Preventing Rust and Corrosion

Anytime there is metal involved in a project, there is a possibility of rust. This can present a challenge not only to appearance of the project, but also to the piece’s overall structural integrity. When iron is exposed to oxygen through air or water, rust and corrosion may start to take hold. There are a few ways to combat rust, but it is best to prevent it from forming in the first place.

Ways to Prevent Rust

Here are a few suggestions for how you can work to keep rust and corrosion from destroying your project.

Use Rust and Corrosion Resistant Alloys

There are certain metals, such as stainless steel, that are naturally resistant to rust because of their chemical makeup. For example, stainless steels have chromium added to them. The chromium combines with oxygen to form a passive layer which protects the steel from corrosion. What’s really great about this protective layer is that it can fix itself if damaged. However, this does not mean that stainless steel is completely impervious to corrosion as exposure to extreme environments (such as salt water) can still cause stainless steel to corrode. Before you begin a project, it is important to weigh your options as far as what metals and materials you will use and how they interact with the given environment in which they will exist. 

Another option is to use weathering steel, also known as “COR-TEN” steel. This steel contains various alloys such as chromium, nickel, copper, and phosphorus that create a protective patina that can greatly reduce the rate at which corrosion takes hold.

Intelligent Design

Aside from choosing a corrosion resistant metal, a lot can be accomplished to combat rust through smart design. No matter the structure you are creating, make sure to limit the number of cavities and crevices in which water could easily collect. It is better to weld joints than to bolt them together as water can penetrate the spaces underneath bolts and washers and eventually cause them to fail. You should also prioritize making all spaces open to make future maintenance as easy as possible, so rust can be addressed as soon as it is discovered.

Paint

Painting is a great, low-cost way to protect against rust. The paint forms a protective barrier between the metal and corrosive elements. Oil-based paints are the best choice if you are trying to prevent water and oxygen from penetrating the metal and causing corrosion. Keep in mind that you will have to regularly monitor the quality of the paint. As soon as the paint chips or becomes damaged, the metal underneath will become more susceptible to corrosion.

Powder Coating

Another great option to protect your piece is to have it powder coated. This is the process of applying a dry powder via spraying and then heating it, so it forms a thin, protective film.

At Yarbrough Industries, we have experts to help you through the process to ensure your project lasts.

Make sure to contact us about any metal fabrication and machining questions you may have!

Why Do Hydraulic Cylinders Fail?

Hydraulic cylinders are used in many industrial applications including a variety of manufacturing equipment and engineering vehicles, or civil engineering equipment. Hydraulic cylinders may encounter challenges for a variety of reasons. Regular equipment inspection, and a good preventive maintenance plan will help decrease the chances of cylindrical failure due to the following reasons:

  • Seal Leakage: One of the most common reasons we see cylinder failure is due to seal leakage. This can be caused by a variety of reasons, from something as simple as an incorrect fitting to inappropriate metalwork clearances. Some other causes of hydraulic cylinder seal leakage might be something like markings on seal grooves or corrosion.
  • Contaminated Fluid: Fluid contamination is another major reason for the cylindrical failure. Abrasive particles that are trapped in a contaminated fluid can bring severe damage to the piston rod or seal surface. Airborne contamination is usually induced by a faulty wiper seal.
  • Damaged Rod Bearings or Piston Rods: It is also common to see damaged rod bearings or piston rods that lead to hydraulic cylinder failure. This is caused due to improper alignment between load and the cylinder, thereby resulting in a bending, or side loading.
  • Internally Corroded Barrel: Contaminated fluid inside a cylinder can lead to internal corrosion. This can be avoided by blocking the water ingress inside the cylinder. However, it may be a sign that cylinder is being used in an environment, where it should not be used. It’s important for an expert to determine what the cause of the corrosion is and how it should be remedied. 
  • Broken Eye Bearing: If a cylinder handles loads above its specification, you may encounter a broken eye bearing.  These may also be caused by a shock loading or a sudden impact due to high pressure.
  • Extreme Temperatures: This factor may affect hydraulic cylinders  by limiting the choice of seal geometries or materials. It can also cause less lubrication and/or seals with cracked sides or brittle appearance.
  • Chemical Contact: Certain chemicals can cause cylinder failure when they come in contact with the seal. While verifying beforehand can prevent this, it is often forgotten, leading to compatibility issues and numerous problems. 

There are various other reasons for a cylindrical failure ranging from high pressure conditions to side loading and more. However, if you notice any symptoms of hydraulic cylinder failure, you can immediately contact an expert preventative maintenance service such as Yarbrough Industries. 

