Eaton has launched a new system that monitors the condition of hydraulic hoses and reports any imminent failures in real time. Rather than using estimates to predict hose failures like some products on the market, the LifeSense™ system actually detects when a hose is nearing the end of its useful life.
An alert is then sent to the user so that the assembly can be replaced to prevent downtime. A single monitoring unit can handle input from multiple hose assemblies.
"Most hydraulic maintenance programs are designed to avoid hose failures by replacing assemblies at regular intervals, using a schedule based on usage data or past experience," said Doug Jahnke, Eaton product marketing manager. "As a result, a large number of perfectly good hydraulic hose assemblies are discarded long before the end of their useful life out of fear that they might fail.”
Jahnke says it's impossible to tell when a hose is failing because it fails from the inside out. Most hydraulic hoses have a rubber elastomeric cover, a rubber tube and wire reinforcement. During its life, the fatigue of consistent hydraulic surges eventually wears out the hose.
"There's been no way in the past to monitor the condition of the hose and identify symptoms of failure as they are occurring," says Jahnke. "The idea is to identify these conditions prior to failure and with enough time that you can replace the hose prior to failure."
The LifeSense hose allows the user to utilize virtually all of the useful life of a hydraulic hose assembly, more than 50% longer life in a typical lab test, thus saving on replacement costs and associated downtime while providing peace-of-mind that productivity will not be impeded and safety not compromised by unpredicted hose failure.
"Additionally, hydraulic hose failure is one of the largest causes of unplanned maintenance events," Mr Jahnke said. "Hose failures in the field present serious safety issues, environmental concerns and result in unscheduled system downtime, all of which have serious economic impacts."
The initial LifeSense hose offering will include the widely-used -8, -12 and -16 two-wire hose assemblies. The technology is currently available for trial with factory-made assemblies. Click on the link to read how TrulinX software powers Eaton's pilot project - the Van Wert Aeroquip Express Store - a real-world training ground and laboratory for Eaton distributors.