For owners and operators of industrial machinery or mobile equipment, accurately identifying components in need of replacement can result in a frustrating scramble for paper manuals or misplaced documentation. Typically, removing the failed component and driving it to a dealer or repair center for identification and replacement is the only option. This however can be time consuming and come at a significant expense to the operation.  These are the unfortunate and realistic challenges of supporting many different pieces of multi-branded equipment. Additionally, planning for and documenting appropriate inspection and maintenance incidents can be a cumbersome and arduous process, which can lead to safety or other compliance issues and result in unplanned downtime and unnecessary expenses.

Systems approach and control integration

Most industrial markets share common issues: to minimize operational downtime, to better identify hydraulic and related systems due to inexperienced or untrained staff, to identify MRO sourcing plans and to perform appropriate and timely scheduled maintenance. 

Awareness has been heightened to the need for regular component inspection and replacement, especially in regulated markets such as oil and gas and mining. Operators are being held to a higher standard with respect to routine maintenance and traceability of key system components.

Some companies attempt a pro-active approach using spreadsheets, paper forms or tags to document their hoses or critical components. Unfortunately, these methods are not very effective, can be cumbersome to administer, may not last and do not inform staff when preventative maintenance is required nearly as efficiently as needed. 

In October 2009, Parker Hannifin’s Hose Products Division launched the Parker Tracking System (PTS), a global asset tagging and identification system comprised of a Web-based software application and highly engineered labels and printer systems. PTS is built on open, industry-standard software architecture and uses proven technology from Zebra and Motorola to generate unique product tags. PTS is used for nearly all Parker-manufactured OEM and distributor hose assemblies that the company makes worldwide.

Access to the PTS application is managed per customer, per site and per user for complete control and security.

PTS features a unique and visual alphanumeric identification code on each label. Using one of several trillion possible codes, no two hose assemblies will ever share the same PTS I.D. This allows Parker to uniquely measure performance in numerous environments or operating conditions. The system enables authorized distributors, dealers or otherusers to quickly and accurately replace a hose assembly by using only the PTS identification number found on the label. Barcodes and optional RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technologies are used to enhance identification and reduce errors.

It takes many years of experience and training to accurately identify a component by sight.  Without this knowledge, mistakes can occur, resulting in wasted expenses and lost productivity. By using PTS, every assembly can be replaced quickly, easily and exactly the way it was originally made, ensuring a perfect fit for the application.

PTS tagging can be supplied directly from Parker, authorized Parker distributors and select OEMs.

PTS labels are engineered for weather, chemical and abrasion resistance and extreme heat or cold. 

Tags include a variety of customizable information.  Each tag includes the PTS ID, assembly creation date, customer part number, barcode and customizable information.  Additional data is entered and stored in the secure online database, including:

  • Customer information
  • Bill of material/comments
  • Application data
  • Replacement details
  • Replacement history

To help understand equipment performance, powerful system-wide reporting tools are available for creating on-demand reports. These reports can include tags deployed by location or machine, past failures by asset or equipment type.

OEMs and operators can easily locate assets to be maintained, establish a standard cadence for inspection or replacement activities and attach critical linked files such as pressure tests, prints or application photos. Including as much relevant data as possible for each component saves critical time at the moment a replacement is needed. The PTS application holds all the data ready for the user to recall it to obtain an exact replacement.