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Improving compressed air systems p. 40

Quick, safe connections at sea p. 48

Hydraulic reservoir design options p. 52

www.fluidpowerworld.com

April 2021

Load sensing gets it done in forestry

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE Michael Ference • VP, Publisher

Passing the baton after a fulfilling career As I retire from my career in fluid power media, I want to thank all of the people who have made my career possible. That includes managers, coworkers, and customers. It has been a great run of over 43 years and I feel very fortunate to have had a rewarding and fulfilling career. When I started in 1977 with a degree in Communication from Cleveland State University, I basically needed a job and I knew very little about fluid power or even engineering in general. Little did I know that I would be looking back after all this time reminiscing about what a great wonderful career in fluid power it has been. Fluid power is a fantastic technology and one that we all depend upon in our daily lives. I have followed the progress of the many innovations and improvements in machinery and equipment powered by our technology. I am especially pleased that I was able to assist in some small way in the perpetuation of the knowledge of fluid power technology to engineers, mechanics, and industry professionals. The single most rewarding aspect of my career is the development of the Fluid Power Technology Conference which continues on in a virtual format today with the expectation of returning to a live event soon. I can start naming individuals who have been most influential in my career. I can also start naming people with whom I have had the most meaningful relationships. However, there are too many to mention and I do not want to leave anyone out. I was told early on that once a person starts a career in fluid power, they often stay for the duration. Well, that worked out. There have also been many changes and innovations in the media industry during my watch. Many have been good and some not so much. In the early years, we watched as print advertisers basically came to us wanting to promote their products with print ads — that was about all we had. Then with the introduction of websites, and e-mail-based advertising, things changed drastically and continue to evolve. I am glad to put in the years that I did crossing several eras of the business-to-business media world. There were some very trying times because of economic conditions but mostly great years where we adjusted to the needs of our advertisers and audience. The future looks like more change and possibly more rapid change to meet those needs. I pass the baton on to my younger colleagues and wish them well. I really don’t want to say goodbye, but I am turning the page to a new era of responsibilities and activities. To all of the people who I have met along this journey, I want to sincerely thank you for your support and thank you for your friendship. I hope that our paths cross again and I wish you all the best! FPW

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www.fluidpowerworld.com


FLUIDLINES Mary C. Gannon • Editor

Saying goodbye to a mentor and friend At the end of this month, we at Fluid Power World will bid farewell to our Publisher and VP, Michael Ference, as he retires and moves onto the next chapter in his life. Without Michael, there would never have been a Fluid Power World, as it was his move to our team at WTWH Media that spurred the founding of this new brand of websites, magazine and in-person and online events. He, Paul Heney, Ken Korane, and I took two websites and turned them into a brand that has flourished over the years. It wasn’t until Mike and I reunited here at Fluid Power World that we really started to travel together — from trade shows to client and reader visits and fun at industry conferences to hosting our own Fluid Power Technology Conferences over the past several years. In the past year of remote work, I haven’t seen Mike in person, but that didn’t stop our regular chats — what would initially be a quick call about a project, or an idea would easily turn into 30 or 40 minutes of catching up, talking about the world, politics, the virus, etc. And it wasn’t unusual for our little ones (his grandchildren and my children) to jump on camera and greet each other while on zoom meetings. We’ve always had great planning meetings in those travel journeys, taking ideas for events or new revenue streams and turning them into actual products. I learned more about client meetings and walking a show floor with Mike than I ever could have imagined. I’ve seen firsthand the relationships he’s built over the years with his clients, many whom he considers friends, and I hope that I continue that relationship building. It is true that the fluid power industry is a special, tight-knit circle of great folks. It will be tough to not want to pick up the phone or pop into his office for a chat about an idea, but I know that Mike leaves me in a good place. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor and friend the past 16 years. FPW

Mary C. Gannon • Editor mgannon@wtwhmedia.com On Twitter @DW_marygannon

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FROM THE FIELD Paul J. Heney • VP, Editorial Director

Innovation here and abroad Innovation in fluid power has had its fits and starts, at least here in the U.S. There have been countless stories of soldiers coming back from WWII to start fluid power manufacturing companies here. But in the decades that followed, it seemed that much of the high-level research in the industry was happening in other places — Germany, Japan, Finland, the U.K., Italy. The creation of the CCEFP here, 15 years ago, was a hugely positive step. But are we doing enough today? I recently interviewed Dean Kamen, creator of the FIRST Robotics competition and inventor of the Segway (and many other innovative products). Fluid Power World’s sister publication, R&D World, is predicting that China will outspend the U.S. for the very first time in R&D in 2021. What did he think about that? I found his answer illuminating and wanted to share it. Yes, it concerns me a lot, but I think overly simplistically saying, no, we as a country should always spend more than anybody in the world is both neither practical or fair or realistic. They have a multiple of our population, they eat a multiple of the amount of food we eat every day, even if it’s the same amount per capita. The fact is, they have less food per capita, but they still eat more than we do. You have to normalize that. So, it’ll come a point, I hope, where the world has a much better distribution of educated people that are all working on solving problems. And part of me says, “I’d rather have 10 times as many people racing towards curing this form of cancer or that form of cancer before I find out it’s the one I have.” I think, whether we come up with a great new engine that doesn’t pollute, whether that’s invented in the U.S. or China, or Israel — or any other country in the world — as long as it’s properly disseminated, we all win. In a world where good ideas can be spread across the 6

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whole globe, why wouldn’t we want as many smart kids everywhere doing that? But having said that, am I worried that it’s not just that China is spending more and more on research and development, but maybe on a per capita basis, the U.S. isn’t doing everything it should be doing to stay globally competitive? I am worried about that. All you have to do is look at this country. We started out with 13 little colonies that somehow escaped from one of the biggest empires the world had ever seen. And these 13 little colonies certainly didn’t start with massive amounts of libraries and universities and research institutions like all of Europe had, or thousands of years of China. Yet, from the time this country became what we now think of as America, from the very beginning, we just screamed ahead of the rest of the world in terms of almost every metric that we claim we value today: public education, standard of living, quality of life, access to health, you name it. How could that be?

Dean Kamen

www.fluidpowerworld.com


Hydraulic Live Swivels Inline & 90° How did that happen? This country was about innovators. They created wealth. We didn’t conquer other countries. We didn’t take over other countries. We were a country built on innovation. It’s not a coincidence that Thomas Edison was here, that Wilbur and Orville Wright were here. When you look at the history throughout the industrial revolution and up until today, whether you think about the modern versions of some of these super innovative companies, whether it’s Apple or Google, they are here, and they create industries, they create great jobs, they create a future. And by the way, a lot of the technologies they create are sustaining and protecting our independence and our freedom. So, if America has any question about whether there’s a return on investment at the government level for research and development, all they have to do is ask themselves why has America always been so uniquely great and always outpacing the rest of the world? And if we stop investing in innovation, I really want most of these people that think there’s a debate about that to look in the mirror and say, “You think you’re just entitled to a better standard of living? You think it’s just going to come free because of what your great-grandparents once did?” America needs to keep reinvesting in its future, in education, in kids, in innovation, taking the risks, reasonable risks, and doing things first, and doing things best, and doing things that are scalable, and doing things that will be valuable to us, and then valuable around the rest of the world, so that we can maintain and justifiably maintain a high standard of living without doing it at the expense of other people. I think, ironically, a lot of countries in the world have figured this out, while we’re sitting back taking it for granted. A lot of countries around the world, not just China, are highly motivated to make technology, STEM education for their kids, a very, very high priority, because they just look at the model, America. They all think that’s a great, great, great aspirational model to have. They don’t think it’s because we have Democrats or Republicans, they think it’s because we’ve been innovative — and we have technology available to so many people that have this high standard of living because we use these technologies. And the rest of the world is determined to create that next wave of technology where they are. Let’s make it a competition where we all win because everybody’s creating more and better technologies at a faster rate, hopefully to keep us ahead of disasters, whether that’s global warming or other shortages. But as the rest of the world picks up their pace, yes, I am worried. If the U.S. doesn’t pick up our pace, we’re going to wake up one day and say, “Huh, we’ve lost that edge, we’ve lost that lead.” We can’t assume that this is going to be the best place for all of us to retire. That’s not a birthright, that’s something that every generation has earned. And I want our culture to make it clear to the next generation, the kids, “You better earn it, or you won’t have it.” For more information on FIRST, visit www.firstinspires.org.

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APRIL 2021

C ontents |

vol 8 no 2

|

fluidpowerworld.com

4

2021

F E AT U R E S MOBILE HYDRAULICS

Load-sensing gets it done in forestry Logging and timber harvesting machinery rely on load-sensing electrohydraulics for efficient, productive operation.

PNEUMATICS

How to improve compressed air systems Here are some tips to reduce losses, right-size components and streamline circuits, all of which can lead to sizable cost savings.

SHOW PREVIEW

OTC returns to Houston August 16-19 The largest offshore oil and gas conference and trade show moved to a later date in 2021 to accommodate Covid-19 protocols.

OFFSHORE

Making quick, safe connections at sea Using non-welded flange systems, such as Parker’s High Performance Flange connectors, reduces errors and saves hours on installation in mission-critical marine applications.

HYDRAULIC RESERVOIRS

Taking a deep dive into the hydraulic reservoir Hydraulic reservoir design is critical in power unit performance, so selecting the right style elements will ensure efficient circuit design.

34 40

46

D E PA R T M E N T S

48

52

02

Publisher’s Note

04

FluidLines

06

From The Field

12

Korane’s Outlook

14

Association Watch

18

Design Notes

26

Fundamentals

28

Distributor update

32

Energy Efficiency

56

Products

63

Component Focus

64

Ad Index

A Z B E E S A S B P E Aw a r d s o f E x c e l l e n c e

2019

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FLUID POWER WORLD does not pass judgment on subjects of controversy nor enter into dispute with or between any individuals or organizations. FLUID POWER WORLD is also an independent forum for the expression of opinions relevant to industry issues. Letters to the editor and by-lined articles express the views of the author and not necessarily of the publisher or the publication. Every effort is made to provide accurate information; however, publisher assumes no responsibility for accuracy of submitted advertising and editorial information. Noncommissioned articles and news releases cannot be acknowledged. Unsolicited materials cannot be returned nor will this organization assume responsibility for their care.

WE’RE ALL IN THIS BIN TOGETHER.

FLUID POWER WORLD does not endorse any products, programs or services of advertisers or editorial contributors. Copyright© 2021 by WTWH Media, LLC. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or by recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Free and controlled circulation to qualified subscribers. Non-qualified persons may subscribe at the following rates: U.S. and possessions: 1 year: $125; 2 years: $200; 3 years: $275; Canadian and foreign, 1 year: $195; only US funds are accepted. Single copies $15 each. Subscriptions are prepaid, and check or money orders only. SUBSCRIBER SERVICES: To order a subscription please visit our web site at www.fluidpowerworld.com FLUID POWER WORLD (ISSN 2375-3641) is published seven times a year: in February, April, June, July, August, October, and December by WTWH Media, LLC; 1111 Superior Ave., Suite 2600, Cleveland, Ohio 44114. Periodicals postage paid at Cleveland, OH & additional mailing offices.

