Hydraulic mining equipment is essential for the day to day productivity on a mining site. However, poor quality parts and inadequate maintenance can lead to a number of issues with hydraulic systems. When it comes to mining hydraulics, it pays to invest in quality parts and maintenance services from an expert who understands the need to minimise downtime.
Types of hydraulic mining equipment
The Australian mining industry relies on a wide range of hydraulic equipment to carry out day to day work, including:
- Earth Moving Machinery – Earth moving machinery such as excavators and trucks are used to dig and move large volumes of rock, soil and other earth materials.
- Crushing Equipment – Crushing machinery plays an essential role in processing the ore or rocks that has been gathered from the mine site. Crushers reduce the size of materials so that they can be more effectively processed for valuable minerals.
- Feeding and Conveying Equipment – Feeding and conveying equipment is used to move a large flow of rock and minerals throughout the processing plant.
Hydraulic equipment has been used in the mining industry for decades because it is strong, robust and reliable. By harnessing the power of incompressible fluids, hydraulic systems can multiply a small force into a very large one. They are easy to control and allow for flexible designs to suit a wide range of strenuous applications.
Common issues with hydraulic mining equipment
Hydraulic systems are robust and durable when well maintained. However, issues can arise when the system is not kept clean or daily wear causes damage. Even minor issues can develop into costly breakdowns if not dealt with in time. It is important to understand common hydraulic issues and how to deal with them to avoid costly downtime.
The most common issues with mining hydraulics include:
- Contamination – The majority of hydraulic breakdowns are a result of contamination in the hydraulic fluid. Cavitation and aeration are two types of air contamination issues that can cause damage to the hydraulic pump and other system parts. Water contamination is also a common problem. It can wear down system components and also cause corrosion.
- Leaks – Leaks will reduce fluid levels, making the fluid more vulnerable to contamination. Leaks can be external or internal and are not always detectable. Even minor leaks can lead to major issues later on.
- Overheating – Excessive heat can be a problem for hydraulic systems by causing the fluid to thin. This reduces lubrication and can make the system more vulnerable to leakages. Heat can also cause oxidation of the hydraulic fluid, restricting its flow and preventing it from dissipating heat effectively.
How to avoid delays on the mine site
When essential machinery such as excavators, conveyors and crushers breakdown, it often creates costly downtime on the mine site.
To avoid downtime:
- Choose quality parts. Reliable hydraulic components perform better and last longer.
- Keep the system clean. Since contamination is the biggest cause of system failure, it is essential that hydraulic systems are kept clean. Filters should be regularly replaced and the system monitored for any contamination.
- Monitor the system. By using instrumentation and monitoring devices, you can be aware of any issues in the system before they get out of hand.
- Perform regular maintenance. This is the best way to keep your hydraulic mining equipment performing optimally.
- Deal with issues straight away. Small issues should be dealt with immediately to avoid breakdowns or costly downtime.
Find a hydraulics specialist who understands the need to avoid downtime.
At Hydraulic Solutions and Sales, we know that downtime on a mine site is costly. That’s why we make it our priority to supply parts and provide repair and maintenance services as quickly as possible. For all your mining hydraulics needs, get in touch with Hydraulics Solutions and Sales.