Hydraulic Press Safety and the Role of Pressure Switches

Hydraulic Press Safety and  the Role of Pressure Switches

Hydraulic systems have various functions and applications, from industrial manufacturing to robotics and steel processing. They are analogous to pneumatics, which easily compressible gas to perform tasks. Hydraulic systems, on the other hand, use incompressible liquids as their fluid rather than compressible gases. Repetition–hydraulic systems are industry preferred low-cost, efficient ways to generate movement. 

To use these systems effectively, workers must understand the risks and potential hazards associated with hydraulics. Your employees could be in danger if they are unaware of the extreme fluid pressure, maintenance, and heavy workload. Fortunately, various safety precautions reduce the risk of injury or death significantly. 

Our hydraulics safety precautions guide will cover common hazards and precautions to keep you and your employees safe.

How Does A Hydraulic Press Work? 

Hydraulic press systems use a pump that pushes fluid throughout the machine to create energy in its simplest form. The fluid then enters a set of valves and flows to the cylinder, where hydraulic power changes back to mechanical energy. When necessary, these valves also help control the liquid’s movement and relieve pressure.

There are several types of hydraulic press systems on the market. Depending on your application or industrial setting, you will most likely use one of the following: 

  • An Arbor press uses a narrow range to support the disposal, seating stamping, manufacturing, and repairing of equipment.
  • An H Frame press (or four-column) is the standard in many businesses for its versatility. They are used to straighten, bend, shape, stamp, or cut metal objects.
  • C Frame press systems are relatively smaller than H frames but maintain similar utility and flexibility in a light yet compact build.
  • Custom presses provide solutions for a company’s personal needs and specifications.
  • Press brakes clamp and bend sheet metal and plate material.
Although these machines make work easy and productive, they are still highly dangerous and can break down if not properly maintained.

The Most Common Reasons for Hydraulic System Failure 

Hydraulic systems can fail, whether with a custom press or a four-column frame. After a while, presses may begin to show wear and tear in critical areas. Many damages, however, can be avoided with regular maintenance checks and care. 

Let's look at five common causes of hydraulic system failure and electric and hydraulic tool safety practices. 

1. Poor Maintenance 

Maintenance is essential for keeping your hydraulic press operating at peak efficiency. Here are some components and functions to consider during the evaluation:

  • Hoses 
  • Oil leaks
  • Ram Speed
  • Wire tightness
  • Oil temperature
  • Electrical Fuses
  • Solenoids and relays
  • Oil level and particle count
  • Hydraulic fittings for tightness
  • Coupling and insert for tightness
  • Pressure adjustment for the full range

If these functions are not maintained, presses will fail at a high cost. Daily inspection and standard maintenance will extend its service life and, most importantly, keep workers safe. 

2. Leaks through pinholes 

Pinhole leaks can cause toxic fluid leakage at speeds of up to 600 feet per second. Although they may be difficult to spot at first, pressure switch technology will alert the user of a leak before any visible signs appear. To ensure proper utility, it is still necessary to inspect your hoses during the inspection process. 

3. Inadequate Couplings 

Improper coupling of low- and high-pressure systems is another dangerous hazard. It is never a good idea for you or your employees to connect a high-pressure pump to a low-pressure system because component, hose, or fitting ruptures can occur. 

4. Removal or modification of a component 

Servicing a hydraulic system while the machine engine is running is very likely to result in bodily harm or death. Remove no components while the working units are resting on the ground, safety stands, or blocks; always turn off the engine when doing so. 

5. A Low and High-Pressure Warning 

Workers may be exposed to three types of hazards when removing or adjusting components without first releasing the pressure:

  • Burns from hot, high-pressure fluid
  • Bruises, cuts, or abrasions from flailing hydraulic lines
  • Hydraulic injection of fluid into the skin 

To avoid these common mistakes, educate yourself on hydraulic press systems and carefully follow instructions. 

With CCS pressure switches, you can protect your hydraulic equipment, personnel and operations. 

You and your team can improve productivity, quality, and employee morale by learning more about hydraulic safety precautions. CCS strives to provide high-quality pressure or temperature switches, cutoff switches, and emergency shutdown switches for those working in industrial hydraulics. The pressure switches in the 604P and 6900P series cater specifically to hydraulic applications.

For more information on CCS pressure and temperature switches in Virginia, contact Automatic Controls of Virginia.

Automatic Controls of Virginia
(804) 752-1000