Tips to Help You Avoid Common Fluid Power Design Mistakes

As a longtime hydraulic company in Minnesota, we’ve gained a lot of experience in fluid power design over the years. This has given us more than enough perspective to tell when manufacturers or other hydraulic companies are making some critical mistakes in their designs.

With this in mind, here are some examples of common fluid power design mistakes and how you can avoid them:

  • Mixing up pressure and flow: This is a mistake that is especially common among designers who are new to the hydraulic field. They tend to want to get more force to lift up bigger, heavier loads, and think they need bigger pumps to produce that force. In actuality, a smaller pump often allows them to raise the pressure slightly while still preserving some of the input horsepower. The confusing of pressure and flow is even worse when talking about valves—if you put an inline flow control on a system and turn it down, the upstream pressure will rise. The mistake people make is thinking this is actually them adjusting pressure, which isn’t the case at all.
  • Not having the right reservoir size: Another common mistake made by hydraulic system designers is failing to provide enough reservoir volume. Having the correct reservoir size helps with cooling, aeration removal and contamination settling. If the reservoir hasn’t been properly sized for the cylinder, there could be some catastrophic damage to the system. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure before using any system that the right reservoir size is in place.
  • Not abiding by strength limitations of cylinder columns: This mistake can be made by just about any designer, whether beginning or advanced. The cylinder’s column strength must be obeyed. This strength is determined by the diameter and length of the rod, as well as the mounting configuration of the cylinder and its rod attachment. This entire system is going to have limitations to how much it’s capable of handling, and if you exceed those limitations there is a chance you could be dealing with some buckling or misalignment, which could permanently damage your hydraulic system.
  • Continuing to use old technology: Just because you’re comfortable with your old technology doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best technology for your uses. Hydraulic system design has come a very long way over the years, so why should you settle for handicapping yourself with outdated technology that isn’t nearly as efficient as what’s available today?
  • Not considering your filtration requirements: You’re going to need a lot more than just a small paper filter assembly to protect your hydraulic system, at least if you have any real desire to avoid some expensive repairs. Paper filters are inefficient, can absorb water and do not have sufficient dirt-holding capacity. You should instead choose synthetic filters, which are more expensive but will perform better and guard you against the need to make unnecessary repairs.

For more information, contact M & M Hydraulic Company in Minnesota with any questions you have. We look forward to assisting you soon!

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