Taking Care of Your Hydraulic Brakes

Hydraulic systems are very different from air brake systems and require special care. Using the wrong approach, methods, or products could harmfully damage your machinery.

Whether your brakes are operating a car, truck, commercial vehicle, or industrial system, the same principles govern hydraulic brake care and maintenance.

These approaches are not necessarily more difficult than other brake types. But they are different.

You should always defer to your manufacturer’s recommendations. But there are some essentials for caring for your hydraulic brakes everyone should know.

We’ve got you covered. Let’s go:

Your Hydraulic Brakes Need Special Care

Before attempting to work on your brakes, remove the brake pads and work under clean conditions. You will also want to perform many tasks at operating temperature for best results.

You will need to drain the system, clean any sludge and deposits, and refill with brake fluid. Take care to maintain proper levels.

You will likely want to fill to 75%. Then operate the system.

Bleeding The System

Air in your hydraulic brake system can cause failure. Bleeding the hydraulic system means removing trapped air.

Careful maintenance means taking precautions to remove all trapped air from your brakes and not allowing the introduction of new air pockets while changing fluids.

Brake Cleaner

A big mistake can be using traditional brake cleaner when caring for your brakes. Hydraulics can get damaged with traditional brake cleaner.

They can also leave a residue that causes your brakes to work improperly.

Brake Pads

You will then need to reset the pads at the very least. Depending on wear and tear and use you may want to replace the pads.

Avoid Failure

Hydraulic failure can come from the system overheating or from improper functioning. Much of this can be resolved by using approved brake fluid, removing air frequently, cleaning systems, and replacing pads.

Faulty hydraulic systems that are improperly maintained can lead to dramatic failures in important equipment.

You will also need to check the systems your brakes are connected to ensure safe operation.

Check Power and Cords

Remember, the cords and power source are just as important as any of the other components in your brakes. During any scheduled or unplanned maintenance special care should be paid to cords and power source.

Check your connections and the condition of all cords.

Your auxiliary power supply may operate the pump that provides the hydraulic brake fluid to your equipment. A frayed cord could trigger a short circuit and cause your brakes to fail.

Maintain All of Your Systems Safely and Efficiently

Got your hydraulic brakes covered? You’ll be operating your equipment safely and efficiently. Kor-Pak can help with all the systems and parts that keep your business running.

But remember, all of your parts and systems require special care. Kor-Pak can help with all the systems and parts that keep your business running.

Did you know that Kor-Pak serves numerous industries, including steel, rail, energy (wind), mining, and oil?

We are both an OEM and distributor for products ranging from Heavy Duty Industrial Braking Systems, Wear Materials and Rubber Parts for Locomotives and Passenger Cars, Engine Seals, Kevlar Bearings, and Custom Machined and Fabricated parts.

We believe in proactively discovering ways to help customers achieve their goals and troubleshoot their problems efficiently, through collaboration with suppliers, engineers, and end-users.

Our customers are important to us. And we can help solve your business needs.

Don’t wait. Contact us now and discover how Kor-Pak can help bring value to your business today. 

5 Things You Must Know About Crane Brakes

If your business uses a crane regularly it’s important for the safety of your customers, employees, and equipment that you understand the components that make up your tools.

As with all of your machinery, cranes have unique requirements for operation and maintenance.

For safe operation, no part is more important than crane brakes for protecting your people and assets.

Let’s make sure you know the ins and outs of crane brakes.

Here we go:

1. OSHA Requires Inspections for Crane Brakes

In addition to a thorough inspection that needs to take place whenever any repair occurs that might affect safety systems, OSHA requires regular inspections as standard procedure. 

2. Daily Inspections

In addition to regular inspections, OSHA requires daily inspections.

Operators are required to perform daily visual inspections of crane braking systems when used for construction. Should any deficiency be noted, it must be:

  • Assessed for safety
  • Taken offline if deemed unsafe
  • Repaired according to manufacturer guidelines
  • Inspected for proper completion of remedial action

Safe operations of your crane demand regular inspection. Even if employed for uses other than construction, the emergency brake needs to always be operational.

