Hydraulic Systems: Plumbing for New Designs and Installations
So, you bought a new hydraulic system to operate a very important process in your facility. Congratulations! Now it shows up at your facility and you’re faced with the challenge of figuring out how to connect everything together… fun, right?!!! Not so much. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of getting a new hydraulic system. You now have a big hydraulic system that needs to supply oil to hydraulic cylinders, motors and rotary actuators and you’re left scratching your head about how to do it. Not only don’t you know what product to use, but there is often specialized fabrication equipment required to install… maybe welding, maybe support brackets and clamps, etc.
OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers) often don’t want to mess with it because they don’t always know the layout of the facility, routing of the lines, etc. Further, many larger end user facilities have specific manufacturers and connection styles they have standardization on and want to keep continuity with their other systems, spare parts and so on. So in fairness, it can become very difficult for an OEM or hydraulic system manufacturer to help develop the parts list and pricing needed for installation of the interconnecting plumbing.
So what is the solution? Truly, the best way to approach it is to work with a company (it can be local to the installation facility or a knowledgeable and experienced installation company that specializes in hydraulic plumbing) that can offer site visits and installation services. It is extremely difficult to develop a bill of materials by looking at drawings and specifications. The most effective way is to have an experienced engineer or technician visit the location and do a full site survey. They can then develop a specific plan and work with the end customer on what product to use, what manufacturer, best practices for routing and connecting and so on. You have invested a lot of money for a very good, high quality, well designed hydraulic system, so why not go the last step and make sure it is installed and connected properly? This will insure the system operates properly and for a long time, not to mention it will take a lot of headache and pressure off of you by turning the work over to a qualified, professional resource who will help to make sure it gets done right and on time!