Featured Employee: Michael Brown

Michael Brown of Coastal HydraulicsOur featured employee in the August issue of our newsletter was our Operations Manager Michael Brown. Michael is from the Charleston area and joined the Navy after graduating from high school. He served in the US Navy for 6 years, beginning his hydraulics experience as an Engineman. His experience included auxiliary work and hands on involvement with hydraulic equipment, gear equipment, engines, air compressors, and oil purifiers. 

At his wife’s request, Michael made his way back to Charleston after a brief stint in Atlanta doing hydraulics work as his first civilian job. He then did mechanical and electrical work in Charleston, building power modules for Caterpillar, transforming huge diesel engines into generators capable of powering small towns. When the company relocated to Europe, he joined the Coastal Hydraulics team in September of 2001 and has been an integral part of our success ever since.

Michael began as a technician here and has held many titles since including Cylinder Shop Lead, Machine Shop Lead, and now Operations Manager. He has been instrumental in the design and implementation of our Workflow Management System, moving the Work Order Scheduling System from paper to electronic format to allow real time visibility to everyone in the company from Account Executives to Management and Technicians.
Michael lives in the Charleston area with his wife and three children and is very involved in his church. He always has a smile on his face and is eager to help in any way that he can.
posted September 14, 2018

Basic Hydraulic System Maintenance

Part 1 of a 3 Part Series

The components of hydraulic systems work together intimately. As a result, damage to one component may cause further damage to others. For instance, overheated oil caused by a leaky cylinder seal can break down and cause damage to other cylinders or the pump. That’s why it pays to perform regular maintenance and preventative inspections to eliminate problems before they occur.

Most hydraulic systems consist of a pump, hoses and lines, cylinders and motors, valves, a cooling unit, a reservoir, filters and hydraulic fluid (oil). At the heart of the system is the pump. It uses energy from the engine to pump the fluid and create hydraulic flow and pressure. Valves control the flow of the fluid by restricting or redirecting it. Cylinders and motors are the “muscles”of hydraulic systems. Cylinders have a straight, push-pull action while motors use the energy from the fluid to turn a shaft. The speed at which these components operate is determined by the hydraulic-oil flow rate, while the hydraulic pressure determines the force they exert. The cooling unit acts to cool the fluid after it has gone through the system and the reservoir feeds the pump.

Prevention

The basic prescription for hydraulic maintenance is prevention. If you keep contaminants out of hydraulic systems, you will avoid nearly all common problems and failures. However, some contaminants inevitably do enter the system and scratch close-fitting surfaces in the components. Therefore, follow these guidelines to keep your hydraulic fluid in top condition.

  • Keep contaminants out of your hydraulic system. Clean the area around dipsticks, fill plugs and hydraulic filters before removing them to check or change the hydraulic fluid. Keep all fluid containers tightly sealed when stored and pour directly from the container into the system.
  • Change the fluid and filter after the initial 50 hours of use. Often, the manufacturing process allows contaminants to enter the hydraulic system. A fluid change after 50 hours will eliminate these particles. Thereafter, change hydraulic fluid and filters at regular intervals.
  • Check oil before each use. Verify that fluid levels are adequate and that the fluid is in good condition. An inadequate amount of oil can cause severe damage to pumps. If your oil appears foamy or milky, you may have a leak that is causing air to enter the system. Air will cause jerky and slow operation of the hydraulics. Locate and seal the source of any leak.
Also, air within the system holds moisture. When the system cools down after operation, the moisture can condense and mix with the hydraulic fluid. Water in the hydraulic fluid looks similar to the milky appearance resulting from air contamination.

Regularly check the temperature of the hydraulic fluid during operation. Is the fluid too hot to touch? Does it smell burnt? Your cooling system may be not working properly or you may have pressure-related problems. Check the hydraulic oil cooler or reservoir. They must be kept clean. Remove any dirt or other debris that inhibits airflow around them. If the fluid remains hot for extended periods, it can break down and lose its ability to lubricate adequately.

posted September 1, 2018

Coastal Hydraulics is Hiring a Sales Rep and a Hydraulic Mechanic

See our job postings below and contact us to apply – attach your resume and other relevant documentation to our Contact form by clicking here.

