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Hydraulic Maintenance Knowledge

May 19, 2005
(Preventive Maintenance)

People say knowledge is power. Well this is also true in hydraulic maintenance. Many maintenance organizations do not know what their maintenance personnel should know. I believe in an industrial maintenance organization that we should divide the hydraulic skill necessary into two groups. One is the hydraulic troubleshooter, they must be your experts in maintenance and this should be as a rule of thumb 10% or less of your maintenance workforce. The other 90% + would be your general hydraulic maintenance personnel. They are the personnel that provide the preventive maintenance expertise. The percentages I gave you are based on a company developing a true Preventive / Proactive maintenance approach to their hydraulic systems. Let’s talk about what the hydraulic troubleshooter knowledge and skills.

Hydraulic Troubleshooter:
Knowledge -
• Mechanical Principles / force, work, rate, simple machines
• Math / basic math, complex math equations
• Hydraulic Components / application and function of all hydraulic system components.
• Hydraulic Schematic Symbols / understanding all symbols and their relationship to a hydraulic system.
• Calculate flow, pressure, and speed.
• Calculate the system filtration necessary to achieve the system’s proper ISO particulate code.

Skill -
• Trace a hydraulic circuit to 100% proficiency.
• Set the pressure on a pressure compensated pump.
• Tune the voltage on an amplifier card.
• Null a servo valve.
• Troubleshoot a hydraulic system and utilize “Root Cause Failure Analysis”.
• Replace any system component to manufacturer’s specification.
• Develop a PM Program for a hydraulic system.
• Flush a hydraulic system after a major component failure.

General Hydraulic:
Knowledge -
• Filters / function, application, installation techniques
• Reservoirs / function, application
• Basic hydraulic system operation
• Cleaning of hydraulic systems
• Hydraulic lubrication principles
• Proper PM techniques for hydraulics

Skills -
• Change a hydraulic filter and other system components.
• Clean a hydraulic reservoir.
• Perform PM on a hydraulic system.
• Change a strainer on a hydraulic pump.
• Add filtered fluid to a hydraulic system.
• Identify potential problems on a hydraulic system.
• Change a hydraulic hose, fitting or tubing.

Tip provided by Ricky Smith CMRP


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