Maintenance Tips for Hydraulic Orbital Motors - Impro Precision


Maintenance Tips for Hydraulic Orbital Motors

July 25th, 2023

Hydraulic orbital motors provide high torque from a compact package. They are ideal for mobile and industrial applications where electric motors would be too big, bulky, expensive or otherwise impractical. Agricultural, forestry and construction machinery are examples of mobile uses while industrial applications include conveyors, presses and molding machines.

These gerotor-based motors are both rugged and durable. They need very little maintenance and will provide thousands of hours of dependable service, providing they are used correctly and given periodic attention. Here are our tips for looking after your hydraulic orbital motors.

Address Installation and Upkeep

At Impro Fluidtek we define acceptable operating conditions for our hydraulic orbital motors. Achieving a long life depends on following these recommendations for installation and use.

In addition, these motors benefit from periodic inspection and maintenance. Where practical, they should be incorporated into whatever maintenance recording system the plant or repair center uses for logging work done. This will enable trend monitoring, which is key to detecting changes, and appropriate adjustment of inspection frequencies.

Following Installation Recommendations

Motors should never be overloaded, in terms of torque, speed or fluid pressure. With hydraulic orbital motors it’s especially important to keep side or radial loads within the recommended limits: exceeding these may result in bearing damage.

Impro Fluidtek motors also have a recommended operating temperature range: the upper limit of 180°F (85°C) should not be exceeded. At higher temperatures fluid viscosity drops, which could lead to premature wear and unstable output.

In addition, the hydraulic system should be filled with fluid of the appropriate viscosity and composition.

Periodic Inspection and Maintenance

Motors should be inspected at a set frequency. If the data is available, this could be by operating hours but if not, a calendar schedule is sufficient. The time between inspections will depend on the type of usage the motor sees and should be set accordingly. A motor deployed in hot or dusty conditions, especially if subjected to shock impacts, should be checked more often than one that is left to run under steady speed and load.

Inspection and maintenance should involve the following:

  • Surface cleaning and visual checks for leaks or other damage
  • Check hydraulic system fluid levels
  • Check hydraulic fluid cleanliness (this could be a visual check or by particle analysis)
  • Check motor is not running excessively hot (good maintenance records will show if any changes are occurring over time)
  • Replace filters

In addition, some users like to check fluid flow and pressure. Done over time, this yields trend data that can guide motor overhaul or replacement decisions.

Fluid leaks are almost always due either to failed seals or O-rings or insufficiently tightened connections. If hydraulic fluid is escaping from the system there is a risk of dirt entering, which will accelerate wear. Fluid leaks may also show up as fluctuations in motor speed.

Indications of Problems

Three things to watch for with a hydraulic orbital motor are:

  1. Fluid leaks
  2. Running abnormally hot
  3. Fluctuations in motor speed

If any of these are seen it’s recommended to take the motor out of service at the earliest opportunity so a proper diagnosis can be made.

Replacement Parts

When overhauling a hydraulic orbital motor, always use replacement parts manufactured from the same materials and to the same standards as those originally installed. Doing otherwise will almost certainly result in premature failure, the costs of which will outweigh any savings made. Contact Impro Fluidtek for help sourcing OEM quality components.


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