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Taking hydraulics to a new level
4th Quarter 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, Other technologies

Not so long ago, only the largest OEMs could afford to develop complex proprietary control systems. But the recent introduction of versatile digital ecosystems connecting electronic control hardware and software to the cloud will be a game changer for mobile hydraulic machinery and equipment manufacturers.

By empowering design engineers with real-time access to the most sophisticated data collection and monitoring capabilities, such systems are enabling OEMs to customise electro-hydraulic control parameters to meet highly specific application requirements.

This levelling of the playing field is catalysing a new era of mobile machine and equipment design innovation, as OEMs across industries, tiers and geographies develop customised solutions that digitally integrate their customers’ hydraulic and machine controls with IIoT.

Whether managing a fleet of transport trucks, utility vehicles, refuse collection truck, or complex construction, agricultural and mining machinery, the ability to conduct real-time monitoring of vehicle functions and operator performance enables increased productivity, improved customer satisfaction, improved operator safety, optimised energy and fuel efficiency, the ability to track performance variables continually, the ability to selectively share data across distribution and supply channels and comprehensive reporting for analysis and improvement.

Now imagine adding to these benefits the ability to custom modify from a remote location onboard programs, software releases, alerts and notifications, as well as specific system parameters such as operating ranges. Today’s mobile IIoT systems enable OEM and/or user-based control system designers and technicians to respond rapidly to ever-changing application requirements, providing enterprises with a strong competitive advantage.

Today’s mobile IIoT ecosystems securely monitor, access and adjust operational parameters via laptop, tablet or cellphone anywhere the Internet is available, rapidly delivering functional adaptations and improvements to fleet managers, engineers, call centre operators, technicians, and administrators across the channel as required.

Next generation mobile IIoT systems are highly user configurable, which means both control functions and interfaces can be customised to match specific customer needs. Operational parameters and controls are easily adjusted to improve the efficiency of the equipment and of related business operations. Interface details such as colours and the types and designs of freestanding or display-based controls can be customised to match each customer’s branding requirements.

Anywhere mobile equipment is used, no matter how vast the regions in which that equipment is deployed, mobile IIoT systems offer an opportunity for higher levels of productivity improvement and cost efficiency. Across all markets, mobile IIoT systems are expediting the time to market of cost-saving operational improvements.

The hardware components of smart gateways are designed to withstand punishing industrial and outdoor environments. When new equipment installs are adopted, previously existing vehicles can typically be retrofitted to connect to the IIoT. Electronic control systems are compatible with a wide range of intelligent components, including hydraulic pumps, accumulators, cylinders, filters, tubing, fittings, power units and valves.

Data is aggregated into customisable reports that identify trends and anomalies, enabling operation engineers and technicians to adjust system functionality with the ultimate goal of improving productivity and the efficiency of business operations.

Perhaps the most significant benefit of remote configurability and Internet-based data access is the downstream effect on innovation. Enterprise software connecting machines to the cloud is accelerating the collection and analysis of data, leading to new insights that not only improve the competitiveness of individual market players, but raise the performance bar on entire industries.

Imagine mining sites where near instant access to troubleshooting data triggers alerts and shutdowns, saving lives. Imagine how the improved flexibility and responsiveness afforded by remote control might enable engineers to experiment with micro-repositionings of a single sensor to ensure the fastest possible identification of wear factors for continual improvements in uptime. Imagine the ongoing analysis of millions of operator performance profiles, enabling OEMs to go to market with next generation ergonomic improvements for greater in-the-cab efficiency and reduced operator injury.

The complex mechanical, electronic and hydraulic systems used by mobile equipment and machinery, when supported by digital ecosystems, are expected to usher in a new era of mobile solution innovation. For the first time, mobile equipment OEMs and their customers have immediate access to large and robust collections of data which, upon analysis, can be quickly acted upon to improve functional efficiencies, operator wellness and productivity.

Today’s motion control enterprises are leading the way towards a new era of safer, cleaner, more efficient and more reliable mobile equipment performance.

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For more information contact Lisa de Beer, Parker Hannifin SA, +27 11 961 0700,,

Supplied By: Parker Hannifin - Sales Company South Africa
Tel: +27 11 961 0700
Fax: +27 11 392 7213
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