Although the upfront cost of a new fluid power system may seem high, the key question for design engineers is whether the cost will be worth it in the long run. This frequently comes down to balancing upfront investment with the lifetime cost of ownership to calculate the optimum return on investment (ROI) from the application. In fact, businesses that invest in high quality fluid management systems can expect to see their ROI increase over time as they reap savings on maintenance and repairs.
The initial cost of a hydraulic system is more than just the cost of all its individual components. There are also added costs, such as design and engineering expenses, custom-manufacturing of components, and installation costs to consider when determining your initial quotation.
1) Design Cost: This includes your conceptual design through the final engineering, test and validation phases.
2) Custom Components: Parts that are not off-the-shelf may be necessary for your application. These parts often include custom fittings, couplings, tubes, pipe, or hose assemblies to suit your specific machine configuration.
3) Engineers’ Time: Consider the time engineers will spend scoping the project and running and validating the tests that ensure components meet requirements. There’s also the time spent to improve the design throughout the prototyping and manufacturing stages.
4) Manufacturing Costs: The manufacturing process will vary significantly depending on the components selected, but each one must be carefully designed and tested for safety before it goes into production. In addition, when manufacturers are involved in the entire process from concept through design and testing, they can better identify ways to improve the system’s performance/design and reduce manufacturing cost.
Now that your hydraulic system is up and running, it’s time to monitor the ongoing expenses that contribute to its lifetime cost of ownership. These include:
- Inspecting components for wear and tear
- Replacing parts as they wear out over time
- Scheduling required updates or repairs
Inspection is critical to ensuring your system stays safe and efficient throughout its operational lifetime. Components must be inspected regularly and replaced when they show signs of wear and tear. For example, hoses, tubes, and fittings should be inspected often, especially when exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun or vibrations from machinery.
Replacing parts as they wear out over time is another expense to factor in. Regularly replaced parts include consumables such as o-rings, gaskets, hose clamps and wire mesh safety screens. Other components are designed to last much longer but still require scheduled replacement. These include cylinders, pistons, piston rods and bushings or bearings.
The Importance Of Quality And Design Expertise For Long Term Value And A Positive ROI
The choices made during the design phase will significantly impact the frequency of repairs and the overall cost of ownership. Therefore, it’s essential to consider factors such as the quality of components and whether or not your design system meets current safety certifications as well as optimal performance over the long term. The goal is to create a hydraulic system that is safe, reliable and cost-efficient to operate over its full life cycle without digging into your bottom line.
Find Out More
To speak with one of our experienced design engineers about achieving the best ROI from your hydraulic/pneumatic design, please call Hydrastar on 01353 721 704 today.
Image source: Unsplash