Page 1

Seals in construction machinery p. 36

Essential — clean, dry compressed air p. 46

Connected crimpers simplify hose assembly p. 52


October 2021


emphasizes innovation, efficiency PAGE 30

Cover FINAL 10-21_FPW.indd 1

10/19/21 11:35 AM



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9/8/2021 10/19/21 9:39:26 AM 11:54 AM

FLUIDLINES Josh Cosford • Contributing Editor

The venerable vane pump – is it still relevant? I’ll cut to the chase; the best days for the hydraulic vane pump are likely behind us — but they’re not quite ready for extinction. Let me tell you why I feel this way. Just like much of technology from the early days of the twentieth century, the vane pump came about as inventors searched for “the better mousetrap.” There were many ways to create the pressure and flow required for a hydraulic system, and alongside the piston and gear pump designs, the vane pump turned out to be a fantastic option. For many of the early decades, hydraulic systems could not function higher than 2,000 psi. This suited the vane pump perfectly — mainly the pressure-compensated vane pumps that arrived later in the game. The vanes take advantage of hydraulic pressure to force themselves against the cam ring to seal more effectively. However, as pressure rises, the force against those vanes becomes excessive, increasing friction and wear. Vane pumps also benefited from a design allowing the cam ring to move radially relative to the shaft rotation. By attaching a pressure compensator to one side, an increase in pressure above the opposing bias piston’s spring force will result in the cam ring moving towards its center of rotation, effectively reducing pump displacement. The pressure-compensated vane pump has dominated the machine tool industry, offering a quiet, somewhat efficient unit able to operate jaws or clamps at relatively low pressure. Even today, CNC machines everywhere use these pumps, their high demand maintaining their economical price point and quick delivery. Advances in technology and materials helped the modern fixed-vane pump achieve performance over 5,000 psi. A combination of hardened steel, tighter tolerance and a pitch in vane angle gives the pump higher durability when exposed to the upper reaches of hydraulic pressure. However, variable displacement technology never caught on for these high-pressure pumps. Most vane pumps are moderately priced, splitting the gap between the economical gear pump and the pricey piston pump. However, the vane pump’s modest advantages of low noise and slightly improved 2


10 • 2021

efficiency make them hard to justify over a gear pump, in most cases. As a result, their popularity has waned as consumers gravitated towards the inexpensive gear pump for low-end systems or the highperformance advantage of the piston pump. Not all is lost for the vane pump, however. Besides their lock on the machine tool industry, they are ideally suited for other niches better than their counterparts. Hydrostatic bearings use hydraulic pressure to support large diameter or high-speed bearings, providing lubrication and a liquid bearing surface. The high-pressure fixed vane pump provides up to 5,000 psi in some applications while being quieter and less expensive than the piston pump option and offering better contamination resistance. Fixed vane pumps have received more attention recently because, combined with closed-circuit drive systems, they provide a quiet and efficient closed-circuit pressure and flow control. Unlike the pressure compensated pump that reduces displacement to control pressure, the closed-circuit pump system uses pressure transducers to measure pressure, and then the PLC reduces the electric motor’s speed to exactly match the desired output pressure. With this type of technology behind it, the vane pump is not likely going away.



Specific applications, like machine tool, are ideal for vane pumps. Here, the VSQ (Vane-Speed-Quiet) pump series from Eaton was designed to provide operators with a minimum speed range of 0-50 rpm to decrease energy usage and improve efficiency in dynamic industrial applications like injection molding or metal forming.




