IMH News


Hydraulic pump diagnostics: good health = good performance

IMH has more than 35 years of hydraulic engineering expertise  so we understand how to get the most out of your hydraulic pumps… and ensure they are in good health. Through our partnership with Bosch Rexroth, we have put together this short guide which will help you identify when your pump health may need to be reviewed and provides best practice to follow to extend the life of your hydraulic pumps 

How to maintain good hydraulic pump health 

Top of the list should be looking after your oil. If you do this it will look after your system, so ensure you use the right oil from the start. We always conduct analysis for our customers to identify and recommend the right oil solution that will meet the needs of their hydraulic systems 

You should regularly take oil samples and then act on the findings. Don’t wait for ‘big’ anomalies. Bosch Rexroth can provide testing kits and a UK laboratory test facility that you can use for regular testing and monitoring of results.  

The key outputs to look for are: 

  • The overall oil health 
  • The dynamic clearanceswhich is the particle sizes – any large particles in the oil could cause blockages and be an indication of an issue to address 
  • Your filtration assessment – you will need to consider here the ISP standard for system cleanliness. This would have been identified at installation. 

We would always advise customers to consider and invest in scheduled maintenance (the regularity of these will be determined by your system’s operation) as you will benefit from the expertise of a trained hydraulic engineer, who will conduct a review of not only your pump but your system too 

preventative maintenance schedule should also be employed based on your system’s running hours, shutdowns and maintenance schedule. This doesn’t need to be conducted by a hydraulic engineer and can be split between daily, weekly, monthly and longer interval checks, which can help to identify any potential problems. This will enable you to rectify any issues before they have a chance to be more problematic to your operations.  

We’re also starting to see a rise in predictive maintenance, which is supported by IoT and industry 4.0 technology. Visualisation and the logging and analysis of data, alongside automated machine and component health monitoring can enable the prediction and signalling of component failure.  

How to resolve poor pump health  

The first tell-tale signs that there may be an issue is if you begin noticing that your hydraulic pump is noisy or is too hot. If this is the case you could conduct some initial diagnostics yourself and check noticeable connections around your system and identify if there are any external factors that could be causing the noise or overheating. If nothing is identified you  could submit an oil sample or commission a pump efficiency test. Again, to help you understand the results, take a look at the points highlighted above or share them with us. Our trained engineers can help you to identify potential causes of the issues you’re experiencing. 

Depending on the outcome of the fault-finding investigations you may require a service engineer to remove the pump and install a spare whilst sending the pump back to the OEM for repair. Once repair works have taken place we can then reinstall and commission your hydraulic pump system.   

Furthermore, some of the solutions to addressing pump health may include changing your filter or oil. We advise that those operations are only conducted by a trained engineer as there are certain standards and conditions that need to be met. For example, when conducting an oil change, you could run the risk of inadvertently introducing contaminates if the oil hasn’t been filtered correctly before use or isn’t filled under specific conditions.  

If you have any questions around anything we’ve highlighted or if you have questions or concerns around your hydraulic system contact us on or call 01642 802 700 we’d be happy to help.  

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