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KORANE’S OUTLOOK Ken Korane • Contributing Editor

Shootout at the AK corral The recent U.S.-China mini summit in Alaska brought to mind Wyatt Earp and the Clanton brothers. But instead of lead flying, it was insults. The U.S. delegation lambasted China’s oppressive actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, saber-rattling against Taiwan, cyberattacks on the U.S. and economic coercion toward allies — all which threaten global stability. China retorted that the U.S. has a crumbling democracy, a poor record regarding human rights and a foreign policy based on force and financial threats. The message: China believes that the balance of power has shifted in its favor over the past 10 years, and they intend to firmly safeguard national security and technology developments. “It is increasingly difficult to argue that we don’t know what China wants,” said one senior administration official. “They are playing for keeps.” A major problem is that the U.S. has ceded much of its manufacturing base to China, putting us in a precarious position vulnerable to coercion and foreign interference, said Jacob Helberg, senior advisor at Stanford’s Program on Geopolitics and Technology. His paper, “In the New Cold War, Deindustrialization Means Disarmament” published in Foreign Policy, noted that China has withheld medical-equipment shipments during the pandemic, hacked U.S. firms to acquire trade secrets, subsidizes its own companies and restricts foreign competition. These incidents reflect the power China wields through control of manufacturing capacity and supply chains. However, Chinese security threats offer the chance to rethink the U.S. economy. The question today is not whether America can bring back manufacturing jobs, said Helberg, but whether America can afford not to. Reindustrialization will require a collaborative, public/private effort to determine which critical goods must be produced domestically, which can safely be sourced from allies, and which can still be imported from the global market. The U.S. must create a “minimum viable industrial capacity” to not simply meet national emergencies, but to wage long-term competition. One focus could be production of high-performance microprocessors, indispensable for everything from robotics and AI development to electrohydraulic controls and Industrial IoT. To counter China’s dominance in global manufacturing, we also need more skilled industrial workers —currently a significant business challenge. Washington must invest in specialized training and apprenticeships for employees in vital industries, said Helberg, to fill these new, high-paying jobs. We 12

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also need to boost funding for higher education and graduate more scientists and engineers, and offer more STEM H-1B visas. Another idea involves making substantial investments in new innovation hubs patterned after successes like Silicon Valley. Geographically concentrated hubs, say for fluid power in Milwaukee, would attract talented individuals from around the world to the industry’s manufacturing and engineering center of gravity. This clustering of specialized expertise fosters industry networks and institutional knowledge to help companies solve problems more quickly and speed innovation. Likewise, many experts suggest that the government should forge research consortia that bring together private firms to reduce duplication and increase economies of scale by collaborating on early-stage research — much like the CCEFP but on a larger scale — while continuing to compete at final product development. Focused R&D spending would blunt Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” ambitions for dominance in artificial intelligence, robotics, aerospace equipment and mobile machinery. Some have floated the idea of a free-trade bloc that preserves efficiency and competition while helping global companies lessen their dependence on the Chinese market. The U.K., for example, has proposed a 10-nation democratic coalition that will collaboratively create alternatives to Chinese 5G technology. Politicians and industry leaders have long assumed deindustrialization was inevitable. The coronavirus pandemic has brought to the forefront the result of decades of industrial decline, said Helberg. Neglecting to address it now would be a costly strategic mistake.

www.fluidpowerworld.com

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ASSOCIATION WATCH Edited by Mike Santora • Editor

ISO standards impact our world – U.S. fluid power industry needs customer input Since 1969, the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) has fostered cooperation among users and manufacturers by being involved in the development of fluid power ISO standards. NFPA holds the secretariat of ISO Technical Committee 131, fluid power

Standards for fluid power products and systems fall into three basic categories: 1.

systems, and is responsible for 236 published ISO standards, of which 33 projects are currently under development.

2.

One of the strengths of ISO standardization is that the documents are created by the people who need them. In the United States, 145 industry experts/customers participate in 11 technical advisory groups (TAGs) to drive all aspects of the standards development process, from deciding whether a new standard is needed to defining the technical content. NFPA is looking for engineers interested in participating in standards development activities as experts. Why do standards matter in fluid power? ISO standards, technical specifications, and technical reports play a key role in fluid power technology. Designing, assembling, and maintaining a hydraulic or pneumatic system often involves putting together various components, often from a variety of suppliers. Without standards for dimensional interchangeability, performance measurement and communication, safety requirements, and testing and inspection methods, these processes would be much more difficult. Standards benefit users because they: • simplify the use of fluid power. • help educate users on how to correctly size and apply products. • determine product performance and how it is measured, allowing comparison. • communicate needs in a commonly understood language. • are written with input from users.

3.

Communication standards define the basic terms, symbols, and other communication tools used in the fluid power industry. Vocabularies, graphic symbols, and dimension codes are typical subjects for communication standards. Design standards establish dimensions, tolerances, or other physical characteristics of products. They ensure that fluid power products meet dimensional criteria that enable interfacing and interchangeability. Performance standards provide a voluntary method of rating products. Pressure rating, particle counting methods used in contamination analysis, and methods of testing for strength and volume are typical performance standards.

Why get involved in standards development? Getting involved in this process can bring significant advantages to participating individuals and businesses alike. Advantages include: • • •

having early access to information that could shape the market in the future. giving your company a voice in the development of standards. helping to keep market access open.

Getting involved in standards development brings your concerns and needs to bear on the process that can affect customers and manufacturers alike. How to get involved? To join or learn more about fluid power Standards development, contact Denise Husenica at dhusenica@nfpa.com. FPW

NFPA | nfpa.com

Standards benefit manufacturers because they: • provide uniform methods for testing products and advertising their ratings. • help to assure system integrity and safety in the application of fluid power. • help to improve efficiency of fluid power products and systems. • simplify the variety of products and sizes in the marketplace. • encourage new product development. • help avoid confusion in communicating with customers. 14

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www.fluidpowerworld.com


Fluid Power Forum podcast NFPA is now in its third year of producing Fluid Power Forum — a fluid power industry-focused podcast that highlights the people, technologies, and unique applications that are moving the industry forward. The project aims to showcase the crucial role of hydraulics and pneumatics in our world and focuses not on technical specifics but on the unique applications of this technology. Previous episodes have included topics like electrified hydraulic systems in top loaders, pneumatic innovations in solar power, hydraulic assist in vocational trucks, and NFPA workforce programs that are inspiring students to pursue careers in fluid power. New episodes are released every other Monday and are available on all of your favorite podcast platforms, including iTunes and iHeart Radio. Stay tuned this summer for episodes covering the use of hydraulics in sports venues, hydraulics in civil and architectural applications, manifold design software for innovation in mobile equipment, and more. For more information, contact Maddie Parise at mparise@nfpa.com.

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ASSOCIATION WATCH

AEM issues call for nominations for 2021 Hall of Fame Class The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) Hall of Fame recognizes the pioneers whose inventions, ideas, leadership, and courage have contributed to the industry and our community’s quality of life. Since 1993, the AEM Hall of Fame (formerly CIMA Hall of Fame) has honored pioneering individuals who invented, managed, built, and led the off-road equipment industry that builds and feeds our world, recognizing everyone from the inventor of the steam shovel, to the woman who led one of the world’s most notable equipment manufacturers, to taking care of its people while improving its profits. Anyone in the equipment manufacturing industry or the wider public can submit a nomination. AEM seeks to recognize those who

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exemplify innovation, industry contributions, leadership, and social responsibility in the equipment manufacturing industry. In 2020, the AEM inducted three notable leaders into its Hall of Fame, Art Moore, founder of Snorkel Lifts, and brothers Ray and Koop Ferwerda, inventors of the Gradall hydraulic excavator. This year, AEM is expanding the traditional idea of a Hall of Fame member and looking to recognize contributions to our industry from more diverse corners of the equipment manufacturing world, including those from different roles and positions, and from smaller manufacturers. Past fluid power Hall of Famers include Agustin ‘Gus’ Ramirez, Chairman & Founder, HUSCO International; Pierre Bataille, Chairman & CEO, Poclain; William Mulligan, Executive Vice President and Simon Ingersoll, Founder, both of Ingersoll-Rand Company. “The AEM Hall of Fame is a collection of individuals who made the industry that made modern America possible,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “We look forward to celebrating the next innovator-leader as selected by our independent panel.” Nominations are open until June 11. AEM is the North America-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines worldwide in agriculture and construction-related industry sectors. The equipment manufacturing industry in the United States supports 2.8 million jobs and contributes roughly $288 billion to the economy every year. FPW

AEM | www.aem.org/about/hall-of-fame

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DESIGN NOTES Edited by Mary C. Gannon • Editor

Flow control valve provides precise control and speed

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Sun Hydraulics has released the company’s first solenoid-operated, 3-way proportional flow control valve as part of the expanding line of FLeX Series valves. The new patent pending, compact FREP combines an electroproportional adjustable orifice and pressure compensator in one valve and can provide a constant priority flow rate independent of load pressures. It’s well suited for situations where you need to maintain constant actuator speed regardless of the load on the actuator, and it provides excellent variable flow control when using a fixed-displacement pump. The FREP valve brings precise control to orbital motors on conveyors, spinners or fans for equipment like salt spreaders, agricultural spreaders and seeders. Equipment designers and operators can control material output directly, avoiding excess application of material, saving money, optimizing yield and protecting the environment. With these applications in mind, Sun offers a standard assembly for the FREP with the OMP motor interface so it can be mounted easily on an orbital motor, reducing hosing and providing a more compact solution. Sun offers six standard OMP-mount manifolds in a range of port sizes. The manifolds include a set of deep mounting holes to accommodate direct mounting of the Sun XMD Mobile Driver to the manifold. The FREP is a compact single valve that features a 30-gpm (120-lpm) rated input in versions with priority flow up to 22 gpm (88 lpm) in three ranges: • • •

A range: 0-8 gpm (0-30 lpm) B range: 0-15 gpm (0-60 lpm) C range: 0-22 gpm (0-88 lpm)

The compact FREP combines an electro-proportional adjustable orifice

and pressure compensator in one valve and can provide a constant priority flow rate independent of load pressures. It is suited to conveyor/ spreader applications like those used in agricultural machinery.

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DESIGN NOTES

The three ranges allow the designer to dial-in the best resolution for the application and to balance the needs for priority flow and bypass flow. The FREP can split one input into two flows that are controlled proportionally, allowing you to operate motors and cylinders on both port 3 and port 2. With the ability to divert oil from the main line of a system without disrupting primary functions, this valve is well suited to power accessories or attachments. The benefits of the FREP are clear: • Space-saving, pressure-compensated flow control in a singlevalve solution • Very low leakage compared to competitive valves • More compact than competing valves with comparable flow rates, using a large hit area on port 3 to deliver higher flows The FREP’s patent-pending design uses a pull-type solenoid that allows the main throttle spool to be less sensitive to flow forces. This means you get greater efficiencies, with more flow control using less power than similar valves. When combined with the FLeX Series RVCK two-stage relief valve in an assembly, designers can create integrated solutions that control speed and force using two FREPs in one compact assembly, which

The FREP valve can be mounted easily on an orbital motor, reducing hosing and providing a more compact solution.

is ideal for spreader machine control. Also pairing the FREP with the RVCK relief, a full-rated bypass flow control solution can be created, with a single FREP serving as both the variable orifice and the bypass pressure compensator in the circuit.

Material spreaders: control force and speed in one compact assembly

By combining the FLeX FREP and RVCK two-stage relief valve, you can create a solution that controls speed and force using two FREP valves in one compact assembly. For example, an augur/conveyor motor is protected against pressure spikes resulting from variations in material size and density using a Sun RDDA direct-acting relief valve. An anti-cavitation check valve can provide spin-down on the spinner motor. This kind of circuit can be readily installed on fertilizer or salt spreaders for more simplified, effective machine control. In an example circuit, a second FREP will close if the spinner motor stalls, causing the conveyor to stall as well, which prevents excess material from dumping into the stalled spinner. In this case, the RVCK will protect the pump. Also, the auger/conveyor drive’s own resistance can keep it from overrunning, so it maintains a positive load on the motor and can make the addition of an anti-cavitation check or brake valve unnecessary in certain applications. FPW

Break down? Get it now!