Motion 10-21_FPW.indd 3

10/19/21 11:55 AM

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

When the manufacturing workforce has the upper hand This past August in suburban Chicago, John Manzella, of the Manzella Report, spoke on “Labor, International Trade, and What’s Ahead” at the annual NFPA International Economic Outlook Conference. One of the issues he touched on was the current labor shortage. He explained that we have job openings in this country like we really haven’t seen before, including roughly 826,000 jobs in manufacturing that need to be filled. Manzella also quoted a Deloitte study that said there will be a 2.4 million manufacturing job shortage here between 2018 and 2028, and that will cost companies $2.5 trillion in lost revenues. The question becomes, what can manufacturing employers do to keep the best and the brightest working for them? Manzella stressed that we’ve got to invest more in education, training, and engagement. Even employee recognition events and group activities are important — anything you can use to build rapport. “Once you attract those workers, the key is to keep them, and we’re finding it’s more and more difficult to do that; we’ve got to create strategies that breed happier, healthier, better educated employees that are more productive, and feel valued; they’re more likely to refer friends as a result because friends lead to referral programs. Offering more generous daycare options, which has been a strategy used in Europe for years (although it’s being subsidized to a much greater extent) has worked. You’ll see that young women’s participation in Europe in the workforce is much, much higher than the U.S. In fact, I spoke with a company that actually purchased a daycare center, and I was told the results were just fantastic in terms of getting more younger people at the firm.” “For the first time in my life, workers now are really in the driver’s seat as opposed to the HR department,” he said. “Raising pay is always a great option, but for many companies it’s just impossible. I recently spoke to a group that provided cleaning staff to hotels. You may not necessarily be able to raise the wages too much higher, but they have different incentives, so it’s not by the hour, but it’s by how many rooms you cleaned that day — the metric side is slightly different, and very often beneficial to both sides. We’ve got to come up with a whole new set of strategies to appeal to this audience.” “I know some companies have jets in the organization, and very attractive break areas, outdoor seating, walking trails, games, catered lunches,” Manzella explained. “Sometimes they even gave employees a happy hour, which is a little risqué with liquor, but whatever you can do to keep your workers there longer is important.” FPW

Paul J. Heney

VP, Editorial Director pheney@wtwhmedia.com

On Twitter @wtwh_paulheney



10 • 2021



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OCTOBER 2021 C ontents |

vol 8 no 6






MINExpo emphasizes innovation, efficiency The latest mining machines spotlight low carbon emissions and high hydraulic performance. A primer on fluid power seals in construction machinery Understanding standards, materials, applications and fluid compatibility is critical to distributors working with hydraulic and pneumatic seals.


Streamlining equipment IIoT connectivity Micro-PLCs with support for Wi-Fi and industrial communication protocols make it possible to add IIoT to any type of machinery in an easy and incremental manner.


The necessity of clean, dry compressed air Learn some tips to ensure reliable, high-quality compressed air output at an affordable cost.


Is “smart crimping” the future in hose assembly? IoT-enabled crimpers can improve crimp production, keep track of data and simplify maintenance and troubleshooting.



30 36 40 D E PA R T M E N T S

46 52





From The Field


Korane’s Outlook


Association Watch




Design Notes




Distributor Update


Energy Efficiency




Component Focus


Ad Index

Innovations in mining machinery focus on low carbon emissions and high hydraulic performance, like the new EX2000-7 mining excavator. | courtesy of Hitachi

10 • 2021





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10 • 2021

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7/2/21 12:13 PM

KORANE’S OUTLOOK Ken Korane • Contributing Editor

Can a dirty industry come clean? Anyone who has worked underground or in surface mines knows that it’s a hard and dirty job. And the process of extracting ores and minerals usually has a negative environmental impact. For instance, consider the haul truck. According to “Pulling the weight of heavy truck decarbonization,” a report published by the Rocky Mountain Institute, globally there are around 28,000 large mine hauling trucks in service today, almost all of them dieselpowered. The average truck burns roughly 250,000 gallons of fuel per year and emits around 2,430 tons of CO2 — equivalent to emissions from about 1,500 Prius hybrids — as well as other health-concerning pollutants like NOx and ultrafine particulates. So to hear that mining firms and equipment manufacturers are embracing sustainability might seem to be a bit of a stretch. Nonetheless, these companies are getting serious about combating carbon emissions and upgrading their equipment and fleets. As just a few examples: Liebherr Mining has launched the Zero Emission Program to offer low carbon emissions across its full range of trucks and

excavators by 2022 and fossil fuel free hauling, digging, and dozing by 2030. Near-term solutions include haul-truck trolley assist systems and an expanded range of electric excavators. Longer-range R&D efforts focus on battery power, hybrid fuel cell-battery modules, and internal-combustion engines powered by renewable-based alternative fuels or ammonia. The company is partnering with industry experts ABB for electrification of mine sites and ENGIE for renewable hydrogen power. Komatsu’s new Greenhouse Gas Alliance includes large mining companies like Rio Tinto, BHP, Codelco and Boliden. Alliance members are actively collaborating on product development of next-generation zero-emission mining equipment and infrastructure. The group’s initial target is advancing Komatsu’s power agnostic truck concept for haulage vehicles that can run on a variety of power sources including dieselelectric, electric, trolley (wired), battery power and even hydrogen fuel cells. Mining giant BHP is partnering with Caterpillar to develop and deploy zeroemissions mining trucks at BHP sites and support its long-term goal of achieving net zero operational greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Likewise, Caterpillar has agreed