Coastal Hydraulics, Inc. based in Charleston, South Carolina serves customers primarily in the southeast. Coastal specializes in fabrication, assembly, repair, refurbishment, rebuilding, maintenance, design and replacement sales of hydraulic and pneumatic systems and components for industrial and mobile equipment.

 We currently have an opening for an Industrial Sales Representative / Field Project Manager.

  • Best qualified candidates would have a minimum 2 years of industrial sales experience preferably inclusive of hydraulic and pneumatic systems and
  • Proven mechanical aptitude from mechanical education, specialized mechanical training or on-the-job mechanical experience is
  • Effective communication and self-management
  • Demonstrated initiative and
  • 75% same day truck travel

We offer our Industrial Sales Representatives:

  • Competitive compensation
  • Expense reimbursement
  • Company vehicle
  • Profit Bonuses
  • Comprehensive benefits package

Please submit resume with salary requirements.

 

Hydraulic Mechanic Opening

 The primary responsibility of the Hydraulic Mechanic is to service and repair various cylinders, pumps, motors, and power units-including testing, trouble-shooting, repair and assembly. You must be able to:

  • Diagnose problems and give recommendations for repairs
  • Use schematics and diagnostic equipment to investigate hydraulic or pneumatic system problems
  • Evaluate, tear down and repair cylinders, pumps, motors and power units
  • Inspect parts and various components. Determine if parts are re-workable and write up service report
  • Reassemble components when repair is complete and prepare for delivery to customer The qualified individual will have the following skills and experience:
  • Minimum of 5 years fluid power experience (hydraulic, pneumatic and/or electro- mechanical) or equivalent training
  • Ability to read hydraulic schematics
  • Ability to fully understand hydraulic systems- size and build, preferred
  • Basic mechanical abilities and /or formal mechanical training
  • Ability to use a variety of hand tools and operate jib cranes and forklifts without assistance
  • Ability to use various tools for measurement (micrometer, id micrometer, and calipers)
  • Ability to complete field service work independently
  • Ability to trouble shoot and properly diagnose failure of hydraulic pumps
  • Ability to identify a wide range of fluid power manufacturers and to recognize their products and complete initial parts quoting
  • Regularly required to sit, stand and lift up to 75 lbs. required
  • Overtime may be required during extended weekday hours or for plant shutdowns on weekends or during call rotation

Position is located in Charleston, SC. Coastal Hydraulics, Inc. offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits including 401k, company paid healthcare premiums and long- term disability. Background check (including criminal record) and drug screening are required.

Please submit resume with salary requirements.

posted August 10, 2018

Featured Employee: Adam Moreland

Adam MorelandThe Columbia Regional Business Report recently featured our very own Adam Moreland in the Industrial Repair section of its May publication, Book of Experts. The article featuring Adam addresses Coastal Hydraulics’ history and overall capabilities as well as HVOF industrial coatings. Click here to read the article in its entirety.

We wanted to share more about Adam and his contributions to the team at Coastal Hydraulics. Adam has been with us since 1996, beginning as a Cylinder Technician and quickly moving into a sales position. He is certified by the International Fluid Power Society (IFPS), serves on our internal Quality Council and moved to the Midlands in 2014 to help Coastal Hydraulics expand its footprint to the area. Prior to joining our team, Adam served 5 years in the US Navy Submarine Fleet and 3 years in Reserve Duty as a Sea Bee.

Adam currently lives in Gilbert and enjoys spending time in his boat on Lake Murray exploring the shoreline, taking his kids out tubing or knee boarding, and attending community events around the lake. You can find Adam watching river boat drag races, participating in Lake Murray’s Children’s Chance Poker Run, or attending events like the Drift Jam charity concert.

Contact Adam:

Ph: 843-830-4789

Email: adam.moreland@coastalhydraulics.net

Website:  coastalhydraulics.net

posted May 15, 2018

Hydraulic System Care

10 Point Weekly Checklist for Proper Hydraulic System Care

Hydraulic system maintenance is a critical component to ensure your machinery stays in top working order. Basic system maintenance can help you avoid an untimely and expensive breakdown. Here’s a quick basic checklist that you should be familiar with.