Sun Hydraulics LLC | sunhydraulics.com

DISTRIBUTED BY: SMC Electric 509 N Washington Ave. Springfield, MO 417-865-2825 smcelectric.com Area Served: Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma

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DESIGN NOTES Edited by Mary C. Gannon • Editor

Electrohydrostatic actuation yields benefits for German machine maker Germany-based Frey & Co. GmbH sought technology to replace the hydraulic system in its EasyISO2000 4000-kilonewton isostatic press. The original design of the EasyISO2000 4,000-kN press included a traditional hydraulic system for five axes that Frey had used for many years. However, the solution required customers to call frequently for Frey & Co. to provide maintenance, and the design consumed high levels of energy; both were factors that ate away at Frey & Co.’s and its customers’ profitability and productivity. As a maker of adaptor tools, press machines and automation systems for the powder metallurgy sector, Frey & Co. provides applications for the medical, electronics, automotive and ceramics industries. The company’s employees focus on design, manufacturing and assembly processes. Frey’s EasyISO2000 isostatic presses produce ceramic parts with an even density distribution and long lengths. Cold isostatic pressing (CIP) is a materials processing technology where machines like the EasyISO2000 apply high pressures to ceramic powder in a sealed elastomer container, shaped specifically for the application. During the manufacturing process, the presses convert the powder from loose aggregate into a partly dense compact with enough strength to permit handling, before workers transfer the material to the next stage of the process. Frey & Co. equips its EasyISO series presses with a pressure vessel, a pressure intensifier and a locking cylinder built into the press frame. The machines have a modular structure for press forces ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 kN, tailored to a customer’s needs. Frey & Co.’s designers can define each press between different pressures and component sizes. Depending on the type of aggregate powder a press owner uses, Frey & Co. fits the Using Moog’s electrohydrostatic actuation system (EAS) on its isostatic presses allowed Frey & Co. to

simplify machine design, increase efficiency, lower noise, and enhance product quality.

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DESIGN NOTES

Moog’s EAS features a function

block and integrated, energysaving electrohydrostatic pump unit (EPU) that is 5 to 10 times smaller, including smaller filtration and cooling mechanisms, and a system that uses less oil and has fewer points of maintenance, than a traditional HPU-designed system. presses with dies that a customer can replace after each cycle. The original hydraulic design was a classic system including a hydraulic power unit (HPU) with pump, filtration and cooling all based on conventional hydraulics. The many moving parts complicated maintenance for customers and caused more questions than necessary about operation. The press maker wanted to develop simpler, more efficient drive technology for its isostatic presses. After learning about an electrohydrostatic actuation system, or EAS, made by Moog Inc., Frey & Co. and Moog’s engineers met to discuss how the EAS with a function block and integrated, energy-saving electrohydrostatic pump unit (EPU) could control the EasyISO2000’s five press axes. The EAS solution is less complicated than Frey & Co.’s traditional design. It has an EPU that is 5 to 10 times smaller, including smaller filtration and cooling mechanisms, and a system that uses less oil and has fewer points of maintenance, so the machine is more stable. Frey & Co.’s original design 22

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employed an oil pump for pressure and a servo proportional valve for motion control. Powering this with hydraulics led to energy loss. Since the EAS is a closed system, there is no pressure drop, and that translates into energy savings depending on customer use. The EAS is also a direct-drive system between the cylinder and the pump, whereas, the original design required the system to cool oil, which draws additional energy. With the EAS in place, Frey & Co. not only reduced the motion system’s and press’s size but also reduced the size of the HPU. By comparison, the EAS has a 70-liter oil tank reservoir and 32 cm3 EPU; the original design had an HPU oil tank measuring 400 to 500 liters with a 250 cm3 HPU. With the EAS’s smaller tank there’s less need for cooling. The EAS controls the main axes of the EasyISO2000 press and all additional tool axes. The solution is made up of an EPU, manifold assembly, accumulator and a small auxiliary power unit. Since installing the EAS in its EasyISO2000 press, Frey & Co. has reduced noise levels. The original system had an HPU running continuously, but the EAS generates noise only when the pump and cylinder move. The EAS causes less hydraulic noise because there is no sucking sound from a pump and building up of pressure inherent with the original design. With the closedloop EAS, there are less parts, so less noise. When there is noise, it’s tied to the press creating pressure or force. Because the press’ EPU delivers power

Frey & Co. GmbH German headquarters.

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only when needed, Frey & Co. says it has improved energy efficiency by more than 40%. This, in turn, has reduced operational costs. The amount of reduction depends, of course, on the operational requirements of each application in which the owner deploys a newly designed EasyISO2000, but savings between 10 and 40% is possible. In comparison to a classic hydraulic system, the EAS will always deliver some savings. Using the EAS in larger machines creates larger savings because the design reduces the number of materials, time to install and frequency of maintenance. By replacing the hydraulic system on Frey & Co.’s EasyISO2000 with the EAS, the machine maker says its customers are also seeing higher quality ceramic parts due to greater stability in the production process. With the EAS, the press operator can more finely tune pressure and consistently hold it during production. This allows for more accuracy in creating ceramic parts. In the original machine layout, the press had an open-loop design that could not hold pressure as consistently for the press as the EAS. The EPU’s smaller oil requirement also improved C02 levels for the presses. Since there is less need to heat and cool oil and move fluid throughout the newly designed press, there is greater efficiency and less power consumption. This translates into less kilowatt-hour use and CO2 production with the EAS. FPW

Moog | moog.com


DESIGN NOTES Edited by Mike Santora • Editor

Hybrid gripper helps handle machining and testing application AUMAT Maschinenbau GmbH is a Solingen, Germany-based manufacturer of broaching and special machines. When the Iseo company — a lock system manufacturer — needed a suitable solution for the machining and testing of its newly developed lock cores, they came to AUMAT.

The Zimmer Group has added three

new sizes to its GPP5000IL and GPD5000IL gripper series.

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After several months of development, AUMAT automated this process with a machining center developed especially for this customer. The approximately 20 square meter plant in Solingen consists of 10 variable stations in which the lock core is drilled, reamed, deburred, filled with pins, and pressed. A conveyor belt and a six-axis robot from Kawasaki Robotics are used to transport the cores. The challenges for the AUMAT developers were significant. The customer set the cycle time of the process at 11 seconds. Due to the variety of products, the machine had to be designed with extreme adaptability, making it far more complex. As the space available at the customer’s location was also limited, a considerably compact design was required. The heart of the facility is the testing and measuring station for the lock cores with the Kawaski robot. During the initial stages of the project, the AUMAT development team was still thinking about solving the complex testing process employing a clamping device for the process-safe holding of the lock cores and micro-probes for tolerance evaluation. However, research led to a new idea and possibility which could simplify the process: A special gripper could perform the two test steps as an all-in-one solution. This would not only provide a more compact solution but also fewer sources of interference. AUMAT contacted the Zimmer Group, a company that develops handling solutions and gripping systems for various industries. The Zimmer Group suggested its GPP5000IL hybrid gripper. This gripper has a pneumatic drive combined with modern IO-Link technology. Valve technology, sensor technology, status display, pressure, and temperature monitoring are integrated into the gripper. Since there is no longer a fixed hose connection between the valve and piston that needs to be filled or emptied for each cycle, the grippers have a short reaction time and are faster than other pneumatic grippers. In addition, it has a part detection in the range of ±0.05 mm with a freely teachable tolerance range. As a result, not only is process monitoring possible, but also the identification of workpieces based on their diameter. In this process, different diameters are assigned to different workpiece numbers, which are then relayed to the control system via IO-Link. This process was a decisive factor for the developers at AUMAT because the lock cores were to be checked for dimensional

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accuracy (diameter, position, and length) at the test station. Due to the large number of different types of lock cores, it was helpful that 32 workpiece data records could be programmed into the GPP5000IL gripper. An unlimited number of recipes could now be stored in the PLC, which can be continuously called up by the gripper if required. The grippers are universally applicable, protected against corrosion, and offer high gripping forces at large gripper finger lengths. Even in the standard version, they have IP64 sealing so that these grippers can also be used under challenging ambient conditions. Their high replacement accuracy enables rapid replacement without any considerable interruption in production. The robust hard-coated guides, with a

low friction coefficient, extreme hardness, and excellent emergency running properties, ensure that the grippers can handle 30 million cycles without maintenance while enduring adverse working conditions without difficulty. At the inspection station, the lock cores fed from the belt into boxes are fed by the robot into the GPP5000IL hybrid gripper and checked for the correct diameter. The core is then aligned for further processing and, using spring-loaded metal pins, which are scanned by laser light sensors, it is checked whether the holes are present and in correct position. The workpiece is then measured by a distance measuring system and inspected for the presence of a coupling bore. With this detailed inspection, the lock

Zimmer Group’s GPP5000IL hybrid gripper checks workpieces in an automated machining center for lock cores from AUMAT.

core is released for further production or is noted as NOK (not in order) and sorted out. The automated solution will increase Iseo’s profitability, ensure process reliability in the machining and testing of lock systems, and frees employees from monotonous work. This increases both the company’s profitability and the health of the employees. FPW

Zimmer Group | zimmer-group.com

HYDRAULIC HOSE & FITTINGS

QUICK DISCONNECTS

sales@kuriyama.com | www.kuriyama.com | 847-755-0360

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FUNDAMENTALS Josh Cosford • Contributing Editor

Hydraulic symbology 305 – condition monitoring symbols Condition monitoring symbols are the lesser-known and lesser-used of the hydraulic library. It’s not that the components or the symbols representing them do not serve a useful purpose. It’s that the order of operations for designing and drawing a hydraulic system are actuators, pump(s), control valves and then conditioning components. Monitoring symbols represent the nice to have components that may be optional in a hydraulic control package quote. As such, although a pressure gauge should be considered mandatory, perhaps they are omitted from the schematic under the assumption that the technician would install it wherever the plumbing allowed. Of course, there is the other extreme where a customer adheres to a ten-page specification document requiring every monitoring component under the sun. These are my favorite customers, not just for the love of system design but also for the larger figure in their purchase order’s bottom right box. If you recall from Hydraulic Symbology 101, many of the monitoring symbols start with the small circle. In figure 1, you’ll see three such small circles, each different in their own way. The first symbol is the generic representation for any type of indicator. The X through the middle appears to bid for your attention by saying, “look over here, I’m important.” The circle is perched atop a solid line representing observed fluid. Depending on how you draw the circle, this line may stem from any of the circle’s 360 degrees.

Figure 1. Condition monitoring indicators

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The indicator may represent one of many hydraulic conditions, although aside from the pop-up differential pressure indicators used on filters, its use is lazy, in my opinion. It may represent pressure, flow, or fluid level, but each has specific symbols more useful on a drawing, especially during diagnostics or troubleshooting. The more concise symbol for a pressure gauge resides next to the indicator, clearly showing an arrow to represent the needle and its diagonal orientation common to all variable symbols. The preference is for the symbol to point to the 1:30 position on the “clock,” but flipping and turning in one’s CAD software sometimes result in various orientations. The symbol for a flow meter is easy to remember; it looks like a baseball. The opposed arcs inside the circle show a path of reduced flow, such as a flow restriction, but that restriction exists only to measure flow. The standalone symbol may not show the black lines sprouting from either side of the circle, but I included them here to show the flow path. Monitoring symbols get more advanced as the component they represent does. The level/temperature gauge is as standard as are hydraulic reservoirs. The longer rectangle filled with a thermometer shown in Figure 2 is quite common, depicting the level/temp gauge seen most often. However, attached below is an electrical symbol for a switch. Three nodes represent the connections possible with the switch, with the common wire to the left and the two “switched” wires to the right. Understanding this switch configuration separates hydraulics with electrics by differing terminology. Normally closed in fluid power means blocked fluid in the neutral position. Conversely, normally closed in electrical terms means a shut switch where electrons flow. A normally open electrical contact means no electron flow in its neutral state. In this case, the switch symbol measures the fluid level and is shown currently as both normally open and normally closed. Many switches offer this flexibility using the common input to the left and then two contacts on the output side. In the state drawn here, wires could be connected to both of the right-side contacts; the upper node is normally open while the bottom node is normally closed. It’s typically wired just one way, often to the preference of the electrical designer. If wired normally open, the upper contact will close and signal a PLC or other device that the oil level is low.

