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Hydraulics keep their cool p. 42

Work Truck Show goes digital p. 46

Industrial innovation at Hannover Fair p. 48

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February 2021

Smart pneumatics:

Gateway to higher efficiency, productivity PAGE 36

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Solenoid valves are electrically controlled to direct air flow to sequence operations in pneumatic systems. Solenoid valves are used to control cylinders, rotary actuators, grippers and other pneumatic devices. Use a manifold to simplify plumbing for a bank of valves. Modular systems even allow networked control of valve group.

The most popular style of pneumatic actuator uses compressed air acting on a piston inside a cylinder to move a load along a linear path.

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FLUIDLINES Mary C. Gannon • Editor

Are we on the road to deglobalization? I wrote back in June of 2020, as the country was still reopening in many places, how many manufacturers’ confidence in the global economy had been shaken. Our supply chains had been greatly tested — and we quickly realized how reliance on China was impacting our ability to get much needed goods. Now, it’s eight months later and there is even more of a razor-sharp focus on the fact that we can’t continue on the path of global trade the same way we have done the past several decades. In his book, The Smart Student’s Guide to Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0, Mike Nager points out how in recent years there has been a realization that a strong defense requires a strong and nimble manufacturing base that can quickly build and reliably supply American forces. We are certainly not at that point right now. He quotes journalist John Markhoff, highlighting that “The Pentagon now manufactures in secure facilities run by American companies only about 2% of the more than $3.5 billion of integrated circuits bought annually for use in military gear.” Nager’s position is that we need to reinvest more in smart manufacturing, for manufacturing creates wealth and jobs — 3.6 additional jobs are created by every manufacturing job, as Harry Moser, Founder of the Reshoring Institute, has said. And more importantly, we need to reeducate the American public, and young people, on what manufacturing careers look like today. And as geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan, an NFPA favorite, hints he’ll be discussing at this month’s NFPA Annual Conference,

the volume of global trade is going to collapse for reasons political and strategic, before we even begin to consider global demographics. As we see that mass consumption is pretty much over, we will start seeing smaller, more secure supply chains that are closer to the consumer. “We are not at the end of globalization anymore. Globalization is now over, and anyone who is trying to hold onto links internationally, you have to think very carefully about just how sustainable that is going to be. Between the demographic flip, political shifts on both sides of the Pacific and especially because of Covid, we’ve run out of time now,” Zeihan indicated in a pre-conference chat. “We will never get back to where we were in January 2020. It’s a new world.” I am looking forward to taking a deeper dive on this topic with Zeihan in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from readers on this topic. Do you see more jobs coming this way as we refocus on shorter supply chains and local manufacturing? 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

How to lead through a crisis At one of the National Fluid Power Association’s recent Future Leaders workshops, John Stenz, the CEO of FORCE America chatted with nearly 60 of the group’s members via Zoom, talking about the proper way to lead companies through a crisis — certainly a timely topic here in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected most manufacturers. Stenz explained that great leaders are really stewards. They should stay accessible to their teams and listen to their people. It’s important to “touch the back wall” every day, to be there in the facility and see what is actually happening. As part of that, they need to make sure to share information with the team. Ideally, be optimistic but also realistic; bad news doesn’t get better with age. Some of his other points included: • • • •

Elements of culture are so important, so don’t be afraid to be that leader that takes a stand. Make sure everyone knows the company’s reason to exist and where you’re headed as an organization. Watch out for negative forces or personalities — never allow a cancer to grow in your team, or there will be serious consequences across your entire staff. Try to get everyone thinking and acting like an owner. Everyone must know how they create economic value in their actions — or how they could potentially destroy it. Take advantage of your peer groups. When FORCE America encountered a ransomware attack, Stenz used NFPA’s power of networking to collect ideas. His company decided to fight it and wipe all their servers. Embrace the learning that you’re doing in this crisis. Know that you’ll be a better leader when you reach the other side. Focus on the fact that things will be better after the crisis is over. Principles and knowing your true north are far more important than your tactics; you’ll make mistakes but move forward. Sometimes in a crisis, people feel the need to act quickly. It can be more advantageous to instead listen and go to the people you trust. Take the time to learn and then act. Don’t obsess on trying to find the perfect decision. Move, adapt, and keep moving. A crisis is not going to get better with time. With Covid-19, we’ve learned that there are many ways to communicate. Pick up the phone or get on Zoom and talk to people. People like to communicate with each other; they don’t like to be isolated. Focus less on email in these times.

The next crisis your business may experience may not be as widespread as a global pandemic, but finding success in 2020 and 2021 will prepare you for what might personally hit your own business in the future. Keep your team moving forward and learn from Covid-19 to be ready to lead your team through anything. FPW

Paul J. Heney

VP, Editorial Director pheney@wtwhmedia.com

On Twitter @wtwh_paulheney 4

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2 • 2021

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F E B R UA RY 2 0 2 1

C ontents |

vol 8 no 1

|

fluidpowerworld.com

PNEUMATICS

HYDRAULICS

Hydraulics keep their cool Heat exchangers help remove heat from hydraulic power units, helping to maintain fluid viscosity and reduce wasted energy.

SHOW FEATURES

Work Truck Show reimagined as week-long digital event Work Truck Week 2021 will be held online March 8-12, offering product updates, demos, online conferences and virtual exposition. Hannover Fair 2021: Innovation in the age of industrial transformation The iconic industrial trade show will take place from April 12-16 as an entirely virtual event, with expo, conference, and networking opportunities.

FLUID POWER WORLD

2

2021

F E AT U R E S

Smart pneumatics: Gateway to higher efficiency, productivity Open and flexible IIoT systems can pinpoint leaks and faults, reduce downtime, increase throughput and, ultimately, improve the bottom line.

6

36 42 46

D E PA R T M E N T S

48

02

FluidLines

04

From The Field

10

Korane’s Outlook

12

Association Watch

14

Design Notes

22 Fundamentals 26

R&D

28

Safety

32

Distributor update

34

Energy Efficiency

50

Products

55

Component Focus

56

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

ON THE COVER

Smart pneumatics and the Industrial Internet of Things is bringing digital transformation to individual machines and plant-wide operations. | courtesy of Emerson

2 • 2021

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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. 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. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Fluid Power World, 1111 Superior Ave., Suite 2600, Cleveland, OH 44114

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KORANE’S OUTLOOK Ken Korane • Contributing Editor

Biden owes a debt of gratitude to the mobile industry The Association of Equipment Manufacturers represents more than a thousand companies involved in the construction and ag industries, including many suppliers of fluid power components and systems. These firms contribute over $288 billion a year to the U.S. economy and support 2.8 million high-paying jobs. So it goes without saying that AEM carries a bit of clout. In fact, according to AEM president Dennis Slater, President Biden owes his job to the mobile-equipment industry. As a candidate, Biden emphasized the role of investing in U.S. manufacturing to help kickstart the economy. There’s no doubt that the President won the 2020 election on the back of manufacturing voters across the Midwest, and that support by our industry played a crucial role, said Slater. These voters placed significant faith in the President’s commitment to make bold investments in American manufacturing, industry and innovation, he said. In return, AEM calls for the new administration and Congress to address important policy areas like infrastructure, workforce development, corporate taxes and international trade. “A good place to start is by investing in a strong infrastructure, which benefits everyone from urban to rural regions, and allows our nation to address the challenges of the 21st century global economy,” said Slater. That, however, means more than simply throwing money at the problem, said Steve Berglund, AEM Chair and Executive Chairman of Trimble Inc. The hope is that the new administration will move beyond seeing infrastructure spending as simply a jobs program or economic stimulus, and develop a strategy that anticipates the needs of the next 50 years, he said. “The 2021 definition of infrastructure significantly differs from what it was in the mid-20th century, when much of the country’s current physical infrastructure was built,” said Berglund. Today’s roads,

bridges, rails and ports are straining under existing demands and will fare even worse with newer emerging needs. Imagination will be important in developing a program that incorporates concepts such as autonomous vehicles and drones, decentralized digital construction, robust watershed management and ubiquitous, high-reliability broadband connectivity, he said. “Also important are policies around workforce development, which has provided a challenge for AEM members for some time.” For years there has been a chronic shortage of workers with the requisite skills to manufacture, operate and maintain increasingly high-tech construction and agricultural equipment. Although OEMs have taken independent steps to satisfy the need, often in collaboration with local colleges and vocational schools, the U.S. educational system has not kept pace. “What is needed beyond advocating a ‘jobs program’ is a parallel and imaginative educational strategy for providing the required technology skills,” said Berglund. Given that the strategic time horizon for doing anything impactful on infrastructure extends well beyond the political cycle, it is important that a genuine effort be made to ensure a long-term commitment to U.S. economic leadership. Especially in light of recent events, many of our elected officials, business leaders and, certainly, everyday Americans want us to move ahead in a common direction, added Bob Crain, AEM Vice Chair and Senior Vice President of AGCO Corp. “And I can think of no better way to do that than our elected representatives working in a bipartisan manner to reinvest in our country’s infrastructure, fund education and retraining programs, expand broadband in rural areas, and many other things. We strongly urge the incoming administration and the new Congress to work together to pass bipartisan infrastructure investment, and to dedicate our country to rebuilding and, just as important, uniting our people around a common purpose.” FPW

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ASSOCIATION WATCH Edited by Mike Santora • Editor

NAHAD postpones 2021 Annual Meeting and Convention until June NAHAD leadership announced it will postpone its 2021 Annual Meeting and Convention to now take place June 12-15, at the Marriott Marquis in San Diego. Initially scheduled for April 10-13, NAHAD’s leadership believes this delay will allow more of the NAHAD membership to attend the premier event in the hose and hose accessories distribution industry. “While we all are eager to get back to face-to-face meetings with our suppliers and customers, we felt this delay was necessary to allow additional time for vaccine distribution and for company travel bans to ease,” said Sam Petillo, president of Singer Equities Inc., and NAHAD’s 2021 President. “We feel that, by June, there will be a much greater opportunity for the NAHAD community to gather together safely and effectively for our Annual Convention in San Diego.” On average, NAHAD attracts 1,000 attendees for its Annual Convention each year, including educational sessions, networking opportunities, and more than 150 exhibits in the Showcase of Hose

Solutions. This year, the association is planning an event adhering to social distancing protocols and all San Diego County COVID-19 policies and procedures in place at the time of the 2021 Annual Meeting and Convention. The association also has altered its traditional cancellation guidelines, knowing that travel policies continue to change almost daily for many of its 500-member companies. “We know this year is unlike any other for our attendees and the entire industry,” said Molly Alton Mullins, NAHAD’s Executive Vice President. “As a result, we are considering all avenues possible to ensure a successful conference experience. This includes flexible refund policies and looking into alternative venues that meet the needs of the NAHAD Convention, if needed, by June. Communication is paramount in this situation, and we are in constant contact with Marriott Marquis management on jurisdictional restrictions in place that impact NAHAD’s Annual Convention.” More details on NAHAD’s 2021 Annual Convention can be found at www.nahad.org/convention, including the agenda, registration information, COVID protocols, and additional details on the Showcase and its refund policies. NAHAD’s leadership will continue to provide updates on developments related to the Annual Meeting & Convention as they occur and encourages members and related parties to provide feedback at mmullins@nahad.org. FPW