3. Different Brake Types

OSHA also requires that all cranes have two brake systems, a holding brake, and a control brake.

Both are essential to safe operations.

  • A Holding Brake holds a load to ensure safe operations. Even in the event of a power outage, a holding brake will hold the load.
  • A Control Brake controls the descent of the load. They slow the speed.

4. Overload Is Still an Issue

Too many owners and operators believe that since an emergency, or holding brake, is standard on all cranes, there are no issues of overload.

But improper loads, overuse, and deferred maintenance can damage your equipment and cause unsafe conditions.

5. Preventative Maintenance

Because of the OHSA regulations requiring inspection, too many industrial concerns defer maintenance of their crane brakes. Worse, if used for non-construction applications, they defer inspections too.

Waiting for an issue to crop up during a visual inspection or unrelated repair is waiting for the worst to happen.

Your manufacturer recommendations will provide valuable guidelines for the overall preventative maintenance of your crane.

Although your crane may be essential to daily operations, it’s important it is dependable and safe. In some cases, you may want to perform PM tasks more regularly if your crane is in heavy use.

This investment will improve the longevity of your equipment and reduce downtime.

Part of Your Overall Safe Operations

Your brake maintenance and troubleshooting efforts should be incorporated into standard operations. If your engineers and operators know what to look for you will save on accidents and cost.

And, as OSHA requirements demand the crane be taken offline with any issues, you will also be avoiding costly and unnecessary downtime.

Brakes are only a small part of an operations plan though. Putting it all together means getting trusted support and advice every step of the way.

Kor-Pak serves numerous industries, including steel, rail, energy (wind), mining, and oil. At Kor-Pak, we keep industries productive.

Our customers are important to us. Don’t wait to see how we can help with every aspect of your operations plan.

Contact us now and discover how Kor-Pak can help bring value to your business today.

Taking Care of Your Marland Clutch

Taking care of industrial equipment can seem daunting.

Luckily, with Marland clutch you can be sure that you’re getting a great product. As an industry leader, their equipment is built to last.

That said, there are a few things you should be doing to keep your Marland clutch running smoothly.

Looking over their service manual can be a big help, but when it comes to maintenance, there are some key things to keep in mind.

Keep an eye on your oil

Marland clutch units come with 2 oil gauges.

On the CECON units, these are located at the end of the clutch housing and the bottom of the side of the clutch housing.

The one at the end gives the minimum oil level for when the unit is in continuous operation. The one at the bottom is for the static oil level.

The oil level should be at or above the sight gauge. Make sure that your oil suppliers are clean, or it might get your Marland clutch dirty.

You should be sampling your oil regularly through the sampling or drain valve. This can be done while the unit is running!

What to do when your Marland clutch needs oil maintenance

If the oil levels are simply low, adding new oil is enough. This can be done without turning off your clutch.

Sometimes, however, the oil needs to be changed completely. This should be done once a year, or if the oil sample shows that it needs it.

The drain valve can be used to remove the contaminated oil. Then the replacement oil may be added through the oil fill hole.

You cannot change the oil completely while the Marland clutch is running, though. If your unit is running, you cannot withdraw more than 1 quart at a time.

Other problems?

There are some other things you should do to keep your Marland clutch running smoothly and functionally, besides doing regular oil maintenance.

For example, your breather-filter should be cleaned regularly. How often depends on its condition, so make sure to keep an eye on it.

To keep the couplings in good condition, make sure that you’re following the manufacturer recommendations.

Sometimes, however, there are some things you can’t solve on your own. That’s when you need to bring in professionals, or you can wind up seriously damaging the equipment or yourself.

If you have any problems that require disassembly and repair, do not do it yourself. You should contact Marland Clutch directly for any issues of that kind.

The equipment can be dangerous, so make sure you’re staying abreast of regulations

You should also be staying up to date on industry news.

Doing so keeps you knowing the codes and things that are in place. These are designed to help you take care of your Marland clutch — or any equipment!

And if you are looking for a certain product without any success, get in touch and let’s help you find it.

Why Your Industrial Casters Need the Right Industrial Brakes

Why do you need the right industrial brakes for your casters?