Should You Repair, Rebuild or Replace Your Hydraulic Equipment?

There is no time to waste when your hydraulic equipment fails. You have to get it working as soon as possible. There are always three options when it come to hydraulic equipment – repair, replace or rebuild. How do you know which one to choose?

All three options can be good, but more and more companies are opting to rebuild hydraulic equipment rather than purchasing new components or repairing the existing components. What is a rebuild, and when should you choose that option over repairing or replacing a component? It’s important to make an informed decision the next time you face a hydraulic equipment failure, so lets look at the options.

What’s The Difference Between Equipment Repair and A Full Rebuild?Definitions of a rebuild can vary based on the shop you visit, but typically a rebuild is a piece of equipment that has been used previously and completely reconditioned for further use. Our expert rebuilders at Yarbrough Industries can not only restore a piece of equipment to OEM specifications, they can often exceed the quality of a brand-new machine.

A proper hydraulic equipment rebuild means that it is completely disassembled and every piece is inspected individually. The parts are evaluated for wear, damage, and effect on the overall life of the component. Replacement and reconditioning of parts is performed as needed, the component is reassembled, and then it undergoes thorough quality and performance testing.

A repair is a process focusing on fixing the individual parts involved in failure, rather than the overall equipment.

There is also some confusion about the similarity to purchasing used hydraulic equipment. However, used equipment has not generally been refurbished or reconditioned and as an older piece of equipment, may be closer to a failure.

Pricing Your Choice:

Rebuilds are increasing in popularity every year because they tend to cost less over time.

A rebuild typically costs about half of the price of a new piece of equipment, and this includes components like hydraulic motors and pumps.

While repairs may initially be cheaper, it’s only a matter of time before the equipment fails and repairs are once again needed.

In the long run, rebuilds usually end up being cheaper than repairs and are certainly less expensive than purchasing new replacement parts.

Consider Your Lead Time

Choosing to rebuild hydraulic equipment over purchasing new equipment is often the decision when time is of the essence. A certified rebuild usually involves a much shorter lead time, typically because there is significant time that is spent waiting for replacement parts to possibly be manufactured and then delivered. The longer the wait for replacement parts, the longer machines are down, which creates production cost issues and downtime for employees.

When these issues are factored in, rebuilds often become the most economical option. A rebuilt component, such as a cylinder or motor, can be refurbished immediately, minimizing the downtime of the equipment and staff involved.

Let The Experts Make The Decision Easy

At Yarbrough Industries, we can help you, whether its a replacement, repair or rebuild. We are committed to providing your equipment the quality and lifespan you need at a price that you can afford. We evaluate and work quickly so that your company is back in business in no time. We also offer rebuild and repair services for cylinders, pumps, gears, motors, valves and other hydraulic components. We work on motor brands including Eaton, Char-Lynn and numerous others.

Here at Yarbrough, our skilled technicians can troubleshoot, rebuild, repair, install, and maintain your equipment on a preventative maintenance schedule.

We offer mobile services, and our trucks are loaded with the parts and tools needed to keep your equipment running at peak performance. Give us a call today! 

How To Choose The Right Metal Fabricator

 

There are many choices when you are looking for a metal fabricator that has the capabilities and services you need for your next project. But how do you determine which one will be the best fit for you? What is important to look for? What sets one company apart from the rest?

These are the characteristics that will help you distinguish between a competent fabricator and an exceptional metal fabrication partner.

1. Experience Matters

A company with years of experience under their belts will have the knowledge to help you make strategic decisions regarding product design and fabrication needs. When you partner with an experienced company, you will be backed by the knowledge and expertise of people who can make the best recommendations while keeping them realistic. They can guide you in everything from structural aesthetics to functionality.

2. Invested In Your Success

When choosing a partner for your metal fabrication needs, you should look for someone who is personally invested in your success, beginning to end.  When you have a partner who has watched your product evolve and helped refine your designs, they will be far more invested in creating an effective product. Effectual product design begins with an expert partner who can guide you through the entire product development cycle.

3. Innovation Is Imperative

The way a company approaches a new project can set them apart when you are looking for the right fit. A company with an innovative approach to projects will stand out from the commoditized competition by differentiating themselves through value-driven fabrication. No matter if you are looking for a simple consultation on product development or needing full metal fabrication project management, the partner you choose should constantly evaluate the product’s functionality, cost-effectiveness and structural integrity. 