ESA now accepting scholarship applicants The Equipment Service Association’s (ESA) Scholarship Foundation is now accepting applications through April 30, 2021. Fully funded by donations, the Foundation has awarded more than $50,000 scholarships since launching in 1994. This year, three $2,000 scholarships will be awarded to ESA members, families, employees, and employees’ families for continuing education. To qualify, applicants must be sponsored by a current ESA member; must be enrolled in an accredited college, university, or trade school and be taking at least six credit hours in the Fall 2021 semester; and must have a minimum 2.5 grade point average. “This scholarship has helped more than 25 students further their education in fields ranging from Motorsports Engineering

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to Physical Therapy,” said Amy Luckado, Executive Director of ESA. “ESA is proud to help these members of our community further their education.” Candidates are required to complete the application and return it to the ESA Scholarship Committee no later than April 30. To learn more about the ESA Scholarship Fund, how to apply, or donate to continue the support of education in the community, visit www.2esa.org.

www.fluidpowerworld.com

FPW


IFPS opens call for Fluid Power Hall of Fame nominations Nominations are now being accepted for the Fluid Power Hall of Fame. The Fluid Power industry’s success is through the efforts of dedicated individuals — the innovators, researchers, application engineers, educators, and sales and service personnel. These people are the reasons the fluid power industry continues to thrive. The Fluid Power Hall of Fame was established to acknowledge those individuals who have dedicated their careers and have made significant contributions to fluid power technology. Visit www.fluidpowerhalloffame.org to nominate an individual. Nominations will be accepted until April 15. Any person can nominate an individual, living or deceased, who demonstrated excellence within their 25-plus year fluid power career — one nomination per category (living or deceased) per person. Eligibility for the Award: • Those nominated are asked to complete an application (unless a posthumous nomination). • Verifiable 25-plus cumulative years in the fluid power industry. • A panel of judges will review all applications and select the inductees to be announced on June 19, 2021 – Fluid Power Professionals Day. Visit www.fluidpowerhalloffame.org for more details or to see previous inductees. FPW

  

2 • 2021

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DESIGN NOTES Ken Korane • Senior Editor

Pioneering electrohydraulic cylinder increases equipment fuel efficiency

Volvo Construction Equipment and Finland’s Norrhydro have developed a digital hydraulic actuator that reportedly boosts productivity while radically cutting fuel bills and CO2 emissions in construction applications. If widely adopted, it could help the mobile-equipment industry meet its sustainability ambitions while at the same time revolutionize machine hydraulic performance. 14

FLUID POWER WORLD

2 • 2021

While the full details of the technology are closely guarded, the Norrhydro patented system, NorrDigi, uses a multi-chamber digital hydraulic actuator that improves system efficiency such that much of a machine’s hydraulic system can be discarded or downsized. It removes the need for a main control valve, reduces the necessary pump capacity, and eliminates a number of hoses and tubing. Ongoing validations of the system have demonstrated both efficiency improvements and increased productivity, as well as a www.fluidpowerworld.com

sizeable reduction in the machine’s carbon footprint. The companies have signed a multiyear agreement where Volvo CE will continue to develop the technology in partnership with Norrhydro, and subsequently aim for first-mover advantage. Volvo CE has exclusive rights to its use in its products during the development process.

Variable cylinders

Unlike traditional cylinders with two chambers — one pushing and the other pulling — the digital hydraulic actuator uses four chambers


A Volvo EC300E 30-ton excavator is

being used as a test bed to prove out the NorrDigi system in real-world conditions. | Courtesy of Volvo CE

that can be connected in up to 16 different permutations, depending on the load required by the desired operation. “It’s a bit like a 16-speed linear transmission,” said Peter Stambro, Vice President Business Development at Norrhydro. “Multichamber cylinders have been around for a while, but what makes our ones exceptional is the way they have been combined with advanced electronic control systems, whose complex algorithms and computational speed allow instant response, but using only a fraction of the energy for the same machine maneuver or action compared to a traditional system.” The NorrDigi’s 16 area combinations and advanced control system in effect makes it a variable-displacement cylinder. Among the main benefits of the digital hydraulics system, it uses less flow

than a conventional system, which means that hydraulic pumps can be downsized. The system can share energy between functions through a common pressure rail, so the prime mover doesn’t need to run continuously (engine-off). It can recover and store energy in accumulators (or batteries) with up to 80% efficiency. And the system generates less heat, which means that the hydraulic cooler may be smaller or possibly eliminated Because the system uses less energy, the power source (engine, battery or electric motor) can be downsized. For electric vehicles, it can significantly extend service time between charges. And for traditional machines, the engine can be run at optimum speed, which has a significant impact on both noise and emissions. The system is said to be particularly efficient in applications

www.fluidpowerworld.com  

2 • 2021

FLUID POWER WORLD  

15


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The NorrDigi system is based on

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with high inertia loads, both linear and rotary, such as lowering or braking. The results are significant. Fuel efficiency improvements by 45 to 60% and productivity increases of up to 12% were achieved in side-by-side trials with experienced operators.

Field tests

“This is a prime example of how partnerships with outside experts can accelerate our own sustainability journey through technical innovation,” said Thomas Bitter, Head of Technology at Volvo CE. “In research so far, the system shows greatest benefits in larger machines — in the case of excavators, those 30 tons and above. However, in the future, the technology could also be used in electric machines, where its much greater hydraulic system efficiency would effectively extend the battery life and operating window,” he said. With a Volvo EC300E 30-ton excavator as a test bed, the ground-breaking technology has passed its initial proof-of-concept phase and durability tests, and is now moving to field tests, where prototypes are used in real-world applications by selected customer partners. It is forecast that the system will be offered on the company’s excavators by 2024 at the latest. “The ability to develop this radical technology in partnership with a leading player in the construction equipment industry offers many advantages, including accelerating the time to market for commercialized products,” said Yrjö Trög, CEO of Norrhydro. “We will invest in a new multi-million euro world-class manufacturing facility in support of the launch, and I look forward to the market introduction of the NorrDigi system together with Volvo CE.” FPW

Norrhydro | norrhydro.com Volvo Construction Equipment | volvoce.com

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DESIGN NOTES Ken Korane • Senior Editor

Integrated rupture disk assemblies enhance safety For more than 85 years, rupture disks have served as an effective passive safety mechanism to protect against overpressure or potentially damaging vacuum conditions. The disk, which is a one-time-use membrane typically made of metal, is designed to activate within milliseconds when it experiences a predetermined differential pressure. They can be used as standalone devices or as backups to relief valves. Traditionally, individual rupture disks are combined with the manufacturer’s separate supporting holder at the point of use. A quality installation ensures the rupture disk device performs as expected. However, when installed improperly, the rupture disk may not burst at the expected set pressure. With today’s heightened focus on equipment reliability and safety, OEMs are increasingly turning to integrated rupture disk assemblies as a better option. These assemblies combine the rupture disk membrane, its holder, and a flanged or threaded mounting device into a tightly engineered system. The components are fastened together by welding, bolting, tube stub, adhesive bonding or crimping, based on application conditions and leak-tightness

requirements. The one-piece design can be tailored to the application and allows for easier installation and quick removal if the rupture disk is activated. Further, integrated units are certified to perform at the desired set pressure. Integrated assemblies prevent personnel from using unsafe or jury-rigged solutions to replace an activated rupture disk to save a few dollars or rush equipment back online. And the physical size of increasingly miniaturized rupture disks — as small as 0.12 in. — can make it challenging for personnel to pick up and place the disk into a separate holder. If you rely on an assembler to insert a loose disk into a holder and then capture it by threading over the top, “unless they follow the installation instructions and apply the

correct torque value, there is still potential for a leak, or the disk may not activate at the designed burst pressure,” said Geof Brazier, managing director of BS&B Safety Systems Custom Engineered Products Division, Tulsa, Okla. “When welded into an assembly, the rupture disk is intrinsically leak tight and the set-burst pressure fixed.” The goal is that the set pressure cannot be altered once the integral assembly leaves the factory. “OEMs are driven to deliver the longest life and lowest cost of ownership to their customers,” he said. “The use of an integral assembly maximizes the longevity, proper function and trouble-free service of the pressure relief technology.”

These assemblies are examples of clamped, threaded and torqued designs.

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DESIGN NOTES

Rupture disk design

According to Brazier, the most important considerations in rupture disk design are having the right operating pressure and temperature information along with the expected service life, which is often expressed as a number of cycles the device is expected to endure during its lifetime. Because pressure and cycling varies depending on the

BS&B integrated rupture disk assemblies are generally made of metal components. Due to cost and weight considerations, however, there is increasing interest in housings made of plastics and composites.

application, a tailored engineering system is often required. “Coming up with a good, high reliability, cost-effective, and application-specific solution for an OEM involves selecting the right disk technology, the correct interface (weld, screw threads, compression fittings, single machined part) and the right options as dictated by the codes and standards,” he said. For a wide range of industries, it can be important for rupture disks to have a miniaturized reverse-buckling capability, he continued. In this design, the dome of the rupture disk is inverted toward the pressure source. Burst pressure is accurately controlled by a combination of material properties and the shape of the domed structure. By loading the reverse buckling disk in compression, it can resist operating pressures up to 95%

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rupture disk assemblies have diameters as small as 0.12 in. of minimum burst pressure even under pressure cycling or pulsating conditions. The result is greater longevity, accuracy and reliability. In almost all cases, reverse buckling rupture disks outperform the alternatives with respect to service life. “Where economics is the driver, reverse buckling disks are typically made from materials such as nickel, aluminum and stainless steel. Where aggressive conditions are required, more exotic materials like Monel, Inconel, Hastelloy, titanium and even tantalum can be used,” said Brazier. “The process industry has relied on reverse buckling disks for decades. Now the technology is available to OEMs in miniature form as small as one-eighth inch burst diameter. Until recently, obtaining disks of that size and performance was impossible,” he said. However, miniaturization of reverse buckling technology presents its own unique challenges. To resolve this issue, BS&B created novel structures that control the reversal of the rupture disk to always activate in a predictable manner. In this design, a line of weakness is typically added into the rupture disk structure, to define a specific opening flow area when the reverse type disk activates, and to prevent fragmentation of the disk “petal.” Small nominal size rupture disks are sensitive to the detailed characteristics of the orifice through which they burst. This requires strict control of normal variations in the disk holder. “With small-size pressure relief devices, the influence of every feature of both the rupture disk and its holder is amplified,” explained Brazier. “With the correct design of the holder and the correct rupture disk selection, the customer’s expectations will be achieved and exceeded.”

