What's your game plan?|
By the time you get this, Happy New Year is late, most people's midnight resolutions broken and forgotten and everything has returned to the default setting we call the status quo.
But I wish you a 'Happy New Year' anyway.
In his classic book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill wrote: "Anything the mind of a man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."
Conception requires suspension of belief about limits and compromises. Belief requires development of a plan. But there's one thing Hill neglected to mention: implementation; action and follow-through. So he might better have said: "Anything a man can conceive, believe and act on, can be achieved." Because without action, conception and belief are useless.
In other words it's not enough to think "I want it all now - but I don't want to learn more, grow more, do more, invest more." That's just not realistic. And explains why most people's New Year's resolutions are broken and forgotten long before the year gets anything like old.
Oh, and there's another reason too. Looking at my own 'to-do' list for 2011, nearly all of 'em involve deliberate excursion from my status quo; that which is familiar and comfortable to me. These goals are the most challenging - if only because of the 'head demons' (we all have those) which must be conquered in order to achieve them.
But if you're not constantly thinking about and working towards staying at the top of your game, you're likely going backwards. And this should be all the motivation we need.
And staying at the top of our game requires continuous learning; acquiring more knowledge and skill - to increase the value we bring to the marketplace (something we work on here, month to month). It's a strategy that's worked well for me over the years and one that's going to be especially important in 2011.
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Heavy Equipment Mechanic
What to do if your hydraulic filters are clicking|
Based on my experience at least, electrostatic discharge in hydraulic systems is not a widespread problem. But for reasons I'll explain in a moment, it may be on the increase. So it's definitely something you need to be aware of.
As you probably remember from school science experiments, electrostatic charge is generated whenever there is friction between two bodies moving relative to each other. No real surprise then, that electrostatic charge generation occurs in hydraulic systems as a result of friction between the fluid and system components.
A common symptom of electrostatic discharge in a hydraulic system is an audible clicking noise as charge repeatedly increases and then discharges to a surface of lower voltage through sparking. And this often occurs in a filter - resulting in burn marks and other damage to the filter element.
While you may yet to have come across a clicking filter assembly, there are a couple of reasons why this problem may become more prevalent in the future. The first is a growing trend towards the use of hydraulic oils with non-metallic additives. Hydraulic oils with zinc-based anti-wear additives have relatively high conductivity.
Oils with good conductivity assist the dissipation of electrostatic charge as it moves around the system. Studies have shown that hydraulic oils with zinc-based, anti-wear additives rarely accumulate enough charge for harmful discharge to occur.
Synthetic hydraulic oils and those with non-metallic anti-wear additives on the other hand, have much lower conductivity. This increases the potential for electrostatic charge accumulation and therefore, the likelihood of discharge.
The second reason the incidence of electrostatic discharge may be on the increase, is the change in materials used to manufacture filter elements. Filter elements are being made so they are more easily disposed of in an environmentally acceptable way. This has led to the increased use of non-metallic materials in filter element construction and designs where the metal core is part of the housing and not the element. The combined effect of these changes has been to lower the conductivity and increase the capacitance of filter elements.
That said, this is not a problem that's being ignored by filter manufacturers. All are aware of the issue, and most are researching the problem and developing ways to minimize or eliminate it.
But what can you do if you come across an instance of electrostatic discharge in the meantime?
Well, while grounding of the hydraulic system reservoir, piping and filter housings prevents arcing to nearby conductors, it does not prevent electrostatic charging of the fluid or filter media, nor does it accelerate the decay of the charge.
However, the charge generated in filter elements can be reduced by increasing filter size. This reduces flow density through the filter and therefore the amount of charge generated.
And increasing the volume of oil in the system, by increasing tank size for example, extends the time between successive charge generations and also increases the available time for the charge to decay. Another good reason for hydraulic system designers not to be stingy about tank size.
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organizations lots of money. It should be on the bookshelf of every engineer, supervisor, planner and
technician who deals with hydraulic equipment... it's worth its weight in gold." Find out more
Alexander (Sandy) Dunn
Plant Maintenance Resource Center
Calling all hydraulic equipment owners and users|
If you've been hanging around me for a while, you'll be acutely aware that hydraulic equipment, no matter how well designed, does NOT take care of itself. Even a relatively well designed (from a maintenance and reliability perspective) hydraulic machine will suffer from reliability issues if left to its own devices over time.
This means optimal, bottom-line reliability outcomes require a certain level of knowledge - which gets more sophisticated as the machinery does - and selective intervention (key word here is: selective).
Fact is, a LOT of hydraulic equipment users leave a LOT of nickel on the table when it comes to their machine operating costs. If you wanna make certain you're NOT, then get yourself to Las Vegas USA, this coming March for my one-day, one-time only Advanced Hydraulic Maintenance Workshop.
Go to this page now for all the details
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