2. Monitor the lifecycle of each hose
Schedule regular hose inspections, based on the supplier’s recommendations. These inspections are mainly visual and do not usually require system downtime. Look for signs of wear, such as scrapes, cuts, corrosion, kinks, and general deterioration. Record all observations in your spreadsheet.Once a hose has reached the end of its life, make a note of its service interval. This information provides a known replacement period for that hose. In case of a hose failure during operation, document all details, including the location of the failure, the severity of the break, and how the hose was mounted. These details will help you troubleshoot the failure with your hose supplier and prevent a recurrence.
3. Reduce hose strain
During inspections, identify any conditions that put undue strain on your hoses, such as rubbing against equipment, exposure to external heat sources, pulses, or unfavourable arrangements. Correct these situations immediately as they may shorten the service life of your hoses or cause failure.
4. Protecting hoses with covers
Depending on the operating environment, some hoses may require protective covers such as Thermo sleeve, fire jacket, spiral guard, armour guard, or spring guard, to protect them from abrasion, kinking, or extreme temperatures. Careful consideration must be given to each option’s operating temperature and functionality to choose the best protective cover for each hose.
5. Regular inspection and replacement protocols
After determining the replacement interval for each hose, periodic inspections should continue to ensure that any changes in system parameters do not place a strain on the hoses. Regular visual inspections are a crucial part of preventative maintenance, and they are also one of the simplest steps to perform. Depending on your application, the hose system and fittings should be inspected daily, weekly, or monthly. A list of signals that indicate a complete shutdown and replacement of the hose assembly to quickly address any problems that arise could come in handy.
These signals should include leaks in or around fittings, displaced or slipping fittings, visible damage to fittings such as cracks and corrosion, signs of damage to hoses such as cracks, charred surfaces, unusual stiffness, kinks, twists, flattened or crushed portions, and damaged covers such as cuts, abrasions, blisters, and cracks, particularly if the damage exposes the reinforcement, which requires replacement as soon as possible. Finally, loose, soft, or degraded covers should also be inspected and addressed as needed.
6. Analysing data
Periodically analyse historical data against established hose inspection and replacement frequencies to determine if any intervals should be shortened or lengthened. Destructive testing of replaced hoses can indicate if a hose was replaced too soon or too late. If a particular hose is frequently replaced, consider an alternative design that offers a longer life.
7. Spare hose inventory
Order replacements in advance, and keep spares of critical safety or process hoses, those likely to fail, and those for special applications. This inventory will help prevent costly downtime and delays.
Meticulous record-keeping and regular inspections may require an investment of time, but the cost savings and safety improvements are well worth it. A well-planned hose maintenance program can increase profitability, enhance safety, and reduce downtime.