Fluid power applications

The integrated assembly is suited for numerous hydraulic, pneumatic and other low- to high-pressure devices including pumps, piston and bladder accumulators, pressure vessels and piping. And they are used in a wide range of other markets, including OEM equipment for onshore/ offshore oil and gas applications, pressure washers, refrigeration systems, fire protection and breathing equipment. For example, the oil and gas industry uses rupture disks on triplex pumps for many oil extraction and well-servicing operations. These pumps are configured with three plungers. Commonly referred to as “mud pumps,” the devices typically can handle a wide range of corrosive and abrasive fluids and slurries containing relatively large particulates. Pump pressures depend on the depth of the drilling hole and resistance of flushing fluid, as well as the nature of the conveying drilling fluid, and are typically in the 5,000 to 20,000 psi range. “A three-plunger pump is continuously cycling, so the disk must be able to withstand high 2 • 2021

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pressures with one-million pressure cycles or more easily experienced,” said Brazier. Hydraulic accumulators that store energy and smooth out pulsations likewise require rupture disks. By definition, accumulators hold hydraulic fluid under pressure. If pressure spikes too high, there is a risk that without a rupture disk the accumulator or system could experience a catastrophic failure. While OEMs have long relied on rupture disks in their hydraulic and pneumatic equipment, high-pressure, high-cycling environments have been particularly challenging. Fortunately, with the availability of integrated, miniaturized rupture disk assemblies tailored to the application, manufacturers can significantly enhance equipment safety, compliance, and reliability even in extreme work conditions. FPW

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DESIGN NOTES Edited by Mary C. Gannon • Editor

Rectangular gripping technology ensures safe six-pack handling After various discussions with customers from plant engineering and the beverage industry, it was clear to Piab’s experts that a gripper for the simple automatic handling of sixpacks with cardboard packaging was needed. This is how beer and beer-based mixed drinks are offered and must be packaged and palletized accordingly by the beverage industry. The difficulty with the automation of this process step has been that mechanical grippers cannot pick up the bottles from the top of the bottle caps, as these are usually sealed with a banderole made of aluminum or paper, which would be damaged. At the same time, the cardboard is very thin and unstable and must be handled with care. The gripper should also not leave any marks on the cardboard box to avoid an impression of the packaging being damaged.

The rectangular design

features fingers on the side, but the main gripping force comes from the specially designed suction cups on top, which won’t damage or leave marks on six-packs’ thin carton wrapping.

The vacuum specialists from Piab, headed by Bernd Gries, Manager Global S-Accounts, therefore developed a special gripper with rectangular suction cups. The rectangular suction cups take up the six-pack in only three places. In order to prevent the cardboard from being drawn into it due to the large suction surface and leaving marks, the Piab team developed a corresponding load support as part of the suction cups. This prevents the cardboard from being drawn in and getting damaged. The gripper is manufactured using a 3D printing process and can therefore be easily adapted to different six-pack sizes. The fastest way to do this is via the exchangeable cheeks, which serve to stabilize the six-pack in the gripper during handling. In addition to Piab’s rectangular suction cups, the gripper contains powerful COAX vacuum ejectors. COAX is an advanced solution for

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Piab’s rectangular gripper gently but

firmly holds and lifts the sixpack without damaging bottles, carton, or label.


Mechanical grippers cannot pick up the bottles from the top of the bottle caps, as these are usually sealed with a banderole made of aluminum or paper, which would be damaged.

creating vacuum with compressed air. Based on Piab’s multistage technology, COAX cartridges are smaller, more efficient and more reliable than conventional ejectors, which allow for the design of a flexible, modular and efficient vacuum system, offering up to three times more vacuum flow than conventional systems. This allows for increased speeds and high reliability while reducing energy consumption. One COAX ejector is integrated decentrally for each square suction cup. This provides additional safety when handling, because each ejector works independently of the others. So if one ejector fails due to contamination, the six-pack will continue to be held reliably by the other two. The

gripper has an automatic blow-off pulse to enable the six-pack to be put down quickly. This cleans the ejector, channels and the suction cup at the same time. For customers who have Industry 4.0 interfaces, the gripper offers query options for vacuum process data. FPW

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FUNDAMENTALS Josh Cosford • Contributing Editor

Hydraulic Symbology 304 – Conditioning and Monitoring The use of hydraulic symbols must be comprehensive in your efforts to detail the workings of a complete hydraulic system. Hydraulic machines consist of more than pumps, valves and actuators, of course, even though they are often the stars of the show. Those stars would quickly fall into the other side of fame without components to condition and monitor your machine. Conditioning symbols are those representing components used to filter, heat, cool or otherwise treat the hydraulic fluid of your machine. If you recall from way back in Hydraulic Symbology 101, we draw fluid conditioning symbols most often with a diamond-shaped basic shape. From this basic diamond, fluid moves through the component symbol in many ways. I’ve detailed the basic filter symbol, shown in Figure 1.

25 PSI

Basic Filter

Breather Filter

Filter Assembly Figure 1. Basic filter symbols

Imagine hydraulic fluid flowing in from the top of the diamond, where it’s able to fill the chamber. The dashed line is neither a pilot or drain line, as is described in previous articles, but perforations. Fluid must pass through the perforations leaving particles trapped atop the layer. Actual perforations are microscopic, but it represents the real-world filter quite well. Clean fluid exits the bottom, most often directly into the reservoir, once again ready to be pumped out. Hydraulic systems need protection from atmospherically suspended particles such as dust, welding fallout and machining particles. Differential cylinders require an extra fluid volume to extend, and that fluid must draw from the reservoir. As the fluid volume decreases in the reservoir, air draws in to replace it, and without some form of contamination removal, atmospheric contamination may enter the system. The breather filter allows air to 22

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pass while trapping particles. The second symbol in Figure 1, with the arc above the filter element, is such a device. The complete filter assembly in Figure 1 is a compilation of components for filtering and monitoring filter condition. Fluid passes straight through the middle, where particles get trapped inside the media. The symbol for a pressure gauge sits to the left. This pressure gauge differs in that two opposed lines terminate on either side of the gauge. Known as the differential pressure gauge, it compares pressure upstream to downstream of the filter to show the pressure drop through the filter element. Showing pressure drop rather than absolute pressure offers an accurate method to trigger filter replacement when the filter begins to clog. An upstream pressure gauge would provide just a backpressure reading at the filter, instead of pressure drop through the element. To the right of the filter is a spring offset check valve denoted with a 25 psi spring value. This check valve provides a bypass flow path should pressure drop increase due to an excessively clogged filter. Return lines are generally poor locations for backpressure, so this check valve provides an alternate flow path when the filter becomes too clogged to flow well enough. At 25 psi, the check valve starts to open to reduce backpressure through the element. Take note that flow through the check valve is not filtered, allowing contamination to pass right through.

2 • 2021

Duplex Filter Assembly

Anti-Cavitation Filter Assembly

Figure 2. Complex filter assemblies

In Figure 2, I show the compound symbol for a duplex filter assembly. A duplex filter allows on-demand filter change while the hydraulic system still runs. The fluid first enters from the top of a 3-way ball valve. The three cones show the top inlet and two horizontal outlets possible depending on the location of the handle shown sprouting from the bottom. Some 3-way valves are simply a

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circle with an L-shaped line connecting two of the three ports, but I find this version more succinct. Juxtaposed to the 3-way ball valve are two objects appearing to be spring return cylinders. These are, in fact, pop-up indicators. The spring value would be equivalent to about two-thirds the setting of the bypass check valves. If the bypass valves begin to open at 45 psi, the pop-up indicator overcomes its spring at 30 psi to warn the maintenance team that the filter should be changed soon. Often turning from green to red at the time of pop-up, they automatically reset when pressure drop returns to normal after the filter change. You can see each filter has its bypass valve (which is sometimes in the filter element itself), although I’ve omitted the spring valve to reduce clutter. After fluid passes the filter through the bottom, both elements join to a single outlet where clean oil exits the assembly. Most duplex filters are inline mounted rather than in-tank and may be pressure filters as well as return line filters. The anti-cavitation filter assembly in Figure 2 provides a couple more symbology options for a filter assembly. Much of it is the same as the filter assembly in Figure 1 but includes two more options. The second check valve is to allow an anti-cavitation function to the system. There are circumstances where a hydraulic system might want to “float,” meaning that it could be pulled, lifted or pushed under gravity or load forces. For example, if a cylinder is pushed upon while stationary, fluid may need to be pulled in from the reservoir to take up the volume differential. Without the check valve, the cylinder could cavitate and create air bubbles to potentially damage the cylinder when re-pressurized. The component to the right of the diamond filter is a differential pressure switch. By comparing pressure upstream to downstream as in the pressure gauge of Figure 1, this switch triggers some light, PLC or another warning that the filter should be changed soon. The symbol itself is a square box with a fixed spring symbol atop. The three dots are electrical contacts, while the line shows the default electrical path in this case “closed” to connect the bottom to the left side contact. When pressure matches the switch’s spring value, the contact shifts to the right, closing the electrical circuit and signalling the warning. No fluid conditioning package is complete without control over the temperature of the hydraulic fluid. Heaters, coolers or heat exchangers benefit  

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FUNDAMENTALS

most hydraulic systems, especially those located variable climates or working conditions. Figure 3 shows the diamond symbol as heaters and coolers. The first symbol on the left depicts the vertical hydraulic fluid flow path, bisecting two inward-facing arrows. These arrows do not denote a fluid flow path, as is typical for the symbol, but the direction of thermal transfer, and showing the symbol for a heater, such as an electric in-tank coil type.

Heater

Cooler

Heat Exchanger

Liquid to Air Cooler

Figure 3. Temperature control device symbols

to-air if compared to the symbol on its right. The heat exchanger symbol combines the internals of the heater and cooler, showing the capacity to direct heat inward or outward (but never simultaneously). However, poking out from the right is an extra pair of fluid lines first entering from the top and then exiting from the bottom. The extra lines stand for a coolant fluid, which may be city water or waterglycol, either cooled or heated. Tube and shell or brazed plate cooler are examples of a liquid-to-liquid cooler. The final compound symbol surrounded by an enclosure line is the liquid-to-air cooler. This unit would be either a tube and fin or bar and plate style cooler common to forced air coolers. The compound shape to the right shows two conjoined triangles forming the fins of a cooling fan attached to the circular prime mover symbol for an electric motor. The letter “M” stands for motor, and if its enclosure were square would signal an internal combustion engine.

The cooler symbol second left is very similar to the heater save the two outward-facing arrows, which represent heat evacuating from the fluid. This symbol is basic and does not tell us if the cooler is liquid-to-liquid or liquid-to-air, although I would assume liquid-

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RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT By Bipin Kashid • Simulation Engineer and Mitch Eichler • Applications Engineer, Parker Hannifin Hydraulic Valve Division

Part 2: Fast-tracking innovation through CAE simulation This is the second in a two-part series on simulation in an economic downtown. Part 1 can be found in our October 2020 issue, or find the complete article online at fluidpowerworld.com.

Complementary nature: CAE and physical testing

When there is a normally high level of design activity happening, these tests are not possible. Physical and virtual prototyping are not competing technologies. Research and development engineers must manage the complementary relationships between virtual simulations testing and physical testing to deliver a standout product that exceeds customer expectations. Together, simulations and real-world testing offer a better, more complete solution for design engineers.

While CAE simulations offer great value to engineers, this is not to say that we should completely move away from physical testing. Simulation-enabled testing and standard physical tests go hand-in-hand, each building off of and benefitting from the other symbiotically. This method has increased the confidence level of simulations to the state where the model is used to verify good results instead of searching for acceptable results. Without the data from real-world testing, CAE software would not be able to accurately simulate test cases. The physics and mathematics behind certain effects and environmental parameters can only be determined from tests. Physical testing is also necessary to verify the results of a simulation. Building a physical prototype and running it through an actual use case allows designers to find and analyze any potential discrepancies between the virtual and physical results. Run these physical tests during economic downturns to validate complex analytical models. This builds confidence in the data to create better predictive simulations.