4. Cost-Consciousness

The company you choose to partner with should have a proactive cost avoidance approach. Avoiding unseen costs due to scope creep is important as you work through your project. It is a common occurrence for metal fabrication products, so identifying a fabrication partner that will help you reduce material, assembly and shipping costs, as well as holding and handling costs, a ballooning scope—and bill—can be avoided. To be successful, it is critical that your fabrication partner commits to understanding all aspects of your supply chain operations.

5. Multiple Material Suppliers

When a metal fabricator buys from multiple suppliers, they are able to negotiate for material prices and products on your behalf and to your benefit. Having multiple suppliers also means they can buy, ship, store and process the steel in-house, which helps considerably when you need high-volume projects and achieving economies of scale. multiple suppliers they are able to source materials that best suit your application. The flexibility to purchase large quantities at reduced prices OR specialty material for your non-typical project means you will get exactly what you need at the best possible rate.  

Choosing the best metal fabrication partner is critical to the overall strength of your business. By taking the time to identify and partner with a strategic, useful, all-in-one metal fabricator, you’ll notice a difference in production cost, effectiveness and efficiency. Don’t settle for anything short of first-class service and reliability.

Yarbrough Industries is here to provide the experience and service you need to ensure your project’s success. 

Why Purchase a Pallet Dispenser?

What is a Pal-o-Matic Pallet Dispenser?

Pallet dispensers replace manual handling of pallets to streamline automated and manual material handling systems.  A pallet dispenser holds a number of pallets, often up to 45, and provides pallets one by one for easy retrieval at floor level by an electric pallet jack, manual pallet jack, or forklift.

Having a good pallet dispenser is an integral part of an efficient manual or semi-automatic palletizing system ensuring a pallet is always ready for your team to place products.

Yarbrough’s Pal-O-Matic pallet dispensers reduce labor and improve productivity for your company.  Our pallet dispensers can be used alongside semi-automated palletizing, order pick systems, and low cycle store/dispense processes.  The Pal-O-Matic can be configured to integrate with existing equipment. 

Once you have invested in a Yarbrough’s Pal-O-Matic pallet dispenser you can expect it to last many years and be very reliable while requiring minimal maintenance.

Who Needs a Pallet Dispenser?

Industries such as medical supply, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, food processing, grocery warehouse, chemical processing, auto parts distribution, material handling, paper and consumer products distribution can all benefit from an automated pallet handling system.

The Pal-O-Matic dispensers will work with most types of pallets, including stringer style, white wood, block style, slave boards, plastic, metal, as well as custom shipping skids.

How Does a Pallet Dispenser Work?

Pallet dispensers are loaded with a forklift. A pallet jack, hand truck or forklift can then access the front of the dispenser and retrieve one or two pallets at floor level. The machine then quickly places another pallet on the floor.

What are the Benefits of a Pal-O-Matic Pallet Dispenser?

There are numerous ways a Pal-O-Matic Pallet Dispenser can benefit your company.

  1.  Effective Use of Time: Your order pickers will spend less time retrieving
    pallets, up to 4.7 hours saved for every 1000 pallets* .
  2. Using Space Efficiently: Our Model 4500 will hold 45 pallets and occupies only 40 sq ft
    of valuable floor space. The same number of pallets in 4 ft tall stacks
    scattered around your warehouse takes more than twice that area.
  3. Reduce Pallet Damage: During the typical manual retrieval, pallets are thrown and
    stacks are toppled. Pal-O-Matic ensures that no longer happens, saving time and money for your company. Also, the pallets
    are contained so the jack can enter without the pallets pushing away. This
    eliminates damage to building columns and rack legs.
  4. Improves Safety for Employees: An “over exertion” injury, typical from lifting a heavy or
    bulky object, can easily cost $50,000 in medical expenses and lost time. If
    manual lifting of pallets is eliminated from your employees’ duties, you make
    their job easier and have a high probability of preventing a painful and
    expensive injury. Lifting pallets is often the most difficult part of an order
    picker’s job, so eliminating it can increase your hiring options.
  5. Improves Morale: When the order pickers realize that our automated pallet dispenser makes their job easier, they feel recognized and appreciated. This, of course, leads to improved productivity!

How Long Does a Pallet Dispenser Last?

With proper maintenance, you can anticipate a 12+ year life from our machines even in heavy service of 2 or 3 shifts per day. It is
not unusual for us to hear from customers that have been using our
machines for 15, 20, or even 25 years. We provide technical and parts
support long after the sale.

Contact us at (877)869-5344 or rreynaud@ymsinc.net with any questions.
*information from a time study provided by one of our customers comparing
pallet retrieval times with and without an automated dispenser

New Cincinnati Press Brake!

