Pneumatic automation
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
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    Default Pneumatic automation

    Hi team,,

    Iím self employed with a pneumaticly timed/automated casing hammer that i am having problems diagnosing again.

    Itís a bit of a mare to even explain it, but i do have a good body of it playing up (stops in off position) and also showing he few different things that help to reset the rhythm temporarily.

    I have been over the standard things like leaks and lube, but short of a full rebuild and not knowing which part fixed it, I am starting to run out of ideas and am well past the point of frustration.

    The whole thing runs on a v6 powered Sulair compressor, the control box is regulated while the main feed to the hammer is just controlled via supply tap and only fluctuates a very small amount if a down hole block up occurs.

    If someone fancies their odds at this or can help me to upload a video or at least a picture to show the guts of it all, then I am all ears.

    There are x2 of 5 port valves in the control system and this is self timed by using a pressure chamber and some little part i donít fully understand on the outlets of 1 valve and flow controllers on the exhaust ports, this in turn activates the second valve at the correct speed, the outlets of the second valve go on long signal hoses to control a larger 5 port valve with quick exhaust on the signal lines, this third valve has its own air feed and controls the large air supply to the cylinders.
    The exhausts on the second valve simply exhaust into the vented control box.

    When it stops in the off position I have, greased the large 5 port valve and installed new quick exhausts on the signal lines to it,
    (This worked in the past when it has been stoping mid cycle)

    This didnít work, so I checked the on off switch was getting and amending enough air to start the cycle, i found a small split, once rectified it worked for a short while then back to the same problems.

    I have tried new lines from the control box to the large valve, but went back to the originals as it made no difference.

    I also added a wad of silicone grease into the inlets of the smaller valves and allowed it to cycle through, the pressure briefly changed the timing but still did itís stopping thing,

    I have a brand new valve from the last time it didnít fix the issue and this feels the same to move manually as the ones in use.

    To reset the cycle when it stops I can turn it off and back on, Or restrict the exhaust port on either small valve, (i put a reducing Bush in the one that exhausts freely, this worked for half an hour then needed more restrictions to work). I canít permanently change the one with the flow controller as this will affect the speed too.
    Or I can briefly disconnect the charged outlet and it will cycle again, this charged outlet is the same one that should be charged when the unit is off.
    Or I can up the pressure going to the control box, however leaving it up doesnít fix the cycling issue, just restarts it then it will stop again at the higher pressure after a few hits.
    Or I can manually push 1 end of the second valve in control box and this works for a few hits.

    I know I will have left something out here and it possibly makes bugger all sense, but a video may help. If I can get it on here.

    Itís hard to hear much over the screaming Detroit diesel but i do briefly hear air bypass or extra exhaust somewhere in the control box just one click before it stops cycling.
    Iím going to try hook up just the control box to a small cylinder in the workshop today to maybe hear something better but thought Iíd check on here if this makes any sense to anyone then itís a good start, and Iím happy to give more detail.

    Problems when diagnosing so far,

    Too much noise, burning any profit while trying to diagnose
    On a work site not a workshop
    Any ďfixĒ is temporary so doesnít point problems out,
    Closest ďpneumatic expertĒ is 2 hours away and would rather I brought a heap of parts from him and fully rebuilt, or after seeing the description above and a video, he still says check the signal hoses. ďYeah the ones Iíve already bypassed with no effect and told him about so I doubt heís even reading it properly.Ē

    Lastly the man who designed and built if for me 3 years ago knows it very well, however he is 12 hours away and wonít return phone calls or emails, probably because it took me longer to pay him than I would have liked because the build bill was almost twice the quote and i had no notice of this till the bill arrived and Iíd been using it already. However he was paid but not as quick as I would have normally liked to.

    There it is and here I am, not perfect but honest.

    Any help appreciated, Iím happy to email the video to someone if itís easier than uploading it here.

    Cheers all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Southeastern US
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    Sounds to me like either a leaky spool on a valve or a sticky spool on a valve in your control box.

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