Manufacturer of Hydraulic Presses

Diagnosing Your Ailing Hydraulic Press

December 29, 2020
As the workhorses of your machine shop, hydraulic press machines get a high dose of wear and tear. Their job is to compress objects, punch them and cut them. They do it reliably, but after awhile all this pounding and piercing takes a toll on the health of your equipment.
Here is a look at five major areas to check when your H frame or C frame press is having problems.
#1. Oil Temperature is Too Hot  
The optimal temperature for your hydraulic press is between 120 ˚F and 140˚F, and always below 150˚F. When the heat is higher, damage occurs with seal compounds and oil degrades quicker.
The causes are usually found in low levels of hydraulic fluid in the reservoir as well as problems with the cooling circuits.
#2. Leaks
When oil leaks, it puts your press at risk. A press that is in peak working condition doesn’t have any leaks. The most common spots for leakage are on hydraulic lines and on the O-ring seals at hose end fittings and on the valve seats.
The way to avoid this is to check that: 
  • The fittings are tightened correctly.
  • Excess oil is always cleaned so you can easily spot new leaks.
  • Use the oil specified for your equipment, found in your equipment manual.
  • The seals have enough lubrication applied.
#3. Right Hydraulic Pressure
If it takes time for pressure to build up, you have a problem. In a properly functioning hydraulic press, your machine should reach the correct pressure within one-half to one second. If it takes two or more seconds, you have a problem.
This type of problem is usually found in the pump, but sometimes is related to the relief valve, which can work too slowly. Grit or other debris can build up in the line or the valve is open too widely. Another possible problem is with RPM from the motor, which results in pressure drops.
#4. Noisy Valves
Valve shifts should not cause banging sounds when your press speed changes. The trick is to stay aware of new noises. If you hear something out of the ordinary, check it immediately.
#5. Faulty Electronics
Valve coils operate about three million strokes during a standard lifecycle. Relays operate about one million. Be sure to replace coils before they are ready to fail. This simple step will reduce lost man-hours due to downtime, troubleshooting and repairs.
Use an hour meter and a cycle counter that isn’t resettable to keep on top of your electronics. This will give you accurate records, which are essential for scheduling maintenance.
Keeping It Running
The best way to ensure your hydraulic press runs properly is to start a program of preventive maintenance. Come up with a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual list of tasks to do. Then make sure they get done without exception.
Every machine will show signs of wear. With regular upkeep, you can find problems early, fix them and avoid replacement costs. Preventive maintenance can add years to the life of your machine.
Recognizing It’s Run Its Course
Every piece of machinery has a lifespan, and that includes your hydraulic press. When you spot these problems, you know that your press is on its last legs. 
  • Pump pressure is low on a regular basis
  • Electrical issues occurring repeatedly
  • Frames with cracks developing
If these happen, replace parts as needed. This can add substantially to its useful life. If press is simply worn out after years of heavy-duty work, consider investing in a new one.
Buy the Best
In both cases, PressMaster is the best source for parts and new hydraulic presses. It offers the highest quality equipment at competitive prices. All parts, whether hydraulic, mechanical or electrical, are industry standard.
Ordering from PressMaster reduces your downtime. You get the best presses and equipment available, with little if any waiting period. They are available throughout North America.