One of the "facts of life" about hydraulics, is that productivity can drop and unscheduled downtime can occur any time your hydraulics:
And it's pretty common for hydraulic issues like these to get resolved through trial and error. Maintenance personnel adjust valve and pump settings, change out components, and maybe even add a heat exchanger... all without anyone understanding or addressing the issue's underlying cause.
As a result, it often looks like the problem has been fixed... only to have the exact same issue come back and bite us again after the hydraulics had been up and running for a while.
And when you have hydraulic problems, it isn't at all unusual for a machine to be down for hours, or even days, as settings are adjusted and components are switched out. If a component has failed, the equipment might be out of service for weeks as you wait for a repair or replacement.
This is all not only frustrating, but expensive.
Ask people to list the biggest problems with hydraulics, and the typical answers include leaks, noise, overheating, sticky valves, and breakdowns. But when you come right down to it, the biggest problem with hydraulics is that most people who work with hydraulic equipment have never been taught how hydraulic components and systems function.
Many mechanics, even those who have been working with hydraulics for years:
And, because the people working with hydraulic machinery and equipment don't understand hydraulics:
At the risk of stating the obvious, there are just two ways to downsize hydraulic downtime - you either prevent the downtime from happening, or you do a better and faster job of troubleshooting and fixing the problem.
While I have designed and taught "How to Design Hydraulic Systems" programs, my "Basic Hydraulics" courses spend very little time on the things you need to master in order to design hydraulic systems, and instead focus on answering the question "what do people working with hydraulics need to learn in order to downsize hydraulic downtime?"
And, under the category of "killing two birds with one stone," the things someone needs to understand and do to prevent hydraulic breakdowns are the exact same things that will keep your hydraulic components operating as efficiently as possible for as long as possible.
It goes without saying that no amount of training will ever completely eliminate hydraulic breakdowns, or keep each and every component in each and every hydraulic system operating at peak efficiency for the entire life of the machine. But for most companies, an investment in basic hydraulic training pays for itself over and over again.
How much of a benefit would it be to your company, if your personnel received basic hydraulic training that:
As with all good hydraulic training, my one-day, two-day, and three-day Basic Hydraulics courses all teach the "basics," including how hydraulics work, what the different hydraulic components do, common circuits, basic maintenance, and safety.
But the primary focus of all my basic hydraulics training is helping your personnel understand how to apply that information to downsize your downtime and keep your hydraulics as productive as possible.
To see if the training can help your personnel downsize your downtime, imagine for a moment you have a system with 3 hydraulic cylinders, and something goes wrong - your hydraulic fluid starts to overheat, and instead of all 3 cylinders extending, only the cylinder with the heaviest load extends.
Here's a hydraulic schematic that shows exactly what is happening after the cylinder with heaviest load has extended and the two cylinders with lighter loads have stalled:
If you answered "no" to any of these questions, our basic hydraulic training can definitely help your personnel do a better and faster job of troubleshooting, along with helping them prevent hydraulic problems.
In addition, your personnel will learn how to read hydraulic schematics, understand the most common causes of hydraulic component failure, and learn 6 steps to keep your hydraulic components and systems operating as efficiently as possible for as long as possible.
Helping your personnel downsize your hydraulic-related downtime is a simple 4 step process:
2) After we discuss your training needs with you, we'll email you a proposal for 1-day, 2-day, and 3-day training sessions conducted at your facility.
3) If you'd like one or more of your schematics included as an integral part of the training, you'll send the schematic(s) to us.
4) We'll conduct the training at your facility.
Most companies schedule hydraulic training so their maintenance personnel can do a better and faster job of troubleshooting and fixing hydraulic problems.
The thing is, most hydraulic problems damage the internal workings of your hydraulic components, and generate additional contamination that almost always causes more problems down the road.
A key part of downsizing hydraulic-related downtime is having equipment operators, plant engineers, and maintenance personnel all understand what it takes to keep hydraulic problems from occurring - if you can keep that first problem from popping up, you won't have a second one. When it comes to hydraulics, that old adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" should be "an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure."
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