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Education Series - Training Videos

About our presenters - Steve Skinner

Presented by Steve Skinner

Steve Skinner started his career-long association with hydraulics as a student apprentice with the Dowty Group in the late 1960s. After graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Bath, he joined hydraulics company Vickers Sperry Rand, first as a technical assistant, and subsequently as applications engineer and then customer engineer. During this time he became responsible for both the design, commissioning and troubleshooting of hydraulic systems, including a 5-month secondment to a large steelworks complex in Mexico. You can read Steve's full bio in the video.

Selecting a Flow Control Valve

Presented by Steve Skinner

In order to control the speed of a hydraulic actuator (cylinder or motor) it is necessary to vary either its displacement or the actuator flow rate. For a standard hydraulic cylinder, varying its displacement (the amount of cylinder piston movement for a given volume of fluid) is not an option since this is determined by the dimensions of the cylinder when it is manufactured.

Selecting Manual Directional Control Valves

Presented by Steve Skinner

Directional control valves are probably the most common of all hydraulic components and are used to control the starting, stopping and reversal of flow in a system. They are often associated with the control of a hydraulic actuator, such as a cylinder or motor, to select either ‘forward, reverse or stop’ but can also be used anywhere in a system where flow needs to be switched between alternative paths.

Controlling Fluid Contamination

Presented by Steve Skinner

Hydraulic systems do occasionally break down and over the years studies have been conducted to try to establish the main causes of hydraulic failures. In nearly all of these studies, fluid condition is identified as the most common cause of system breakdowns. So controlling the contamination level of a hydraulic fluid to an acceptable level is perhaps the single most effective means of both reducing hydraulic breakdowns and extending component lifetimes.

Hydraulic Maintenance

Presented by Steve Skinner

Like any mechanical piece of equipment, hydraulic systems are subject to everyday wear and tear. In order to avoid unexpected breakdowns and to keep them operating efficiently therefore, they must be maintained in good working order at all times. This video explains and explores the advantages and disadvantages of the four main maintenance philosophies, namely Reactive, Preventive, Predictive and Proactive Maintenance.

Hydraulic Troubleshooting

Presented by Steve Skinner

No matter how diligent we are in monitoring and maintaining a hydraulic system, there may always be some aspect we have not thought of or some unforeseen event which may happen to cause problems. However, when the unexpected does happen, if we have well-trained personnel who are provided with the right equipment, the cause of such unexpected breakdowns can be diagnosed efficiently. This video will therefore describe a step-by-step, logical approach to troubleshooting which will enable problems to be identified as quickly and accurately as possible.