The Liebherr Trolley Assist System is an effective step on the road to zero emission mine sites. An overhead pantograph connects the truck’s electric-drive system to an electrical network.

to develop zero-emission machines for a Nouveau Monde graphite mining project in Québec, Canada. Cat will be the exclusive supplier of an all-electric mining fleet for deployment by 2028, powered by zero carbon footprint renewable hydro-electricity. And Volvo CE established an “emissionfree” quarry as a research project. The goal was to electrify each transport stage at the site near Gothenburg, Sweden, from excavation to primary and secondary crushing. Results showed a 98% reduction in carbon emissions, 70% reduction in energy cost and a 40% reduction in operating cost. A critical step that goes hand-in-hand with the push toward electrification is product developments that improve hydraulic efficiency. Equipment builders are demanding better performing pumps and valves, installing energy saving hydraulic regeneration circuits, and developing hydraulic management systems that electronically control and deliver the exact pressure and flow needed for each hydraulic function. The goal is to improve system efficiency, minimize losses and reduce overall power consumption. Continued R&D is essential, for example in the battle between hydrostatic drives and electric drives, especially for zero emission systems. Mining OEMs are making substantial investments in a carbon-free future, but the moves might not be entirely altruistic, considering the crushing defeat Big Oil suffered a few months ago. Investors ousted two board members at ExxonMobil for dragging their feet on climate change efforts, and forced Chevron management to take steps to reduce its carbon footprint after a pivotal climate vote. In Europe, a Dutch court ordered Shell to take much more aggressive action to slash its carbon emissions. Environmental groups called the results a landmark victory for climate justice, and predicted it will trigger a wave of litigation against big polluters. Equipment manufacturers and their customers have likely taken notice. FPW



10 • 2021



Solutions Under Pressure

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Industries Served: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Oil & Gas Industrial Hydraulics Mining Forestry Chemical & General Processing Plants Medical Aerospace Factories Mobile Equipment Defense Machine Tool Testing Equipment Ocean Depth Technology Automotive Food Processing Agriculture Industrial Aviation Petrochemical Marine Made In America Subsea

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4/8/21 4:31 PM

ASSOCIATION WATCH Edited by Mary C. Gannon • Editor

International Fluid Power Society announces 2022 board The International Fluid Power Society (IFPS) announces that Denis Poirier, Jr., CFPAI, CFPAJPP/AJPPCC, CFPCC, CFPIHM, was elected 2022 president and chair during the IFPS annual meeting. He is the 62nd president of the IFPS and will take office along with the 2022 Board of Directors in January 2022. Poirier Jr. began his career in the U.S. Navy where his primary job specialty incorporated the operation, maintenance, and repair of major caliber weapons delivery systems, small arms, and associated support equipment. He has more than 20 years of honorable military service with extensive experience in mechanics, hydraulics, pneumatics, electrical systems, electronic control systems, and automated delivery systems. He joined the Eaton Hydraulics Group in 2013 as a Senior Training Specialist and currently holds the position as the Training Operations Manager with Danfoss Power Solutions. He oversees instructor-led content, facilities, and learning materials. He is a licensed journeyman in the Electronics Mechanic trade; a Master Training Specialist with the Center for Naval Education and Training; a licensed Training Specialist with Southern Illinois University; holds a Bachelor of Science in Workforce Education and Development and is certified as an Accredited Instructor and Job Performance Exam Proctor with the IFPS.

IFPS welcomes the following new Directors-At-Large: • Brian Wheeler, CFPAI/AJPP, CFPMM, CFPMIP, The Boeing Co. • Ethan Stuart, CFPS, CFPECS, Wainbee Limited The following Directors-at-Large were re-confirmed during the annual meeting: • Stephen Blazer, CFPE, CFPS, CFPMHM, CFPIHT, CFPMHT Altec Industries • Steve Bogush, CFPAI/AJPP, CFPHS, CFPIHM – Proclain Hydraulics • Cary Boozer, PE, CFPE - Motion Industries Inc. • Lisa DeBenedetto, CFPS - Argo-Hytos • Daniel Fernandes, CFPECS, CFPS - Sun Hydraulics • Brian Kenoyer, CFPHS - Five Landis Corp. • Jon Rhodes, CFPAI, CFPS, CFPECS - CFC Industrial Training • Mohaned Shahin, CFPS - Parker Hannifin • Randy Smith, CFPHS - Northrop Grumman Corp. Honorary Directors-at-Large and Ex-Officio were also re-confirmed during the annual meeting: • Ex-Officio - Donna Pollander, ACA, Executive Director • Elizabeth Rehfus, CFPE, CFPS • Paul Prass, Fluid Power Journal • Robert Sheaf, CFPAI/AJPP, CFC Industrial Training Outgoing past president Jeff Kenney, CFPMHT, MHM, IHM and Directorat-Large, Brandon Gustafson, PE, CFPE, CFPS, CFPIHT, CFPMHM- Graco Inc., have completed their tenures on the IFPS Board.

