While “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” (thank you Ben Franklin!) we might say today, “a dollar of prevention is worth many thousands of dollars of downtime, shortened asset life, repair and maintenance costs and decreased productivity.” (A little long, but it’s true!) When it comes to your hydraulic systems, there are many factors that can compromise both the operation of your machines and the cleanliness, or purity, of your fluids.
One of those factors is contamination. Contaminant particles can be solids or liquids ranging from visible to too small to see with the naked eye. Contaminates can cause degradation of fluids and sluggish system function as well as decrease the range of motion of equipment parts. Overall, they reduce your system or equipment efficiency, leading to higher operating costs, lower productivity, more servicing and – worst of all – system failure.
That’s why your local ParkerStore offers two distinct services you should know about; services that can save you money and avoid problems in the long run, and even in the short run. They use the latest technologies that monitor and test your system so that it operates with maximum reliability and efficiency.
The two services are Fluid Analysis and Condition Monitoring. Depending on your operation, you may need one or both. Together, they offer a predictive maintenance program that will save you money and downtime.
So Just What is “Predictive” Maintenance?
The terms “Preventive” and “Predictive” maintenance are sometimes interchanged, but they are in fact different concepts. Knowing the difference can save you time and money.
Preventive maintenance is a popular concept. It helps prevent equipment failure by systematically replacing deteriorating components and/or identifying and correcting maintenance issues before they lead to system failure.
Predictive maintenance is proactive and the techniques are designed to help determine the condition of in-service equipment in order to predict when maintenance should be performed. In a sense, predictive maintenance encompasses preventive maintenance, but does it in a way that minimizes costs by performing maintenance only when necessary.
Implementing fluid analysis can help identify problems that cannot be detected by human senses and, in the end, can help prevent major hydraulic or lube oil system failures. The most obvious benefit is identifying any water or dirt in your fluid.
Whether you’re talking about petroleum-based or water-based systems, it’s important to realize ParkerStore fluid analysis equipment can help recognize potential problems that simply can’t be detected by the human eye. We can use fluid particle detection to measure particles down to four microns in diameter. (To give you an idea, a human hair is about 70 microns wide. Four microns would be as small as some bacteria.)
ParkerStores will test for water in your oil, which can cause corrosion, cavitation or even machinery failure; we’ll make sure the Total Base Number is high enough in your engine oils, to help avoid engine issues and corrosion of components. We’ll pinpoint the Total Acid Number: the weak organic and strong inorganic acids present within an oil – to help maintain and protect your equipment. We’ll test for insolubles like soot, and monitor combustion-related debris and oxidation products in your engine oils. We can also test for viscosity to determine a change in oil chemistry.
Condition monitoring can accurately pinpoint issues in your equipment, taking the guesswork out of the picture. Employing a condition monitoring system that measures and tracks variables such as system pressure, temperature and humidity is an effective predictive maintenance strategy, because it covers three critical bases:
- Provides real-time and historical data trends of assets and processes
- Allows operators to detect and diagnose any issues that could snowball into problems
- Delivers analytics and alerts to operators
Condition monitoring for predictive maintenance gives operators the power to predict and improve processes, so they can optimize systems and assets based on what’s happening in real-time rather than simply reacting to unexpected events – or fixing problems that may not even exist.
And, no more need to stock a full inventory of spare parts because, with condition monitoring in place, you’ll have plenty of lead time to plan and order the specific parts you need.
There are even more reasons to take advantage of the Fluid Analysis and Condition Monitoring services from your local ParkerStore. Ask your ParkerStore professional for more information on these services.
Watch the video and see Mike, our ParkerStore professional, explain how a predictive maintenance program saves you money and downtime:
Post contributed by:
Digital Marketing Specialist
Global Distribution & Sales Services, Parker Hannifin