12 Steps to Troubleshooting Pneumatic Systems

by:FLOS     2020-09-08
Troubleshooting a pneumatic system has been considered an art, a science, and / or hit-or-miss luck. On minds of maintenance personnel, production managers, and plant managers, the word troubleshooting conjures up images of hours of downtime and lost production.
However, when reduced to its basic elements, troubleshooting a pneumatic system can be a step-by-step procedure. Using this type of process can make the ability to determine what the problem is, the probable cause of the malfunction or failure, and a solution.
Every pneumatic circuit has a logical sequence of operation that can involve timing logic, pressure sensing, position sensing, and speed legislations. Troubleshooting is initiated when the circuit does not operate properly.
Certain general diagnostic and testing steps can be utilized to any troubleshooting problem, whether the problem occurred at startup of a new system or within the breakdown of footwear system.
Think safety first
Safety ought to always be a prime concern of maintenance man or women. Compressed air is a volatile element within a pneumatic rounds. Air receiver tanks have exploded, causing severe injury to personnel and damage to property. It is imperative to relieve pressure within a receiver tank prior to cooking any automobile.
Air one more highly compressible, which but another reason to cautious inside the approach to troubleshooting a pneumatic system. When working with overhead loads that are supported by cylinders, but not mechanically locked into position, block the strain before servicing the system to prevent falling or drifting.
Many pneumatic systems are controlled by electrical or electronic units. Before attempting service or repair on these components, be sure the an electrical source supply recently been turned shut off.
Pneumatic directional control valves that use electrical solenoids to operate the valve spool are sometimes equipped with manual overrides (Fig. 1) that is used during troubleshooting to operate the system.
Pneumatic lockout valves (Fig. 2) are excellent safety devices that, when used properly on pneumatic systems, can prevent accidental operation. Ensuring a safe condition should invariably be the first step in troubleshooting pneumatic procedures.
Ask a number of Ws
When a dysfunction in the computer occurs, the pressures of downtime loom large in the minds just about all concerned. Before beginning repair of a system, stop and ask these three questions:
What is or is not occurring your system's functionality?
When did the problem begin? Maybe it was a sudden failure also known as gradual breakdown?
Where planet machine cycle does every single day occur? Was it at startup or as the system has been operating long?
What is or is not occurring in the system is commonly answered from system user. Answers to questions such as slow actuator speed or inability of the actuator to move could effect looking for their low flow rate or low make.
Asking, 'When did think begin?' can regularly lead to troubleshooting steps looking for worn components or leaking. Sudden malfunctions can point to breaks and possible mechanical problems, ruptures in lines, or other catastrophic failures. By determining the when, really don't . search can be narrowed in the scope.
Asking, 'Where in device cycle does the problem occur?' can reveal a reoccurring quality.
If good maintenance records have been kept, reoccurring problems should have been noted. This information makes the troubleshooting process incredibly easier.
A maintenance person who stops and asks 3 Ws can help downtime by not in order to guess at what is wrong. However, if these questions do not yield an acceptable diagnosis taking care person must begin the mechanics of troubleshooting by visually inspecting the terminal.
Make a visual inspection
Walking upon the machine will often uncover problems such as worn or burst hoses, loose components, and broken components. This is the time to become familiar with components inside the pneumatic system.
If not really acquainted with the components, or if unfamiliar one machine operation, ask the largest number of pertinent questions the system as likely. Before trying to operate it or attempt repairs, see the interrelations of all the so-called components and the sub-systems found on the machine.
Read the schematics
Every pneumatic system need to have two connected with documentation that will in problem solving. One document is a schematic drawing among the pneumatic circuit (Fig. 3). The schematic is a road map. It not only explains using function of this components however is a valuable diagnostic machine.
The schematic contains useful information about pressure test point locations; pressure settings of regulators and other pressure valves; flow rates within the system; cylinder stroke lengths, and air motor speeds as well as a bill of materials for the system. Type of information can assist with determining when the system is operating within its design parameters.
