As consumers, we have a market flooded with products to choose from so, naturally, we take the opportunity to shop around. The goal is to save money, either by cutting back on quality or by mixing and matching products from different suppliers. When it comes to hydraulic hoses and their assembly, however, this is a grave error, and many buyers may not realise that their choices could have catastrophic consequences.
Hydraulic technology is used extensively across the world in the construction, mining and agricultural industries but the very nature of their use puts enormous strain on the equipment, particularly the hoses, which will inevitably fail. This is why it is so important to consider the true long-term costs of compromising on the quality of your hydraulic hose assembly and whether it is truly worth the risks.
Failure of a hydraulic hose is costly, but to the people operating the machinery nearby, it can be deadly. When a hose bursts, it can cause a sudden explosion of steam, hose material or dangerous chemicals, resulting in serious injury, burns and sometimes even death. The most lethal accidents are hydraulic fluid injection injuries. Also known as 'The Lethal Strike' or 'The Liquid Bullet', a hydraulic injection injury is commonly sustained when an operator is inspecting the hose for a leak. Pressurised fluid can escape from a pin-hole and even at pressures as low as 100 psi, can puncture the operator's palm or fingers causing irreversible damage to the deeper layers of tissue. If untreated, hydraulic injection injuries can lead to amputations and even loss of life.
To ensure the safety and lives of your operators, it is imperative that you use a high-quality hose supplier, every single time. These suppliers make sure that their products are engineered and tested extensively, greatly reducing the risk of premature failure or accidents. It's also important to remember that rubber components will naturally fatigue over time, regardless of their quality, which is why your hoses should be replaced every six years, for normal use, and at least every two years for use in extreme conditions.
For any manufacturing facility, downtime can be an enormous concern, financially and for the environment. Hose failure is a major cause of sudden and unscheduled downtime, leaving your equipment and operators waiting idly for replacements and dealing with the costly clean-up of a toxic spill or hydraulic fluid. The best way to manage your equipment maintenance is to be 'proactive' and not 'reactive'. Train your operators to spot the early warning signs of hose deterioration and if the signs are evident, call your supplier to schedule a replacement assembly.
For the well-being of your workers and your equipment, consider implementing a regular inspection programme at your facility, as well as a proactive replacement-programme with your supplier. Look past the initial costs and consider what you'll be saving in the long run. Contact our trusted team of technicians at Bearing Centre to find a safe and reliable solution to any hydraulic system issues you may have.