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Figure 2. Advanced condition monitoring symbols

The two square symbols in the middle of Figure 2 are general electrical symbols not necessarily specific to fluid power. The flow switch symbol looks the most part like a scene you find across the fairway at your local golf course, what with the flag perched on a sloped green down to a hole on the right. The flag represents flow, and it resides upon the open contact of a switch. This symbol is drawn normally open, meaning there is no electron flow that occurs in neutral. Flow acting upon the device’s mechanical portion pushes closed the contact, allowing the output to signal a PLC, warning light, or other downstream function. The temperature switch symbol looks much like the flow switch save the zig-zag of the thermostat symbol atop the switch. This example is nearly identical to the electrical symbol of the same function. Temperature switches control the operation of temperaturerelated functions, such as to relay the start of a heat exchanger. The last few symbols employ electrical symbols, which may beg the question of why these are monitoring symbols. Anywhere and anytime you measure a fluid property, whether to provide visual, mechanical, electrical or even hydraulic feedback, one can consider it a monitoring function. The last symbol is a compound component able to perform many vital functions. Inside the top circle is a thermometer, keying in the temperature sensing nature of this device. The circle below shows a bobber floating atop a liquid, also signalling the device measures fluid level. The line dropping down shows two more bobbers, one at the bottom and another near the top. Finally, two squares pop out the right side, one with the variable arrow and the other the symbol for a transducer (as described in Hydraulic Symbology 301). This digital level and temperature transducer perform many useful functions. Used in a hydraulic reservoir, the sensor measures the fluid level at two discreet points, one at the bottom to warn of critically low oil level, and the other at the upper limit to confirm fluid is full. The second function is to provide a temperature signal to the PLC to control a heat exchanger’s operation, which may either heat and cool. This symbol is out of the catalog of a manufacturer that offers this product. The device also has a digital display showing temperature and to program the temperature switch functions. Atop the device is an M12 connector, making the interface between the device and a PLC quick and easy. FPW

  

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DISTRIBUTER UPDATE By Mary C. Gannon • Editor

NAHAD moves annual meeting to Scottsdale

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restrictions on group meetings, NAHAD has moved its Annual Meeting & Convention slated for June 12-15 in San Diego to the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, in Arizona. The event will look similar to previous events in the past, with keynote and breakout presentations, ample networking opportunities, manufacturer and associate hospitality suites, the Showcase of Hose Solutions, and of course opening and closing parties which will be outdoors to meet Covid-19 safety protocols.

“When NAHAD had to cancel its 2020 Annual Convention, much of the program had already been planned. Thankfully, we were

able to work with our speakers and were able to move those presentations to Scottsdale. We have planned this year’s educational programming with a focus on the economy, as well as workshops that outline trends specific to NAHAD’s business sectors, as well as distribution as a whole,” said Sam Petillo, President, Singer Equities, NAHAD 20192021 President. “I am also pleased to report that our terrific line up of speakers includes Herm Edwards, former NFL coach and commentator, who will deliver our luncheon keynote. Talk about someone who can motivate us and keep us all moving forward.” Molly Alton Mullins, Executive Vice President, is confident the new location will meet the needs of all NAHAD attendees and that the event’s registration is progressing well. “This 4-Star, 5-Diamond property will

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work beautifully for NAHAD’s program and we are super excited about it, and being able to get everyone together,” she said. “Showcase attendance is going really well – we are about 70% sold out on the show floor, which is exciting. We do believe a lot of companies have been waiting to see what would be happening in California, so I also anticipate more registrations soon since just announcing the venue change.” The event kicks off Saturday, June 12 with the Board of Directors meeting and Standards Committee Meeting, which is for board/ committee members. The Opening General Session on Sunday will be led by Alex Chausovsky, with his talk on “Managing in an Uncertain Economy.” After a grab and go lunch, a sales and marketing breakout will be led by Ryan

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| Courtesy of Fairmount Scottsdale Princess

Because California still has tight

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DISTRIBUTER UPDATE

| Courtesy of Fairmount Scottsdale Princess

Avery, with his talk, “Connect More, Convince Less!” The popular Speed Networking returns from 3 to 4:30 that afternoon, allowing manufacturers and distributors to meet in a musical chairs format. Sunday concludes with the Opening Party. Monday begins with a Guest Program at the Poolside Cabanas and company meetings held throughout the day. A Distribution Workshop will be conducted by Ian Heller, on “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Distribution.” As always, the entire group will gather for the Luncheon, Keynote & Carver Award, as Herm Edwards, former NFL player and coach, NFL studio analyst for ESPN, current head football coach at Arizona State University, presents his keynote, “Doing the Little Things and Executing Vision.” He will offer the audience an understanding of what makes true leaders, a game plan for these four key pillars: work ethic, communication, integrity, and legacy, and more. Monday afternoon is open for attendees to relax by one of the six pools at the Fairmount Princess or to explore Scottsdale. That evening, attendees can attend the hospitality suites from manufacturer and associate members. Petillo said there are currently six hospitality suites scheduled for that night. As usual, Tuesday starts with a General Session, with Jeff Havens,

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leading a presentation on “Us vs. Them.” That will be followed by the NAHAD Business Meeting. The popular Showcase of Hose Solutions will be available throughout the day for attendees to visit exhibitors from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Company meetings for one-on-one networking will continue to be available throughout the day. The conference will wrap up with the event favorite — the Closing Party, where attendees will gather poolside for sunset to close out another NAHAD Convention. Additionally, the NAHAD Academy Kiosk will be open throughout the entire event to afford attendees an opportunity to learn about the training opportunities available throughout the year. NAHAD’s priority is the health and safety of all attendees. The event will follow protocols in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable meeting experience. In the event attendees need to cancel conference registration, full refunds will be given. Petillo indicates in his letter to potential attendees that the event is in full swing and back in business as usual. “I promise you that during this year’s Annual Convention you will have every opportunity to meet with long-time partners and make new connections to help grow your business,” he said. “This will be a great opportunity to get back to business and bring the NAHAD membership all under one roof to do what we do best.” Visit NAHAD.com to learn more about the complete schedule and speakers, as well as register.

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FPW


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ENERGY EFFICIENCY Ron Marshall • Contributing Editor

Compressed air fail: Clog Prevention Blow Rather than skill and experience, sometimes serendipity comes into play when optimizing a compressed air system.

An auditor was just finishing up a system assessment and was ready to leave the site when he spotted a previously installed flow meter. He had located it on a previous audit a few years before. The device measured the flow of various blowing nozzles installed in the grain distribution pipework of a food products plant. The readings of the flow meter had been used to justify the installation of shut off solenoids and restrictors on some older blowing nozzles. The nozzles had been needed to help prevent grain products from clogging up feed lines to some mixers and cookers. The previous blowing devices had all be optimized to reduce the flow to the lowest possible. Having some extra time to spend, the auditor powered up the flow meter to see what it would read. All of the previously optimized nozzles were shut off, so he expected no flow — but was surprised to see 43 cfm flowing! One by one, the old nozzles were inspected, and the compressed air feed turned off to isolate in case there was a problem with the solenoid control. Still nothing. But after careful inspection, a newly installed nozzle was found. Operations staff had been having trouble with one duct frequently clogging and causing long production outages, so they decided to add a compressed air input to an existing inspection port by hooking it up to a rubber hose. They didn’t realize the 40-cfm continuous flow was costing about $8,000 per year to operate, and consumed 12% of the average compressed air flow in the entire plant! The auditor had found a nice additional item to optimize, with enough savings to pay for a significant part of his audit fee. Plans are in the works for a correction of this problem. FPW

A blowing nozzle inserted in a duct to prevent clogs in the flow of materials consumes 12% of the total compressed air flow in this plant.

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DELAWARE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES CORPORATION

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M O B I L E

H Y D R A U L I C S

Load-sensing gets it done in forestry Logging and timber harvesting machinery rely on load-sensing electrohydraulics for efficient, productive operation. Carl Dyke • LunchBox Sessions carl@cdiginc.com

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In agriculture, like any other large-scale commodity, productivity and efficiency are keys to profitability and competitiveness. In corn harvesting, for example, it is not uncommon now to find harvesters with 2,000 hp and harvesting headers wider than 40 ft. Timber harvesting is similar to agriculture in that a living plant has to be cut from a growing area quickly and efficiently. It’s a very dynamic operating environment. Of course, the stalk of the plant is substantial compared to a row crop like corn. Instead of multi-row harvesting width, trees are still largely cut one at a time. So how is harvesting speed and efficiency achieved in the forest? The only reason to start the engine on any track-type timber harvesting machine is to turn the shaft of a number of hydraulic pumps. Hydraulic pumps create the flow required by cylinders to produce linear motions and by motors to create rotary motions. www.fluidpowerworld.com

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H Y D R A U L I C S

A simple pressure compensated pump brings some efficiency to a hydraulic system.

Complex hydraulics make it look easy

Moving around on an uneven forest floor or on a slope certainly requires a powerful drive. The fussy hydraulic actions really become evident to the uninitiated as you watch a boom reach out with a harvester head, align itself to the tree to be cut, clamp on, fell the tree and then tip it down to the ground. Without missing a beat, the head will remove all the branches in a process called delimbing, then buck the log to various lengths. It’s amazing to watch because it all appears to happen so quickly and effortlessly. In reality, there are a number of production demands made on the operator and there is a complex hydraulic system at work that integrates quite a few sensors and controls. The power requirements for the hydraulic system can change substantially from moment to moment with all of the variables in a forest. When reading through the brochures and specifications for feller bunchers and tree harvesters one quickly understands that logging machinery requires high flow rates. Speedy harvesting on some machines means 220 gpm (840 lpm) total hydraulic flow provided by up to four or even five pumps. On the majority of machine models the popular and rugged axial piston pump gets the job done. The idea is not only to displace the flow rate of oil required at the operator’s chosen speeds, but to do so as efficiently as possible. Simple flow production is a challenge that is easily conquered by the basic variable36

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displacement, pressure-compensated piston pump. You might know that type of pump controller as a pressure cut-off adjustment. The idea is that as the system pressure reaches the maximum desired value, the pump reduces its displacement. The pump’s internal controls provide a bias towards maximum displacement. The resistance (pressure) of the hydraulic system at any given moment is sensed just inside the pump’s outlet port. When that system pressure is near or at the maximum as permanently set on the pump’s compensator adjustment, the pump enters an active state where the swash plate angle is swiveled away from maximum by the

large diameter internal control piston. This swiveling to a reduced angle shortens the stroke length of the main displacement pistons and thus the pump’s flow rate drops. If the sensed system pressure falls far enough as the swash plate begins to swivel away from maximum, then the compensator’s adjustable spring pushes the control spool back towards the normal position. This allows the bias spring or a smaller diameter control piston/bias spring combination to push the swashplate back towards the maximum angle and thus increase the pump’s flow rate once again. This pump control scheme means that the output flow rate of the pump will match the demand as set by proportional valve spools as chosen by the operator’s lever actions for direction and speed of an actuator. It also means that a correctly sized pump will often be operating at or near the maximum system pressure. But at least some energy has been saved by not always pumping at the maximum possible flow rate. Load-sensing systems are key

Load sensing systems multiply the efficiency by adding a second adjustable control spool that is responsive to load changes. Instead of a permanently adjusted pressure cut-off, imagine a technician who keeps a wrench on the adjustment screw and increases the setting on the pump whenever the work is getting more difficult. (In our example, this might mean the trees are becoming larger, or the slope being climbed gets steeper.) Our imaginary technician is there to instantly A load sense system is where real efficiency gains are made.

