After contamination is found in your hydraulic system, how are you supposed to decontaminate it? The simple answer is time and money. Once a system gets contaminated, it gets costly. When a system goes down, costs skyrocket.
On one system, production time was worth $2,400 a minute when it was down — and it was down for 32 hours. That was enough cost that made people start looking at things differently. And what we found was that nobody had tracked how long pumps were in service. Nobody tracked how long cylinders were being run. One thing led to another. Eventually took out all six pumps, contaminated the entire system. We spent a lot of time getting it up and running around the clock. And like I say, so when money gets too high, then people wanna think about it, and we’re big encouragers of let’s get ahead of this game before we spend all the money, by doing some simplistic things, taking some tests, do some particle count testing.
So many people are shocked on the contamination side of things — they will insist that they conduct an oil sample and they do it every 250 hours of running, or something to that effect. Then, the first question should be, “Let’s see some results and analyze them and let’s look at the particle counts.” Often times the response is, “Well, I don’t know what a particle count is.”
It makes little sense to do a chemical analysis of contamination, or oil, with no situation where you’ve actually addressed the particle size, the particulant that’s trapped in the oil causing the failures. So you have to methodically go through — it’s going to take time — somebody has to take the initiative and some ownership that says “I’m going to do it.” Somebody should take the time and say “I’m going to make this machine run better.” And that’s when you start to learn about a machine.