Effective Preventive Maintenance

Effective Preventive Maintenance

 Effective Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance (PM) of a hydraulic system is very basic and simple and if followed properly can eliminate most hydraulic component or system failure/problems. Preventive maintenance is a discipline and must be followed as such in order to obtain results. We must view PM programs as performance oriented and not activity oriented. Many organizations have good PM procedures but do not require maintenance personnel to follow them or hold personnel accountable for the proper execution of these procedures. In order to develop a preventive maintenance program for your system you must follow these steps:
First: Identify the system operating condition.
Does the system operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? 
Does the system operate at maximum flow and pressure 70% or better during operation?
Is the system located in a dirty or hot environment?

Second: What requirements does the equipment manufacturer state for Preventive Maintenance on the hydraulic system?
Note: Use the equipment manufacturer recommendations as a basis for your PM Program however your PM Program should be based on "Specific Failure Modes".

Third: What requirements and operating parameters does the component manufacturer state concerning the hydraulic fluid ISO particulate? 
Fourth: What requirements and operating parameters does the filter company state concerning its filters’ ability to meet this ISO requirement? 
Fifth: What equipment history is available to verify the above procedures for the hydraulic system?

As in all preventive maintenance programs, we must write procedures required for each PM task. Steps or procedures must be written for each task, and they must be accurate and understandable by all maintenance personnel from entry level to master.

Preventive maintenance procedures must be a part of the PM job plan, which includes;
-A list of preventive maintenance tasks for a hydraulic system could be:
-Change the hydraulic filter (could be the return or pressure filter). 
-Obtain a hydraulic fluid sample. 
-Filter hydraulic fluid. 
-Check hydraulic actuators. 
-Clean the inside of a hydraulic reservoir. 
-Clean the outside of a hydraulic reservoir. 
-Check and record hydraulic pressures.
Sample preventive maintenance procedure
Preventive maintenance is the core support that a hydraulic system must have in order to maximize component life and reduce system failure. Preventive maintenance procedures that are properly written and followed properly will allow equipment to operate to its full potential and life cycle. Preventive maintenance allows a maintenance department to control a hydraulic system rather than the system controlling the maintenance department. We must control a hydraulic system by telling it when we will perform maintenance on it and how much money we will spend on the maintenance for the system. Most companies allow hydraulic systems to control

Please comment on your experience "Maintaining Hydraulic Equipment" at an "Optimal Level".

The Author: Ricky Smith CMRP, CMRT, CRL
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