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increase the maximum allowable system pressure to help the machine tackle the changing job conditions. As the trees to be cut get smaller or as the machine travels downhill that same technician is still back there under the engine cover receiving the operator’s instructions to turn down that maximum pressure setting on the pump controller. These adjustments save you from pumping at pressure levels that are wasteful for the easy conditions. Pumping at an excessive flow rate or at an excessive pressure means wasted input energy, which is typically diesel fuel. In this case, with a pump controller adjustment happening on the fly, the pump flow rate and the maximum system pressure are being adjusted. With a load sensing pump controller you don’t need that technician to ride along making adjustments on the fly. The load sensing control on the pump receives a pressure signal from the section of the valve bank that is working with the highest load pressure at any given moment. Small shuttle valves in a set of passages and tubes called the signal network make way for this one highest pressure application to communicate to the pump. This is the pump’s controller ‘sensing the load.’ As the load pressure increases on that one section, that pressure assists a spring inside the

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Carefully crafting the toughest swivel products on the market

www.taimi.ca / + 1 418 686 6868 The Parker L90LS valve bank is engineered for use with a load sensing pump. 4 • 2021

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M O B I L E

H Y D R A U L I C S

Try it yourself! Scan the QR code with your smartphone or tablet camera to open LunchBox Sessions and play with this live simulation. Switch back and forth from the load sense system to see the difference it makes, over simple pressure compensation. No account required!

into a stalled condition as might happen if all flow is prioritized to a single flow path. Know system flow limits

pump’s controller to dynamically set the pump to a higher pressure in the same way as the ride-along technician in the earlier example. The outlet pressure in this case is not set to the maximum as in the pressure cut-off feature, but rather only a few hundred psi higher than the load pressure. This load sensing arrangement can often be found to save at least 10% of the fuel bill as opposed to only using pumps with a single pressure adjustment. For a machine that can be found operating for several shifts a day during the timber harvesting season, this fuel saving can add up quickly. For those operators harvesting timber in the summertime, the fuel savings in a load sense system is also directly tied to lower heat levels in the hydraulic system. Ensure careful valve designs

A timber harvesting OEM will take great pains to select a bank of proportional directional valves that will work well with a load sensing pump. The valve bank will need to have the correct inlet section with a port for the load sense signal pressure. The spools will have to be chosen to provide the correct center position for the actuator being used. The valve sections may need to have work port relief valves and anti-cavitation check valves. Of key importance will be the choice of the pressure compensating valves in the spool sections. A typical load sense valve bank such as the Parker L90 will offer a few options. A basic pre-spool pressure compensator will make sure that the flow rate to a particular actuator function is prioritized and maintained. On the other hand, the choice might be for pressure compensating valves that help to share flow to all actuators when the piston pump is near a maximum flow state. This flow sharing may mean that all active valve sections run their attached cylinder or motors a little slower, but at least none go 38

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One of the key features that timber harvesting machine operators mention is the machine’s ability to swing at full speed while operating a harvesting or processing head. Again, this type of feature speaks to being able to supply full flow to several functions at the same time. In some difficult design challenges, the best solution is a separate and dedicated hydraulic system for a key function such as swing. Flow limits can still be tested to the max when the system pressures are near the peak and the engine speeds start to droop. It is not uncommon on many feller bunchers and timber harvesters to encounter a scenario where the 220 gpm (840 lpm) total flow mentioned earlier would require a prime mover with 700 hp (520 kW) if all pumps were also operating at 4,500 psi (310 bar) system pressure. If the engine of some of the largest machines only offers 350 hp (260 kW) there is a potential for engine stall. In this case the largest pump, often tasked with supplying travel, swing and boom flows, will feature one additional type of control where the maximum flow rate of the pump is mechanically limited when the highest system pressure occurs. This horsepower limiting control feature allows the machine designer the luxury of allowing high possible flow rates and high pressure for individual pumps during tough jobs or for very high production rates. The trade-off is to sacrifice machine speed during the less common moments when all applications are used at the same time and at high pressure. Harvesting timber is a competitive business requiring logging operators to work efficiently and select the best machines for the job. A consistent theme running through the industry is the use of welldesigned load sensing hydraulic systems to save fuel while supporting the demand for flow in multiple applications at the same time. Retrofitting machines for a load sense system would require intense revision — unfortunately, the conversion is not as straightforward as simply purchasing a pump with load sense capability. The valve bank and any logic systems must also accommodate the load sense system. The expense of improved efficiency pays off quickly in high-production environments, as a well-tuned load sense system may shave as much as 10% from the machine’s fuel bill, while continuing to provide the power needed for even the toughest loads. FPW

LunchBox Sessions | lunchboxsessions.com

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P N E U M A T I C S

How to improve

compressed air systems

Phil McElroy, Product Sales Manager and IFPS-Certified Fluid Power Pneumatic Specialist, Norgren 40

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Here are some tips to reduce losses, rightsize components and streamline circuits, all of which can lead to sizable cost savings.

M

Most industrial facilities depend on compressed air for a range of operations, performed by everything from simple air tools to far-more-complicated pneumatic control systems. In food and beverage processing plants, for example, compressed air systems support functions such as sorting, cutting, shaping, and packaging of products, as well as to blow off particles while cleaning food and equipment. Compressed air is clean, reliable and accessible but it is often taken for granted when compared to water, gas, and electricity. In addition, it takes approximately eight horsepower of electricity to generate just one horsepower of compressed air. This makes compressed air one of the most expensive energy applications in manufacturing plants. For a start, compressed air must be available at the proper pressure to achieve production goals. Systems improperly maintained are liable to waste up to one-third of their compressed air because of leaks. Often, drops in air pressure are misinterpreted and mistaken for equipment failure which triggers significant investments in new compressors to increase capacity. Unexpectedly, manufacturers must now absorb the cost of new equipment, rearrange planned schedules and endure downtime while old equipment is being replaced.

High-speed bottling operations demand pneumatic systems that are efficient, properly sized and well maintained.

| AdobeStock.com

System sizing: Understanding Cv

Inefficient use of compressed air is not necessarily a function of machine failure. Instead, problems can occur because of an improperly calculated Cv, a dimensionless number used to express the conductance value of an orifice. Cv is what manufacturers use to size valves and other components when looking at a pneumatic system and is more important to the valve’s performance than the number of cubic feet per minute that passes through. A valve that is sized correctly will be quiet, have accurate flow control, will not leak, and may even last beyond its expected life span. The larger the Cv, the greater the flow. A valve too small for a given application will not permit sufficient flow-through. When this occurs, the system will be forced to compensate.

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4 • 2021

| iStockphoto.com

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Cylinder flow calculations Bore size, in. Stroke length, in. Rod diameter, in. Cycles per minute (CPM) Extend time, sec. Retract time, sec. CPM cannot exceed Pressure extend, psig Pressure retract, psig

Hours operated per day Weeks operated per year

Allowable Pressure Drop: Cost of compressed air per 1,000 SCF

System sizing calculations 3.25 10.00 1.00 30.00 1.00 1.00 30.00 80.00 80.00

8 50

10 $0.30

Blind area, sq. in Rod end area, sq. in Volume extend, cu. in Volume retract, cu. in Volume extend, cu. ft Volume retract, cu. ft Compression Ratio extend Compression Ratio retract

8.30 7.51 82.96 75.10 0.0480 0.0435 6.44 6.44

Instantaneous flow ext., scfm Instantaneous flow ret., scfm Average flow, scfm Compressor H.P. @ 100% Duty Cycle Cv required for valve, ext. Cv required for valve, ret.

18.56 16.80 17.68 4.42 0.65 0.59

Cost to operate cylinder for one year

$636.41

In the wire spool handling application, initial calculations showed the valve with a Cv = 0.65.

Let’s consider an actual situation in which adjustments had to be made to secure maximum efficiency in compressed air operations. The system starts with the compressor, which supplies flow through a receiver tank, supply lines, dryer, filters regulators and valves to a cylinder, with the work application at the rod end. Our goal is to achieve a quicker response in the pneumatic system.

A customer had to move a spool of wire after it had been converted from the main lines from their winders — a material handling task. The application cylinder had a 3.25 in. bore, 10 in. stroke, and we wanted to move that in less than a second. The customer attempted to size the cylinder and a valve needed for the job, but when they put it all together, it was too slow.

Sizing calculations - Tubing Cv Cv of conductor Conductor size, in. ID, in. 1 ft 3 ft 6 ft 1/8 0.060 0.045 0.026 0.018 5/32 0.090 0.128 0.074 0.052 3/16 0.122 0.280 0.162 0.114 1/4 0.165 0.625 0.361 0.255 3/8 0.245 1.773 1.024 0.724 1/2 0.370 5.152 2.974 2.103

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10 ft 0.014 0.040 0.088 0.197 0.561 1.629

We accounted for the bore, stroke and time to extend, and allowed for a pressure drop of 10 psi in our sizing-software calculations, as shown in the “System sizing calculations” table. We want to get to a higher Cv which would be 0.65 (in yellow) needed for this application. We went with a valve that had a Cv of 1.6. So we had it covered on the valve side. But it still wasn’t fast enough. Then we looked at the tubing, which was 1/4 in. tube. From the valve to the actuator the tubing runs approximately six feet. So, with 1/4 in. tubing, the Cv is 0.255. We had choked the system down. So we provided 3/8 in. tubing for a Cv of 0.724. The six-foot span of tubing from the valve should not have been a problem. But the application was still not fast enough. We then noticed that mounted on the exhaust ports of the valve were 1/4 in. mufflers with a Cv of 0.1. We removed the mufflers and the Cv restrictions, and then cylinder speeds improved. But the customer still wanted mufflers to keep debris from getting inside the valve and causing issues. So we installed a larger muffler (Cv = 1.4) that provided enough flow for the application and solved the issue.

The original design used 1/4 in. tubing with a Cv of 0.255, which choked flow. A step-up to 3/8 in. tubing was required.

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Cylinder flow calculations Bore size, in. Stroke length, in. Rod diameter, in. Cycles per minute (CPM) Extend time, sec. Retract time, sec. CPM cannot exceed Pressure extend, psig Pressure retract, psig

3.25 15.00 1.00 30.00 2.00 2.00 15.00 90.00 90.00

Hours operated per day Weeks operated per year

8 50

Allowable pressure drop Compressed air cost per 1,000 SCF

10 $0.30

Blind area, sq. in. Rod end area, sq. in. Volume extend, cu. in. Volume retract, cu. in. Volume extend, cu. ft Volume retract, cu. ft Compression ratio extend Compression ratio retract

8.30 7.51 124.44 112.66 0.0720 0.0652 7.12 7.12

Instantaneous flow ext., scfm Instantaneous flow ret., scfm Average flow, scfm Compressor hp @ 100% duty cycle Cv required for valve, ext. Cv required for valve, ret.

15.39 12.93 29.32 7.33 0.51 0.46

Cost to operate cylinder for one year

$1,055.42

In a conventional setup with full pressure to each side of the cylinder, annual operating cost is $1,055.42. Leaks and the cost of air

When it comes to generating compressed air, there is no such thing as “free.” If we look at a typical 100-hp compressor, the initial cost for a system may be somewhere in the area between $20,000 and $35,000 (depending on the type of compressor). But the other thing that comes into play, the real cost, is the annual electricity cost, kilowatts per hour for that system. There is also the maintenance cost which annually consists of at least 10% of the actual initial cost of the system.

We have to consider the cost of the electricity itself; conversion of electricity to power; maintenance and depreciation; the actual treatment at compression; distribution pipe losses; leaks; treatment at the point of use; and the efficiency of the machine itself. All of these factors can play a role in the cost of air. And one of the big factors is leaks. As the size of the piping goes up, so does

the amount of flow, which means more air passes through, which could mean more wasted money if leaks are present. There are many sources of leaks — poor connections, damaged or corroded piping, balky seals and pipe joints, drain caps that are open, and machine vibration. The bottom line is that leaks are expensive. The smaller the orifice size the more difficult it is to notice and sometimes

Consider with the following electricity rates, the annual cost to operate a 100 hp compressor at: • $0.05/kWh is $26,000. • $0.10/kWh is $52,000. • $0.15/kWh is $78,000. This is the cost to run a motor that obtains the equivalent of the amount of power through the air from a 100-hp compressor, based on three shifts, continuous operation and a full-load motor efficiency of 90%. What can we do to minimize costs and maximize the efficiency of the compressor?