10 Point Check: Any operator responsible for hydraulic system maintenance should, at minimum, perform the following 10 point checklist as part of a weekly “quick scan” of every hydraulic system.

  1. Check fluid levels. Add hydraulic fluid as needed (if needed). Not all hydraulic fluids are the same, DO NOT MIX OILS! Use the same oil brand and viscosity grade that is specified.
  2. Inspect breather caps, breather filters, and fill screens — DO NOT punch holes in screens in order to expedite adding oil as this may allow contaminants into your system.
  3. Check filter indicators and/or pressure differential gauges. Immediately replace any that show signs of wear or other negative indications.
  4. Visually inspect all system hoses, pipes, pipe connections for leaks, frays, bubbling, or chaffing spots. Hydraulic fluid leakage is a common problem for industrial systems. Excessive leakage is an environmental and safety hazard, increases waste streams and oil consumption, and, if ignored, can reduce the system capacity enough to overheat and slow normal system operation. Further, leakage is often an indication of seal wear or other compromise associated with impending failure.
  5. Check system temperature via built-in thermometers or hand-held infrared detectors. Normal temperature range for most systems is 110-140ºF but may vary. If temperatures are high, check fluid quantity, cooler operation, and relief valve settings.
  6. Visually inspect the inside of the reservoir for signs of aeration (via the fill hole using a flashlight). Aeration is a condition in which discrete bubbles of air are carried along in the stream of oil as it enters the pump. Visual signs of aeration in the reservoir are generally foaming and/or little whirlpools taking small gulps of air into the suction strainer. Causes of aeration include: low fluid levels; air leaks in the suction line, low fluid temperature, fluid too viscous to release air or maintain suction at the pump, or faulty shaft seals. When air leaks are suspected on the suction line, smothering these points with oil will usually pinpoint the leaks by creating a marked change in pump noise. A pump ingesting air sounds as if it were gargling marbles.
  7. Listen to pumps for the signs of cavitation. Cavitation is slightly more complicated than aeration, but has some similarities. Cavitation occurs when air is released from the hydraulic oil during momentary depressurization at the pump suction and then implodes onto metal surfaces upon discharge. These implosions are extremely destructive to pump surfaces. A cavitating pump will emit a high-pitched whine or scream. Causes of cavitation are the same as those of aeration with the exception of suction side air leaks. How do you discern aeration from cavitation? One way is to install a vacuum gauge on the suction side and make sure the pressure is equal to or greater than that prescribed by the pump manufacturer. Foaming in the reservoir is usually the telltale sign of aeration.
  8. Inspect a small sample of fluid for color, debris, and odor. Keep in mind that visual inspection is limited in that it will only detect signs of excess contamination.
  9. Scan electrically controlled servo valves with an infrared thermometer. High valve and solenoid temperatures (over 150ºF) usually indicate the valve is sticking or bypassing. Sluggish operation and violent system “jerking” around valves is a sign of possible contamination.
  10. Scan the electric drive motor for housing hot spots and rotor bearing temperatures using an infrared thermometer. Any such finds and the system should be immediately tagged out and serviced.

These basic tips will help keep your hydraulic system in top operational shape and reduce chances of untimely and expensive breakdowns. Contact us with questions about hydraulic system care.

posted April 24, 2018

Authorized Solutions Provider for Aggressive Hydraulics

Authorized Solutions Provider for Aggressive Hydraulics Since 2009, Coastal Hydraulics has been an Authorized Solutions Provider (ASP) for Aggressive Hydraulics, Inc., a leading manufacturer of purpose-built, application-specific hydraulic cylinders and components that address the unique challenges associated with a broad range of industries and geographies. As one of only a very few Authorized Solutions Providers nationwide, Coastal Hydraulics is the exclusive representative of Aggressive in the Carolinas – providing sophisticated on-the-ground customer service actively supported by Aggressive’s advanced design expertise and engineering resources.

Learn more about our relationship with Aggressive Hydraulics.

posted March 23, 2018

Yearly Hydraulic Cylinder Maintenance Tips

 

hydraulic cylinder maintenance tipsOur friends at Aggressive Hydraulics posted an article in 2016 that is relevant today. Below are some of the highlights and a link to the article.

