By Jeffrey Kenney, CFPIHM, CFPMHM, CFPMHT
Over the past 10 years, as I have visited customer sites to review issues for leaks, engineering services, and reverse engineering of hydraulic and pneumatic. I have heard a growing number of customers and end-users voicing their concerns about how messy their equipment is, how costly hydraulic oil is to keep adding to reservoirs as it leaks and how expensive energy costs are to run pneumatic and hydraulic systems when such inefficiencies exist. The question is often asked, “CAN WE REPLACE THIS EQUIPMENT WITH SOMETHING ALL ELECTRICAL AND CLEANER? “
I always respond by asking about their preventative maintenance programs. To me, these programs are like getting your annual physical exam with your doctor. If there is something wrong, it can be addressed and fixed before it gets too costly and messy.
All too often what gains a hydraulic or pneumatic system attention are the messes they create by poor maintenance and the high cost of upkeep. Both of these issues can be addressed and fixed by simple preventative maintenance programs that stop leaks and help keep energy waste at a minimum, not to mention the cost of hydraulic oils, utility bills, and the potential for hazards—slip, injection, and environmental hazards. Add all of this up and it just makes good common sense and safe practice to have your hydraulic and pneumatic systems scheduled for a yearly exam with the “doctor.” Treat your fluid power systems health just as seriously and continuously as you treat your own health.
Let’s keep our industry clean and under those radar screens that make customers and end-users ask about the alternatives. Together with a common sense approach and proper preventative maintenance programs and practices, we can keep people and the environment safe, and show our employers and customers that we, as industry professionals, take our fiduciary duty seriously.
Stay clean out there!