A typical design has a 5/2 valve and a double-acting cylinder. www.fluidpowerworld.com

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P N E U M A T I C S

Cylinder flow calculations Bore size, in. Stroke length, in. Rod diameter, in. Cycles per minute (CPM) Extend time, sec. Retract time, sec. CPM cannot exceed Pressure extend, psig Pressure retract, psig

3.25 15.00 1.00 30.00 2.00 2.00 15.00 90.00 40.00

Hours operated per day Weeks operated per year

8 50

Allowable pressure drop Compressed air cost per 1,000 SCF

10 $0.30

Blind area, sq. in. Rod end area, sq. in. Volume extend, cu. in. Volume retract, cu. in. Volume extend, cu. ft Volume retract, cu. ft Compression ratio extend Compression ratio retract

8.30 7.51 124.44 112.66 0.0720 0.0652 7.12 3.72

Instantaneous flow ext., scfm Instantaneous flow ret., scfm Average flow, scfm Compressor hp @ 100% duty cycle Cv required for valve, ext. Cv required for valve, ret.

15.39 7.28 22.66 5.67 0.51 0.24

Cost to operate cylinder for one year

$815.93

Reducing the return pressure cuts operating cost for just one cylinder to $815, a savings of $240. ultrasonic testing may be required for detection. Small leaks can be more prevalent in a system and over a period of time, these leaks can add up. Leaks in larger orifice sizes like 3/8 in. are more audible and easier to detect, but they cost more, given the increased flow. What are some actions we can take to reduce the amount of leakage? Consider, for example, how many lines are running in your plant. If you have five, and have installed a shutoff ball valve in the main

In a dual-pressure circuit, main air supplies full pressure on the work stroke and regulated air powers the return stroke. 44

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branch of each line but are only operating one line, any leaks in the other lines will not be controlled. So if you can shut off valves to the lines you are not using, there will be cost savings. Another thing you can do is put a portable flow meter into the system. If the machine is on but not running, and the compressor is off, the flow meter will show if there is airflow while the machine is off, which means there are leaks. Another factor is a drop in pressure. With constant flow you’ll find the larger or straighter the pipe, the smaller the pressure drops. More-complicated piping with many bends and turns will mean a greater drop in pressure. Thus, try to avoid unnecessary fittings and sharp bends. Filters protect downstream components like valves and actuators. One area where there can be a high pressure drop is when filters are not properly maintained; if those are clogged, pressure drop over time will increase. Poor filter maintenance is one of the leading causes of pressure drop. www.fluidpowerworld.com

In a properly designed system, the pressure loss is much less than 10% of the compressor’s discharge pressure. For every 2 psi of pressure drop, energy costs increase by 1%. Installing pressure-life indicators will signal when to change those elements. Dual-pressure circuits

Another factor to consider is the dual pressure circuit. Take a standard circuit with a 5/2 valve and a double-acting cylinder. What you’ll typically find is that most of the work is done on the extension side — 80% to 90% of the time the work is done in one direction. Port 1 is the supply, port 4 is the extension and port 2 is the retraction port. Ports 5 and 3 are exhausts. In this example calculation, we have a 3.25-in. bore size, 15-in. stroke, 90.00 psi, one eight-hour shift — resulting in a cost of over $1,055.42 to operate the cylinder for one year. If your application is doing the work in only one direction, consider a dual pressure circuit. Instead of using port 1 for pressure we turn 1 to a shared exhaust; and we put in two different pressures at the exhaust ports. The extend pressure coming through port 3 would be about 117 psi and our return pressure would be 14.7 psi through port 5. So two different pressures, one for main pressure and one to just move the piston and assembly back, especially if there is no load in the opposite direction. Now, instead of the main air supplying port 1, main air is now going into port 3 and regulated air supplies the return stroke. This really makes sense for larger bore cylinders and larger strokes. Look at cost to operate now: with 90 psig both ways it was $1,055. Now, if we lower that return pressure to 40 psig, it’s $815, a saving of $240, with just one cylinder. FPW

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OTC returns to Houston

August 16-19

The largest offshore oil and gas conference and trade show moved to a later date in 2021 to accommodate Covid-19 protocols. Mary C. Gannon, Editor

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After a year hiatus due to the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown last spring, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) has moved its dates from its usual May open to August 16-19 at NRG Park in Houston. The event, which typically attracts thousands of exhibitors and more than 50,000 attendees, is trending smaller right now, with about 400 exhibitors, including fluid power exhibitors.

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“Since OTC draws a significant number of international attendees and exhibitors, the 2021 exhibition hall is expected to have a smaller footprint,” said an OTC spokesperson. “With travel restrictions still in place for many companies and countries, OTC is offering the option for attendees and exhibitors to participate virtually. We see a growing number of domestic participants and are looking forward to a successful hybrid event.”


O T C

S H O W

Exhibitor

Show organizers promise a normal conference program however, as they plan to offer both in-person passes and virtual passes for the first-ever hybrid OTC event. All registered attendees will be able to access OTC content in person and/or virtually. The virtual components will have but are not limited to: the technical program, real-time Q&A, exhibitor presentations, virtual exhibit floor, panel discussions, networking components, and more.  Health and safety protocols will be strictly required of attendees, exhibitors and staff. “At OTC 2021, we will be taking additional health and safety precautions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” show officials have said. “These measures include mandatory face masks, daily temperature checks, hand sanitation stations, capacity limits in and around NRG Park to accommodate social distancing, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection of event space.” They have also indicated that should an in-person event be impossible, OTC 2021 will move to a fully virtual format, with online conference programming and exhibitions. Registration opens this month. OTC showcases leading-edge technology for offshore drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection. The conference attracts attendees and exhibiting companies from around the globe, including engineers, technicians, executives, operators, scientists, and managers from all fields in the offshore energy sector. Conference programs include best practices, technical innovations, and emerging trends from scientists, engineers, researchers, and executivelevel speakers. Presentations encompass keynote speakers, technical and panel sessions, poster sessions, the Around the World series, university R&D talks, and more. Topics range from innovations in subsea drilling to additive manufacturing, robotics, big data, safety, digital twins, and more. Offshore oil and gas exploration is a major market for fluid power technologies, as the safety and power density of hydraulics is critical in those harsh environments. This year, close to 35 fluid power manufacturers will be scattered throughout the exhibit halls (see a complete exhibitor list to follow and note that more exhibitors may be added closer to the show dates). OTC’s Spotlight on New Technology Award offers a chance for even hydraulics manufacturers to show their innovations. This awards program is exclusively for OTC exhibitors and showcases the latest and most advanced technologies leading the industry into the future. Last year, Bosch Rexroth was recognized for its high force and low voltage subsea valve actuator (SVA) to enable the implementation of the subsea factory in brown fields.

P R E V I E W

Booth Number

Accumulators Inc.

1409

AMETEK

3004

Ashcroft Inc.

2215

Bardex Corp.

4115

Bauer Compressors Inc.

4039

Bosch Rexroth Corp.

1905

Brennan Industries

1501

Doering Co.

604

Dynex/Rivett Inc.

601

Engineered Specialty Products

1983

Evonik Corp.

1109

Faster Inc.

3154

G.W. Lisk Co.

1567

GP:50

1315

Hydradyne LLC

3100

Hydraquip Inc.

2942

Hy-Lok USA

3201

Innovative Fluid Power

2822

The Lee Co.

2756

MOOG Components Group

1517

Motion Industries

3505

NRP-Jones LLC

1509

PacSeal Hydraulics Inc.

2808

Pneumatic and Hydraulic

2305

Sauer Compressors USA

2605

SCF Sealing Technology Inc.

4334

Spir Star Ltd.

2001

Stucchi USA Inc.

4009

Tube-Mac Piping Technologies Ltd.

1604

U.S. Tsubaki

2603

Wichita Clutch

2954

Wilkes and McLean Ltd

3110

Winters Instruments

1215

FPW

Visit 2021.otcnet.org for more details and to register after about April 21.

www.fluidpowerworld.com  

4 • 2021

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O F F S H O R E

Making quick, safe connections at sea Using non-welded flange systems, such as Parker’s High Performance Flange connectors, reduces errors and saves hours on installation in mission-critical marine applications. Mary C. Gannon, Editor

Hydraulic

high-pressure connections in the marine market

must withstand harsh conditions, vibrations and other environmental impacts. Traditional welded connections do not always withstand these rigorous demands, and often require time-consuming and costly post-welding pipe inspections and cleaning processes. To solve these problems, one can use a non-welded flange system, such as Parker Hannifin’s High Performance Flange (HPF) connectors, which have been relaunched and qualified for marine applications. Within the past year, the HPF has been certified for marine type approvals DNV/GL, LR. The one-piece flange design reduces mistakes and saves time during installation. These welded systems are used heavily throughout 48

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marine applications — from winches to hydraulic doors, engine covers to mooring lines and heave compensating systems and more, on ships used in dredging and oil field development and operations. Parker‘s HPF System is generally applicable for working pressures up to 420 bar. But the design opens the door to go even beyond this pressure rating: by choosing a suitable combination of flange, insert and tube the pressure rating can be increased to 500 bar. The system is adjusted to standard tube dimensions with diameters from 25 to 150 mm and wall thickness up to 20 mm. It is designed for flange patterns according to ISO 6162-1 (SAE J518, code 61), ISO 6162-2 (SAE J518, code 62) and ISO 6164. Quick successes are easily proven

According to Thomas Rüdiger, product unit manager (piping), High-Pressure Connectors Europe Division, Parker Hannifin, “We had some great success with a customer in the

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| courtesy of Adobe Stock

Netherlands who has now implemented this in their application as a standard way of connecting high pressure pipes. In the Netherlands, they are quite experienced in building different types of ships which you may call dredging vessels. Basically, what they do, they are working on the sea ground, on the sea bed, to move earth to different places. “On these ships, large poles are lifted up and down, so they are moved down into the ground and then in the front they have some kind of rotating cutter. The ship then rotates around the poles, and then cuts away the sea ground, moving it away to some other place. As you can imagine, there is a lot of hydraulics involved here.”

Applications such as this require tough hydraulic systems that can provide extremely high pressures while withstanding extreme vibrations. The HPF is robust, and has good performance when it comes to pressure spikes and vibration. “In these dredgers, as you can imagine, there is a lot of stress because this cutting head is going down into bedrock and it’s working really hard,” Rüdiger said. “If you are using welded flanges or different types of connections, this can lead to weakness, so it can lead to the pipe itself bursting due to wrong welding and so on.” Ramiz Selimbasic, Project Manager Piping - Parker Hannifin Manufacturing GmbH, added that with the HPF systems, www.fluidpowerworld.com

the user cold bends the pipe and cold forms the connection rather than welds the joints. “This is a huge benefit for the customer. You are not adding any additional risk when you are forming rather than welding,” he said. “This was basically the driver behind this customer from the Netherlands. They wanted a system that is safe, robust, and that could handle very high pressures and vibrations.” Easy, safe installation

“Additionally, what is good is that a customer can do this forming themselves. With the HPF it’s much more flexible, which leaves customers to form themselves and make connections very fast. It’s fast, it’s safe, and it’s 4 • 2021

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O F F S H O R E

easy. This is a big benefit the customers are appreciating,” Selimbasic said. “If you compare the traditional connecting of pipes and also flanges, what has been taking hours we are doing in minutes. If you are welding a single connection on a 4-in. pipe, it can take between four and five hours. With our system we can do this in 30 seconds and it’s 100% every time. And most important, it’s repeatable. It does not require heavy training. It’s simple, so you can find a guy on the street and show them how the machine works and this guy is able to operate it. There is almost zero potential failure for these kinds of connections.” The HPF system has been well-proven in the heavy press industry, where presses are running 24/7 and at pressures from zero up to 420 bar. To make a connection which can handle this, it needs to be robust and durable, Selimbasic said. “This was the only connection which was able to hold these heavy loads and repeatable surfaces. We were already proven to be robust and reliable. With this new type of approval, we simply are able to sell in the marine and offshore market, because we are certified,” he said. HPF flanges are equipped with a specially designed and hardened inner

grip contour, providing excellent additional tear-off safety for the connection. A smooth transition of the flare to the tube and no sharp edges helps reduce any impact from vibration. With the soft sealed system, you simply place an insert in the front of the tube. This insert features an O-ring which is then connected to the tube. The flange itself has a hardened groove and contour inside the flange, which prevents the tube from slipping during operation. On the port side, sealing is guaranteed by an O-Ring or by the special profile F37 Seal. The F37 Seal was developed especially for use with SAE flanges. These special seals guarantee a high form of stability. Compared to standard O-Rings, their mechanical properties prevent gap extrusion, even when the flanges “breathe” under pressure. The special profile of the F37 Seal is ideally adapted to higher pressures or unsuitable surface finish of the flanges. The application of these soft-sealing elements both on the port side and tube side guarantees the gas leak tightness of the HPF connector. As the insert does not have a toothed profile, it can be easily assembled repeatedly.

