When someone reaches out in need of a hydraulic reservoir, a few introductory questions can determine the options and services you’ll need from your tank provider.
- What type of application will the reservoir be used in? (Agriculture, Construction, Mobile, etc.)
- What kind of environments will the application be introduced to?
- Is the reservoir a new or existing product?
Depending on the application, environment and size of the reservoir, the use of aluminized steel is recommended. The use of aluminized steel (sheet steel hot dip coated on both sides with an aluminum-silicon alloy) solves the contamination problems inherent in uncoated steels. It combines the corrosion resistance of aluminum with the structural strength (and lower cost) of steel. Aluminized steel is price-competitive with hot or cold rolled steel.
Beyond aluminized steel, you have a wide array and variety of materials including but not limited to hot rolled steel, cold rolled steel, aluminum and stainless steel. Typically, you should look for quotes in multiple material options so you have the best option for your application.
Do you have any sketches?
While a space void or constraint for the reservoir is helpful, a preliminary sketch or print provides the groundwork of the design and gives us an idea of the manufacturing efficiencies we can utilize. Your tank supplier should enjoy the collaborative process to find the most cost effective design to fit the your application while providing a reservoir that exceeds expectations but maintains a competitive cost.
Keep it as simple as possible. Anything complex – complex corners or edges, trapezoidal shapes, irregular rectangles – means more material, more labor and more leak test time.
When the sketch or drawing is received, see if your tank provider can improve on it. It may be as simple as changing the construction by putting a bend in place of a weld or integrating mounting brackets into the tank body, thereby eliminating more welds. (For example, we received one sketch that showed 6 pieces welded together, necessitating a total of 12 welds. We proposed making the tank out of two pieces, which eliminated 1/3 of the welds and reduced costs.)
Value-Added parts – DIY not recommended
Make sure your supplier can procure and install the value-added parts you need – fill caps, strainers, sight bulbs, filters, straps, covers or any type of value added item that may be required. Look for suppliers with strong, key relationships with manufacturers of these value added items, often receiving discounted pricing – a savings that is passed onto the customer.
With a little planning, and a collaborate partner in your tank supplier, you should end up with a finished product that is ready for mounting and plumbing of the connections. Every tank and reservoir you receive should be thoroughly cleaned and tested based on a your own standard or an industry standard. Also, when your tank supplier takes on the task of installing the value added parts, it diminishes the introduction of contamination during the reservoir installation process.