The following officers were confirmed at the meeting: • First Vice President - Scott Sardina, PE, CFPAI, CFPHS Waterclock Engineering • Immediate Past President – Rocky Phoenix, CFPMMH, Open Loop Energy • Treasurer- Jeff Hodges, CFPAI/AJPP, CFPMHM- Altec Industries Inc. • Vice President Certification – James O’Halek, CFPAI/AJPP, CFPMIP, CMPMM - The Boeing Co. • Vice President Marketing and Public Relations - Chauntelle Baughman, CFPHS - OneHydraulics Inc. • Vice President Education - Randy Bobbitt, CFPAI, CFPHS Danfoss Power Solutions • Vice President Membership - Garrett Hoisington, CFPAI/AJPP, CFPS, CFPMHM - Open Loop Energy 12


10 • 2021




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Aggressive Hydraulics 10-21_FPW.indd 13

10/19/21 11:55 AM

FUNDAMENTALS A staff report

Pneumatic regulators control pressure in pneumatic circuits. | Courtesy of Adobe Stock

How do you control pressure in a pneumatic circuit? Pressure regulators, as the name indicates, control the pressure in a pneumatic circuit. Setting and maintaining pressure in a system is important for safety and energy efficiency of individual actuators, tools and instruments as well as for the complete circuit. A typical manufacturing facility has plant air pressure from the compressor set to around 110 to 120 psi, which will gradually decrease, depending on friction and restrictions in pipe and fittings and pressure drops through dryers, filters and other devices. When a specific process or application requires compressed air pressure to be maintained within certain limits, pressure regulators are a must. Users should select a regulator based on an analysis of system characteristics, including input pressure, required outlet pressure, approximate flow, pipe size, and degree of precision required. Other considerations might include response time, sensitivity and repeatability. In past decades, basic manual pneumatic pressure regulators consisted of a valve that included an internal pressure-sensing element, and some means to provide a reference force. 14


10 • 2021


In many regulators, a diaphragm or piston sensed the air pressure, and a regulating spring provided the reference force. In essence, the diaphragm acted as a force-balancing system. An imbalance between the reference force and force generated by the outlet pressure moved the diaphragm, which actuated the valve and, in turn, restored the balance. Up until about the turn of the century, various electropneumatic versions built on this fundamental mechanical technology. As the name indicates, they converted electrical current or voltage signals into pressure. They worked by creating a force imbalance on a piloted diaphragm by such means as a magnetic voice coil. No other electronics were used to control the pressure output. Like the purely mechanical version, the device relied on a simple force balance with adjustable spring biases for the zero and span. The regulators often contained a second flow-boosting stage to generate higher flow rates at the outlet port. While technicians had to be trained to adjust the zero and span screws to ensure the required accuracy and repeatability, the devices offered good performance if properly maintained and frequently calibrated. These types of products are still used today, although most users have migrated to regulators that rely on internal electronic feedback, which offer higher accuracy and performance. These products typically house valves, internal pressure sensors and electronic controls. Such electronic pressure controllers often use high-speed servo or solenoid valves, or direct-acting voice-coil units, to increase or decrease gas pressure as needed. They offer high precision, high repeatability, and low hysteresis, along with robust construction and good reliability. Pressure is generally controlled by two valves. One valve functions as the inlet control, the other as the exhaust. In operation, internal pressure sensors track conditions and send signals to the electronic controller, which uses PID or similar algorithms to interpret the data. This feedback signal is compared against the command signal input. A difference between the two signals causes the controller to send a correction signal to open one of the valves and allow flow in or out of the system. Thus, the electropneumatic regulator maintains accurate pressure by controlling these two valves, with output pressure proportional to an electrical signal input. Models with analog or digital electronics

can be compatible with serial communication networks such as RS-232, Profibus or Ethernet/IP. Some electropneumatic regulators offer two-loop control, which takes advantage of an external feedback signal. This setup is preferred when pressure must be maintained at a distance from the regulator. In this case, an external pressure transmitter is connected to the process, and its signal serves as the primary feedback signal that the controller compares against the command signal input. This, in turn, commands the internal control loop to initiate valve actions. This makes it possible to control parameters other than pressure. For instance, a lineardisplacement transducer can send electrical feedback signals to the regulator, and the controller will adjust output pressure to match the set-point signal and control air cylinder motion. Other types of sensors let users control parameter such as force, torque or flow.