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The design of the HPF system is based on nature — the flaring of a tube is similar to the shape of a branch where it joints the trunk of a tree: The tube is flared by hydraulic axial pressure giving it a parabolic shaping, increasing from 10° up to 37°. The initial gentle incline of the shaping guarantees additional safety against strong system vibrations.

A common application for the HPF system is on rotating cutting heads of dredging ships, which require rugged, durable and strong performance.


Benefits over welded systems

Because mistakes can occur in welded systems, each weld must be tested, which requires extra time before operation and cost increases. High Performance Flanges offer various advantages compared to the welding solution: • Welding galvanic zinc-plated tubes is always critical. With HPF, zincplated tubes can be used, so there is no further painting necessary. • Welding seams must be descaled and often be stained. Dealing with this process and substances is an environmental risk. • Welded tubes need to be intensively cleaned inside. HPF tube assemblies do not require any special cleaning, reducing flushing time and costs during initial system startup. • The flanging process does not cause noxious gases, thus eliminating explosion risks and fire hazards. • The HPF tube forming is a machined cold forming process. Therefore, there is no need for X-raying the connection. Selimbasic added, “When enlisting customers, what’s mostly appreciated is how easy it is to make big connections, which I already mentioned can take hours and now it takes minutes. You get every time 100% result, and this is what some of the customers are really appreciating, that it is really

so easy and fast and it gives you the safest connection that is currently available on the market.” Additional benefits include: • No vapors are created in comparison to conventional welding processes. • Stress corrosion cracking generated during welding operations is non-existent and the life of the finished tubing system is increased. • Cold formed Parflange technologies save power and energy compared to welding and require neither degreasers nor anti-corrosion agents. When galvanized tubes are used, post-galvanization can be omitted because the zinc-coating is not impaired by flaring. Conclusion

HPF hydraulic connections serve as cost-saving, durable replacements for welded systems. Complete solutions for hydraulic piping systems include the piping layout, drawing design and documentation, the preparation of hydraulic lines in terms of pipe bending, flanging and cleaning up to installation. The service ranges from on-site construction management and assembly to testing, flushing and documenting the entire system. FPW

Parker Hannifin | parker.com

HBC Ex radio remote controls. Customizable with ATEX, IECEx and NEC/CEC certifications. Quality in Control.

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www.hbc-usa.com www.fluidpowerworld.com

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R E S E R V O I R S

Taking a deep dive into the

hydraulic reservoir Hydraulic reservoir design is critical in power unit performance, so selecting the right style elements will ensure efficient circuit design. Josh Cosford, Contributing Editor

If you have a hydraulic system, you have a reservoir. Full stop. Even “reservoirless” systems still require an expansion tank to hold excess fluid. Aside from such unconventional designs, hydraulic reservoirs offer benefits above and beyond their prominent fluid storage role. Your hydraulic machine simply wouldn’t perform to its peak potential without the advantages a reservoir provides. When designing a hydraulic reservoir, consider how to best take advantage of the reservoir’s resources, not the least of which is its size. The size chosen for a reservoir dictates the many parameters of its performance. Rather than simply consider hydraulic reservoir size, consider time instead. Indeed, a larger reservoir buys you more time. But time for what? Manage heat generation

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In many ways, a hydraulic reservoir is a buffer. Fluid returning from the hydraulic systems doesn’t meet the standard criteria for healthy hydraulics. The returning fluid is hot, contaminated and possibly aerated. Heat generation in hydraulic machines is all but guaranteed. Any energy you input without creating practical work converts to pure heat alongside perhaps an iota of sound. If we provide heat a hall pass to amble around your system unchecked, damage to pumps, valves, actuators, seals, and even the fluid itself will eventually penalize you in some regard. To reduce the damaging effects heat wracks on your valuable hydraulic components, a large reservoir volume helps in two obvious and one less-obvious way. The more fluid inside your reservoir, the longer it takes before those same heated molecules are back on the city bus travelling throughout and collecting more heat along the way. We define dwell-time as the volume of the reservoir divided by www.fluidpowerworld.com


the flow rate of your pump. For example, 10 gpm of pump flow guzzled through a fifty-gallon reservoir will see its volumed exchanged every five minutes. The above five-to-one example is typical for hydraulic systems, and in fact, many consider this to be a minimum value. Some feel three-to-one or less is fine, but I’m talking about optimization. When you offer the hydraulic oil more time to rest before re-entering the circuit, you provide it with more cooling time.

group most often finds itself mounted atop the reservoir, drawing fluid up into its suction port. You’ll have to search far and wide to locate a power unit without a filter, level/sight gauge, and filler/breather mounted to it. However, nearly everything else may be mounted here, outside the actuators; the valve stack/manifold, the accumulator(s), heat exchangers and conditioning accessories make happy homes on the reservoir.

Simplify system design and configuration

Reduce aeration and contamination

So long as you have the real estate to accept a large reservoir, the second obvious advantage to size is surface area. Because most reservoirs are made from steel, they make excellent radiators. A large reservoir has the obvious two-fold advantage of more cooling surface and more time for the radiation to dissipate away from the system. You expert designers know where I’m going next with my less-obvious advantage to a large reservoir: real estate. A sizeable hydraulic tank has plenty of surface area for cooling. That surface area makes a perfect canvas for laying out and mounting the various hydraulic components required to operate and condition your entire system. One of those critical components to help remove heat are coolers, and providing a large surface area for the cooler to mount is critical. Beyond heat removal, a large tank provides an area for more than just coolers. The pump-motor

Let’s return to your consideration of time rather than just size; other factors better suit a more extensive reservoir. Just as heat has more time to escape the confines of the fluid, that extra time allows air bubbles to float up and solid particles to settle down. Should the reservoir find itself undersized, these bubbles (known as aeration) and particles may “river” right back into the pump suction where they can damage the pump or other downstream components. The aeration effect is similar to cavitation, where the bubbles implode on the pressure side of the pump, creating tiny, heated jets that damage metal. Particle contamination may be ingested or internally generated. Should you not provide the time for particles to settle down to the bottom of the reservoir, they will happily recirculate through the rest of the downstream components (hint, it’s all of them), causing wear or even damage. Of course, every hydraulic reservoir should have a filter to trap as many particles as possible returning from the circuit. However, even the most efficient filters still allow 0.1% of all particles to pass right through. Those 0.1% remaining particles best make a bed on the reservoir floor rather than being sucked through the pump. Consider style and mounting as well as size

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On the other hand, many of the vital reservoir design elements have little to do with size but rather function within the scope of their limitations. For instance, hydraulic power units operating the few functions on machine tool applications are offered very little in floor space or surplus of electrical power and make do with tiny reservoirs. It’s rare to see a CNC mill with anything larger than a five-gallon reservoir tucked under a panel. Small doesn’t always mean insufficient. A surprising number of components may be packed atop or within a compact power unit. Small, verticalstyle tanks employ removable lids. The pump and motor essentially sandwich the lid using special bell housings, leaving the motor atop and the pump submerged. Valves, filters, coolers and electronics 4 • 2021

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may still find a home, albeit with close company. However, nobody said valves or components couldn’t function below the tank lid; plumbing especially may be partially hidden away down low. A vertical style power unit with the pump mounted below oil level provides the pump with ideal suction characteristics, preventing suction-related cavitation. The horizontal reservoir (such as JIC or DIN styles) offers a large tank top area for mounting various components, not the least of which is the pump motor group. Unfortunately, the pump must now pull fluid up from below, which creates a vacuum. Excessive vacuum results in the spontaneous formation of bubbles known as cavitation. Cavitation is bad. The top-mounted pump doesn’t guarantee cavitation, of course. Limiting how high the pump sits above fluid level and then choosing correctly sized (i.e., large diameter) suction plumbing should satisfy the pump. You must still be cognizant of the cavitation potential, such as with cold oil, reduced pump displacement, elevation and other factors. To prevent any potential for suction-related cavitation, design your reservoir to provide a flooded inlet. Elevating the reservoir using a steel frame and then mounting the pump below guarantees positive pressure at your pump’s suction port. The elevated reservoir takes up no more floor space but does require more height. This configuration provides you with the side benefit of an additional mounting surface not enjoyed by floor models — the bottom. My personal favorite reservoir design is the L-shape. This tank style uses a horizontal reservoir with a large drip tray protruding out the bottom of one side of the tank (although inverted T-shaped reservoirs are also available). The L-shape design provides you excellent serviceability, where all components are easy to access. The pump mounted on the tray pulls its suction directly from the side of the tank, where a small amount of positive pressure help improves suction conditions. Design challenges and maintenance needs

Either L-shaped or elevated designs do have some challenges you should address. Because both designs offer flooded suction, a failure 54

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The layout process of putting together a horizontal power unit

in the suction plumbing spells disaster to the power unit, as an unnoticed leak may drain the entire reservoir quickly. A tank level switch should be mandatory for these designs, which will automatically E-stop the power unit should the oil level drop below a critical level. For maintenance purposes, the L-shaped and elevated reservoirs must also use ball valves in the suction line. Closing the suction line ball valve before pump maintenance avoids the need for draining the tank before removing the pump. It’s also wise to add a locking mechanism to said ball valve to prevent accidental closing during operation or accidental opening during maintenance. Some designers go so far as to electrically monitor this critical ball valve to signal the PLC to shut the unit down should the ball valve close during operation. Taking your reservoir design to the next level means offering more features than just physical size and pump location. The ideal design provides you with a baffle plate separating the suction and return sides of the reservoir. This baffle may have tiny cutouts at the bottom of either end, providing only a small area for the fluid to travel from the return to the suction side. This configuration prevents the rivering I mentioned earlier and nearly www.fluidpowerworld.com

guarantees that aeration must settle to the top of the return side instead of flowing into the pump suction. The baffle adds buffer time to the theory expressed earlier. Reservoirs often need maintenance, such as regular cleaning and inspection. Removable cleanout panels on either side of the reservoir allow maintenance personnel easy access to the tank’s interior when needed. And, of course, the original assembly technician installs the below-tank items via these large cutouts. If you’ve seen inside one of these reservoirs, you’d also have noticed the bottom plates are situated in a vee shape, ensuring that oil drains more efficiently when you empty the tank. As you can see, reservoir design is more thoughtful and complex than most know. The design of your reservoir dictates your power unit’s performance and, therefore, your entire hydraulic circuit. Be sure to consider size, pump orientation and supplementary features the next time you select a reservoir for your power unit. FPW


s d i u l F d e t a Contamin No Problem It’s as easy as 1,2,3 Remove the wands from portable filtration units and place them inside reservoirs, oil drums and gearboxes for closed, clean, reliable hydraulic machines.

