by Michael Riehn
1. Follow the prescribed preventive-maintenance schedule supplied with your press. Different presses with varying capabilities require special maintenance. While most hydraulic presses share the same core needs for maintenance, start by following the specific schedule supplied in your machine manual.
2. Check hydraulic lines and fittings regularly for leaks. Small leaks can lead to large problems and large messes. If a leak is detected, tighten or replace the hose or fitting and then monitor the correction.
3. Check for proper oil level and operating temperature. Improper oil levels can lead to pump inefficiency due to cavitation, where air enters the liquid being pumped. Oil that runs too hot can lead to premature breakdown. Monitoring oil temperature also serves as a warning that some circuit components may not be performing adequately. Press systems traditionally running cool and then suddenly changing to run hot, may have a failing component that is passing oil and detracting from efficiency, not to mention adding heat to the system.
4. Ensure oil cleanliness. Contaminated oil can cause complete system failure and significant damage, and lead to extended downtime. Many basic hydraulic systems can run with simple return-line filtration circuits using 10-micron filters. Higher-performance systems utilizing proportional or servo valves will require more advanced or cleaner filtration (perhaps 6-micron filters) and the use of in-line pressure and return-line filters. The type of system and required cleanliness should be specified by the manufacturer. Periodic oil sampling is suggested, and can be analyzed by a third party or dedicated oil-testing service. Often, a local hydraulic-component distributor can perform this duty or suggest a reliable company.
5. Mind the fasteners. Whether the press is of all-welded construction or is a tie-rod model, it relies on numerous nuts and bolts for proper operation. Monitor cylinder attachment monthly. Once the bolts have been checked to the proper torque, baseline marks can serve as at-a-glance indicators for future monitoring. Many presses carry marks on all attachment bolts when the bolts have been certified to the proper torque. Also, monitor bolster-plate fasteners and tie-rod pre-tensioning nuts.
6. Monitor the safety system on a daily basis. Press systems with light curtains, gate interlocks, safety mats, etc., should be tested prior to operation. If a safety device has been found defective or unreliable, lockout the press and perform needed service immediately. Also, test the E-stop safety circuit daily.
7. Record press data. Data logging, though not often used, is one of the best tools for monitoring press-system performance. Recording items such as operating pressures during rapid-advance, pressing and rapid-retract portions of the press cycle can provide valuable data as to press-system efficiency. Your equipment manufacturer should capture this data during equipment testing and report it to you. Ideally, record this data when the press is commissioned and refer back to it periodically. If you start to see increases in operational pressures, components may have begun to fail or are performing below optimum levels.
8. Be proactive in replacing press components. Most presses are constructed of several hydraulic components either from a single manufacturer or from multiple companies. Each manufacturer has an expected service life for each component. Replacing components proactively before a failure saves unexpected downtime and costly repairs. A hydraulic component can fail and introduce contamination into a hydraulic system–especially true for pumps. It is far easier and less costly to change out components on a regular basis than to wait for a component to fail and possibly contaminate the system.
U.S. industrial production is rising, gaining 0.8% in November after a flat October. Capactity utilization also increased, which will help keep inflation low. Production of industrial materials rose 1.3%, the highest increase in three months.
“We’ll continue to see growth in manufacturing output, given strong exports and that consumers are spending,” said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, who forecast a production gain of 0.9 percent. “You’re seeing a decent amount of breadth in terms of the increases.”
The U.S. manufacturing base is cautiously optimistic about continued growth in 2010.
Spread the good news! To paraphrase Mark Twain; “The reports of manufacturing death have been greatly exaggerated.”
By: Josh Schroeder
“You’re taking that out of context!” “That is not what I meant!” “That is not what the writer was trying to say!”
Taking something out of context usually is considered a bad thing. But when it comes to creative thinking it can uncover fresh new ideas.
Take for instance, German inventor, Johannes Gutenberg who in the 15th century combined two previously unconnected ideas, the wine press and the coin punch.
A press made to apply force over a large area for squashing grapes and a punch made to leave an image on a small area were taken out of their intended context to invent the printing press and movable type.
Another good example from the following exercise in Rodger Von Oech’s book, “A Whack on the Side of the Head”:
Shown below is the Roman numeral nine. By adding only a single line, turn it into a 6.
Some people put a horizontal line through the center, turn it upside down, and then cover the bottom. This gives you the Roman numeral VI. But by thinking out of the Roman numeral context you can just put an “S” in front of it to create “SIX”. Secondly you could put a “6” after IX and create the equation 1X6, or one times six which of course equals six.
By thinking alphabetically or in the context of mathematical symbols instead of Roman numerals several answers become obvious. How could you use this same type of thinking to create fresh new ideas for your business?
How about your hydraulic press? Have you ever considered what you can do with the power you already possess? By taking the intended use of a hydraulic press out of context is the world’s next “printing press” just waiting to be discovered?
By thinking of your process, “out of context”, there maybe hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Creative thinking leads to endless possibilities and that’s not out of context by saying you literally can take that to the bank!