How do electropneumatic pressure regulators/controllers work?

A simple example of explaining a self-relieving pressure regulator is to imagine having a balloon with two normally closed ends. Call the ends supply and exhaust. Assume the balloon is empty and you ask for more pressure in the balloon. The supply end opens until the balloon pressure equals the requested pressure, then the supply end closes. If the balloon’s pressure exceeds the requested pressure or you ask for a lower pressure, the exhaust end opens until the requested pressure is reached, then it closes. A self-relieving regulator maintains the requested pressure in the balloon with supply and exhaust. Electropneumatic pressure regulators combine the pressure regulator with an electrically controlled proportional solenoid. These valves require either a controller of their own or the control signal is integrated into a PLC. What makes these valves unique is the pressure can be adjusted electronically in real time based on feedback from the machine. The electrical solenoid can be actuated by either voltage or amperage from the controller/PLC. Typically, a voltage drive solenoid uses 0 – 10 voltage direct current (Vdc); while an amperage driven solenoid uses a current of 4 to 20 mA. These electrical values are programmed in proportion to the pressure www.fluidpowerworld.com

Manifold, DIN rail and panel mounting are valuable options for many applications. Units like the durable MM closed-loop valve offer electronic control of pressure and provide flexibility with mounting and accurate, repeatable, customizable pressure control from vacuum through 175 psig. | Courtesy of Proportion-Air

range of the pressure regulator. As an example, a 1 V (10%) change in the voltage to a solenoid would change the pressure by 10% or 12 psi in a 120 psi application. Control of a proportional regulator can be done utilizing a simple Direct Current (dc) potentiometer for manual adjustment. Process controllers are available from a variety of manufacturers and can be used to monitor the input signal and control output using proportional integral derivative (PID) to maintain system stability. PID uses the feedback loop from the controlling system to refine the output of the controller. P (proportional) accounts for the error rate in the system. I (integral) accounts for past values of controller. D (derivative) is the best estimate of a future trend. Some valve manufacturers offer their own controllers to pair with the proportional pressure valves. Options exist on the market for proportional pressure regulators with integrated pressure transducers, offering a faster reaction time for the valve. Typically, the proportional valve can adjust in time measured in milliseconds. If part of a larger machine or system being controlled by a PLC, it can be used to receive, analyze, and process the feedback signal. The PLC will then send the signal voltage or amperage to the solenoid. FPW

10 • 2021



DESIGN NOTES Edited by Mary C. Gannon • Editor

Modular and block control valves for excavator use

Linde Hydraulics’ new modular VW2218 M5-03 valve with 7 sections

Linde Hydraulics GmbH & Co. KG has introduced a new generation of control valves for use in wheeled excavators. The new valve block VW 22/18 M5-03 for the open circuit is characterized by its modular system, while the monoblock with five sections plus pressure relief section represents the basic set-up. Optionally, three additional sections can be added on each side of the block, thus specifically addressing customer needs. 16


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Various functions can be selected for the additional sections, which are perfectly designed for the requirements in a wheeled excavator. In addition to proven options such as boom or lift-regeneration, anti-drift and return flow bypass, Linde Hydraulics now also offers rod-to-head-regeneration and an innovative float function for the excavator for the first time. The Float Function has since been used mainly in applications with excavating functions, for example in the lift or bucket of a wheel loader — now it can also be used in excavators without much effort. In conventional control valves, the actuator is fixed. In this way, it is rigid and cannot adapt to external conditions. In certain applications,