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• Transfer Drum oil to the reservoir with a closed system to: - Reduce waste and environmental clean-up costs - Keep dirt and water from entering your system

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with overflow protection

• Filter the oil in the reservoir to: - Maintain ISO oil cleanliness codes with finer filtration - Extend existing system filter life - Maximize hydraulic component life sales@c-changeinc.com www.c-changeinc.com 916.752.2984


PRODUCT WORLD

CLS sectional load sense relief valve     Eaton has introduced a sectional load sense relief valve (LSRV) for its CLS mobile hydraulic control valve. The patented LSRV limits individual section pressure through feed oil reduction, eliminating the need for inefficient work port reliefs for feed-side pressure control. The CLS LSRV improves machine productivity and efficiency by preventing functions from slowing down during multi-section actuation and eliminating unnecessary energy consumption and heat generation. The CLS LSRV enables full available inlet flow to maintain functionality during multi-section actuation, improving machine productivity. The LSRV limits pressure by reducing feed oil flow rather than dumping the flow to the tank. Once the LSRV stops oil flow when a function reaches a specific pressure, which can be lower than maximum system pressure, that flow is available to other sections at full system pressure. This helps prevent machine functions from slowing down when multiple sections are operating at once.

Pancake cylinders

Wireless controls for mobile hydraulic applications

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   Flex Fit is Columbus McKinnon’s latest wireless radio control for mobile hydraulic applications. Offered in flexible designs with numerous programmable functions, Flex Fit is suitable for applications using on/off or “bang-bang” hydraulic controls. When compared to restrictive, hardwired pendants or stationary consoles, Flex Fit wireless controls help improve operator mobility. With wireless controls, operators are not tethered to equipment and are therefore free to move away from machinery and potentially dangerous situations while keeping equipment running efficiently.

RGP Series hydraulic cylinders are designed for applications requiring compact, high-pressure linear motion. The RGP cylinders excel at lifting bridges, construction projects, and a broad spectrum of low-height requirement industrial applications. Power Team’s RGP Series of construction pancake cylinders are suitable for applications that require lifting in tight or confined spaces, such as bridge bearings on end caps or piers. The new cylinder platform is designed to offer an efficient, reliable, safe lifting solution: • • •

56

Safe and efficient operation with a visual indication that load is properly aligned and centered through a patented, deep swivel cap that concentrates loads to minimize offset conditions. Safe support of loads for an extended period using a positive mechanical locking collar. Compact design with heavy-duty piston rod is suitable for demanding applications even in confined areas.

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Vacuum-based soft gripper for handling delicate objects   The new soft gripping tool piSOFTGRIP, developed especially with food industry automation in mind, is a vacuum-based soft gripper that can grip sensitive and lightweight objects of odd geometries or unusual surfaces. Bin-picking of small irregularly shaped objects, such as toys, is another potential application. piSOFTGRIP has three gripping fingers and a vacuum cavity, all made in one piece, resulting in a simple and robust product. As it is vacuum-driven, the gripping force is easily adjusted and controlled by the applied vacuum level. The soft gripping vacuum tool is as easy to control and install as a suction cup, and it uses the same fittings as Piab’s piGRIP suction cups. An optional stainlesssteel fitting offers a wash-down provision to assist cleaning. Its intuitive and userfriendly design makes piSOFTGRIP easy to integrate into automated procedures, where it can help secure the quality of products and increase overall productivity. Made in detectable silicone approved for direct contact with food, in accordance with FDA 21 CFR and EU 1935/2004 regulations, the piSOFTGRIP vacuum gripper is the first of its kind.

AFFORDABLE LINEAR POSITION SOLUTIONS Designed with the Hydraulic Cylinder Market in Mind • Small, Compact Housing • All Stainless Steel Construction • IP68 Rated • Sensor Stroke Lengths from 2" to 100" • High Accuracy/High Resolution—16 Bits • Wide Variety of Analog Outputs Available Contact us at apt.sales@ametek.com • 800-635-0289

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Expansion of vacuum oil dehydrator series   Schroeder Industries expands its line of North American Vacuum Dehydrators with the NAV 5 Vacuum Dehydrator. After the success of the NAV 30 gpm Vacuum Dehydrator, Schroeder saw a need to offer a 5 gpm version to condition smaller reservoirs under 600 gallons. The NAV 5 is compact, coming in roughly 9-in. smaller in length and over 400 lb lighter in weight when compared to the NAV 30. All products included in the North American Vacuum Dehydrator (NAV) Series employ a claw foot vacuum pump to remove 100% of free and over 90% of dissolved water and dissolved gas from oil. In addition to water and gas removal, they also remove solid contaminants with filtration ranges from 1-25-micron standard options.

Adjustable rapid pressurization valve    

  This RPV 10-32 ports, adjustable, rapid-pressurization valve is used to protect a pneumatic actuator such as a chuck, press, or gripper from sudden bursts of high pressure. The internal needle valve restricts the initial movement of the actuator to a user-defined speed, and then opens upon sensing backpressure. This allows the user to limit the impact that a work piece experiences when it is clamped down upon without sacrificing the pressurization speed of an open, free-flowing connection. There are two user adjustable settings provided in the RPV which allow the user to limit the impact a workpiece experiences when it is clamped down upon without sacrificing the pressurization speed of an open, free flowing connection. It is rated for maximum pressure of 250 psig. The corrosion resistant 302 and 303 stainless steel valves come with 10-32 UNF female threaded ports.

Pressure transducer for harsh environments   Based on TE’s Microfused strain gauge technology, the M9100 pressure transducer can operate in extreme conditions at pressures up to 700 bar for hydraulic machinery and compressed gas applications. With its simple snubber design, the M9100 pressure transducer is available with standard configurations, provides durability against pressure spikes, and is less prone to errors and maintenance. The robust package allows for reliable sensor operation while submerged in water. The M9100 pressure transducer has an excellent EMI/ EMC performance, according to ISO 11552. It can withstand nearby electrical noise and can be installed next to EMI emitting components. Furthermore, a high level of electrical protection to the power supply makes the M9100 pressure transducer more robust to poor power supply control and reduces the risk of system issues. With a 27 mm hex and considerably compact height (down to 50 mm), the M9100 pressure transducer is fitted for large, durable connection systems.

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PRODUCT WORLD

Ultrapac Smart dryer

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Donaldson Company has introduced the Ultrapac Smart dryer, a solution that removes condensate and dries compressed air streams in manufacturing facilities using three stages of separation: filtering, drying, and purifying. Highly purified compressed air is critical for food and beverage process applications, like beer, bottled water, milk, wine, and yogurt. The Ultrapac Smart dryer design accommodates unique location and spatial conditions, enabling configurations that fit large equipment, conveyor lines, and other machines. With three versions — Superplus, Plus, and Standard — and a modular design, the dryer can be installed vertically, horizontally, or on a wall.

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A20 Series power take-off Muncie Power Products munciepower.com/A20 The A20 Series power take-off is designed to fit on Allison 3000 and 4000 series transmissions. The big changes with this PTO focus on the installation process. The goal was to find ways to make it not only easier, but less time-consuming. The A20 Series PTO has a new rotatable flange with 30 unique, identifiable positions allowing users flexibility in finding the optimal position when mounting a hydraulic pump. With these position codes, users can choose to order their PTO set to a specific code and have it shipped to them that way. Alternatively, they can have it shipped loose and set the arrangement before, during, or after installing it. This rotatable flange is independent of the seals — meaning it is easily adjustable without any concern of damaging the shaft seal. The housing design allows easier access to the mounting bolts, and the mounting bolts have been extended to take full advantage of the threads provided on the transmission.

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Ashcroft ashcroft.com Ashcroft has introduced a line of customizable temperature sensors to satisfy nearly any OEM requirement. These ITS and KTS sensors offer a selection of sensor types, including thermocouple, RTD, KTY, and NTC. They also provide completely customizable stem lengths, connections, signals, and wiring configurations. Ashcroft ITS and KTS temperature sensors can be tailored to meet unique application requirements. ITS temperature sensors are available with a wide selection of outputs and custom lengths, process connections, and electrical connections. They are suited to compressors, wind turbine gearboxes, mining machines, pumps, and heat pumps.

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The STAUFF Difference

At STAUFF we offer thousands of critical components that are designed to help our customers operate more efficiently and do business more effectively.

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Contributing to Your Success

4/2/21 1:03 PM


COMPONENT FOCUS Josh Cosford • Contributing Editor

What are the benefits of urethane seals? Urethane (or polyurethane) seals are among the most versatile and durable materials used in fluid power sealing. Urethanes are cast into billets or molds to create the seals used in many of the hydraulic components you see every day, such as pump shaft seals, cylinder pistons and rod seals. The material benefits from countless possible chemical formulae, providing a wide range of sealing characteristics to suit nearly every application.

Urethane seals provide superior resistance to extrusion due to their combination of hardness and toughness. Available anywhere from a soft 20 durometer Shore A to 85 Shore D, urethane spans hardness from a soft nitrile to nearly plastic. Somewhere between those extremes lies many seal materials suited for the demanding requirements of hydraulics. An excellent hydraulic seal must resist shearing and tearing. The energy of hydraulic fluid under pressure easily overcomes inferior technology, especially when internal gaps and clearances are not tight. Urethane undergoes a change in shape under pressure, which ensures positive sealing without leakage, but its high strength nature returns the seal to its original form after pressure relaxes. Contamination is a common symptom in many hydraulic systems. When particles’ abrasive effect gets out of hand, the soft seals inside hydraulic components are at risk of early failure. Urethane benefits from naturally high resistance to abrasion, especially compared to other polymers such as Buna Nitrile and Viton. When the temperature gets hot, urethane is the go-to choice for high-

pressure hydraulic applications. With urethanes rated for over 250°F while also scoffing aside 5,000 psi or more, this combination of extremes has put urethane at the top of the class for hydraulic cylinders. Viton easily handles over 400°F but is often limited to 2,000 psi or less. Other technologies such as PTFE and polyester plastics may handle pressure with ease but do not provide urethane’s superior sealing. Because of polyurethane’s machinability, this material suits users with economical seals even at one-off quantities. Rather than pour or mold from a liquid base, round urethane billets are spun on a CNC lathe to provide reproductions of even the most complex U-cup profile. Most high-volume seal manufacturers support low-volume manufacturing, and you’d be surprised at how economical a small run of custom seals is. As advanced polymer recipes and manufacturing techniques progress, new high-performance seals take your hydraulic applications to the next level. For example, many older urethanes were prone to hydrolysis when exposed to water, especially with concomitant heat. Cutting edge urethane polymers now resist hydrolysis when exposed to water, ameliorating what was previously a downside. As urethane technology advances, expect this material to cover nearly every hydraulic sealing application, no matter how extreme.

Urethane seals are ideal in extreme applications. The Hallite 606 singleacting, single lip asymmetric piston seal is moulded in Hythane 181, Hallite’s high-performance polyurethane, for easy installation and low-temperature performance.

FPW

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AD INDEX

Ametek APT......................................57 Automation Direct ..................Insert, 1 Barb-Tech Tools ................................15 C-Change ..........................................55 DMIC ................................................33 Fluid Line Products...........................27 FluiDyne Fluid Power ......................... 3 GRH Power .......................................58 HBC-Radiomatic ...............................51 Hunger Hydraulics............................61 HydraForce .......................................11 Hydraulics Inc ...................................16 Kuriyama of America, Inc. ................25 LunchBox Sessions ...........................17 Main Manufacturing ........................10

Motion .............................................31 MP Filtri USA ...................................... 9 Panolin America ...............................BC Peninsular Cylinder Co .....................60 Permco, Inc. .....................................13 Polyconn ...........................................45 SMC Electric (Milwaukee Cylinder) ...20 Stauff Corp. ......................................62 Super Swivels ..................................... 7 Taimi Hydraulics ...............................37 Tompkins Industries .................. IFC, 10 Tribute, Inc. .....................................IBC Ultra Clean Technologies ................... 5 Veljan Hydrair...................................23 Zero-Max, Inc. ..................................39

LEADERSHIP TEAM Co-Founder, VP Sales Mike Emich 508.446.1823 memich@wtwhmedia.com @wtwh_memic Co-Founder, Managing Partner Scott McCafferty 310.279.3844 smccafferty@wtwhmedia.com @SMMcCafferty EVP Marshall Matheson 805.895.3609 mmatheson@wtwhmedia.com @mmatheson

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Page 34: Load-sensing gets it done in forestry Page 40: How to improve compressed air systems Page 46: OTC returns to Houston August 16-19 P...

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