Simulation at work

The advantages of simulation aren’t just theoretical. Virtual testing has proven its value to design engineers and product manufactures by helping them fix critical issues that could have caused harm. When looking to optimize the design of a new wheel loader, one of Parker’s mobile equipment customers was able to see this value firsthand. It had become apparent to the engineering team that the system interaction of the vehicle hydraulic system and the main control valve could create oscillations during operation of the boom that failed to meet the performance criteria the

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customer expected. A first troubleshooting step involved the addition of an orifice in the device’s workport to dampen the oscillations, but a more permanent production solution that minimized heat generation was required. With the upfront use of multiphysics simulation tools, Parker identified a best-inclass solution concept that was proved during physical testing. By removing the orifice plate and optimizing the geometry of spool lands and notches, hydraulic efficiency was increased by 20%. This led to a faster cycle time for the customer without any boom shake or excessive heat generation. Since the problem could be plugged into a simulation, multiple design concepts were created in a fraction of the time it would have taken to create physical prototypes. Not only was a solution chosen that was finetuned for the wheel loader specifically, but Parker was also able to create additional IP and testing data for any future improvements.

Overcoming simulation roadblocks

There will always be initial roadblocks to process changes — some organizational, some physical — that get in the way of adopting or effectively utilizing new technology. CAE software is no exception. Most companies do some level of simulation, but many are not using it as effectively as they can. One of the biggest barriers that can prevent companies from taking advantage of simulation is the upfront cost. The computing resources and software needed to effectively simulate real-world testing environments can be expensive to get set up. However, like many things, CAE software is an investment. With the cost savings of producing fewer physical prototypes, quicker design cycles, and thus increased engineering efficiencies, investing in the computing power needed


Online gas spring sizing tool Valve design done with multiphysics simulation approach for quality simulation testing will lead to significant savings in the long run. Additionally, as computing power and speed are increasing, the future of CAE will be real-time CFD and FEA being performed while engineers design parts. Once companies have the tools that they need, there’s still the issue of getting the right people to use them. Advanced CAE software requires a certain level of technical expertise to use correctly. Even the most veteran engineers may not have the required experience if they’ve only worked with physical prototyping and testing methods. Traditionally, simulations were always performed by an expert CAE analyst, often one with expertise in a specific domain of simulation such as FEA, CFD or 1D. That was fine when simulation was used sparingly, but now that we see the value of simulation in every stage of a product’s design cycle, having only a limited number of CAE analysts in the industry has become a major obstacle. The solution here is simple: Better train the engineering team and bring on new talent skilled in simulation testing. Democratizing simulation across the design engineering community can also help, leveraging what each engineer can do individually as a part of a simulation team rather than requiring a single simulation expert. This can be accomplished by using standard simplified simulation apps and software that is designed for non-CAE experts or by implementing easy-to-use simulation tools for routine analysis. For example, a design engineer can handle simple wall thickness calculations, orifice sizing, simple pressure drop and other static problems while saving the seasoned CAE analyst for more advanced transient and dynamic simulation across varying physical domains such as structural, fluids and electromagnetics. Creating a CAE library for the team and providing a best practice “master class” can improve adoption of CAE.

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Ultimately, a few CAE analysts are needed to champion the effort of democratizing simulation within an organization along with a strong engineering team willing to learn and support them. Having a dedicated senior CAE analyst can help a team: • • • •

Identify appropriate simulation tools based on products Perform thorough CAE software evaluation and validation Establish and maintain simulation best practices and quality control Ensure accuracy and reliability in simulation results (simulation governance)

By democratizing simulation tools and having a strategic workflow in place, engineering teams within an organization can venture beyond traditional prototyping, into a larger design exploration space that will drive innovation and engineering excellence. With these strategies, it becomes easier to push past the simulation barriers and achieve a more iterative and efficient design. Parker Hannifin’s experiences prove that simulation can open up a never-ending design space for design innovators to explore.

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Capitalizing on simulation

To achieve shorter design cycle times and get a better product to market faster than ever before, it’s important to make simulation and virtual prototyping an integral part of product development process. Educate management on the importance of simulation and the role it plays for the business as an innovation driver. It wasn’t so long ago that teams were still using hand sketches instead of CAD. It is already becoming outdated to only use physical prototyping in the design process.

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2 • 2021

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SAFETY A staff report

Functional safety with pneumatic rod locks Functional safety features in pneumatic machines and systems are critical in reducing the risk of injury without impacting operational efficiency and productivity. Designers of functionally safe pneumatic systems have put in fail-safe mechanisms to detect potentially dangerous conditions and to activate a protective or corrective device, such as a pneumatic rod lock, that will prevent or reduce consequences of a hazardous event.

Nexen’s linear holding/locking devices supplement air cylinders and guide rods for holding in power-off/e-stop situations.

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A pneumatic cylinder stopping method should always include redundancy, such as a mechanical lock, should there be a component failure in the circuit. Pressure trapped within a pneumatic circuit is a potential safety hazard, so the circuit design must account for the controlled release of trapped energy. This trapped energy could create unplanned motion, expulsion of piston rods or sequence mis-mating that could result in damage or a hazard. It is imperative system designers use a safe methodology like ISO 13849-1. Although the EU was the first market to mandate integrated safety functions in machinery, manufacturers around the world have begun to integrate functional safety features in machines marketed and sold outside of the EU. There are two primary standards that govern machine safety for industrial equipment — EN/IEC 62061 and EN/ISO 13849-1. Most equipment that includes integrated safety follows one of these two standards.

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According to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) the IEC 62061 standard specifies requirements and makes recommendations for the design, integration and validation of safety-related electrical, electronic and programmable electronic control systems (SRECS) for machines. It is applicable to control systems used, either singly or in combination, to carry out safety-related control functions on machines that are not portable by hand while working, including a group of machines working together in a coordinated manner. Meanwhile, the International Standards Organization (ISO) EN/ISO 13849-1:2005 standard provides safety requirements and guidance on the principles for the design and integration of safety-related parts of control systems (SRP/CS) — including the design of software. For these parts of SRP/ CS, it specifies characteristics that include the performance level required for carrying out safety functions. It applies to SRP/CS for high demand and continuous mode, regardless of the type of technology and energy used (such as electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, or mechanical) for all kinds of machinery. So why do some standards begin with the prefix EN? In short, the EN prefix designates a harmonized standard. That means it is listed under the EU Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC. The Machinery Directive specifies essential safety and health requirements that all machines in the EU must meet. Harmonized standards include standards from ISO, IEC, and the European Union. These standards provide the technical specifications and procedures to fulfill the Machinery Directive requirements.


Nexen’s spring engaged, air released rod locks are safety certified to comply with international safety standard ISO 13849-1. Category Level up to 4 and Performance Level up to e, able to be achieved using NexSafe products in recommended configuration.

Comparison of EN/IEC 62061 with EN/ISO 13849-1 EN/IEC 62061 … • Uses the SIL (Safety Integrity Level) rating system to indicate the level of functional safety • Assigns a numeric score from 1 to 4, with 1 being the lowest and 4 being the highest; example: SIL3 (note that only levels 1-3 apply to machine systems) • Risk assessment for determining the required SIL level is based on severity of injury (Se), frequency and duration of exposure (Fr), probability of occurrence of a hazardous event (Pr), and probability of avoiding or limiting harm (Av) • SIL rating indicates the Probability of Dangerous Failure per Hour (PFHD) and the Risk Reduction Factor (RRF) takes into account both low frequency demand (i.e low frequency of a machine process or action) and high frequency demand. EN/ISO 13849-1 … • Uses the PL (Performance Level) rating system to indicate the level of functional safety • Assigns an alphabetic score from a to e … with a being the lowest and e being the highest — as expressed in Category 4 PLe, for example • Risk assessment for determining the required PL is based on severity of injury, frequency and exposure time to the hazard, and possibility of avoiding the hazard or limiting harm • PL rating indicates the system’s architecture (referred to as Category), Mean Time to Dangerous Failure (MTTFd), Diagnostic Coverage (DC), and Common Cause Failures (CCF) • Takes into account only high frequency demand

2 • 2021

FLUID POWER WORLD

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SAFETY

PRINCIPALS OF OPERATION Note that the Performance Levels (PL) under ISO 13849-1 correspond to certain PFHD ranges so can be cross-referenced to SIL levels from IEC 62061. When implementing functional safety, machine builders, integrators, and users are free to choose either standard — EN/IEC 62061 or EN/ISO 13849-1. Most functional safety certified linear brakes for pneumatic rod cylinders employ spring-set pneumatically released friction action. Here the friction surfaces clamp (via a friction element called a clamping collar) the assembly’s linear rod for safe holding or emergency stopping. As with brakes for motor-based linear motion, some of these linear brakes achieve higher functionalsafety ratings by integrating one or two magnetic proximity sensors. An additional benefit to these brakes is how the linear brake uses the same disengagement power source (that of pneumatics) as the rod actuator… allowing use of similar components. What’s more, linear brakes in cylinder-mount configurations let OEMs set up the axis to let one common controller execute commands over both components. Pneumatic rod locks from Nexen have been developed for locking and holding on the shaft of an air cylinder or guide rod. These spring-engaged, air-released units are designed to hold in a safe position by default. Brakes are intended for static holding applications and Emergency Stop situations. They use a series of equally spaced compression springs to provide the rod lock actuating force. Dozens of ball bearings separate a split, tapered collar and piston. The piston travels up the ramp on the collar under the spring force and causes the split collar to constrict on the road. Air pressure applied to the opposite side of the piston compresses the springs to release the grip on the road. Select models have a manual release feature to disengage the rod lock without air pressure. The mechanism is cam operated, turned with a wrench and is a default-to-lock function. As long as a force is applied to the wrench, the road lock is disengaged. With no force applied, the rod lock defaults to the engaged position.

AIR INLET

BREATHER VENT

MANUAL RELEASE HEX NUT

COMPRESSION SPRINGS PISTON BALL BEARINGS SPLIT COLLAR MANUAL RELEASE CAM

clamping ensuresprings positiprovide ve holding A series High of equally spacedforces compression the rod lock with minimal air required for release. actuating force. Dozens of ball bearings separate a split, tapered collar and piston. The piston travels up the ramp on the collar under spring force and causes the split collar to constrict on the rod. Air pressure applied to the opposite side of the piston compress the springs to release the grip on the rod. Select models have a manual release feature to disengage the rod lock without air pressure. The mechanism is cam operated, turned with a wrench and is a “default-to-lock” function. As long as a force is applied to the wrench the rod lock is disengaged. With no force applied the rod lock “defaults” to the engaged position.

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2/10/21 2:23 PM


DISTRIBUTER UPDATE By Andrew Johnson • ShelfAware LLC

Take the leap into the tech stack I began my industrial career young, having been born into a family-owned O-ring distributor and grown up with the business. I have watched as the technology boom has changed the landscape of our business and those businesses around us.