however, it is desired that a cylinder yields to external forces by being able to retract and extend — the so-called floating function. This is particularly important when either increased wear of the attachment on a hard surface or damage to a sensitive surface by the attachment needs to be avoided. A typical example is the unloading of bulk material on a ship, where damage to the deck must be avoided. In the context of control valves, the term “float” refers to the floating cylinder that can move without resistance due to tank relief on both sides. Thus, the function can enable a smooth workflow and less material wear. Through an innovative solution, Linde Hydraulics implements the float function in the excavator with only a small additional piston in the valve. Compared to conventional solutions, the implementation is thus more space-saving and can also be used at lower speeds. Rod-to-head regeneration is used for cylinder functions with high flow and high actuator speed at a simultaneous low pressure level, for example in the excavator’s stick. In an excavator, when the operator uses the joystick for fast and light movements, the full pump flow would be needed in conventional systems. This is exactly the effect that rod-to-head regeneration avoids and it eliminates the need for high pump flow. The pump only needs to provide the differential flow between the rod and the head. Any additional pump flow above this amount now has a positive effect on the speed of movement of the cylinder. In this way, much more dynamic movements are possible with less pumping in the system. As soon as the load on the cylinder increases, the rod-to-head regeneration is automatically switched off. Symmetrical valves with return bypass are used when functions are operated for long periods and require high flow rates — for example, travel drives in mobile excavators. A large part of the volume flow

here is directed through the return tank bypass, which is controlled by a simple pin, via the reloading valves into the tank — and without significant flow losses. This allows noticeable fuel savings compared to conventional valves. In addition, with this function, the make-up valves can draw additional required volume flow from the tank during downhill travel, thus avoiding cavitation. Anti drift is used in lifting functions when a specific position must be secured and guaranteed to be held for a longer period — for example, in the crane operation of an excavator. The anti drift function uses an additional valve to prevent the leakage that occurs in conventional control valves. This valve is located between the control piston and the actuator and provides a seal depending on the actuation of the section. Boom or lift-regeneration is used for lifting functions, such as the boom of the excavator. In this function, the weight force is used during lowering and the oil flow from the return of the lifting cylinder is partially diverted to the opposite side. In this way, the flow required here is already provided largely without pumping. In addition, the tendency towards cavitation is eliminated. The flow saved in this process is thus directly available for other functions. “The extent to which a hydraulic valve as a core component of the excavator


Section view of the valve when the excavator bucket is being brought into position.

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determines not only function and performance, but also the fuel consumption of the overall vehicle, was demonstrated by us at an initial pilot customer. Consumption savings of up to 10% were seen in the field test,” said Dr. Matthias Schreiber, CEO of Linde Hydraulics. The third generation of valve technology is a suitable complement to the existing second generation (three sections) due to the compact five sections monoblock and is also perfectly matched to the wheeled excavator. The control valve is available in two nominal sizes: nominal size 18 with a maximum flow rate of 250 lpm and size 22, which allows a maximum flow rate of 350 lpm. In the monoblock, Linde Synchron Control (LSC) is used as standard (post-compensated), while a choice can be made between pre- and post-compensated for the option sections. Both hydraulic and electrohydraulic controls are possible. The valve block is already in use at a pilot customer in a wheeled excavator and can also be used for material handlers.

Section view of the valve when the excavator bucket is being used for clearing.


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DESIGN NOTES Edited by Mary C. Gannon • Editor

The core of the Delta600 prototype is the hydro storage system from Roth Hydraulics. | Courtesy of Seaqualize

Accumulator ensures safety and precision in active heave compensator For precise load handling in maritime applications, Seaqualize in the Netherlands develops custom-fit solutions. The company is currently working on the Delta600 prototype — an accessory to turn standard heavy lift cranes into Active Heave Compensated (AHC) machines for use on the world’s oceans. This is the world’s first inline AHC tool for in-air lifting of heavy loads, and can compensate all heave motions to up to 97% using minimal, battery supplied power. For the development project, Seaqualize is relying on the expertise of Roth Hydraulics in Biedenkopf. The hydraulic accumulator specialist developed an ocean-going piston accumulator system for Delta600. Delta600 is a flexible accessory for any type of loading crane used to move heavy loads in wave action in harbors, on ships or offshore and which requires lift compensation. The hydraulic unit, with Roth Hydraulics’ accumulator technology inside, is placed in the crane hook and enables high-precision lifting, moving and lowering of loads weighing up to 600 tons. In the process, Delta600 compensates for swell and wave motions and controls the load throughout the entire lift. For picking up heavy loads from a heaving ship, the tool’s hydraulics allow gradual build up of the load into the crane wire and automatic lowering at a safe moment.

