Piston pumps are used across manufacturing industries as simple hydraulic pumps with many different uses. Some people mistakenly believe that since piston pumps are simple, that maintenance won’t be required. Let’s talk about what a piston pump is, how it’s used, and why it’s so important to maintain.
What is a piston pump?
A piston pump works by moving fluids and gases into and out of its chamber. When the piston cup, or moving part within the piston, pushes down, it creates high pressure which allows the chamber to fill. When the piston cup completes its upstroke, that pressure is relieved, which forces the fluid or gas in the chamber out for use.
Who uses piston pumps?
Piston pumps are used throughout manufacturing industries, from oil extraction to food manufacturing. These pumps can be used to push cooling fluids through hot machinery, create reciprocal force to draw up materials (like oil), and designed to push out the same amount of material with each stroke. Since they are simple and reliable, they are a crucial part of day-to-day manufacturing.
But that may be why they are so often neglected.
Why should you complete preventative maintenance on your piston pump?
As a busy company, it’s easy to get behind on preventative maintenance. Taking a machine offline to complete maintenance can slow everything down and feel frustrating. But there are three crucial reasons that you should keep up with preventative maintenance on your piston pumps.
- Machines that aren’t maintained quickly become dangerous. Depending on what your machinery uses piston pumps for, you could end up contaminating your materials or causing significant damage to the piston itself. This would mean replacing the pump, which will probably slow down your system and cause delays in production.
- Proper maintenance helps to prevent injuries. Workers are handling these machines every day, and if they aren’t kept in good repair, it’s possible for people to get badly hurt. If your line gets a reputation for being an unsafe place to work, you may also struggle to find the best workers for your company.
- Protect more expensive equipment. A piston pump rarely works as a solo machine; it’s often part of a larger system that relies on the pump to function properly. If the pump fails, it could very well take larger parts of your line down with it.
In general, piston pump maintenance is simple, since the machinery generally isn’t very complicated. You should maintain your entire line according to schedule, but the pump is a good place to start. So much relies on its simple mechanical action. It should be considered every bit as important as it is.