Yarbrough Industries had a new Cincinnati press brake “flown in” to provide even higher quality bent parts at competitive prices.  This new machine is the perfect complement to their laser, water jet, welding and other fabrication equipment.  Now is a great time to contact Yarbrough for a quote on your parts or assemblies.

 

 

Is Hydraulic Efficiency a Myth?

Many detractors sneer at the idea of hydraulic efficiency, right-sizing components, proper system design and modern technology can go a long way to achieving system efficiency.

Piston pumps, such as this Hengli America, are some of the most efficient hydraulic pump designs available.

“Hydraulic efficiency” is a term alluding similar sentiments to “exact estimate” or “scientific belief.” It’s not that hydraulic efficiency is an oxymoron, per se, but these aren’t traditionally two words that make sense shoulder to shoulder. If efficiency was your top benefit on the list of machine requirements, fluid power wouldn’t have been on your short list of options, at least in the past half-century or longer.

Efficiency is a word now more commonly familiar to us, thanks to the escalation of green values—especially those defining the way we use natural resources. No longer can we take a limitless and inexpensive source of energy for granted, nor can we abuse the dirty sources of inexpensive energy at the expense of our precious environment. We must take full advantage of our energy resources to achieve the work required for maintaining our standard of living, while reducing associated waste along the way.

What is efficiency?

I define efficiency as work-in minus work-out. Essentially, it’s the differential between the energy your process requires and the energy input required to achieve that process. Your process could be stamping, rolling, injecting, moving, pressing or any other mechanical function capable of being achieved in a rotational or linear motion. If you’re running a punch press, for example, the machine efficiency is defined as the current draw of the pump’s motor minus the combined force and velocity of the punch die.

Most machines are designed to convert energy from one form to another, which can sometimes occur multiple times. Because of the Laws of Thermodynamics, you cannot change energy from one form to another without creating waste energy, and this is a fact regardless of the energy transformation taking place. In the case of a hydraulic machine, you must convert electrical energy to mechanical energy within the electric motor, resulting in partial waste. Then you must convert mechanical energy into hydraulic energy within the pump, resulting in partial waste. Then you must convert hydraulic energy back into mechanical energy at your cylinder or hydraulic motor, resulting in partial waste.

The internal workings of the hydraulic gear pump. Image courtesy of CD Industrial Group Inc.

The amount of energy wasted in the above example could be staggering, especially if you’re using an old machine with old components. Let’s say you have a 10-hp electric motor—and keep in mind electric motors are rated on power consumption, not power output. Your old motor might have an efficiency of 85%, meaning it will produce 8.5 hp at its shaft, the other 1.5 hp being wasted as pure heat.

In your old power unit, you have a worn and tired gear pump. When new, a gear pump is lucky to have 80% efficiency, so I’ll be generous to throw 75% at this example, since gear pumps become less efficient over their lifetimes. So this pump can convert only 6.4 of the motor’s 8.5-hp shaft output into usable hydraulic energy. The rest of the energy is, you guessed it, wasted as pure heat. We’ve now lost 36% of the electrical energy inputted, and we haven’t even done anything yet.

Just to be intentionally derisive, I’m going to choose a hydraulic motor as our actuator; a gerotor motor to be exact. These motors come at a modest price and perform at a modest level. They were a clever design back in the day, but have high leakage to lubricate the myriad components, and they leak even more if you operate them outside their optimum torque and speed curve. Leakage, I should note, is a designed element of most hydraulic components, based on gaps and clearances with internal moving parts, which is required to lubricate that component. More moving parts or higher clearances means more leakage, and I should further note, any fluid lost to leakage carries with it pure heat equal to the pressure and flow of the leakage.

Now that I’ve blasted gerotor motors, I’ll back it up by saying they’re often incapable of reaching 80% efficiency. There are some versions of these “orbital” motors, like the disc valve variant, which can be close to 90% efficient, but it would be only within a tiny window of flow and pressure. I’ll stick with 80% for this example, which is generous. With the 6.4 hydraulic horsepower we have in our system, we’re left with 5.1 hp at the hydraulic motor’s shaft.

Why use hydraulics in the first place?

So with barely half of our input energy making its way to the output stage, it’s easy to see why I’m dubious of “hydraulic efficiency.” So why use hydraulics when we could have powered our machine straight from the electric motor and take advantage of 8.5 hp instead of 5.1? In that answer lies the reason hydraulics are awesome; with $300 worth of valving, you can infinitely vary torque and speed, and reverse direction. Our electric motor would require sophisticated electronic control to achieve the same features.

