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Preventative Maintenance for Hydraulic Powered Press Brakes

Good day to all in the Fabrication World.
My name is Gerry Nord. I am the Service Manager for Fab-Line Machinery LLC. I’ve been in the fabricating world since 1976 and dealing with issues on the presales and aftermarket of hydraulic powered press brakes since then. One topic that seems to get lost in translation is preventative maintenance. After all, these machines are just a big steel hammer, right?

Well, let’s think about that. What could possibly go wrong with a big steel hammer?

There are lots of things. Let’s look at the possibilities. These machines have hydraulic oil driven by pumps with tiny fractional clearances between parts moving at extremely fast velocities. This oil is then flowing through valves whose spools must open and close hundreds of times per day that also have tiny fractional clearances. What is involved in keeping that oil flowing at top performance? That involves cleanliness and temperature.

Additionally, there are lots of electrical functions involved in turning those pumps and moving those spools in the valves. That all takes current traveling across components that are obstacles. These components need to be kept operating, or the oil stops flowing.

All of these operations take power. After all, a current is related to voltage and resistance (E=IxR) and power is related to the current and resistance.

To keep these functions operating and the production moving down the line, we need to be able to predict failures. How can we do that? A little time, instruments, and recording baseline parameters will show us the way.

More on this next week.

Gerry Nord
Service Manager

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