  1. Ensure proper fluid conditioning
  2. Examine rod quality and finish
  3. Inspect piston seals, valves and rod seals
  4. Review cylinder tube

Read the article here

posted March 15, 2018

Check Out Our New HVOF Video

Our new HVOF Video is now online!  Click here to watch our video and learn more about HVOF and our capabilities to coat your components.  We also discuss several industries that have benefitted from HVOF industrial coatings as well as our HVOF booth’s capacity.

Contact us with questions!

posted March 9, 2018

Complete Cylinder Repair and Replacement Services at Coastal Hydraulics

Cylinder Rebuild
Cylinders Painted & Prepped for Delivery

Did you know that Coastal Hydraulics can troubleshoot, diagnose, repair, and replace cylinders in-house?  We offer comprehensive cylinder services for many industries including steel mills, paper mills, marine and ship building, boom trucks, construction equipment, and many others.

Some of our hydraulic and pneumatic cylinder services include whole cylinder and component machining; written failure analysis including clearance measurements per IFPS standards; HVOF industrial coatings for longer lasting and better performing components; custom seals for unique applications.

Mining equipment new replacement cylinders
Mining equipment new replacement cylinders

We are also an Authorized Solutions Provider for Aggressive Hydraulics and work together to provide solutions for the mobile hydraulic cylinder industry.

We are approved as an Advanced Warranty Repair center for many companies including Enerpac, Hiab & Fassi Cranes, Alaska & North Pacific Crane, Simplex, and BVA Hydraulics.

Coastal Hydraulics is an Authorized Distributor of Hanna Cylinders, Simplex Porter-Power high pressure cylinders, BVA, Enerpac, Peninsular and many others.

Learn more about our cylinder services and capabilities by visiting our website.

 

posted February 2, 2018

Coastal Hydraulics is Hiring

Coastal Hydraulics is HiringOur company is expanding, and we need more hands on deck! We are currently accepting resumes for Machinists and Senior Hydraulic Mechanics.

Please visit our website to submit your resume and any additional documentation you have outlining your hydraulic and pneumatic experience.

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

posted January 31, 2018

A New Year at Coastal Hydraulics

A Letter From The President of Coastal Hydraulics

As we embark on a new year I wanted to share an update on what has been taking place at Coastal Hydraulics.

2017 was extraordinary as we experienced several months of record revenue, completion of a number of sizable marine industry projects, expansion of our geographic reach, and a series of staff additions.

With the introduction of HVOF industrial coating capabilities two years ago and recent ramp-up in the volume of customers served, we are implementing a more sophisticated work order scheduling software system to speed the pace of operations and better ensure repair completions within our customers’ turnaround expectations.

Further, increased work order volumes required that we grow our staff, and thus we were pleased to welcome several new members to the team:

Our account and project management group expanded with the addition of Scott Raynor, Account Executive. Scott’s prior experience includes more than fifteen years of hydraulic component and repair sales, and his primary geographic responsibilities for Coastal Hydraulics are for the Pee Dee region of South Carolina as well as Eastern North Carolina and beyond.

We also named a new Senior Hydraulics Mechanic, Les Aubrey. Les has logged nearly twenty years of experience in hydraulic repair, service, maintenance, and parts sourcing. He comes to us from Western Pennsylvania.

Daniel Campbell, Hydraulics Mechanic, joined the Coastal Hydraulics organization in the Fall of 2017. He is a certified welder and hydraulics mechanic who has many years of experience serving steel mills, offshore oil rigs, shipyards and other demanding industry segments. He joins us from South Alabama.

Howie Newman came to Coastal Hydraulics recently as a part-time pick-up and delivery specialist. After starting his career in the United States Navy, Howie went on to successfully serve in a series of management positions, including roles with the Boeing Company.

Curtis Dickens, Technical Services Manager, is our most recent addition. He is tasked with supporting our customers and Account Executives with complex troubleshooting, hydraulic and pneumatic systems design, and the proper application of HVOF industrial coatings. Prior to joining Coastal Hydraulics, Curtis devoted twenty years toward managing the maintenance of C-17, C-130, C-5A/B and C-141B aircraft for the United States Air Force.

