5 Maintenance Tips for Your Hydraulic Press

Hydraulic Press

Whether you’re in manufacturing, ceramics, or in the business of building aircraft, chances are you’re using a hydraulic press every day. This mechanical machine has become integral to so many industries, from sword making to refrigerators and electrical parts – a good deal of daily items wouldn’t exist without them. No doubt if you own or run a hydraulic press, you’ll know the importance of keeping it in optimal condition.

The benefits of preventative maintenance

Preventative maintenance is fixing the problem before it becomes an issue. Press operators will be the first to tell you that this kind of maintenance is the key to having a successful day on the job, but this goes for all hydraulic equipment. Whether you’re in construction, agriculture, or electronics, the benefits of preventative maintenance are three-fold.

  • Less equipment downtime. Getting to the problem before it gets to you will decrease machine downtime and boost productivity.
  • Longer machine life. Preventing issues from arising during runtime will extend machine life over the long term.
  • Improved safety. Fulfil your obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act by providing a safe workplace – improving, and optimising maintenance techniques and processes will mean less chance of injury on the job.

Hydraulic press maintenance tips

A press operator will be quick to tell you that not all hydraulic presses are the same – and it’s true: different machines require different kinds of maintenance depending on how they’re made and what they do. It’s important to carry out maintenance as soon as something doesn’t look or sound right. Abnormal vibrations or sounds should all warrant a check over. With that in mind, here are 5 key tips on how to maintain your hydraulic press.

  1. Check the oil

 

Oil is key to the running of the hydraulic press, without it – nothing works. Make sure it’s properly topped up. Check the machine manual or oil tag for the right grade. You’ll also want to make sure your oil is clean. Dirty oil is a common cause of press malfunction and can reduce the machine’s life dramatically. Oil sampling should be done at least once a year to determine the quality and lubricity.

  1. Monitor the oil temperature

 

Oil must be at the correct operating temperature for proper use. If it’s not cool enough, the oil won’t have the right viscosity to ensure moving parts aren’t rubbing or grating against each other. Ensure the oil is cool enough by checking the radiator and cleaning built-up dirt and dust. Clean airflow in and around the machine is key to ensuring proper function.

  1. Watch out for leaks

 

Check for leaks around the press ram, valve seats, hose fittings, and hydraulic lines on a regular basis. Leaks are usually the first sign that something is wrong internally. If you discover a leak, make fixing it a priority.

  1. Monitor the pressure

 

A press in working condition should build up pressure in a relatively short amount of time – roughly 0.5 to 1 second. If it takes any longer than this, or you notice a delay, stop work, and inspect immediately. More often than not it’ll be a pump related issue, but be sure to give the whole machine a once over. Inspect the motor and relief valve if the pressure continues to be slow.

  1. Check the electronics

 

Usually, the first issue operators will come across are coils that are nearing the end of their lifecycle. Install a cycle counter to give an accurate reading of how many strokes they’ve done. Replacing coils before they go can save hours of labour and improve machine runtime. Beware of any frayed or loose wiring as this can cause issues if not properly capped or re-wired.

Don’t leave it to chance: book a professional service

One of the hardest things is finding the time to get all this done. When it comes to productivity and efficiency – ensuring minimum downtime and maximum functionality is key. If you’re either too busy or unsure about how to service your hydraulic press, don’t wait for the inevitable. Book a service for your hydraulic press in Australia with a professional maintenance team today.

An Introduction to Combustible Dust and the Industries that Produce it

Workplace hazards come in so many forms that it is difficult to keep track of them all in a manufacturing facility, but we need to be able to do that all the same. Fortunately, not every health and environmental hazard is common to every industry, so a thorough knowledge of the specific sector that one is working in should be sufficient in keeping everyone connected to the facility safe. Our focus today is going to be on combustible dust, because it deserves more attention than it gets most of the time.

Combustible Dust

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A Basic Introduction to Combustible Dust

Theoretically and practically, any fine or coarse dust which can catch fire upon ignition can be considered as an example of combustible dust. It should be noted that combustible dust can often be explosive in nature, although that is not a mandatory criterion for the particles to be classified as such. Not to be confused with gaseous ignition hazards such as methane, all combustible dust is solid in nature.

Examples of Combustible Dust

As per the official definition explained above, combustible dust particles can be generated from nearly all organic and certain inorganic industrial products. Examples of core materials that produce the ignitable dust particles include, but are most certainly not limited to:

  • Wood
  • Coal
  • Rubber
  • Fabric
  • Eggs
  • Starch
  • Dust and pesticides from agricultural produce (grains, sugar, etc.)
  • Sulphur
  • Certain variants of plastic

Industries that Produce Hazardous Combustible Dust

The list would be too long if we were to include every industry that produces at least some degree of ignitable, solid dust as a byproduct. Instead of stretching the list unnecessarily, we will focus on industries that produce dangerously combustible dust particles the most. Consider the following examples as a guiding reference above all else:

Agriculture – Farms, farming fields, animal farms, granaries, food processing plants, agricultural produce packaging facilities, the pesticide industry, etc. all create ignitable dust

Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Plants – From the regular OTC meds and controlled prescription drugs, to industrial-grade cleaners and household disinfectants; most pharmaceutical products create massive amounts of combustible dust as byproducts during manufacturing. In fact, these companies also produce the highest amount of explosive dust.

