Why Customers Struggle with Capital Projects Like Hydraulics Systems Unit Design
As I See It…
As a hydraulic system design and engineering service provider, we see many customers struggle with capital equipment project management. It’s not really surprising if you look at the complexity of the big picture.
From the customer’s perspective, it’s certainly not an easy process to undertake. What we typically see is one of two scenarios; it may begin with a need to upgrade a single, older, inefficient or leaking hydraulic system. Or we find customers who are interested in looking at an option to combine a number of small stand-alone systems into a central hydraulic system. In both cases, it’s very difficult to quantify what your true needs are if you have not already done a detailed engineering evaluation. Without a true detailed and documented inspection of the equipment, including the equipment’s current and future production demands, it’s impossible to make an informed decision. This is where RG Group’s engineering and service technicians can prove very helpful. We can come in, visually inspect the system, document the duty cycle and thoroughly evaluate the mechanical and control aspects of any mechanical system. We provide the customer with a detailed plan of options to help them make the most cost-efficient decisions.
Many hydraulic systems can often be modified to extend the usable life and improve efficiencies with only minor, if any, disruptions to production cycles. The small leaks or pressure spikes creating havoc for a maintenance staff might be easily remedied with an ongoing preventative maintenance program or a re-plumbing of older, less reliable piping or connection systems.
Once a decision is made to make a capital investment for the purchase of a new hydraulic system, a host of new questions bubble up to the surface. The number one question becomes, who is taking the initial design responsibility? A vendor, an engineering house, or the customer with their internal resources? The design and specifications of the system should include the standard elements of operating pressure, fluid, flow rates, filtration requirement, etc. What is sometimes overlooked or undefined is a true look at the long-range total cost of ownership of the system. Just make the assumption that the system will be operational for a minimum of two 8 hour shifts every day for the next 10-12 years and it becomes crystal clear, the real value is not always in the lowest initial purchase price.
Proper hydraulic design efficiencies, both in reduced power consumption and in reduced downtime, can offer outstanding, long-term value to a customer. Too often, engineering resources look only at the theoretical system requirements and don’t spend much time defining and fabricating an efficient, maintenance-friendly, and reliable system. Often overlooked design details, including the use of environmentally-friendly fluids or adequate filtration can make a huge difference in a system’s total operating lifetime costs.
When it comes to hydraulic system design, one size does not fit all. Choosing a service provider that can provide a detailed analysis of current and future requirements, and provide documented long-term cost savings can make a capital equipment decision a “no-brainer”.
Let me know if we can help keep your business in motion…
As always, feel free to reach out to me with comments or questions directly at [email protected]