Michael Brown, Coastal Hydraulics’ Operations Manager, recently celebrated 17 years of service. His dedication was rewarded not long ago with an expanded role to include oversight for all work orders and shop management. Further, Michael has been instrumental in the development of our new scheduling system. He’s exceptionally customer-focused and will continue to be pivotal to our success.

The changes that have taken place and those which are being planned for Coastal Hydraulics are certain to improve our business processes, workflows, and most importantly our customers’ experiences. We look forward to a prosperous 2018 and sincerely appreciate the confidence our customers and business partners place in us.

Kindest regards,

J. Brett Bennett

President

Coastal Hydraulics

2251 Technical Parkway

Charleston, SC 29406

843-572-5714

www.coastalhydraulics.net

posted January 27, 2018

Spotlight on Safety: Safety Awareness Training from IFPS

fluid power society

The International Fluid Power Society offers safety training as well as safety posters and cards to members and non members.

Safety training courses include:

  • Hydraulics Safety Training
  • “In The Line of Fire: Causes and Dangers of Fluid Injection Injuries”
  • “Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility”

Visit the IFPS website to learn more about the safety training materials and courses available.

 

posted November 20, 2017

We Are Hiring Hydraulic Mechanics

Coastal Hydraulics is currently hiring hydraulic mechanics.  See the job description and details below.  To apply, contact Joyce Maffett at joyce.maffett@coastalhydraulics.net or by phone at 843-572-5714 or complete the form on our Careers page.

HYDRAULIC MECHANIC

The primary responsibility of the Hydraulic Mechanic is to service and repair various cylinders, pumps, motors, and power units-including testing, trouble-shooting, repair and assembly. You must be able to:

  • Diagnose problems and give recommendations for repairs
  • Use schematics and diagnostic equipment to investigate hydraulic or pneumatic system problems
  • Evaluate, tear down and repair cylinders, pumps, motors and power units
  • Inspect parts and various components. Determine if parts are re-workable and write up service report
  • Reassemble components when repair is complete and prepare for delivery to customer

The qualified individual will have the following skills and experience:

  • Minimum of 5 years fluid power experience (hydraulic, pneumatic and/or electro-mechanical) or equivalent training
  • Ability to read hydraulic schematics
  • Ability to fully understand hydraulic systems- size and build, preferred
  • Basic mechanical abilities and /or formal mechanical training
  • Ability to use a variety of hand tools and operate jib cranes and forklifts without assistance
  • Ability to use various tools for measurement (micrometer, id micrometer, and calipers)
  • Ability to complete field service work independently
  • Ability to trouble shoot and properly diagnose failure of hydraulic pumps
  • Ability to identify a wide range of fluid power manufacturers and to recognize their products and complete initial parts quoting
  • Regularly required to sit, stand and lift up to 75 lbs. required
  • Overtime may be required during extended weekday hours or for plant shutdowns on weekends or during call rotation

 

Position is located in Charleston, SC.  Coastal Hydraulics, Inc. offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits including 401k, company paid healthcare premiums and long-term disability.  Background check (including criminal record) and drug screening are required.

posted November 8, 2017

What is HVOF and Why is it Better Than Hard Chrome?

Coastal Hydraulics’ resident HVOF expert, Curtis Dickens, frequently speaks on HVOF Coating – High Velocity Oxygen Fuel – and why it is superior to hard chrome coatings.  Some highlights of typical questions answered during one of our HVOF presentations are below.  Contact Curtis at curtis.dickens@coastalhydraulics.net for more information or to request a presentation for your company. Learn more about HVOF by clicking here.

What is HVOF Thermal Spraying?

HVOF stands for High Velocity Oxygen Fuel.  An HVOF thermal spraying system uses the combustion of gases to fuel the flame for spraying – Coastal Hydraulics uses ethanol as it generates no hazardous waste or byproduct and is environmentally friendly.

Why was HVOF technology created?

