Robert Sheaf

CFC Industrial Training

Robert J. Sheaf Jr., is the founder and president of CFC Insustrial Training, formerly Certified Fluid Consultants, part of CFC-Solar Inc. CFC-Solar provides technical training, consulting, and field services to any industry using fluid power technology. 

Troubleshooting Challenge: Accumulator Pre-Charge Changing
A mushroom farmer needed to solve the problem of their lift slowing down, and tried different methods to address possible issues with the HPU.
Troubleshooting Challenge: Compactor Return-Line Filter Problem
A large cardboard baler at a paper mill started blowing return filter elements off of the filter housing. The baler chamber would start off with little cardboard in it, then the large baler cylinder would extend until cardboard was compressed enough to cause hydraulic pressure to reach 4,500 psi. The piston rod would then retract based on pressure, not stroke position, for the next cycle.
Troubleshooting Challenge: Hydrostatic Side Thruster Stops Working
Despite flooding of the Ohio River this past spring, a large party riverboat was able to continue operating using its side thruster to facilitate docking, even though high forces from the rushing river occurred. But one day the thruster simply stopped working.
Troubleshooting Challenge: Lumberyard Stacker Cylinder Drops
A lumber company had an older yard stacker machine that they wanted to put back into service. The problem: The boom lift cylinder would drop when the operator also rotated the forks at the same time.
Troubleshooting Challenge: Elephant House Doors Open on Their Own
St. Louis Zoo officials asked Valtec Hydraulics Inc., St. Louis, to design a preventive maintenance program for hydraulic system in the zoo’s elephant house. A problem occurred after Valtec changed all five pressure filters during normal scheduled service.
Troubleshooting Challenge: Pump Keeps Losing Its Prime
Why wouldn’t the hydraulic pump hold its prime, and why did the flapper check blow out?
Troubleshooting Challenge: Pump-housing Cracking
A paper mill’s pump showed extensive piston barrel and shoes damage. But what caused it?
Troubleshooting Challenge: Speed Control Causing Unwanted Jolt and Pressure Spike 1
A casting plant used a simple two-speed circuit to extend a hydraulic cylinder at high speed, then shift to a slower speed for forming. The maintenance supervisor used the accompanying schematic to plumb the circuit.
Troubleshooting Challenge: Unexpected Pressure Loss while Testing A New Hydraulic Power Unit
In preparing for a retest of a hydraulic power unit experiencing quick pressure drops/rises, the oil was drained from the reservoir and panels removed, only to discover construction debris and beads of excess pipe dope at the bottom of the reservoir.
Troubleshooting Challenge: Hydraulic system causes structural failure
I was asked to examine and review the circuit design on a walking-beam conveyor system in a pipe mill that had one of two lifting cylinders suddenly drop. This caused one side of the structural frame to fracture, dropping a 60,000-lb coil of ½-in. steel into a pit.
Troubleshooting Challenge: Eroded Construction Plug Causes Manifold Leak
A mill that produces oil-field pipe is required to hydrostatically test the pipe with water according to ASTM standards. They used a hydraulically driven water intensifier to fill and test the pipe at pressure to 2,500 psi.
Troubleshooting Challenge: Hydraulic Motor Presents Problem on Coal Conveyor 2
A power plant has a conveyor that carries coal from a barge on the Ohio River to a storage pile. The beginning of the conveyor starts 10 ft below ground level and carries material up about 40 ft above the ground.
Troubleshooting Challenge: Drifting Cylinder Problem 3
A hydraulic system was designed and sold by a new sales engineer. The application required an ejector cylinder to remain fully retracted for a dwell period while the molded part cured. Once the part was fully cured, the cylinder would extend to eject the part...
Troubleshooting Challenge: Flow dividers keep breaking
An older four-post vertical press with a 6-ft daylight opening was designed with one cylinder on each corner of its platen. The cylinders extended to close the press and retracted to open. To keep the platen somewhat square and parallel with the press’s bed plate, a four-section gear-type flow divider was used to feed the cap end of the four cylinders.
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