Along with schematics which is available from the manufacturer, another associated with documents, the service/maintenance manual and its service bulletin updates, may be available to aid in diagnosing and repair of the equipment. These may contain information concerning the problem which includes occurred.
Operate the machine
After becoming familiar the brand new components and operation with the pneumatic system, start the equipment and operate it to obtain a first-hand view of this malfunction. The firm is accredited the malfunction that has been reported occurs again. While operating the machine, complete a visual evaluation.
Some questions to ask the particular inspection:
Is there any excessive air seapage?
Are system pressures at the levels specified on the schematic probably the maintenance manual?
If there are manual controls for the machine, do they feel stiff or loose in their operation?
Are components that move, moving smoothly or erratically?
By operating the machine, any abnormalities may become obvious, shortening troubleshooting time.
Recheck all services
Before attempting repair within machine software package . has been operated, once again check to determine if power supplied on the machine is turned gone. Check to see if any stored pressure remains in the system, much less stored pressure can cause premature actuation of the system's actuators and cause injury to personnel and damage for the machine.
Isolate subsystems
A malfunction in one part for the machine can be caused through malfunction in the different subsystem on the machine. Isolating the subsystems, can help focus 1 hand system at any given time. Narrowing the diagnostic area by isolation of subsystems requires extra precaution while operating the equipment.
Any lines that are disconnected and then ports possess been opened should be plugged properly to prevent unnecessary air leakage as well as the entrance of contaminants.
While operating the machine, a close watch must be kept on the pressures within the system, so maximum allowable pressures aren't exceeded. Caution and safety are the two keys to this diagnostic trick.
Make an email list
During the prior step, the immediate problem possibly be quite noticeable. However, in troubleshooting, the obvious may not really the cause.
As an example, apparent problem always be slow actuator speed however the root reason for the problem could be insufficient lubrication, no lubrication due to a faulty lubricator (Fig. 4), or bad seals relating to the directional control valve that controls the actuator.
After creating a list of possible causes, check those things on record and get rid of them without coming back again over ground previously twisted. This list will also reduce time required for troubleshooting which enable eliminate the parts exchanging syndrome that often accompanies trouble shooting.
The illustration of slow actuator speed shows why an understanding of component and system operating principles is called for to accurately match this causes a major to what causes it.
After making a list and narrowing payday advance causes, can be now period for make a decision on 1 of the way to causes is more than likely to function as a reason for the malfunction. Reaching this conclusion may, at first, appear difficult but this step is essentially the starting point for the repair involving troubleshooting. Till now the program has been evaluated, now it's time to use the in closing.
In the example, testing the conclusion may be merely your need to add lubricant towards lubricator or make an adjustment to your drip rate of the lubricator.
Conducting various tests while pressure checks with a gauge, checking actuator alignment, checking flow rate in the system having a flow meter, or temperature checking in the air system, can further reduce cash advances of causes remaining along the list and accurately concentrate on the cause.
Repair or replace
Testing the final automatically for you to deciding whether to repair or replace an element. Many factors can influence this path. Repairing parts immediately for reinstallation for a machine increases downtime, as well as the cost factor of this downtime is a significant consideration.
To simply replace the part along with a new or rebuilt component would lessen amount of downtime; however, the question of inventory cost now becomes an ellement.
Another point that may influence the repair-or-replace question is component opportunity. Obviously if the component is not readily available, then repairing may work as the only switch. Still another aspect can be the inhouse capability help to make repairs.
After the malfunction already been corrected, the last step remains, the will need to report the findings.
Report what did
Paperwork is neglected, but in the case of pneumatic troubleshooting is a vital part for the procedure. The forms helps to maintain a record of changes, problems, and solutions possess been occurred to individual pieces of equipment. Schematic updates are necessary to keep this diagnostic tool current and accurate. Report making also serves being a good reference should any problems reoccur in earth.
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