Slow and steady leaks in hydraulic systems can drain profits for industrial enterprises. Equipment leaks can result in costly downtime, increased fluid usage, and higher waste and maintenance costs.

Battling leakage is difficult because of the many hydraulic systems and potential leakage points in manufacturing facilities. Maintenance technicians need to be organized to deploy maintenance resources efficiently. Following are several key tips that can help you more effectively monitor and track equipment leakage and limit its negative impact on the bottom line.

Identify each system

To begin tracking, catalog all major hydraulic systems and assign them a registration number. The registration number will simplify recording of oil consumption. Also, measure or estimate oil capacity for each system.

Acceptable leakage rates are largely proportional to capacity. Label each reservoir with the correct fluid and assign a registration number. Include a bar code on the label for the registration ID to facilitate data collection.

It is important at this point to consider the project scope. Attempting to track every gallon used may overburden lubrication personnel and slow progress. Limit systems in the program to those that are likely to represent the most significant portion of leakage in the plant.

Typically, the largest hydraulic and circulating systems are most prone to leakage, so they should be monitored closely.

When it comes to hydraulic equipment, recognize that the majority of operational failures result from water or air contamination. It is essential to identify leakage points quickly to help minimize the chances that air, water, or other contaminants will enter the system and disrupt its operation and performance.

Identify each system

To begin tracking, catalog all major hydraulic systems and assign them a registration number. The registration number will simplify recording of oil consumption. Also, measure or estimate oil capacity for each system.

Acceptable leakage rates are largely proportional to capacity. Label each reservoir with the correct fluid and assign a registration number. Include a bar code on the label for the registration ID to facilitate data collection.

It is important at this point to consider the project scope. Attempting to track every gallon used may overburden lubrication personnel and slow progress. Limit systems in the program to those that are likely to represent the most significant portion of leakage in the plant.

Typically, the largest hydraulic and circulating systems are most prone to leakage, so they should be monitored closely.

When it comes to hydraulic equipment, recognize that the majority of operational failures result from water or air contamination. It is essential to identify leakage points quickly to help minimize the chances that air, water, or other contaminants will enter the system and disrupt its operation and performance.

Install meters on filling devices

When beginning a leakage and monitoring program, maintenance personnel should install a flow meter to accurately measure the amount of lubricant added to a reservoir and limit its negative impact on the bottom line.

Flow meters are common lubricant dispensing mechanisms available from suppliers. As lubricant is dispensed, a flow meter tracks the amount of fluid that is dispensed on an analog or digital readout. This gives the operator a precise calculation of oil dispensed for each point requiring lubrication.