classic | mobile
 

Search...

 

Ready for Industry 4.0: Connected hydraulics
2nd Quarter 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components


Prejudices last for a long time, even when reality has long since disproved them. One of these prejudices is that hydraulics have no place in Industry 4.0 because they are not intelligent – but they have actually been ready for the future for some time.

For decades, hydraulics have been equipped with electronics, sensors, appropriate accessories and autonomous controls. In terms of automation technology, they have been at the same level as electromechanical drives for some time – partly thanks to the numerous system modules from Bosch Rexroth. Black and white valves have already disappeared from many applications, replaced by autarkic servo-hydraulic axes. The question is no longer whether hydraulic valve technology will benefit from networking capability, but simply when. We are currently experiencing the transition from classic, analog hydraulics to largely digital networked fluid technology. European machine manufacturers are increasingly digitalising their machines and expect the hydraulics to integrate seamlessly into these networked environments. The challenge now is extending networking beyond the machine itself and handling the wealth of data obtained. It has to be bundled and evaluated meaningfully and securely.

Intelligent interplay is the key

Tasks that were previously performed by steel and iron valve controls are now being carried out by decentralised intelligence in an electronic drive control unit. It adjusts the speed of the pump drive as required when power is needed at the consumer, or reduces it to almost zero. In many processes, this is a considerable energy advantage. The variable speed hydraulics consume up to 80% less energy than constant systems. Current discussions about Industry 4.0 show how important it is that all necessary functions and functionalities are defined. Active networking and communication is only possible if the mechanics, electronics, and sensors are standardised across different manufacturers. In the future, not every hydraulic-mechanical pressure valve will have on-board digital electronics and connect to a control or other valves. This will only be the case when it makes sense.

Smart solutions with decentralised intelligence

Decentralised intelligence and open interfaces are the crucial requirements for future automation solutions. As a result, Bosch Rexroth uses multi-Ethernet interfaces that support all standard protocols in its electrics and hydraulics. The next step is to integrate sensors into the existing valve housing. This opens up a range of possibilities. Let’s consider condition monitoring, for example. Here, sensors can record information about everything from oil quality to temperature, vibrations and completed switching cycles. Deep learning algorithms enable users to identify wear before it leads to a failure – a key step on the road to preventive maintenance.

Intelligent single-axis controllers are already responsible for decentralised hydraulic motion in a closed control loop. To achieve this, a powerful motion control is integrated into the valve’s on-board electronics. It carries out the target/actual comparison locally and makes adjustments to an accuracy of a few micrometers. The control quality of the system depends solely on the resolution of the measuring systems. These control cabinet-free motion controls are being used increasingly frequently in a wide range of markets.

With its IAC control valve, Rexroth also offers a control cabinet-free motion control that is completely integrated into the valve electronics. It can be fully networked using open interfaces, as can servo-hydraulic axes with a dedicated decentralised fluid circuit. In these ready to install axes, the pump, valves and cylinders make up a single assembly, which the machine manufacturer only has to connect to the power supply and control communication.

Plug-and-play for hydraulics

In the future, best-in-class controllers will replace valves that were previously necessary for motion. The electric drive positions the hydraulic cylinder based on the speed of the pump drive alone. Thus, the hydraulic gears essentially do the same as an electromechanical linear drive – they convert the rotary motion of electric drives into linear motion, but with all the advantages of hydraulics.

In the next development stage – autarkic linear axes – the advancement is particularly apparent. These are ready to install cylinder assemblies with a dedicated, highly-integrated fluid circuit. To operate these axes, machines therefore require no central hydraulic unit. The autarkic axes are connected in the same way as electric drives – all that is needed is a power cable and a data connection to the machine control. The same software tools are used for commissioning as for electric drives. Commissioning engineers require no in-depth knowledge of hydraulics, because they simply configure the preprogrammed functions for the machine conditions.

For more information contact Willem Gijzelaar, Hytec Holdings, +27 (0)11 979 4630, info@hyhold.co.za, www.hytecgroup.co.za


Share via email     Print this page  

Further reading:

  • Does edge computing have the edge?
    Third Quarter 2019, Omron Electronics, This Week's Editor's Pick, Other technologies
    Implementing artificial intelligence in industrial manufacturing.
  • Underwater robot with a unique fin
    Third Quarter 2019, Festo, This Week's Editor's Pick, Robotics & Mechatronics
          Swimming like the natural model The longitudinal fins of the polyclad and the cuttlefish extend from the head to the tail along their backs, their undersides or the two sides of their torsos. To ...
  • Motors that let you know when it’s time for a service
    Third Quarter 2019, ABB South Africa, Robotics and Motion, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    A new smart sensing solution from ABB can reduce downtimes of low voltage motors by up to 70% and extend their lifetime by up to 30%.
  • Cost-efficient production with 18 synchronous NC axes
    Third Quarter 2019, Beckhoff Automation, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Swedish equipment manufacturer, Ecmec has developed a high-tech machine for a supplier to the automobile industry that can complete several process steps simultaneously without having to remount the part ...
  • Contactless energy transfer system for automotive assembly line
    Third Quarter 2019, SEW-Eurodrive, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    The Movitrans contactless energy transfer system from SEW-Eurodrive, in conjunction with its Movipro SDC decentralised drive, position and application controller, has played a critical role in an assembly ...
  • What is going on in the Milky Way?
    Third Quarter 2019, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    One of the regions we know very little about is the dense part in the centre of the galaxy, where countless stars and gas clouds cluster around a presumed black hole. But a major astronomy project is ...
  • New docking system for space rendezvous
    Third Quarter 2019, DNH Tradeserve, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    The European Space Agency (ESA) is working on a new system to enable easy docking between two spacecraft. maxon motor developed two special drive systems for this purpose. Even though it has been done ...
  • Flying motion
    2nd Quarter 2019, Beckhoff Automation, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    A planar motor system of free-floating movers with six degrees of freedom.
  • Data, light and the smart factory
    2nd Quarter 2019, This Week's Editor's Pick, Other technologies
    Photonics – the science of harnessing photons through the cutting edge use of lasers and fibre optics – has become a key technology for smart factories.
  • Five hydraulics technology trends
    2nd Quarter 2019, Parker Hannifin - Sales Company South Africa, This Week's Editor's Pick, Hydraulic systems & components
    In this article are five key technology trends presented by Parker Hannifin that are shaping the future of hydraulics.
  • Industry 5.0 – the best of both worlds
    2nd Quarter 2019, Cobots , This Week's Editor's Pick, Robotics & Mechatronics
    The convergence of robot capabilities and human skills.
  • SEW-Eurodrive and Film Riggers help French Spiderman
    2nd Quarter 2019, SEW-Eurodrive, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
    Specialist rigging company, Film Riggers, was recently called upon to ensure the safety of Alain Robert, aka the French Spiderman, while he scaled a skyscraper in central Johannesburg to create an advertisement for an international tyre manufacturer.

 
 
         
Contact:
Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronics Buyers’ Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Other
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual





 

         
    classic | mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.