11 July 2022

Hydraulic operator for gates, the most frequent installation errors

Hydraulic automations only need a few tricks during installation: here are two mistakes not to be made.

What is a hydraulic actuator?

An hydraulic actuator for an automatic gate is a system that transmits the motive energy through a pressurized fluid. This fluid is generally hydraulic oil whose flow rate is determined by a pump within a circuit and is therefore used to move a jack or a hydraulic motor depending on whether the mechanical movement is linear or rotary.

If you are an installer, you certainly know what we are talking about and what we are referring to: in fact, it will have happened to you several times that you have to install an automatic gate or perform maintenance in which the object of attention was precisely the hydraulic motor body.

So let’s see immediately what you have to pay attention to when installing a hydraulic actuator and that will avoid many problems for your customer.

Hydraulic actuator installation errors: welds and surroundings

Quando si parla di malfunzionamenti dell’attuatore oleodinamico, una volta su due il problema è derivato da un’infiltrazione d’acqua. Ma com’è possibile che entri acqua in un pezzo che dovrebbe essere a tenuta stagna?

When it comes to hydraulic actuator malfunctions, usually the problem is derived from water infiltration. But how is it possible that water enters a piece that should be watertight?

The answer is in the installation process: sometimes it happens that the blacksmith, or whoever took care of the welds, has welded on the motor pin and by heating has ruined the watertight seal on the shaft.

Even the built-in hydraulic actuators, even if they are built to practically resist to soaking, they must be preserved from contact with water as much as possible: due to the wear of one of the parts there could be infiltrations that can determine the blocking of the engine and also more serious problems.

Therefore: pay attention to the welds during installation and be careful to position the built-in hydraulic actuator in a place well protected from water, where stagnation (a gutter in the ground) is not created, where drainage channels do not reach and where – possibly – there is coverage. This will make the gate fully functional for longer .

Hydraulic actuator installation errors: the right oil in the right quantity

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Topping up the oil in a hydraulic actuator is not a difficult operation. This is why rather than calling dedicated assistance, sometimes your customers prefer to rely on a “practical friend” who throws in a random hydraulic oil, perhaps that of the tractor, claiming that “everything will work”.

But this is not the case at all. In fact, there may be a problem related to the chemical incompatibility of the oil with the material that makes up the gasket and this condition can cause deterioration of the component well before the end of its life.

This is why so many interventions are requested because the wrong choice of oil. But not only. Too much oil (and of course too little) can cause malfunctions.

The hydraulic motor is a simple mechanism that is made to last over time. That is why it is important that you make your customers understand first of all the need to consult a professional installer and secondly to always use approved and recommended components, lubricants and oils.

Other frequent installation problems on the hydraulic actuator

Errors in the installation of a hydraulic actuator can create many problems. The time and frequency of use can also affect the motor too. Two factors which, when combined, can determine the duration of an automation.

Quality hydraulic actuators, such as those from VDS Automation, can last up to 20/25 years without causing problems, especially if maintenance is done regularly and by a specialized technician.

However, you know that the gate and its mechanical components are exposed to bad weather, heat and cold and can be affected by other events, first of all an accidental impact with the car. For this reason, during the life of the gate it is possible that requests for assistance are more than one.

Let’s check the most frequent ones.

Deposits due to wear of the seals block the pump

Excluding problems of a different technical nature, it can sometimes happen that insufficient maintenance of the lubrication system can lead to the accumulation of impurities in the oil.

The presence of contaminating particles in the fluid can cause wear by erosion or abrasion. In these cases, the system causes operating problems and loss of performance. The oil filter in a hydraulic circuit is an essential component on which it is worth focusing attention.

Too hot? Check it during installation and maintenance

An oil suitable for a hydraulic system is designed to operate within a specific temperature range. It can work at high temperatures for short periods of time but in the long run, high temperatures can cause damage to the entire hydraulic actuator.

In most cases, up to 49 ° C is considered the “ideal operating temperature” but problems can arise just above this threshold. It is important to estimate the maximum operating temperature and check, also based on the exposure of the machine, what is the temperature that the oil reaches, especially in the days of summer heat.

In fact, in warmer climates and regions, it may be necessary to change the oil more frequently.

A high fluid temperature generates pollution and degradation: the formation of particles starting from the degradation of hydrocarbons is in fact directly influenced by the temperature

Air bubbles inside the stem and the gate “tears”

How many times have they called you to tell you that the gate had some movement problem? The formation of air bubbles within a hydraulic system is a problem of no small importance that negatively affects the performance of the automation.

It is a fairly obvious problem and is immediately recognizable to an expert eye: if an uneven, slowed and above all made up of small jerks stroke is noticed during the spout, there is air in the system.

Choose VDS Automation hydraulic actuators: easy to install and maintain

For over thirty years, we have been producing, with passion and determination, automations for gates, barriers, automatic doors, garage doors, shutters and roller shutters.

The hydraulic actuators for gates, as well as all the automation kits, are produced entirely in Italy by highly specialized personnel with the highest quality raw materials. The design and construction of molds, the production of mechanical parts, such as gears and drive shafts with sophisticated numerical control machinery, the development of the control panels and the assembly of our kits and the severe final tests, all take place within the VDS factories.

We believe in what we do, in fact we organize courses for distributors, sellers and installers because the success of our products also depends on you and your professionalism.

>> Discover the quality of our hydraulic gate operators

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