All hydraulic systems need a compatible oil for operation. This is why oil is considered as the lifeblood of every hydraulic system. So, the most important concern regarding a hydraulic system is definitely leakage. Improper installation and lack of maintenance are major issues that cause hydraulic oil leakage. Whether it is an internal leakage or external leakage, the consequences will be greater if adequate maintenance is not provided at the right time. If any connector in your system has a minute leakage that leaks one drop of oil in a minute, the overall oil loss will be greater than expected if considered for a year. If this leakage is neglected for a longer period, the volume of leaking oil will increase gradually.
How to calculate the cost of oil leakage? Based on different data collected from the leak point, it is possible to approximately calculate the cost of oil leakage. For efficient calculation of oil leakage cost, the data that need to be collected are the drops per minute, the number of leaking points, oil cost, total operating days, daily operating hours, and others. With this calculation, you can only identify how much will be the expense of leaked oil. But when considering the total cost of oil leakage, there are many more factors to consider.
The different factors that affect the actual cost of the oil leak are:
Oil Make-up/Replacement: For the smooth performance of the hydraulic system, it is important to maintain a fixed level of oil need to be maintained. But, leakage will drain out the oil and it will be required to fill up the oil to make-up this loss. The expense of replaced oil and labor costs needs to add up the total cost.
Safety: The oil leakage is a serious safety concern in the hydraulic industry. When pressurized oil leaks, it will result in injection injuries and other related hazards. Also, the technicians will slip and fall on the worksite and injure themselves. Even though the possibilities of these accidents are rare, if it happens, calculating the cost associated with it will be hard.
Environmental Concerns: The oil spill is a serious safety concern that affects the environment and habitat. The consequences will depend on the type and magnitude of the spill and its location. To reduce this impact, the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has set up different standards and effective practices for companies to follow. Heavy fines and penalties will be charged for companies that didn’t follow these standards.
Transportation and Disposal: The waste oil collected from the worksite will be properly recycled or disposed of at a suitable location. The disposal of oil needs to be done carefully by following the industry standard. The cost of transporting waste oil and expense on disposal need to consider.
Clean-up Cost: When there is oil leakage in any of your machinery, it will definitely make both the machinery and worksite dirty. The clean-up cost includes labor cost, required cleaning equipment cost, and cost for consumables like detergents and absorbent material.
Loss of Machine Efficiency: Leakage in the hydraulic system will make your machine performance worsen. The loss of efficiency means reduced productivity. Low oil level means a lack of lubrication and it increases the wear and tear of the machinery.
Contaminant ingression: Solid particles, air, water, etc.... are foreign particles that damage the hydraulic system operations. Contaminants will enter the system through leak spots. The solid contaminants will block the filters located inside the circuit and it will be required to replace filters in regular intervals. When water enters the system, corrosion will occur and deteriorate the metal surfaces.