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Hydraulics Training Classes for Troubleshooting: When are they Needed?


Hydraulics Training Classes for Troubleshooting: When are they Needed?

Hydraulic systems are found everywhere — in industrial settings, vehicles, construction equipment, and buildings. All types of industries rely on hydraulic systems, including manufacturing, logging, steel processing, and paper mills. Hydraulics, which involves systems that use a pressurized fluid to perform tasks — is an efficient, cost-effective means to move equipment or parts repetitively.

Liquid fuel is surprisingly powerful. A pressure is applied to a contained fluid at a certain point, and that pressure is transmitted onto all parts of the containing vessel, thereby creating power. This force enables operators to lift heavy loads and accomplish otherwise difficult repetitive tasks.

Common types of hydraulic systems

The type of hydraulic system used in an industry depends on the task. Here are some examples:

  • Motors — Used where rotational force (torque) is needed; a motor converts hydrostatic energy into mechanical energy, pushing gears, vanes, or pistons connected to a crankshaft; used for augers, mixers, rolling mills, conveyors. Some hydraulic motors run on water, but most run on hydraulic fluid.
  • Circuits — Interconnected set of components to convey fluid. Fluid may be pushed under pressure through a hydraulic pipe, hose, tube, or pump to move heavy loads. System’s purpose could be to control fluid pressure or where fluid flows.
  • Pumps — Used mainly in mobile applications, such as cranes, forestry equipment, dump trucks, mining machinery, vacuum trucks, tractors, loaders, cranes, excavators, graders. Combined with a hydraulic pump, hydraulic motors create a hydraulic transmission.
  • Cylinders — Used for creating force in a linear motion. Hydraulic cylinders are found in mobile applications, including dump trucks, excavators, loaders, back hoes, dozers, and graders. Also used in industrial machinery industry.

Troubleshooting Hydraulic Systems

In troubleshooting hydraulic systems, experts recommend starting with the basics, which means remembering that most hydraulic issues are due to problems with pressure or volume. The technician should always refer to the fundamental laws of hydraulics, such as these:

  • In hydraulics, pumps create flow rather than pressure. It’s resistance to flow that creates pressure.
  • Flow determines actuator speed, while pressure determines force.
  • When fluid is under pressure, it will take the path of least resistance.
  • When a fluid undergoes a pressure drop, and moves from an area of high pressure to low pressure without performing work, heat is generated.

A Couple of Typical Hydraulics Troubleshooting Problems

As mentioned above, most hydraulic issues can be divided into two categories: pressure or volume. When pressure is too low to operate the machine properly, you’ve got a malfunction. For instance, if the pressure needed to machine a part is insufficient to perform the task, then the technician must determine why the speed is insufficient, and whether the speed is too low because of pressure drop or a volume issue.

Say a press requires 3,500 pounds per square inch (psi) to machine a part or compress a board, but the pressure only builds to 2,500 psi. If the issue is speed related, then a volume problem is most likely occurring. This means that either the pump is not delivering the required amount of oil or a bypassing is occurring somewhere in the system.

Sometimes equipment works intermittently, which can be difficult to track down. A loose wire, for instance, might be a common cause for this problem. A technician might notice the blinking of a power supply light and then infer that the motor was stopping due to a volume problem.

Learning Troubleshooting Techniques

The best way to train your team in the troubleshooting techniques discussed above is through formal training. Colleges and vocational schools offer programs that can help your key employees absorb the basic skills they will need to diagnose a wide range of malfunctions and typical problems with hydraulic systems. Formal training can also teach employees how to maintenance can prevent small repairs from becoming major breakdowns by catching a malfunction early. Training in principles of hydraulics, and the following topics, will help the technician accurately diagnose problems and effect repairs in minimal time:

  • Flow, pressure, and directional flow valves
  • Hydraulic cylinders, motors, and pumps
  • Accumulators
  • Hydraulic fluids and fluid conductors
  • Reservoirs, heat exchangers, and filters
  • Basic requirements of troubleshooting, troubleshooting guide
  • Pressure problems
  • Noisy pumps; cavitation and aeration
  • Noise control
  • Cylinder and circuit problems
  • Solenoid failure
  • Leakage control

In addition, a training should offer the student a mix of classroom instruction and hands-on lab exercises in a variety of topics, including meter-in and meter-out flow control, bleed-off flow control; two-speed control, sequencing circuit and sequencing with flow control, remote pilot sequence valve, and pilot-operated relief.

Ready to Start Training Your Workers in Hydraulics Troubleshooting?

Are you interested in your team attending a four-day seminar in hydraulics troubleshooting? Contact NTT Inc TODAY for more information about Hydraulics and System Troubleshooting.

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