The cutting edge and environmentally friendly HVOF technology provides a safe working environment for associates repairing and coating components.  HVOF also provides a long-term, robust repair solution for hydraulic, pneumatic and fluid power components.

Why replace hard chrome plating?

The hard chrome plating process produces large amounts of toxic waste, including hexavalent chrome which is a known carcinogen.  The EPA and OSHA have mandated more stringent stack emission levels as well as lowering of permissible exposure limits for workers.  The use of hard chrome plating has increased costs and risks for businesses.

What are some other benefits of HVOF coatings?

In addition to environmental and safety benefits, HVOF coatings provide many benefits to customers.  Some of these include:  high density with low porosity; improved corrosion barrier; higher hardness ratings (1400 on Vickers scale whereas chrome is 930); improved wear resistance (HVOF coatings last 3 times longer than chrome, seals last approximately 200% longer); high bond strength; thick coatings; smoother than other sprayed surfaces

Give some examples of industries that use HVOF and the parts and components that can be HVOF sprayed.

Many industries can benefit from HVOF coatings.  In particular, we have seen dramatic results in the marine industry (cargo handling, ship building and repair), the power industry (2 re-seals and a polish over the course of 2 years with HVOF verses 4 re-seals and 4 re-chromes on the same chrome plated part), and heavy equipment such as cranes and construction equipment.  Fluid power, hydraulic and pneumatic repairs in cylinders, corner groups, strut rods, linkage pins, and rotating shafts have benefitted greatly from HVOF coatings in our experience.

How can I learn more about HVOF coatings for my applications?

Call me, Curtis Dickens, at 843-572-5714. Email me at curtis.dickens@coastalhydraulics.net, or visit our website at www.coastalhydraulics.net

 

posted October 2, 2017

The Importance of Preventive Maintenance of Hydraulic Systems

An informative article on Reliability Web outlines the importance of preventive maintenance of hydraulic systems and notes that the lack of proper maintenance is the leading source of hydraulic component and system failure.

Click to read the article – Maintenance of Hydraulic Systems

Coastal Hydraulics offers preventive and corrective maintenance of hydraulic systems and components to keep machines operational.

  • Protect Machinery During Summer Heat
  • Keep Machines Running and Profits Increasing
  • Maintain Machines for Optimal Performance
  • Increase Machinery Lifespan with Routine Maintenance
  • Avoid Downtime and Costly Repairs

Learn more about Coastal Hydraulics’ capabilities by watching our video or contact us with questions or to request a quote.

posted June 17, 2017

Hydraulics & Pneumatics Experts – The Coastal Hydraulics Team

Coastal Hydraulics TeamAt  Coastal Hydraulics, we know that our company’s success is due to our team of dedicated and experienced professionals. We are proud to be an ISO 9001:2008 registered company since 1999.  With over 200 years of combined hydraulics and pneumatics experience under one roof, the experts at Coastal Hydraulics are sure to find the most efficient solutions for your hydraulic and pneumatic needs.

Our team members hold many certifications from the International Fluid Power Society including: Industrial Hydraulic Mechanic, Mobile Hydraulic Mechanic, Mobile Hydraulic Technician. Coastal Hydraulics also has technicians who have completed the Mobile Crane and Rigging Inspector training and are certified by the Crane Inspection and Certification Bureau. In addition, we have welders who are Section 9 qualified by the American Society of Engineers and approved by the American Bureau of Shipping.

Learn more about our team and our company – click here to visit our website.

posted September 15, 2016

Coastal Hydraulics Adds HVOF Coatings to Services

Coastal Hydraulics has a new offering to customers: HVOF (High Velocity Oxy Fuel) coatings to replace hard chrome coatings. The innovative technology is new to the hydraulics and pneumatics industries, and Coastal Hydraulics is the only company in the Carolinas and Georgia to offer HVOF coatings.

Some of the benefits of HVOF coatings include:

  • Prolonged part/component life
  • Improved resistance against wear and chemicals
  • Improved part/component performance
  • Decreased machinery down time
  • Reduced whole life cycle coating costs
  • Lower environmental impact than other coating options

Learn more about HVOF coatings and our in house capabilities by visiting our website – coastalhydraulics.net.

posted September 12, 2016