The gentle movement controlled by the hydraulic spring prevents heavy loads from breaking away, bouncing or hitting the ground. The hydraulic unit ensures very slow and precise setting-down speeds, especially for the setting-down process. The Roth Hydraulics piston accumulator system is around 6 m tall and has an empty weight of around 20 tons. It consists of several piston accumulators, pressure vessels and control blocks that have been specially optimized for the application. Daniel Lauber, the responsible design engineer at Roth Hydraulics, explained, “Particular challenges in the project were


Design Notes 10-21_FPW_Vs3.indd 19

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the specified installation space and the effect of the dynamic loads on the components of the hydraulic accumulator system. We are pleased to have worked closely with Seaqualize to develop a solution that was very precisely tailored to the Delta600 application.” Acceptance tests for the accumulator system at Seaqualize have already been completed with great success. Edouard Schinkel, founder and the technical lead at Seaqualize, praised the constructive cooperation, “In Roth Hydraulics, we have found a medium-sized partner that sets high quality standards and has the necessary expertise in implementing special projects. Constant exchange of information within the framework of Delta600 has laid the foundation for a business relationship with Roth Hydraulics based on partnership.” Roth piston accumulators for machinery and equipment are available in sizes from 0.1 to 1,500 liters. Standard units are available with 350 bar maximum operating pressure and special versions up to 1,200 bar, with variable preload pressure. They are used when high withdrawal volumes and withdrawal rates are required. Depending on the application, significant increases in capacity are possible with downstream gas tanks. Even compact, readyto-connect large-scale systems with a total volume of well over 100 m3 can be realized — by coupling piston accumulators and downstream gas containers in any number. The storage systems are suitable for temperatures from –10 to 80° C, and are optionally available for extreme temperatures from –60 and up to 200° C. Roth designs fluid connections and sealing systems of the piston accumulators individually according to customer requirements. Abrupt gas loss to the fluid side is not possible. Frictionminimized sealing systems ensure high efficiency and highly efficient operation. Additional options, such as a built-in stroke limiter or a wide range of measuring and monitoring devices, provide information on the operating status as well as the energy content. The piston accumulators can be installed in any position.

Delta600 from Seaqualize is the world’s first inline

Active Heave Compensator for standard heavy lift cranes, to actively compensate up to ~97% of all heave motions during lifts and installations. | Courtesy of Seaqualize


Roth Hydraulics GmbH roth-hydraulics.de



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Josh Cosford • Contributing Editor

Keeping an eye on pre-charge and system pressure is critical to accumulator maintenance. In addition, placing the accumulator in an easy-to-access location simplifies servicing and replacement.

Keeping your accumulator ship-shape with simple maintenance Accumulators wear out just like all components used in hydraulic machinery. And just like most other components, proper maintenance lengthens the lifespan of accumulators. Some accumulator designs are not repairable, like most diaphragm types, but maintenance will extend useful life especially in repairable bladder and piston versions. There is no downside to putting fluid conditioning at the top of your maintenance list. Conditioning your fluid to reduce contamination in all its forms is your top priority. As I’ve written before, contamination comes in the form of particles, heat, and water. Dirt in your oil damages accumulators by its abrasive effect on the synthetic rubber diaphragms, bladders, and seals. 22


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With diaphragm and bladder accumulators, the membrane pushes outward against the body, offering a chance for that rubber material to exert force upon particles. Such contact creates friction and may prematurely wear your accumulator. Piston accumulators are much like hydraulic cylinders, except no rod comes attached to its piston. However, the seals designed to separate the pneumatic chamber from the hydraulic fluid are just as susceptible to wear from contamination. Therefore, using only the highest quality filtration to offer your accumulator pristine hydraulic fluid is the single most crucial accumulator maintenance tip. Keep your hydraulic fluid within an ideal operating temperature range to further improve the reliability of your accumulators. Too much heat softens the rubber compounds in bladders, diaphragms, and piston seals, making them more prone to failure. High heat will reduce the lifespan of rubber, but extreme heat may result in catastrophic bladder or diaphragm material. Obviously, an intelligently designed hydraulic system will run cool but should heat become an issue, employ heat exchangers to keep fluid within the optimal range. Water isn’t always a recognized form of contamination, but keeping your oil dry benefits all components, not only the accumulators, unless your system runs a high-water base fluid designed for it. Oil and water may react under heat to accelerate the oxidation of the accumulator rubbers, so your first step is to prevent water from the point of entry. Some filters may reduce free water in your oil, but expensive vacuum dehydrators may be needed to improve long-term reliability and reduce the overall oil humidity. Keeping an eye on accumulator precharge pressure ensures they run within their designed performance range. Bladder accumulators prefer an approximately 4:1 pressure ratio as not to expand and contract dramatically during cycles. If your system pressure runs at 3,000 psi, do not set your precharge pressure below 750 psi. Diaphragm accumulators are more forgiving, offering up to a 10:1 pressure ratio. Our same 3,000 psi system pressure allows the diaphragm accumulator to run as low as 300 psi precharge. Because low precharge puts your accumulator into dangerously high-pressure ratios, adding a pressure switch to your precharge port offers an output for a warning light or directly to your PLC that maintenance is required. Piston accumulators have no ratio limitations because they employ no bladder or diaphragm, but regardless, a routine of measuring and logging precharge will offer predictable machine performance. You must understand that accumulators require maintenance and/or replacement, so consideration for ease of replacement or repair helps make such tasks easy. Placing the accumulator in an easy-to-access area means replacement or repair isn’t time-consuming. Also, selecting accumulator designs for easy maintenance may benefit you. For example, a top repairable bladder accumulator allows repair even while the accumulator remains on the machine. Finally, keeping spare bladders or piston seals in stock ensures you’re back up and running should the inevitable servicing takes place. FPW