Leveraging technology to innovate your distribution business is not as complicated as it used to be. Years ago, businesses would invest hundreds of thousands of dollars, and create a huge team of people to come up with custom software and hardware solutions and a completely proprietary chain kiosk system. This is not an effective way to run a distribution business anymore, nor is it necessary. It’s time to adapt to the changes that our industry has been seeing over the last 10 to 20 years. We’re in an era now where you have Millennials entering the workforce with decision-making power and the ability to innovate. They’re coming prepared with all these skills and this understanding of how technology works and an acceptance that all devices and software should work together. You take this Millennial mentality and mix it with the reality offered by cloud-based services like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Environment, Microsoft Azure and more. These environments are all lending to the concept of what is called the Tech Stack, where you can

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take different pieces of off-the-shelf hardware and combine them with custom software to make very complex businessto-business systems all digital. Adding a programmer to your team is critical, as this person can develop a mobile app for your business. Once you have that app created, you can leverage smart phones and dream big. Dream big by executing small and you can create these tech stack systems in a matter of months, and really revolutionize your business or some aspect of it, either internal or external innovations. Starting small is crucial — I use a baseball analogy to bring this concept home. Rather than swinging for the fences, we need to focus on incremental changes, getting on base and sprinting for home. Rather than investing in massive, convoluted ERP systems, improve what you have with bolt-on software and paperless systems.

Set a BIG goal.

To play the Moneyball innovation game you start by establishing your BIG business goal, something like “We want to get new customers outside of our traditional territory without opening new branch locations.” Then to achieve this BIG goal and win the game, you take an entrepreneurial approach, rounding the bases with speed through a series of small innovations. These innovations always start internally, inside your four walls, and often involve your operational excellence. These small internal innovations will breed a culture of optimization and help onboard your entire organization. They usually involve process automation from the front door to the back dock. I encourage organizations to begin this process by creating a series of automated analytical tools to assess the success or failure of these early innovation efforts. How long will it take your organization to round the bases and head towards home plate? Not as long as you might think, with smaller organizations having the

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advantage here. Small organizations (less than $10 million in revenue) could see this innovation journey take less than three years. Larger organizations, depending on their starting point, could take much longer. If you successfully complete this innovation journey, putting your organization in a position to thrive, not just survive, you will of course achieve your goals of overall business performance but you will also be setup for long-term success with these key attributes of a truly digital organization. Successful digital distributors can take the leap by having: • A programmer on the payroll • A handle on their data • High levels of internal efficiencies (automation) • Capacity and desire to optimize Andrew Johnson is a supply chain innovator and founder and CEO of ShelfAware, shelfaware.com. FPW

It’s not a web page, it’s an industry information site So much happens between issues of R&D World that even another issue would not be enough to keep up. That’s why it makes sense to visit rdworldonline.com and stay on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. It’s updated regularly with relevant technical information and other significant news to the design engineering community.

rdworldonline.com

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2/10/21 2:24 PM


ENERGY EFFICIENCY Ron Marshall • Contributing Editor

Compressed air fail: Dryer spitting ice? Recently, a reader wrote in with this question …

I’m the sole maintenance technician for a distribution facility. We have a compressed air system that involves two reciprocating compressors (20 years old), alternated in use every three months, with the other kept in reserve for emergency backup. Both are connected to a refrigerated dryer that uses a separation bowl with a float valve for draining the moisture. They are shut down properly each night and I start them up each morning. Recently the dryer’s drain suddenly started venting considerable air and spitting ice. I’ve replaced the float valve assembly (twice), bowl and all the internal parts and gaskets. Still, the drain keeps venting air after about 4-5 hours into operation. I’ve shut off the air to the dryer and drained the system — and sometimes the valve will shut and sometimes not. At this time, the loss of air is a hindrance to operations and production so I can’t do it often or for long. We’ve had the dryer refrigeration checked and it was found to be 11-lb low on freon, which they filled and checked the rest. We’ve added our dryer to their PM list. I’ve been told the problem could be caused by a freon leak which will be checked next PM date. What would cause an issue with the drain?

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Energy Efficiency FPW_21_Vs3.indd 34

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| Courtesy of Adobe Stock

So, it looks like you have a problem with the air dryer and/ or drain. The temperature at any point should not be getting low enough to form ice anywhere. Because you had to refill your dryer refrigerant, there is likely a refrigeration leak. Low refrigerant pressure can cause icing. Systems with reciprocating compressors are hard on air dryers, due to the pulsations produced and the high temperatures involved — so don’t expect very long life. Your condensate drains should not be blasting excessively; if it is a float drain, then minimal air should be released. It sounds like a replacement is needed. It might be time for a new dryer. If so, be sure to install one that is compatible with reciprocating compressors (usually a high temperature variety) and ensure it is sized large enough for worst case temperatures and flows. If you are located in a hot and humid environment, then oversizing may be required to ensure good dew point, or the installation of secondary coolers to reduce inlet air temperature. The lower the temperature, the less moisture needs to be removed by the dryer. Dryer manufacturers can help with selecting new equipment. FPW

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2/10/21 2:43 PM


P N E U M A T I C S

SMART PNEUMATICS: GATEWAY TO HIGHER EFFICIENCY, PRODUCTIVITY

Open and flexible IIoT systems can pinpoint leaks and faults, reduce downtime, increase throughput and, ultimately, improve the bottom line. BY: Nils Beckmann Product Marketing Manager IIoT Integration • Emerson

The Industrial Internet of Things is bringing a digital transformation to individual machines and plant-wide operations. | All images courtsey of Emerson

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From food and beverage processing to packaged goods and factory automation, manufacturing facilities are turning to smart pneumatics for improved energy efficiency. In compressed air systems, improvements of just a few percentage points can mean tens of thousands of energy dollars saved each month. But smart pneumatics can offer much more than energy savings. By gathering process data from previously “unintelligent” valves, cylinders and air preparation units, a synergistic hardware and software combination can unlock insights that lead to reduced downtime, faster cycle times and higher overall productivity. Real-world challenges

In a pneumatic system, components are subject to wear that can lead to leakage. Over time, that leakage will increase, resulting in excess energy use, higher operating costs and a larger carbon footprint. In fact, the average manufacturing plant wastes up to 35% of compressed air annually due to leakage, with larger leaks contributing to significant energy loss, more machine downtime and added costs. We’ve seen some plants lose more than $50,000 per year, per machine! For many operators, identifying and addressing the losses in a compressed air system can also impact their overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), because air leakage is often a sign of other performance issues. OEE is a “best practices” measurement of productivity within a manufacturing process. In essence, it identifies the percent of planned production time that is truly productive. OEE can be determined by the following variables: • • •

Availability: This is the uptime of the machine. Is the process running continuously during planned production times? Performance: This aspect relates to the speed of the machine. Is the process running as fast as possible, and without slow cycles? Quality: This relates to the end product, which can be affected by component wear and poor or erratic machine performance. Is the production free of defects and reworks?

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P N E U M A T I C S

Digital transformation for discrete and hybrid applications

Smart pneumatics combined with an open software platform that’s programmable and scalable ensures that wellengineered monitoring systems can grow along with future needs and expectations.

An OEE score of 100% represents perfect production: a machine manufactures only good parts, as fast as possible, with no downtime. Anything less than a perfect mark in availability, performance or quality will reduce the total OEE score. A score of 85% is considered world class, and many manufacturers see it as a suitable long-term goal. Studies from the pneumatic systems experts at Emerson indicate a typical packaging line’s OEE is only about 45% to 55%. The good news: there is ample opportunity for improvement. Clearly those systems operating at or near design capacity are more energy efficient — and more profitable — than those that don’t. But maximizing productivity down to the individual machine level is necessary to truly understand where efficiencies can be gained and costs reduced.

For example, compressed air optimization is an IIoT-powered advancement made possible by continuously monitoring the flow of air in a system to detect leaks in real time, while also capturing other data such as pressure and temperature in the feed line. Transforming the raw data from a smart pneumatic system into something actionable is the key to reducing downtime, lowering energy costs, enabling faster cycle times and increasing overall productivity.

Smart pneumatics opportunities

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is revolutionizing manufacturing, packaging and related process industries and is bringing digital transformation to pneumatic operations of virtually any size. This transformation allows operators to capture and process data from pneumatic and other machine elements to unlock new production insights. 38

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The AVENTICS AF2 flow sensor provides real-time insights on air flow, while also capturing pressure and temperature data in the feed line.

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But how can you be sure the machine data you’re gathering is actionable? And how can you apply this data to improve shop floor operations and higher-level decision-making? Straightforward approaches

Smart pneumatics monitoring can easily be achieved on the local level — no cloud required — starting with just a few data points. Using components like Emerson’s AVENTICS Series AF2 Flow Sensor to measure airflow or


on specific pain points, project scope can be defined and the results can be easier to quantify. Meanwhile, it’s important to ensure that the chosen monitoring solution is scalable and can grow along with future needs and expectations. A provider with a complete portfolio can help avoid stacking up devices, which adds costs over the long term. Operators should use caution when

The AVENTICS Smart Pneumatics Analyzer (SPA) lets customers easily access real-time data to monitor pneumatic system parameters and improve overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

the portable AVENTICS Smart Pneumatics Analyzer (SPA), the system can identify any machine exhibiting a problem and create alerts accordingly, presenting easy-to-use dashboards or sending alerts to end users in real time. By starting small on just a handful of individual parts, operators can obtain actionable insights without the need for heavy data analysis — and very quickly realize a reduction in costs, improved production quality, increased throughput and, in the case of pneumatic systems, reduced energy consumption. In one recent example, Emerson worked with a packaging machine builder to provide powerful analytics that can help deliver efficient, scalable OEE increases on palletizing and depalletizing equipment. Instead of complicated sets of data, the analytics solution — based on Emerson’s PACEdge IIoT platform — pinpoints which specific actuators or valve manifolds are underperforming and provides guidance to address the suspected issues. Easy to develop and implement, this platform can also provide predictive maintenance suggestions based on cycle counts or other parameters. It can provide root-cause analysis in real time, along with a range of warnings or critical alerts. Data is collected and visualized independent of the main machine controller, so it is suitable for legacy or third-party controllers. By initially focusing on a few machines or

THE OPERATING EFFECTIVENESS OF A TYPICAL PACKAGING LINE IS ONLY ABOUT 45% TO 55%. considering partners or products that might tie them to specific equipment, gateways, cloud services or other confined ecosystems. Some solutions may also require significant time and up-front capital investment. For example, in one approach, data may be collected and forwarded from the programmable logic controller (PLC) through a gateway to the cloud. Another approach may connect the pneumatics and other modules directly to the PLC. From there, data must still go to the cloud for analytics and visualization. Both scenarios involve passing through the PLC. This may require significant

A CLOSE-UP LOOK AT PACEdge Emerson’s PACEdge IIoT platform combines edge

analytics, visualization and advanced application-enablement software that lets end users and OEMs increase visibility into asset/machine health and performance. PACEdge simplifies development, deployment and administration with a modern open-source toolset and intuitive interface to help increase the speed and scalability of digital transformation projects. Combined with Emerson’s powerful PACSystems edge computing products, users can take advantage of a single, seamless edge solution with open, industrial connectivity capability that decreases development time and cost. Emerson’s PACSystems RXi2-BP edge computer, RXi2LP edge gateway and the groundbreaking PACSystems RX3i CPL410 edge controller are all supported and available with the

The versatile Emerson PACSystems RXi2 edge controller combines a PLC and edge technology in a single unit. PACEdge IIoT software stack, providing a broad set of solutions for customers’ programming, visualization, and analytics needs. In fact, Emerson has recently launched a new version of the AVENTICS Smart Pneumatics Monitor (SPM) based on PACEdge. This new Smart Pneumatics Monitor, using the RXi2-LP edge gateway, has several benefits over the previous SPM. That includes more computing power and data storage, as well as the possibility to connect multiple air flow sensors or valve systems to a single edge device. It also offers more advanced data visualization within the device.