To be fair, I’m using one of the worst-case examples for hydraulic efficiency. Not only are there more efficient components available than gear pumps and orbital motors, there are ingenious approaches to using hydraulic components. Furthermore, recent advances in electronic control have not ignored the fluid power industry, and there are some tricks to further improve hydraulic efficiency.

Invest in better technology

Pressure compensated pumps are set to a particular standby pressure, and when this pressure is reached, the pump reduces flow until downstream pressure drops below that standby pressure. Image courtesy of CD Industrial Group

I can’t stress enough that a hydraulic machine is really just an energy conversion device, and when you can convert your input energy into usable force with as little heat waste as possible, you’re on the right track. A pump converts the mechanical energy of the prime mover into hydraulic energy in the form of pressure and flow. If I were to recommend one component you blow the bankroll on, it would be the pump.

A piston pump, especially a high-quality one, can be 95% efficient at converting input energy into hydraulic energy. Not only does this pump provide 27% more available hydraulic energy than our old gear pump, it creates 80% less waste heat than it, reducing or eliminating cooling requirements.

Not only does an efficient pump help, an efficient design works wonders. If you have a fixed displacement pump on a flow control, any unused fluid is wasted as heat. For example, take even our 95% efficient fixed piston pump, giving us 9.5 gpm out of a theoretical 10 gpm. If your downstream priority flow control valve is set to 5 gpm, 4.5 gpm is bypassed to tank. However, all of the 9.5 gpm is still being created at full system pressure, and what’s dumped to tank is lost as heat. So now our 95% efficient pump is helping create a 50% inefficient system.

A load-sensing pump will provide only the pressure and flow required of the circuit and actuator, with only a few hundred psi worth of pressure drop as the waste by-product. Image courtesy of CD Industrial Group

To get around this, pressure compensation was created. A pressure compensated pump is set to a particular standby pressure, and when this pressure is reached, the pump reduces flow until downstream pressure drops below that standby pressure. For example, if you have a 10 gpm pump set at 3,000 psi, and flow is restricted below 10 gpm, the pump will reduce its displacement to exactly match the downstream flow and pressure drop at 3,000 psi. Essentially, the pump only produces the flow being asked for, no more, but always at 3,000 psi.

But what if we only want 1,000 psi for a particular operation? Well, you could use a pressure-reducing valve, but the pump is still producing 3,000 psi, so you’re not saving any energy. To remedy this, the load-sensing pump was invented. A load sensing pump has an additional compensator that is plumbed downstream of the metering valve. This configuration allows it to measure load pressure and compare it to compensator pressure. The result is the pump will provide only the pressure and flow required of the circuit and actuator, with only a few hundred psi worth of pressure drop as the waste by-product.

The use of variable speed technology can dramatically increase hydraulic efficiency. Here, the new Green Hydraulic Power units use Siemen’s SINAMICS variable speed servo pump drive to increase efficiency by up to 70%.

Recent advancements in control technology have resulted in a similar concept of pressure and flow management, but using a combination of fixed displacement pumps, servo or VFD motors and pressure transducers. The pressure transducers measure pressure after the pump and after the metering valves, and PLC gives the signal to rotate the pump at a speed only fast enough to achieve the desired pressure and flow. It’s quite an advanced technology, and has progressed to the point a pump could hold a stationary load and rotate fractional speed just to compensate for leakage. Another advantage to this technology is that the motor doesn’t even turn when no energy is required, and then again only with the energy required by demand of the hydraulic system.

Aside from choosing efficient pump designs, using efficient hydraulic actuators is the next best place to continue. Not much can be said of hydraulic cylinders, because most are close to 100% efficient already, depending on sealing technology. But just like with your hydraulic pump, the hydraulic motor has many variations, each with their own contribution to overall efficiency.

Ranking popular hydraulic motors in terms of efficiency, they range from radial piston, axial piston, vane, gear and orbital, with efficiencies around 95, 90, 85, 80 or less, respectively. Of course, these motors would have the same ranking in cost, so the adage of “you get what you pay for” applies here. Other than just choosing an efficient motor design, there isn’t much you can do to enhance efficiency, other than eliminating return port backpressure, and applying motors with the same load-sensing techniques described with pumps.

So for the most part, hydraulics is not an efficient technology. But neither are gasoline-powered cars, and millions of those are sold every day, because there is no better option for their task. Regardless, efficiency in hydraulics is progressing, and advancements in materials and technologies will further that. As long as you are aware of what it takes to create “hydraulic efficiency,” the term won’t seem curious like “seriously funny” or “virtual reality.”