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Condition-based maintenance (CBM) is gaining traction, and for good reason.
It's based on machine condition rather than elapsed time or running hours, and reduces time and money spent for unnecessary preventative maintenance, such as time-based oil changes.
This is especially true of hydraulic systems maintenance, according to a presentation at the Toronto MainTrain maintenance conference presented by the Plant Engineering and Maintenance Association of Canada (PEMAC).
Kevin Eaton, responsible for OEM support services, warranty administration and failure analysis investigations at Bosch Rexroth Canada, said to get the most from CBM, establish what is "normal" for a piece of equipment or system.
Every machine is different, so review its characteristics and history with the maintenance department and the original equipment manufacturer. CBM of hydraulic systems is all about knowing your enemy, says Eaton. Fluid condition is critical.
Monitor items that cause degradation or wear, follow cause and effect backwards to the first measurable factor, identify the "silent killers" and how they affect hydraulic components, and check whether they are measured reliably and what influences the measurements to cause false alarms.
The silent killers in hydraulic fluids are particle contamination, water content, and the relationship between operating temperature and fluid viscosity.