Modern industry needs far more from its suppliers than straightforward product sales. Today’s industrial component and system providers must support their customers with accessible and professional targeted services that improve plant equipment efficiency and reliability and minimise costly downtime.
One area where this is relevant is with gas-loaded hydraulic accumulators which store energy or smooth out pulses or shock when installed within hydraulic systems. A hydraulic system with an accumulator can use a smaller pump because the accumulator stores energy from the pump during periods of low demand. This energy is available for instantaneous use, released upon demand at a rate many times greater than what could be supplied by the pump alone.
When properly applied in a hydraulic circuit, accumulators can have a long and reliable life. Regular maintenance is critical in order to maintain production efficiency and control cost.
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New directives, including the Pressure Equipment Directive 2014/68/EU, place requirements on manufacturers and those who place equipment on the market and national regulations require most accumulators to be independently checked and recertified on a regular basis. However, despite the financial and legal risk, it is estimated that 80% of accumulators in Europe are not fully compliant with legislation.
To minimise the risk of downtime, engagement with an accumulator service team that offers fast and easy access will provide numerous benefits. This can help combat and even eliminate a number of potential technical and performance issues which can affect accumulators in service.
Selecting a service provider
Selecting the optimum supplier of accumulator services is paramount, and there are several factors MRO managers should consider to ensure comprehensive and innovative support including,
- dedicated resources for accumulator services support to guarantee the necessary expertise, experience and responsiveness.
- compliance with legal requirements, such as Pressure Equipment Directive 2014/68/EU
- integrated solutions and in-stock products
- asset management, such as energy audits, risk assessment and servicing, and condition monitoring
When a hydraulic system begins to underperform or fail, it can prove extremely disruptive to operations, so a professional support team is vital.
Parker Accumulator Service Centres
Parker Accumulator Service Centres have been established with certified Parker distributors to optimise customer systems by combining industry-leading products backed by quality service, to deliver stress-free accumulator management with maximised performance, efficiency and safety. With training and certification provided by Parker, Accumulator Service Centres offer detailed product knowledge and expertise. The comprehensive range of accumulator services includes pre-charging, the replacement of seals, filters and hoses and connectors and re-certification. In stock products help to ensure rapid response for quick delivery of parts and service.
With locations across Europe, Parker Service Centres offer an integrated solution that combines products, services and technologies, whether on an in-house (at the Service Centre), mobile or onsite basis. With an in-house service solution, the accumulator is sent to the Service Centre, while for mobile solutions the Service Centre travels, with equipment, to the customer facility using a vehicle. For onsite solutions, the Service Centre establishes a fully equipped container workshop on location.
Customers can benefit from services such as system improvement, as well as accumulator maintenance, recertification and pre-charging – complete with audits, scheduled inspections and replacements. From a mobile and onsite perspective, these same services are supported by a fully equipped vehicle, spare parts warehouse, tools, test equipment and professional engineers and technicians in maintenance, service and repair.
Improve safety, increase productivity, reduce downtime
Aside from preventing any loss of system performance or failure, support from Parker Service Centres can help to protect employees from accidents. Moreover, compliance with legal requirements is assured, while warranty validation and preventative maintenance reduces downtime and increases productivity.
With regard to the use of original spare parts, tangible benefits include shorter inspection time and the reduction of complexity in logistics (tracking systems, data monitoring and recording) and documentation, both of which help to lower costs and save time.
In automobile MRO operations, appointing an accumulator service provider could also help to make the production performance fit for Industry 4.0. Further potential asset management activities include energy and efficiency audits; risk assessment and servicing for safety equipment; and asset condition monitoring and prognostics (sensors).
The implementation of preventative maintenance, improved reliability, extended application possibilities and reduced total production costs are among other advantages. These benefits are also available to hydraulic systems in production plants.
This blog was contributed by Eric Zany, channel manager Western Europe, EMEA, Parker Hannifin.