, anticipate breakdowns and optimise their production by guaranteeing reliability and improvement. Moreover, the identification of your hydraulic black boxes is an absolute necessity when you wish to carry out maintenance or improvement operations on your hydraulic installations.

How do we support and solve our customer issue on their hydraulic  identification and improvement process?

The identification of your hydraulic black boxes is therefore essential to understand your manufacturing process, to arrange the technical elements of your machines, to be reactive in case of failure, to optimize the use of your hydraulic installations. Thanks to its hydraulic expertise AMACH support your team on the inspection and analysis of your equipment and hydraulic issue.

As a conclusion: you can have a black box sometimes without even knowing it. And as many reasons can cause you heavy damage. Therefore, waiting to the equipment stoppage before identifying each element of your installation is the worst idea if you wish to improve your productivity and ensure their sustainability.

 

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