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P N E U M A T I C S

Emerson’s SPA software can be used in combination with a Smart Pneumatics Analyzer and an AF2 Ethernet airflow sensor. It provides easy-to-read data on flow, pressure, air consumption and leakage, as well as actionable insights into areas like the costs of consumption and leakages, and CO2 footprint.

changes to the PLC logic to capture analytics via the cloud by way of the PLC for “local” visualization. For manufacturing operations without the desire or infrastructure to support complex cloud scenarios, highly flexible and secure systems like those offered by Emerson can provide productivity and energy savings without requiring a cloud environment for real-time visualization of data. Collection modules like sensors or other edge devices can connect directly through a gateway without changing the PLC. This is significant because changing the PLC logic can require considerable time and resource investment, and many operations may not want to change their PLC programming, particularly in brownfield applications. With more flexible options like those offered by Emerson, brownfield operations can have data contextualized either via the cloud or at the local edge device, regardless of the controller being used. And in greenfield applications, a customer can replace the PLC architecture with a versatile edge controller such as Emerson’s PACSystems RXi2, which combines the PLC and edge technology in a single unit. Unlike traditional, consumer-based IoT items, industrial IoT equipment typically offers a high degree of cross compatibility — a factor critical to ensuring smooth coexistence using open software that is programmable and scalable, like the PACEdge platform. Open communication protocols can be cloud-based, on the premises or integrated into existing software systems. Examples of these include OPC UA and MQTT. The AF2 Series Flow Sensor mentioned previously, for example, is compatible with OPC UA, enabling users to connect directly to upper-level systems or another IIoT gateway for advanced analytics. Whether local or cloud-based, the best suppliers of IIoT technologies will tailor their systems based on an operator’s current infrastructure and then deliver machine insights via gateways, control systems or these open IIoT protocols. A knowledgeable, flexible technology supplier will take a consultative approach to any IIoT implementation and will take the time to fully understand the requirements of an operator’s specific needs. Tangible benefits

In the past, it didn’t make sense to invest in monitoring relatively low-cost pneumatic parts — the expense and associated production downtime for replacement were simply accepted as normal business. But now, information has changed the game. A single, faulty individual actuator may contribute to a larger problem impacting the efficiency of an entire system. When properly leveraged, smart pneumatics powered by the IIoT can help 40

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manufacturers find things like deficient actuators and more — they can connect islands of automation, unlock trapped machine data and radically increase OEE. Where there are several, perhaps dozens of machines involved in producing a single product, the effect can be profound. An inefficiency in one machine can create a cascading effect across the entire plant. By connecting islands of information, a typical operator can expect ROI to be delivered in several ways: •

• •

Less downtime: Smart pneumatics can help better inform maintenance and production teams of growing issues within the machine by measuring usage and cycle time to monitor wear. Combined with cycle indicators, operators can gain insight into remaining system life and can use predictive maintenance to reduce production downtime. Greater savings: With fewer leaks the overall system will require less energy, saving energy costs while reducing the total carbon footprint. Increased productivity: Smart pneumatics can provide notifications and alerts that advise of leaks, anomalies or threshold breaches during manufacturing. This, in turn, can help ensure optimal OEE and maximized productivity.

Working with a group that can provide a total approach — from pneumatics to machine control and the application enablement platform — can help operators of any size optimize their processes and unlock new production insights. The knowledge to avoid unplanned downtime, reduce energy costs, improve cycle times and increase overall productivity is all made possible through smart pneumatics and the powerful insights they can deliver through a system like the PACEdge platform. FPW

Emerson | emerson.com/en-us

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H E A T

E X C H A N G E R S

Hydraulics keep their

cool Heat exchangers help remove heat from hydraulic power units, helping to maintain fluid viscosity and reduce wasted energy. BY: Josh Cosford, Contributing Editor

For

all its myriad benefits, hydraulics still has a fundamental downside — heat. Adhering to the Laws of Thermodynamics, we must accept

that any energy conversion results in increased entropy. In other words, converting mechanical energy from the prime mover into hydraulic energy by the pump is not entirely efficient. In fact, most hydraulic systems waste an excessive amount of energy, unfortunately. Any component bypassing flow without doing useful work squanders every last drop as pure heat. It is common knowledge that pumps create heat. In order of inefficiency rank, the prevailing offenders are gerotor motors/pumps, gear motors/pumps, vane pumps, and then piston motors/pumps. The ranking isn’t concrete, but you get the idea that some offend more than others. We can’t singularly blame the pump for creating all the heat in our system. The fundamental design plays a large role as well, such as choosing a load sensing, variable flow system over its fixed flow counterpart. Better still, even a servo motor-driven fixed pump controlled in a closed-loop with sophisticated electronics may waste less energy than said load-sensing system. This article isn’t going to tackle the vast topic of efficient energy use, but rather submit to the heat and discuss how to remove it from your precious hydraulic oil. A heat exchanger transports that entropy away from your power unit, helping maintain ideal viscosity, amongst other benefits. There are two significant methods of heat exchange, each of which employs differing technologies of their own. Hydraulic fluid may be cooled or heated via either air or liquid transfer. It’s rare to see anything other than an electric heater, so we’ll keep our conversation to coolers. Liquid-to-air and liquid-to-liquid coolers comprise the hydraulic heat exchangers’ two popular choices, which themselves each offer variations. 42

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The COLW (Cool Loop, Water Cooled) series is an example of a heat exchanger using shell and tube (finned bundle) design. | All images courtesy of API Heat Transfer


Liquid-to-liquid coolers

Liquid-to-liquid coolers offer extreme thermal efficiency. The heat transfer rate from one liquid to another is exponentially greater than from a liquidto-air alone. The thermal efficiency of water or water-based coolant makes the liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger a top choice anywhere water or coolant is freely available in a manufacturing environment. The downside to liquid-to-liquid coolers is the clear need for a cooling medium. The municipal water supply provides the easiest access to unlimited water, depending on your geography, since you merely connect the coolant ports to the tap and drain, respectively. However, unless your cashflow provides unlimited resources on par with your tap water, this method is not the most economical. Manufacturing with access to industrial water supply, such as a river or underground aquafer, can better use open-loop cooling, where wastewater ends up in the sewers or back into the water table. River water offers an advantage over closed-circuit cooling systems; river water is vastly colder unless a chiller is employed. A high delta between the coolant and the hot hydraulic fluid ensures the liquid’s thermal efficiency is exploited. Closed-circuit (also called closed-loop) cooling systems require exhausting the collected heat away from the coolant. Plants with closed-circuit cooling typically equip a cooling tower outside the facility, either on the roof or at an exterior wall. The tower is a sizeable liquid-to-air heat exchanger, which rejects thermal energy into the atmosphere. Towers are often massive, sometimes larger than a house. A coolant tower cannot cool oil to lower than the outside temperature, making it less effective in the summer or warm climates. Liquid cooling types

Regardless of your coolant source, the liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger has two major construction types — the shell and tube cooler and brazed plate cooler. Each cooler has its advantages, but often their choice comes down to designer or technician preference. The shell and tube cooler consists of a series of thermally efficient metal tubes, typically aluminum or copper, running the length of a large tube’s interior. The hydraulic fluid runs through the smaller, interior tubes. With the single pass straight-tube variety, the fluid path is parallel across many tubes brazed or pressed to a plate at either end to separate the media. Ports are located on end faces.

The fluid path may snake around through one or many bent tubes, at which point both inlet and outlet ports will be adjacent to each other at one end. This U-tube heat exchanger is simpler to construct since one set of tubes enters and exits on the same endplate. A semi-hybrid construction is a two-pass cooler, which has elements of the straight-tube and U-tube designs. Fluid enters into one of the baffle-separated coolant ports, flows through the shell to the openend cap before returning to the ported end. A fourpass design builds on this with a set of baffles guiding fluid through the shell four times to provide the longest dwell time. The plate cooler is slightly newer to the game but certainly no less effective. They might be the most effective method of transferring damaging heat away from your valuable hydraulic components. They utilize industrial water the same way tube-and-shell coolers do, but they can remove much more heat with any given flow rate. Plate coolers consist of a set of stamped and sandwiched channel plates. The plates may be manufactured from thin sheets of copper, aluminum or stainless, although many have hybrid construction. A herringbone pattern stamped into the channel plates increases surface area ever so slightly and adds turbulence to the fluid. The turbulence may increase pressure drop slightly but improves cooling enough to offset the downside. Plate coolers may be manufactured in various ways, although the standouts are the gasketed and brazed configurations. Gasketed plate heat exchangers use thick endplates to sandwich the stamped channel plates together using many tie rods, all sealed with gaskets. This method is easy to manufacture and also easy to modify. To increase flow rate or cooling capacity, add extra sections of channel plates and compress them together with longer tie rods. The brazed plate cooler is manufactured from similar stamped channel plates but shaped to allow brazing after assembly, permanently fixing the stack together in a small, efficient package. The channel plates alternate in orientation to create separate flow paths for the hot oil and the coolant, leaving www.fluidpowerworld.com

BP industrial hydraulic oil coolers feature a brazed plate design.

Interior construction of Basco Type 500 shell and tube heat exchangers.

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H E A T

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just one surface with all four ports. Some consider the brazed plate cooler the new standard in compact, efficient cooling. Liquid-to-air designs

Schmidt Sigma gasketed plate heat exchangers use corrugated plates stacked between a fixed and movable pressure plate. As virtually all of the material is used for heat transfer, they can have large amounts of effective heat transfer surface in a small footprint.

quality matters. every time.

DURABLE. RELIABLE.

