Manufacturer of Hydraulic Presses

Hydraulic Presses: Crush Unplanned Downtime with these Preventative Tips

May 30, 2020

Hydraulic presses are valuable tools with many applications. But like any other machinery, they become worn or damaged. For example, the cylinder of the press is old and damaged. If this is the case, machine shop owners have two choices. One, to buy a new cylinder and replace the old one or repair the existing cylinder.

Which of the choices above would you choose? Buy a new cylinder or repair the old one?

If the machine owner selects option one – buy a new cylinder – the cost is high. But the machine shop will experience no production delays. If the owner selects option two – repair the old cylinder, the shop will suffer delayed production and costly downtime.

Want to ensure your hydraulic presses continues to run safely and efficiently?

In this post, we take you through preventative tips that will help you crush unplanned downtime.

1. Follow the Preventative Maintenance Schedule for a Hydraulic Press

Different brands build hydraulic presses, but what these presses share is the same core needs for maintenance. Every press comes with a preventative maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer.

This schedule details the steps press operators must follow when maintaining hydraulic presses. By following these steps, not only do the press operators lower downtime. But they extend the lifespan of the press.

Below is a sample three-month maintenance checklist.

a. Hydraulic check list

  • Hydraulic fittings for tightness
  • Pressure adjustment for full range
  • Insert and coupling for tightness
  • Inspect press for leaks

b. Electrical check

  • Check conduit and cords for damage 
  • Check start buttons for rightness
  • Limit switch mounting for damage or tightness

At the end of this checklist, indicate the action needed. For example, if you discover the cords display signs of damage during your inspection. Indicate the action required, such as replacement of the cords and conduit.

What you need to know is that this is not the only checklist. You can have:

  • A six-month checklist
  • A nine-month checklist
  • An annual checklist


2. Replace Damaged Components Regularly

When your press has faulty components, it’s advisable to replace them. If you do not replace the parts regularly, you risk further damage to the press. This may escalate the repair or replacement cost of the press.

One significant reason why a majority of machine shop owners may not replace a faulty component is to avoid any downtime. This is true because unplanned downtime affects productivity. As such, it results in delayed delivery of customer orders.

If this happens, you will lose a lot of business because your customers will opt to work with your competitors. You may choose to continue using the press despite the faulty component(s). The downside is, the machine may breakdown.

If this happens, not only will you lose a lot of business, but recovery will be difficult. What we recommend is to replace faulty components immediately. Yes, you may suffer some downtime, but in the long run, you will recover and save on expensive repairs and time.

3. Inspect the Safety System

The safety of your employees/press operators should be a top priority. Why, you may ask. There are many hazards where presses and other machinery are operating.

For example, press operators may suffer pinching injuries, or have heavy materials dropped onto their feet. They may also trip or come into contact with chemicals such as hydraulic fluid.

If your workers come into contact with hydraulic fluid or lubricants, the chemicals will cause dermatitis. Also, toxic fumes are hazardous, especially from die making materials.

To ensure fatal injuries do not occur, perform daily inspections of the safety system. Such safety systems include:

  • Anti-restart motor control
  • Push-button station with start and stop functions
  • Ballistic protection blanket
  • Ejection curtain kit
  • Estop safety circuit (check this daily to ensure safety at all times)

If you discover a safety device is unreliable, replace the component before starting operations.

4. Monitor Press Oil Health Closely

Your hydraulic press is similar to your vehicle or any other piece of machinery. Basically, it cannot run optimally when low on oil or with dirty oil. If your machine runs on dirty oil or low on oil, the life of the press will reduce.

What you need to know is that monitoring press oil health is easy. All you need is to prepare a checklist. First and foremost, perform oil sampling. For this exercise, use a probe. This exercise helps you to find out the presence of contaminants.

The good news is, your manufacturer will specify the required level of oil cleanliness. This makes it easy for you to know if the oil has contaminants or not.

If the oil has water or dirt particles, you must change it. This helps to restore the oil’s lubricity properties. Remember, hire a reputable oil testing company for the right results.

Apart from changing the oil, you need to change the oil filters too. This ensures the correct filtration micron level is always achieved. Hydraulic presses have a dial that indicates when to change the oil filter. If the indicator turns red or yellow, replace the filter.

Final Thoughts

There are more preventative tips that will help extend the life of your press. They include checking the operating temperature, recording press data, and reviewing the data.

Remember, keep your hydraulic presses clean and avoid putting off problems such as faulty or damaged components.