FPES “FluidCare Technology™ has already paid for itself”, says Production Manager Thomas Petrovich from Hycast Metals as he explains how timely intervention by FPES hydraulics experts saved his company many thousands of dollars.
Hycast Metals, a 50-year-old Australian owned specialist in high quality precision castings and finished components, is the largest producer of investment castings in Australia. They operate four injection moulding machines which work all day making wax sacrificial moulds for a wide range of products.
The machines use a high pressure silicone spray as a release agent for each injection. Thomas says one of the machines became temperamental and they worked out that traces of silicone were leaking into the cylinders and actuators and causing the sensitive servo valves to play up.
“The machines have about 800 litres of hydraulic fluid between them so, as you can imagine, replacing the fluid is a costly exercise. And it requires us to take the machines offline. We have always replaced the fluid but we knew that we couldn’t get all of the silicone out of the actuators and valves. If one of these machines went down it would be catastrophic. The replacement parts are in Germany.”
Hycast Metals was advised to replace the affected parts to prevent a breakdown but they decided to call on FPES with their FluidCare™ filtration to inspect the fluid.
“We performed oil diagnostics and found high levels of contaminants using a particle counter which can detect contaminants as small as the size of bacteria.”
Having tested the fluid condition and understanding more on the contamination levels our trained FluidCare™ technician took a filtration system onsite, the oil was cleaned while the machine kept operating.
“It was a real plus for us that we didn’t have to stop the machine while the oil was cleaned”, says Thomas, “Not only did they filter out all of the silicone, the FluidCare™ filter system removed all of the moisture out of the fluid.”
Subsequent testing by FPES Hydraulics has displayed that not only are all of the contaminants being removed, there is no bearing wear in the machines. If there was it would show up in the laboratory tests.
“We have an ongoing service plan with FluidCare™ filtering the fluid every three months. They have made the process even simpler by adding a simple access valve to the fluid reservoir. This means that they don’t have to open doors or undo hoses”, adds Thomas, “And they continue to take samples while the machine is running. We never have to turn it off. We have saved money by not having to buy replacement parts and by dramatically reducing the amount of fluid we throw away. I have complete peace of mind in my equipment.”