Hydraulic systems are dependent on every part within the system, any small leak or failure from one piece will bring the system to a grinding halt. The fluids used in particular systems can even harm personnel nearby or the environment in the occurrence of failure. Valves are critical to hydraulic systems as they control the flow of hydraulic fluid through the system to perform work. A preventative maintenance program should focus on valves more thoroughly than any other component.
Reactive maintenance expects to run components to failure, often valves fail first, and then enact repairs while productivity is zero and then make up for lost production time later. This process is costly and usually fraught with high tensions. A preventative maintenance schedule uses time or specific conditions to “schedule” repairs and replacements. This scheduling process can be in terms of time; i.e. replacing seals and gaskets every 2 years, or it may be based on operations; i.e. after every 5,000 cycles, or both depending on which “schedule” comes first.
Industry data shows that performing maintenance on a scheduled basis is three to five times less expensive than the same repair being made on a reactive basis.
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