Every kind of repair that you conduct on your hydraulic equipment gives you an opportunity to collect vital data which can help you to tweak your preventive maintenance system. Such adjustments can help you to reduce the frequency of defects and repairs over time. This article discusses some of those crucial metrics which you should document after each hydraulic equipment repair.
You should track all the downtime on your hydraulic equipment. The information on downtime should be grouped into four categories. First, state the exact component which failed on your equipment. Secondly, record the exact cause of the defect and the solution which was implemented to fix that problem. Thirdly, indicate how long (in minutes) the downtime lasted. Lastly, indicate whether that specific failure could have been avoided.
You should also document the exact costs incurred during the downtime. How much did you spend on materials and repair parts? How much did you pay the technicians who performed the repairs? Indicate whether the payment was calculated based on regular pay rates or overtime pay for work done outside the normal shift of the technicians. You should also calculate the income which you lost because your equipment couldn't be used productively. For example, note down the income you lost based on the hourly rate at which your earthmoving equipment is hired at jobsites. Record any other cost which you incurred as a result of the equipment failure. For example, you may have hired security to protect the equipment after it failed at a remote location.
Hydraulic Fluid Parameters
It is also wise to conduct a hydraulic fluid analysis each time a component fails and you perform repairs. Fluid analysis should also be done routinely, such as once each month. Note down at least five parameters from that analysis. The first is the amount of water found in the hydraulic fluid. Secondly, record the level of particulates found in that fluid. Thirdly, find out the condition of the fluid in terms of its viscosity, the additives it contains and the extent of oxidation at the time of the analysis. Copper, silicon and iron levels in the fluid should also be tracked.
Plot the information above on a graph or any their system which can give you visual clues about how those different metrics may influence the defects you repair. In this way, you will be able to observe the link between certain trends and the faults which develop in the equipment. Make appropriate changes to your maintenance practices in order to remedy those underlying causes.