By Mike P. Beining, Product Manager, Eaton
The Mean Time to Failure (MTTF) of a component can vary widely based on the duty cycle, installation of the product, environment and robustness of the product. If one chooses to replace a component every three years, there is no guarantee that the product will last three years. Alternately, that particular component may last six years — meaning that the component was replaced when it had 50% of its useful life left. With this range of performance, it is difficult to determine the exact interval at which hydraulic hose should be replaced without (1) discarding a good hose or (2) without preventing a failure from occurring.
Eaton’s LifeSense Hose is a true condition-based hose monitoring system that is designed to detect failure-related events both inside and outside of the hose, notifying the appropriate person to replace the hose before it actually fails. This hose monitors both internal fatigue and external abrasion, which is the number one cause of hose failure in the field. Once impending failure is detected, the next step is the notification of that impending failure.
There are two options available, a wired system and a wireless system. The wired system consists of a sensor connected on the hose assembly with a wire routed from the sensor to a hose diagnostic unit. The hose diagnostic unit is then able to interpret the data and alert the operator if a hose needs to be replaced. The wireless system includes a sensor connected on the hose assembly that communicates wirelessly via a high frequency radio signal to a hose diagnostic unit. The hose diagnostic unit also doubles as a gateway where it can communicate this information to the cloud via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. With the information in the cloud, it can be sent via text message or e-mail. The wireless system also provides a customer portal that can serve as a user interface for remote monitoring. Now, the true condition of that hydraulic hose can be monitored anywhere anytime.
By combining good hose routing practices and advanced health monitoring technology like Eaton’s LifeSense Hose, the frequency and impact of hydraulic hose failures can be significantly, if not completely eliminated. This results in maximum equipment efficiency and reduced safety concerns.