Metal Processing – Magnesium, zinc, carbon, iron and most other metals are incendiary, so it is only natural for the dust from these processing units to also be highly combustible as a result.

Preventing Fires and Explosions in Industrial Facilities and Farms

It is difficult, but not impossible to control both the spread and on-spot ignition of combustible and explosive dust particles from manufacturing/processing units. There are several measures of course, but the most important equipment is a combustible dust vacuum. These industrial vacuum cleaners are specially designed to safely collect all types of combustible dust particles before they can spread or ignite. The combustible dust vacuum is now considered to be a mandatory device across multiple industries that produce the aforementioned particles in the highest quantity.

It is hoped that more companies in these segments will acknowledge the explosive dangers that combustible dust poses to the surrounding environment and the production units themselves. With the proper precautions in place, it is possible to avoid tragic and financially disastrous accidents from either happening in the first place, or at least bringing down their impact and frequency to a great extent.…

Straightforward Manufacturing Tips That Help Your Business Grow

Manufacturing

Owning a business in the manufacturing industry can definitely come with a fair share of obstacles. In order for you to constantly rise to the challenges presented to you, it is important to think about the future of your business. The direction that your company takes will dictate whether or not you find the success you deserve. There are plenty of simple and straightforward ways you can improve upon your current manufacturing processes. Consider these suggestions and create a strategy that works for the future of your business.

Experiment With Your Products

The products that your business manufactures are the centerpiece of your entire company. If you didn’t have these products, you wouldn’t be in business. Still, there is always room for improvement when it comes to what your company manufactures. Whether you experiment with the design of your product or look for ways to expand an existing line with alternative options, there is a lot to be said for trying out new things. Though there are expenses involved with expanding your capabilities, you also stand to gain a considerable amount in the long run.

Consider Services to Make Your Life Easy

Since there are a ton of demands that come with working in the field of manufacturing, it can be useful to think about how you can receive a bit of help every now and again. There are plenty of amazing services available for you to consider for your manufacturing facility. A service like contract machining, for example, can make your life a lot easier by providing you with solutions to extend the bottom line of your facility. No matter what products you manufacture, you can definitely find services by third parties aimed at improving your experience.

Explore New Markets

Depending on the size of your manufacturing business, you might only deal with local clients. While this is fine for smaller organizations, you definitely want to extend your reach at some point down the line. Once you’ve moved to different parts of the state, start looking at other states you can move into. International markets are also key to your long-term success, as taking your products overseas can offer a ton of exciting opportunities for your future. Don’t limit yourself to local customers only and see what some growth can do.

Improving your manufacturing business is all about time and dedication. Give yourself a chance to consider the various options in front of you and discover the right fit for the future of your company.…

Essential Metals in the Automotive Industry

Metals

It’s no secret that many various metals are involved in manufacturing auto parts. Less commonly known, though, is which specific metals are used the most and for what reasons. Whether it’s for mechanical strength, resistance to damage, weight, low costs or ease of manufacturing, there are particular metals and alloys that the industry has come to rely on.

Steel and Iron

Easy to work, inexpensive, readily available and reliably strong, steel is a staple in automobiles. The chassis and body panels of a vehicle, as well as many wheels, are frequently made of steel, not only for durability but also for flexibility—steel bends or dents under impact, absorbing kinetic energy well without breaking, which is a vital safety feature in cars and trucks. Some steel alloys have key traits besides mechanical strength that make them valuable; stainless steel, for instance, makes for corrosion-resistant bolts and exhaust pipes.

Iron is less common in modern models, usually outclassed by steel or other alloys. However, iron can be cast more readily than steel, making it useful for complex parts that need high dimensional stability.

Aluminum

Most people think of metal foil or cans when they think of aluminum, so it might surprise you to know that aluminum alloys can boast strength on par with steel. On top of that, aluminum is significantly lighter than steel, and surface treatments can make it corrosion resistant. Though working aluminum has historically been more expensive, modern advances in metalworking allow aluminum die castings to be used for a variety of auto parts, making its use more common nowadays. Still, economically speaking, aluminum remains a high-end material for many purposes.

Titanium

Titanium is considered a premium metal in the automotive industry. While it’s prohibitively expensive to work with, limiting it to high-end models, it possesses an unparalleled strength-to-density ratio along with high stiffness, corrosion and oxidation resistance and consistent performance across a wide temperature range. Luxury sports cars make use of titanium to boost toughness and remain lightweight.

The prized materials in the automotive industry have changed over time as advances in technology-enabled more economic manufacturing. As metalworking practices continue to evolve, alloys that are costly now may see wider usage in the future.…