It’s necessary to evaluate the different variables to figure out the proper brake selection. It is not as easy as just picking out a brake at whim, as brakes have different functions and forms.

At Kor-Pak, we have the heavy industry parts and service for brakes. We also offer service and maintenance of equipment.

To help you make an informed decision, however, here is a quick guide on industrial brakes and how to pair industrial casters to the right brakes.

Braking Options

Before delving into industrial brakes and casters, you should understand the mechanism behind braking.

Braking is caused by locking mechanisms built into industrial casters. There are a variety of braking options for industrial casters.

The most common brake locks the wheel to stop its rotation, which is perfect for uneven surfaces.

Total lock brakes lock the swivel capacity of the caster and its wheel movement, resulting in a completely stopped device.

Partial brakes turn casters into rigid casters for linear movement only.

How Brakes can Help Your Industrial Caster

Brakes can be very important so when choosing industrial casters, you should also consider the brakes that match.

The benefits to having brakes on your industrial caster include:

Holding Force

When heavier load capacities are involved, you want to know that your device will not run away because there was nothing holding the wheel in place. Brakes are engineered

Brakes are engineered to provide holding force against extreme loads and prevent any movement.

Heavier Load Capacities

When working with industrial casters, you want the ability to move heavier loads.

Brakes can work with heavy loads and provide an expanded holding force, which ensures efficiency and safety during use.

Reduction of Operator Strain

Brakes prevent operators from having to use their entire body to stop or turn a loaded device.

Brakes make tasks even easier by using a foot pedal on either side of the caster, preventing you from constantly having to bend over and keeping you safe.

Best Industrial Brake and Caster Pairs

After understanding how braking works and why they are important, you can move on to deciding what type of caster and brake pair is right for you.

If you’re having trouble deciding on what brake is the best, you must consider the type of caster you’re using and where the casters are being used. Some questions that you should also ponder include:

  • Do you need to stop the casters from moving?
  • Do you need your items to be easier to control?
  • Do you want complete control over your caster-mounted item?

Which Industrial Brakes Are Best For You?

If you’re still having problems deciding on the best industrial brake system after this quick guide on industrial casters and brakes, have no fear.

It can take a lot of time to make an informed decision about your investment, which can save you time and money in the future. We carry the major brands like Stromag, Sumitomo, Marland, SEW Eurodrive for you to choose from.

We have the brake, clutch, and friction expertise to help you figure out what brake is best for you. By working with application engineers and technical salesperson, you will be able to narrow down your choices and make a decision.

Criteria for Selecting Heavy Industry Brakes and Clutches

Marland Clutch

Marland Clutch

Often you find yourself in a challenging MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) quagmire with regard to repairing or replacing your heavy industry (i.e. crane) brakes or clutches.

I am the first to admit there are many, many brake and clutch manufacturers out there. And there are numerous options to choose from within those manufacturers.

You might say to yourself “Where do I start?” when looking for a solution to your brake and clutch challenge.

At face value you might consider a brake is a brake. But please don’t. When considering the best safety factor in selecting the correct brake for your application, you must remember brakes are not an interchangeable commodity.

There are in fact several variables to consider in the proper selection. These include:

Function: stopping, tensioning, emergency, cyclical, redundancy, wind protection, parking-static…

Requirements: torque and speed, safety factor, actuation, duty cycle, minimum and maximum friction, impact mitigation…

Control: automatic and over speed, open vs. closed look, response time, manual override…

Features: mounting, DIN, AISE, materials…

Environment: ambient conditions, seasonal variations, corrosive, dusty or abrasive, hazardous, etc…

Different Types of Heavy Industry Brakes and Clutches

In addition, there are so many different types of brakes: thruster drum or disc brakes, magnet drum or disc brakes, water-cooled brakes, tensioning brakes, air brakes, storm and parking brakes, hydraulic brakes, etc.

There are also numerous different types of friction materials with different formulations and coefficients: woven friction materials, flexible friction materials, rigid friction materials, phenolic wear materials, etc. Coefficients can range from less than 0.1 upwards of .72 and greater.

