Monday, August 18, 2014

Crimper Preventive Maintenance

As with other types of equipment, it is very important to properly maintain crimpers. A typical crimper is a hydraulic ram that uses fluid under pressure to extend the ram and crimp the fittings. Fluid flows from the pumps to the cylinder under pressure. This extends the piston, rod and pusher down on the die cone. The die cone is sloped to receive tapered die fingers. As the die cone is pushed by the hydraulic ram, the die fingers are forced (perpendicular) inward. The set of die fingers completely surrounds the ferrule to provide an even crimp. Though there are many types and configurations of crimpers, i.e., vertical (bottom or top loading), horizontal or angled, the basic principle of operation is the same. Pumps do not have to be electronically driven. They can be manual or air driven. Care should be taken to properly set up and maintain these crimpers. Lubrication Lubricants should be reapplied to metal-to-metal sliding surfaces whenever the surface becomes shiny. Use only a very thin coat of Molycote lube. Failure to do so reduces the life of the dies and cone. Excessive wear on these components produces poorly performing hose assemblies that could blow apart and result in injury. Calibration Check the crimper’s calibration at least monthly or whenever you notice a change in crimp diameter. This is critical for repeatedly producing accurate hose assemblies. Be aware that some machines calibrate automatically. Fluid Level Proper fluid level in the reservoir (tank) is important for maximum crimp stroke as well as keeping air from getting into the system. Make sure the fluid is within 1/2” from the top of the tank opening. Die Wear and Storage Check the dies’ sliding and crimping surfaces for wear or damage during use. Look for nicks, chips, racks, gouges and/or other signs of wear. Replace die if any of these exist. Proper storage and lube will extend their service. Store in stable racks or in original Cleaning Hydraulic fluid and lubricants can pickup dirt and debris. Clean off any buildup using a clean shop rag. Buildup can damage crimper components and produce inaccurate crimped assemblies.

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