HOSE, CORD, & CABLE

PRO GRADE REELS SOLUTIONS FOR:

Most manufacturing plants and all mobile hydraulic machines do not enjoy access to industrial water. A liquid-to-air heat exchanger passes hot hydraulic fluid through its cooling element, where forced airflow evacuates heat away into the atmosphere. As you would guess, more than one style of liquid-to-air heat exchanger makes its way onto your hydraulic power unit or mobile machine. The venerable tube-and-fin heat exchanger is used everywhere from hydraulic power units to refrigerators and is the most economical heat dispersal method. The construction quality of tube-and-fin coolers varies vastly, with some a simple fin-covered snaked tube. Like other coolers, the material of choice is copper and aluminum. More efficient tube-and-fin coolers wind a copper tube through lengths of pleated fins, sometimes passing through twice for extra cooling. Like liquid-to-liquid coolers, liquid-to-air coolers have evolved to improve efficiency. Although tube-and-fin heat exchangers are economical, they simply lack the heat dispersal of their bar and fin sibling. The bar-and-fin cooler uses extruded, hollow bars of aluminum sandwiched between sections of plated aluminum fins. Hot oil flows through the bars to transfer thermal energy to the fins, where high-velocity air carries the heat away. These well received coolers ensure manufacturers are continually innovating. Each manufacturer offers a unique form of turbulator, which creates thermally efficient turbulence to improve heat transfer. They take the form of nubs, fins, spirals or tabs, and make a significant difference over plain bore fluid channels. All liquid-to-air heat exchangers are most efficient with the highest possible airflow across their cooling fins. Some mobile machinery may provide that moving air via the engine’s cooling fan, or perhaps even by the vehicle’s velocity. However, the majority of coolers employ some form of fan-operated forced air action. Electric fans are smart when the extra electrical capacity exists, and manufacturers offer everything from 12 Vdc to 575 Vac electric motors, depending on the applications. Of course, the electric motor’s quality and power vary vastly, ranging from a hundred watts up to 500 W or more. You haven’t lived, however, until you’ve witnessed the power of a hydraulic motor-driven heat exchanger. Powerful mobile hydraulic machines operating in warm environments need nextlevel heat dissipation. Imagine a 15-hp cooler moving thousands of cfm on route to a half-million BTU worth of heat removal. Heat exchangers are critical to the performance and longevity of your hydraulic machinery. Nearly every hydraulic system benefits from extra cooling capacity, and luckily manufacturers offer efficient and economical options for every machine. FPW

AIR / WATER | HYDRAULIC | PNEUMATIC | VACUUM | WELDING | POWER AND MORE

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In-line or manifold mounted filters for high pressure circuits are used as working filters with the task of protecting a single valve or the entire hydraulic circuit from fluid contamination in compliance with international ISO 4406 standards. Six (6) versions are available with working pressures that range from 1595 to 8120 PSI.

PASSION TO PERFORM

www.mpfiltriusa.com (215) 529-1300 sales@mpfiltriusa.com


Although you won’t see a crowded show floor like these images from 2020’s Work Truck Show, organizers promise the same type of educational and networking opportunities in a virtual format.

WORK TRUCK SHOW REIMAGINED AS WEEK-LONG DIGITAL EVENT

WORK TRUCK WEEK 2021 WILL BE HELD ONLINE MARCH 8-12, OFFERING PRODUCT UPDATES, DEMOS, ONLINE CONFERENCES AND VIRTUAL EXPOSITION BY: MARY C. GANNON, EDITOR

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THE WORK TRUCK SHOW, which was

industry-specific educational sessions,

probably one of the last events any fluid

opportunities to connect with leading

power professionals attended last year,

manufacturers and suppliers, and a

is now Work Truck Week. NTEA – The

media day. Participating companies

Association for the Work Truck Industry

will share the latest information on

has reimagined Work Truck Week 2021

work trucks, equipment and other new

(WTW21) to be a new online event for

products through their listings, which

the commercial vehicle industry March

may include live demos, presentations,

8–12. The event will include exclusive

visuals and downloadable content, as

product updates from work truck OEMs,

well as contact information.

www.fluidpowerworld.com


W O R K

The event features more than 20 manufacturers and distributors in the fluid power space, who will be highlighting new services and products throughout the week. See the list of key fluid power companies in the sidebar to the right.            WTW21 is a reimagined way to connect the commercial vehicle community and to provide the product news, market trends and operational insights the industry has come to expect from The Work Truck Show in a virtual environment. WTW21 will also include components of the popular Green Truck Summit in the form of Green Hour educational sessions and Advanced Chassis Update Sessions from battery electric vehicle manufacturers. WTW21 registration is open at worktruckshow.com. “Of course, we would much rather meet in person like we do every year at The Work Truck Show,” said Steve Carey, NTEA president and CEO. “But just because we can’t be together face-to-face doesn’t mean that the important work our industry does can be put on hold. The global pandemic has highlighted the vital role that the industry plays in keeping people safe, supplied and connected. NTEA is committed to continuing to fulfill our long-standing role of bringing together all the players in the commercial vehicle marketplace — OEMs, upfitters, body builders, leasing companies, fleets and others — to share information and work together to deliver the vehicles that are so critical to our economy and support every aspect of our daily lives. We just have to do it differently this year.” Exhibitor demos, OEM Update Sessions, industry education and Green Hour sessions run Tuesday, March 9– Thursday, March 11. Advanced Chassis Update Sessions wrap up the week on Friday, March 12. View the full event schedule at worktruckshow.com/ wtw21schedule.  During OEM Update Sessions, leading work truck chassis manufacturers will share the latest chassis specifications and options, as well as future commercial vehicle plans. OEMs that produce battery electric chassis will discuss features and benefits of these vehicles from a technical and upfitting

perspective during the Advanced Chassis Update Sessions on Friday. The WTW21 educational lineup includes analysis of relevant economic and market trends with presentations from Steve Latin-Kasper, NTEA senior director of market data and research; Tim Campbell, managing director of Campbells Consultancy; and Andrej Divis, director, automotive, global heavy truck research for IHS Markit. Other sessions include Building Better Vehicle Specs, Implications of Vehicle Certification Labeling Requirements, and Work Trucks and Trailering – Are You Prepared? Green Hour sessions will highlight new technology and efforts to move to a zero-emission environment. WTW21 creates access and opportunities to connect with contacts at companies across the work truck industry. When visiting exhibitor listings, registered attendees can chat and email with company representatives during the live event March 8–12 and on-demand through April 9. Advance registration pricing of $39 for NTEA members and $69 for nonmembers is available through Feb. 8. Starting Feb. 9, prices increase to $49 members and $79 nonmembers. On-demand access for registered attendees is available through April 9. Learn more and register at worktruckshow.com.

T R U C K

S H O W

P R E V I E W

Fluid Power Exhibitors AIRman Products APSCO Barko Hydraulics Bauer Compressors Bucher Hydraulics Casappa Corp. Certified Power Solutions Chelsea Products Div. of Parker Compressed Air Systems LLC DEL Hydraulics Eaton Force America GS Global Resources Harrison Hydra-Gen Higginson Equipment Inc. dba EconoMAX KS Hydraulic Machinery Co. Ltd. MTE Hydraulics Muncie Power Products Permco Vanair Manufacturing Inc. VMAC – Vehicle Mounted Air Compressors

FPW

www.fluidpowerworld.com  

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M E S S E

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P R E V I E W

Hannover Fair 2021: Innovation in the age of industrial transformation The iconic industrial trade show will take place from April 12-16 as an entirely virtual event, with expo, conference, and networking opportunities.

Festo will feature the Productivity Master at the Hannover Messe. This modular demonstration system combines pneumatic, mechanical and electric technologies, and it uses a cloudbased concept for remote process control and diagnostics. The automation platform provides an integrated and practical system that balances between mass production and individualization of a finished product.

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IN THE MIDST OF THE COVID-19 CRISIS, industry has faced

to Dr. Jochen Köckler, CEO of Deutsche Messe AG, industry

unprecedented upheaval. For instance, the pandemic has

faces a crucial question: Which strategies, measures and

accelerated digitalization but, at the same time, it has

partnerships ensure competitiveness? The Hannover Messe

exposed the vulnerability of global supply chains. According

Digital Edition looks to provide the answers, he said.

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Taking place from April 12 to 16 as an entirely virtual event, this year’s Hannover Messe features an expo, conference and ample networking opportunities. The goal is to create the greatest added value for both visitors and exhibitors, explained Köckler. “Industrial companies have to carry out in a few months what would otherwise have taken years,” said Köckler. “This requires a platform where challenges can be discussed, solutions presented and networks expanded — which is exactly what the Hannover Messe Digital Edition is all about. Even in times of Corona, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology remains the central platform for innovations and solutions surrounding industrial transformation.” In the expo area, visitors will have direct access to extensive product overviews from more than 1,000 exhibitors. Areas of interest include fluid power, compressed air and vacuum technologies; mechanical and electrical drives, automation and robotics; and digital platforms, VR and AR, and predictive maintenance. Other key topics include additive manufacturing, energy efficiency and e-mobility. Each company and organization will showcase new-product highlights, best-case applications, video technology tutorials, and exhibitor live-streaming events, with the potential for follow-up conferencing with presenters and participants. In addition, video chats will enable visitors to not only learn about specific solutions for optimizing their processes, but also to enter into direct exchanges with exhibiting companies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will open Hannover Messe Digital Edition to all attendees and exhibitors. The virtual conference program begins on Monday, April 12, with an emphasis on economic policy issues, such as the coronavirus’s effect on globalization, and how transatlantic relations will change in the post-Trump era. The day concludes with a ceremony announcing the winner of the prestigious Hermes Award for technical innovation.

From Tuesday to Thursday, the conference focus is on engineering advances, successful applications and long-term future strategies. Major topics range from IIoT, AI and IT security to carbon-neutral production and alternative energy sources like hydrogen. The WomenPower career congress takes place on Friday, April 16, under the motto “Reset. Rethink.Restart.” The program includes keynotes by industry leaders, workshops, panel discussions and numerous collaboration possibilities. A key component of this year’s digital fair is the ample opportunity for networking. “For more than 70 years people from all over the world have traveled to Hannover to see new products, exchange ideas and discuss concepts like automation, decentralized systems or lightweight designs,” said Köckler. That will be the case again this year as individualized dashboards will let attendees search for specific products, find educational video tutorials, learn about successful applications, join in video chats, and directly contact conference speakers, exhibitors and like-minded visitors. Digital formats are not perfect, admits Köckler. But in light of the pandemic, visitors and exhibitors alike can nonetheless profit from Hannover’s virtual platform. “We are still the Olympics of technology, every year companies come here to show their best technology, innovation ideas and new developments,” he said, in a unique setting that combines everything from automation, energy and logistics to engineered materials. Coronavirus is a game-changer for industry in terms of globalization, digitalization and automation. The Hannover Messe Digital Edition, said Köckler, promises to be the global platform for innovation, networking and orientation in the age of industrial transformation.

Emerson will explain how its industrial edge and analytics systems let manufacturers improve uptime and efficiency. Suited for a wide range of pneumatic, fluid control and motion control applications, the company’s hardware and software include Aventics flow sensors and Smart Pneumatics Analyzer, a suite of edge controllers, and PACEdge IIoT software, a new edge analytics product for creating applications that provide operational and enterprise-level data and insights.

FPW

Hannover Messe hannovermesse.de

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PRODUCT WORLD

Compact manually operated directional control valve

Linear displacement transducer

    

 

The LM06W series of manually operated poppet valves has a number of benefits for the user which include: • • • • •

Push to operate, spring return Normally closed poppet valve Leak tight even at high pressures Robust simple operation Use for emergency pilot apply/release for safe equipment operation

It is rated for pressures to 5,000 psi, and flows to 4 gpm. These manually operated poppet valves feature an ultra-compact footprint. Users can install them almost anywhere, thereby increasing the presence of emergency flow stops and starts for a safer overall operation. In addition, the valve is cost-effective and widely available.