Brakes take on various forms in terms of their mechanical functionality. Of course, actuation is a major component of this.

Often times, applications do require fail-safe brakes so the brakes apply in the event of a power loss. These brakes are typically spring-set and released by a magnetic coil, AC or DC 3-phase thruster, hydraulic, air, or manual.

Brakes can also be hydraulic or air applied and thus non fail-safe.

There are several different options to choose from in terms of brake styles, mounting, controls, actuation, and accessories (i.e. discs, drums, power units, etc).

Selecting The Right Brake For Your System

How does one make an educated decision in both a timely and cost-effective manner with all these different features and options to choose from?

As with other significant capital business expenditures, the least expensive option is not necessarily the best one. Taking a few more hours, days or even weeks to make an informed decision about your investment may prove to save a great deal of time and money in the long-run.

The best way to approach this is by working with application engineers who possess brake, clutch and friction expertise. Of course, everyone has their own inherent bias.

However a good application engineer and technical salesperson will put safety and quality first. They do so because helping their client obtain a high-quality and long-lasting product is their ultimate motivation.

Considering competition is not a bad thing. In fact, it is extremely important to obtain a second or third opinion in most cases.

Hearing differing perspectives often times compels one to think about the questions at hand as well as other questions you might not have even considered. Ultimately, doing your homework and analysis will lead you to a better, more informed decision.

At Kor-Pak we try to educate our prospects and customers. Our engineers and consultants are motivated to provide exceptional customer service. You are never merely a sale to us, you are a partner in a hopefully long lasting relationship.

Learn more about our Industrial Brake and Clutch Services  as well as our Industrial Brake and Clutch Accessories and Spare Parts.

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Brake Clutch and Friction Systems Needed In Heavy Industry

Crane Brakes

Crane Brake

A typical braking system applies a (i.e. electromagnetic) force to apply friction, or mechanical resistance. This friction causes heat in its attempt to slow down and even stop a device in motion or to simply maintain it’s position without any motion.

Think of pressing your brake while driving your car. Your foot sends hydraulic brake fluid to a piston which in turn causes each brake pad to apply friction on your tires’ brake discs. The friction slows down each wheel and eventually stops your car.

Heavy Industry Brake, Clutch and Friction Systems

In heavy industry the brake, clutch and friction system is also used to slow and stop passenger or freight trains, wind turbines, cranes or hoists, etc. Even though there many types of brake system designs, their operation remains basically the same – to stop the movement.

When it comes to the selection of a heavy industrial brake, clutch and friction system it is imperative that one understands some key variables. These requisite and relevant variables are most critical to selecting the optimal product for your application.

I suggest there are three primary steps one should take in properly assessing an application.

  1. Recognizing and realizing the application and its fundamentals is the first step in the brake, clutch and friction selection process. To do so, you should identify the industry, application and specific parameters involved for the particular application. Is it a static or dynamic application? What is the operating environment like? (I.E. Is it hazardous?) What is the brake function and requirements? What is the system being used for?
  2. Now you must understand how to use this information and apply it to your specific application. In order to do this, one must fully understand exactly what these variables mean. You must comprehend such concepts as: static vs. dynamic; full motor and mechanical braking torque; friction coefficient as well as several others. These will be paramount when it comes to properly selecting a brake, clutch and friction material.
  3. Once you understand the variables and industry application specific aspects to your application it is time to apply these fundamentals and select your brake, clutch and friction material. You might consider collaborating with application engineers to perform a careful due diligence. This will ultimately lead to a better decision making process.

There are many brake and clutch manufacturers and many options to choose from. Our fast paced and price sensitive society has propelled business culture into often times rushing to decisions. This definitely has not necessarily helped industry as a whole.

At times the least expensive option is not the best alternative nor does the good old boy network work to your advantage. Take your time to investigate your alternatives.

This may help you make the best decision about a capital business expenditure. Ultimately in the long run it may prove to save your company a great deal of time and money.

Kor-Pak Corp. is an industrial brake and clutch specialist.  Learn more about how Kor-Pak can help you resource your industrial brake, clutch and friction parts.

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