When our company started in 1994, it was our mission to increase the knowledge of millwrights, mechanics, electricians, supervisors and reliability technicians tasked with the repair and maintenance of fluid power systems. We travel extensively and have met many thousand such maintenance professionals but have found actual troubleshooters to be quite rare.

Mostly, the professionals we meet have been excellent fluid power parts changers—people who have worked on and around a particular system for so long and have seen it fail in so many ways that they know when certain problems arise, and which component will usually correct it when replaced. This works fine so long as, when the part is changed, the problem goes away. The trouble comes when the parts changer changes the part and it does not correct the problem.

When this happens, the parts changer will typically change something else. Usually, this parts-changing process continues until one of two things happens: Either we get the system back in service or we put it in such a state that someone must be called to the plant to assist.

It has always been our goal to reduce this downtime by helping parts changers become troubleshooters. It has always been our belief that there are five things someone needs to know in order to be a real hydraulic troubleshooter.

Read more: Five Things a Hydraulic Troubleshooter Needs to Know