Shock- and vibration-resistant differential pressure gauge   The Ashcroft 1147 differential pressure gauge delivers a cost-effective measurement solution for tank level, filtration, and flow monitoring. Available in 4 ½ and 6-in. diameter dials, the 1147 introduces a 270° dial arc for increased resolution. It also has an upgraded movement that ensures smoother pointer motion when subjected to shock and vibration. This gauge is available in low DP ranges from 30 to 2000 in. H2O and manages liquid or gas pressures up to 1,000 psi. Options include additional body materials and various mounting capabilities along with a switch feature for control of a pressure alarm or shutdown. The case is designed to allow easy removal of the gauge window for cleaning.

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2 • 2021

Gemco’s 959CT is a linear displacement transducer in a rod-style package. The sensor is designed to address the OEM market, with a focus on industries and markets that use hydraulic cylinders. With its all-stainless-steel construction, the 959CT is suitable for caustic applications and machines with high-cycle rates, such as those found in lumber yards, tire and rubber plants, bailers, plastics manufacturing, packaging, the marine industry, or other applications that require linear position feedback. The 959CT is a rugged and accurate non-contact linear displacement transducer. The housing is IP68 rated and is less than 2-in. in-depth, allowing it to be installed in applications where traditional rod-style transducers will not fit, or in applications where customers want to simplify installation and serviceability of the sensor. The transducer uses Gemco’s field-proven magnetostrictive technology to give absolute analog position feedback, making it accurate to 0.04% of the programmable sensing distance.

www.fluidpowerworld.com


Compressed air energy saving modules

Industrial strength water removal system

 

 

The MSE6-C2M (C2M) and the MSE6-D2M (D2M) modules can pay for themselves in less than a year with the energy savings accrued. The platform provides actionable information that supports quality production. The modules in this platform automatically shut off the air supply to a machine when in standby mode, thus reducing energy consumption. They monitor system pressure and flow information in real time and enable faster response to compressed air leaks. These units flow up to 5,000 liters of compressed air per minute; program easily; connect to Festo MS series air preparation units, including the MS6-SV safety valve; and are suitable for new as well as existing machines. The new C2M is an intelligent combination of a proportional pressure regulator, on/off valve, sensors, and fieldbus communication. It monitors the flow rate and, when production is not taking place, it automatically shuts off after a defined idle time. At the same time, the module prevents the system pressure from falling below a defined standby pressure level. The lower pressure level saves energy without completely depressurizing the system, which is essential for soft start and safety functionality. The proportional pressure regulator also allows the user to define normal operating pressure. This feature means there is always control over the operating pressure and an adjustment point is eliminated on the machine, helping with tamper-proofing and with automating changeovers. The C2M can be fully integrated into the machine network via PROFINET and also through the Festo CPX platform, which is compatible, as is the E2M, with major fieldbus protocols, including Ethernet/IP and EtherCAT.

Water contamination in hydraulic systems can severely reduce the life of systems and fluids. Schroeder’s Triton A (as part of the Triton Dehydration Station Series) eliminates 100% of free and up to 90% of dissolved water from small reservoirs, barrels, and gear boxes. Using its patented transfer process, the Triton A efficiently removes water and particulate contamination quickly in all environments. The proprietary design also reduces aeration of free and entrained gases of returned fluid. The unit is mobile due to its cart body and portable allowing easy access to tight areas.

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PRODUCT WORLD

Hydraulic sealing for aerospace Trelleborg Sealing Solutions tss.trelleborg.com New generation Turcon VL Seal offers enhanced sealing efficiency, easier installation, and even greater reliability. Extensive testing proves its outstanding ‘zero’ leakage performance. Compared to the Turcon VL Seal, the Turcon VL Seal II back-pumping performance more than doubled up to 3,000 psi and nearly doubled at pressures up to 5,000 psi. Accumulative leakage was around 4 ml less and significantly lower (around a half) from 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 cycles. The unidirectional rod seal for reciprocating movements, consists of an “L” shaped Turcon jacket energized by an O-Ring. An angled seal back allows seal width adjustment to service pressure, improving leakage control, while a leading protective front lip safeguards the sealing edge during hardware assembly. In addition, the seal’s FEA optimized design improves support for and containment of the O-Ring. It is available in a range of Turcon materials. These are combined with O-Ring compounds suitable for use in all hydraulic fluids and service parameters.

Smart IoT Compressed Air Device Delivers Advanced System Diagnostic and Energy Efficiency Saving energy is easier than ever before thanks to the MSE6-E2M. Achieve your energy efficiency and sustainability targets while optimizing process equipment performance. Intelligent assembly features include: • • • •

Zero compressed air consumption in standby mode Monitors the system for leaks Ensures maintenance in the event of leaks Enables effective real-time monitoring of relevant process data www.festo.us

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FLUID POWER WORLD


NFPA tie rod air cylinders   The NITRA pneumatic product line now includes the D2-series double-acting, NFPA heavy-duty tie rod air cylinders for abusive conditions. These pneumatic air cylinders have a 250 psi operating pressure and are interchangeable with other popular brands. New models are available with and without adjustable cushions to provide end-of-stroke deceleration at both ends. All D2-series cylinders are constructed with high-quality aluminum components and a magnetic piston fitted with a PTFE wear band; all cylinders have a magnetic piston and can be used along with solid-state or reed switches for rod position sensing. The series includes bore sizes from 1-1/2 to 4-in. and stroke lengths from 1 to 32-in. to meet a broad range of applications. Models feature flange, rear clevis and rear pivot, side, base and rod clevis mounting options.

LVIT inductive linear sensors  

 The SS-7 series LVIT (Linear Variable Inductive Transducer) is designed for subsea environments and the demands of oil and gas exploration. The SS-7 is designed to be embedded into a hydraulic cylinder and uses the gun-drilled piston rod as a target, sensing its position without the need for a magnet. The SS-7 series can be submerged to a depth of 12,000-ft or installed in a PBOF (pressure balanced oil filled) chamber to provide position feedback on blow out preventers, ROVs and relief valves.

Break down? Get it now!

Features: • Uses piston rod as target 316 Stainless • Steel 25-mm diameter housing • Measurement ranges from 1 to 24 in. (25 to 600 mm) • Operates to 5,200 psi or 12,000-ft (3,000 m) depth • Contactless; no wear-out • DC voltage or current analog output • SenSet Field Adjustable Scaling

DISTRIBUTED BY: KR West 909 Hyland Avenue Kaukauna, WI 54130 920-766-0113 krwest.com WI KS, + UPM AREA SERVED: IL,

2 • 2021

FLUID POWER WORLD

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milwaukeecylinder.com


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CONVERSATIONS WITH WOMEN IN ENGINEERING

January 27 February 24 March 31

Over the past three years, Design World has featured an annual Women in Engineering (WIE) issue. We are now bringing this great editorial coverage to life through the NEW 2021 WIE CHAT SERIES. Our dynamic team will be hosting Zoom-like panel discussions, interviewing some of these great women who are expanding the engineering field.

All chats at 2:00 p.m. ET

Our October 2020 WIE issue had so much buzz around it — both in print and online — that we feel it’s our duty to help bring this series to life in 2021. What better way than by having live conversations with some of the most interesting and innovative Women in Engineering!

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1/8/21 10:45 AM


COMPONENT FOCUS Ken Korane • Senior Editor

What is a conical screw compressor? A conical screw compressor is an offshoot of the

A conical screw compressor features an inner male rotor revolving inside the outer female rotor.

conventional screw compressor. In a typical screw compressor, two meshing helical screws or rotors are mounted side-byside in a housing. The rotors spin in opposite directions and draw air into the cavities between them. Volume decreases as air progresses along the rotors and compresses air, which is discharged at the outlet.

A conical screw compressor, in contrast, consists of the male (inner) screw revolving inside the female (outer) screw. Vert Rotors of Edinburgh, Scotland developed the first unit in 2013 and subsequently patented the design. The company also developed the proprietary mathematical algorithms and software used to generate the precision conical screws profiles, and it manufactures the screws with CNC machines capable of holding geometrical tolerances within ± 5 µm. A conical compressor does not have clearance between the male and female screws and the housing, because the female screw acts like a housing. This significantly reduces the leakage path for the gas and even a small (sub-1 kW) conical compressor remains highly efficient. As air travels along the rotors, the volume of the chamber reduces, increasing the pressure. Air is then ejected at the discharge end of the device at a higher pressure. The technology displays low noise and vibration characteristics and is capable of continuous operation. Versus conventional piston compressors that can operate at noise levels around 100 dB(A), conical compressors run significantly quieter, as low as 62 dB(A). The conical compressor is highly compact (because one screw sits inside the other), yet powerful. It produces two to three times higher pressure in a single stage, compared to competing products, and is capable of 20:1 pressure ratios. And a Vert conical compressor reportedly has double the efficiency of an equivalent scroll compressor, and double the single-stage pressure capability of a twin-screw compressor. Conical screw compressors vary in size. Vert Rotors has built and tested a range of designs, from a tiny 20 W screw compressor, which fits in the palm of a hand, to a large 10 kW machine producing 75 m3/h (44 cfm). This is a major difference from traditional twin-screw compressors, which cannot be smaller than 2.2 kW. Even the smallest conical screw

compressors successfully produce high pressure of 16 to 22 bar in a single stage. The company is applying the technology in a number of products. For example, a small 0.8-kW conical screw is 50% more efficient at 8 bar than alternative low-vibration scroll compressors of the same capacity. The Nautilus is a quiet “desktop” compressor for up to 300 psi pressure. And the new 1.6 kW A150 unit is rated at 10 bar and 150 lpm. Vert also produces custom designs, including a low-vibration/low-noise “supercompressor” which is said to be 200% more powerful and 89% lighter than others on the market, designed to improve satellite propulsion. FPW

Vert Rotors | vertrotors.com

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AD INDEX

Ace Controls .....................................27 Adaptall ............................................24 ALA Industries ..................................25 AutomationDirect .............................. 1 Beswick Engineering ........................18 Canfield Connector ..........................51 Clippard ............................................BC Coxreels ............................................44 Doering Co. ......................................11 Emerson Machine Automation Solutions ......................35 Festo .................................................52 Fluid Line Products...........................13 FluiDyne Fluid Power ......................IBC GSI Flo (Milwaukee Cylinder) ...........19

Hydraulex Global ................................ 5 Hydraulics Inc ...................................29 Intertraco ...........................................9 KR West (Milwaukee Cylinder) ........53 Main Mfg ............................................8 MP Filtri USA ....................................45 Panolin America ................................. 3 Peninsular Cylinder Co .....................23 Prince Manufacturing ......................21 SIKO ....................................................2 Super Swivels - Remanco Hydraulics .. 16 Tompkins Industries .................... IFC, 8 Ultra Clean Technologies ................... 7 Veljan Hydrair...................................41

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Precision Flow Control Designing efficient systems involves much more than simply understanding a few basic principles. There is a true art to balancing the specific requirements of an application in order to achieve the desired goals in the best possible way. Help us understand the unique needs of your application and together, we’ll develop something that surpasses what any of us could have done alone. Contact your distributor to learn more, or visit clippard.com to request a free catalog and capabilities brochure.

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Electronic Valves Proportional Valves Isolation Valves Precision Regulators

• • • •

Toggle & Stem Valves Needle Valves Electronic Pressure Controllers Pneumatic Assemblies

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