Innovative new technologies are laying the foundation for the latest hydraulic systems and applications designed for construction, agriculture, mining and power generation. From smart user interfaces to load sensing valve technology to hybrid actuation systems for renewable energy applications, these solutions lead to productivity increases, energy savings and maximised operational efficiency. Here are five key technology trends presented by Parker Hannifin that are shaping the future of hydraulics.
1. Innovative heavy duty vehicle technology
New generation load sensing valves: Parker’s EQA EcoFormance electric flow amplifier technology is a significant advancement in load sensing valves. By automatically adapting the meter-out pressure to the load conditions, machine control is greatly improved. This is especially useful for functions with slew or jib movements, or digger arms with over-centre movement.
Electro-hydraulic control: Parker’s IQAN Connect is a totally electronic approach that replaces mechanical and electromechanical systems for controlling and monitoring hydraulics in mobile machines. This digital ecosystem ties together Parker’s smart hydraulics and electronics products, resulting in a synergy of intelligent components and customisable software that delivers next generation connectivity while providing flexibility in design and development.
Accurate mobile diagnostics: Abnormal temperature and pressure levels can adversely impact the function of hydraulic lines and pump systems in heavy mobile machinery. Parker’s SensoNODE BlueTM sensors give users an advanced condition monitoring solution that provides accurate readings without excessive wiring, allowing for mobile diagnostics with the cab door closed.
2. A smart user interface to improve machine efficiency
Parker has been building a new presence in industrial Internet platforms and ecosystems by developing a software platform for advanced and flexible user interface design. This enables machine manufacturers to increase machine functionality and efficiency and to create new types of business. Developing smart applications requires a robust software platform for the HMI device. Parker’s UX Toolkit software tool enables easier development of demanding applications for machine instrumentation, control and adjustment. The applications can include supporting applications for core machine functions, smart control systems, diagnostics or prediction applications that decrease downtime, or GPS monitoring and navigation applications. Solutions helping end-users to improve performance and efficiency include applications for mobile hands-free devices, logbooks, usage monitoring, and task management (for example managing bus lines).
3. Energy saving hydraulic systems using drive controlled pumps
Modern industrial machinery is creating ever-increasing demands on hydraulics to provide more efficient and quieter solutions with a smaller footprint, while maintaining the traditional benefits of hydraulic systems such as high power density, precise control and enduring performance. But these benefits come with the high cost of inefficient energy allocation, heat generation and noise.
Conventional hydraulic power units require oversized pumps and motors to ensure performance during a system’s highest duty cycle demands. In today’s eco-conscious and globally competitive economic environment, a transition to systems in which power is precisely modulated to the requirements of specific tasks within highly complex hydraulic systems is essential. This is where drive controlled pump (DCP) technology can provide a solution to address the challenges of more demanding applications, rising energy costs and greater environmental requirements.
4. Variable speed drives become simpler and more efficient
Variable speed pump drives save up to 70% energy compared to conventional drive solutions. Parker has developed a new, innovative variation of its drive controlled pump. The combination of an optimised axial piston pump with two displacement volumes and a very compact synchronous servo motor offers decisive advantages over common variable speed pump systems:
• Low torque due to de-stroking in pressure holding, resulting in reduced acquisition costs for the motor and frequency converter
• High traverse speed through up-stroking when in rapid drive mode
• High operating pressure, high productivity and high energy efficiency
5. New hybrid actuation system ideal for renewable energy applications
Parker has developed a hybrid actuation system (HAS) that is ideal for renewable energy actuation applications such as those used with solar panels, wind turbines and hydroelectric dams. The new hybrid design combines the controllability of traditional electromechanical actuators with the power density, longer life and resistive force capabilities of traditional hydraulic systems. The result is an improved actuation system for wind and hydro and other renewable energy systems, with a wider range of capabilities.
The hybrid design of this high efficiency, modular system is a fully self-contained system with no hydraulic hoses or power units. Hybrid hydraulics achieve exceptional economies of scale, with the ability to move over a megawatt from a single point. This makes HAS a good choice for large or small arrays.
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