This website is full of money-saving suggestions for improving the efficiency of your hydraulic systems and thereby lowering operating costs. So, in the interest of fair play, this article deals with some surefire ways to achieve exactly the opposite result – just in case you have money to burn.
#1 Change your hydraulic fluid by the calendar
This is a really efficient way to increase operating costs. It allows you to avoid the cost and effort involved in having fluid samples analyzed to determine their true condition while:
- maximizing your hydraulic fluid purchase and disposal costs.
- maximizing your environmental impact, and
- ensuring that component failures will always come as a complete surprise.
The efficiency of this method is based on the fact that hydraulic fluids only need to be changed when the base oil has degraded, or the additive package has been depleted. The only way to determine the status of either condition is to have the fluid professionally analyzed on a regular schedule. The analysis can also alert you to abnormal component wear, failing seals, and conditions like aeration and cavitation that can be remedied before they cause catastrophic damage IF you are aware of them.
But, if you have money to burn, dumping perfectly good hydraulic fluid on a regular schedule is a really effective way to accomplish your goal.
#2 Always assume “new” fluid is clean fluid
You know that no manufacturer would knowingly ship contaminated hydraulic fluid, so never bother to filter new fluid as you are adding it to your reservoir. After all, just because the fluids have traveled through many hoses and pipes before they reach your facility doesn’t mean they absolutely will pick up metal and rubber particles. They probably won’t contain flakes of metal or scale from drums and tanks either. And if they do, so what?, that’s what filters are for.
The money you’ll save by avoiding the cost of a portable filter cart fitted with high efficiency filters will be nothing compared to the money you’ll spend repairing component damaged by dirty fluids.
#3 Change your hydraulic filters by the calendar
This has all the benefits of changing fluid by the calendar, plus it eliminates the cost of a clogging indicator or differential pressure gauges or transducers that tell you the real state of the filter. Using this approach, you can maximize filter costs by throwing away perfectly good filters, and maximize repair costs by never knowing that a dirty filter is bypassing dirt into your system.
It’s a clear win-win for your cost maximization program.
And just in case you DON’T have money to burn
Filling your system with the cleanest hydraulic fluid possible, implementing a regular fluid analysis program, and backing it up with monitored filters installed in the right places gives you the best shot at minimizing your operating costs. Nothing lasts forever, but the investment required to keep your hydraulic fluid clean and up to spec will be repaid many times over.