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DISTRIBUTER UPDATE Contributed by Paul Kundinger • President, Kundinger Inc.

A look inside: a distributor offers tips on longevity and expansion Achieving longevity as a company is what any organization aims to do, but it’s not an easy process. Kundinger Inc. was founded on the belief that it would provide the best service possible and that’s helped the company achieve 60 years in business this year. Great service isn’t a one-size-fits all approach; there are a lot of facets that need to be in-play for a distributor to be successful. The company needs to hunger for knowledge, care about its customers, stay one-step ahead of the competition, and be willing to adapt.

calculated risk, we created a fluid power repair business. This decision was made strategically based on the company’s current MRO business and observations, from working in the field, that support the need for additional repair services.

Show customers you care

A company cannot grow without meaningful relationships with its customers. It’s about establishing relationships — and also leveraging them. It is not uncommon for a company to grow and expand because it implements processes to offer a solution for its customers.

Stay hungry

Kundinger Inc. has seen that close, established relationships with customers along with well-trained employees, ensures credibility and longevity in customer relationships.

Any company, no matter how big, once started out small. To grow, those small companies had to take risks, think outside of the box and leverage opportunities. Yes, it can be very scary to take a risk, but that is how multi-million- or billion-dollar companies are established. This isn’t to say any new idea is a good idea. A company needs to be smart about the risks it takes — calculate them first. For example, if a company operates with 60% of its business in the OEM space and 40% in the maintenance repair and operations (MRO) space, a calculated risk would be to expand the MRO business. Calculated because the decision is rooted in data: how much business is brought in through this market currently and what facts support growth in this area in the future? For example, we at Kundinger have known the ins and outs of our MRO business, so well in fact, that we recognized a growing need for fluid power repairs. As part of this



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If a distribution company’s sales team is noticing an increase in requests from customers to go to manufacturing facilities to repair or refurbish machines, that may be an indicator for the company that their customers need an innovative repair solution. The distributor can continue to work as-is, or they might take that insight and make a change to better serve their customer. Kundinger’s solution is a new in-house service that repairs critical components and works with other distributors to be able to easily retrofit machines for customers. This new offering opened a door for the company to add staff to its


payroll and grow. This entire new division within the company would not exist if it wasn’t for the influence of customers based on a wellestablished relationship.

Keep one eye on the horizon

A key factor in growing any company is anticipating what’s coming next for the industry and utilizing that knowledge. As a distributor, this is incredibly important because a part of the job is to recommend updates for customers based on technology changes. This means distributors need to pay attention to advancements in the industry, attend trainings and seminars on a regular basis and research what its competitors are doing to always stay one step ahead. One of the biggest changes coming down the line right now in the fluid power industry is electrification. More technology than ever before is becoming interwoven through the Internet of Things (IoT) into basic fluid power systems. For distribution companies it is important that their employees not only know about these new connecting ways of operating, but that they also understand how they work so the value of transitioning to the new technology can be easily explained to customers. Distributors give themselves a competitive edge when they can assist in ways the customer hadn’t even thought of yet.

After seeing an increased demand for repair and refurbishing calls, Kundinger established its own repair center, thus increasing its MRO business.

Be nimble

Adaptability is so important because it is a distributor’s job to make process improvement recommendations for customers. In addition to being educated about the changes coming down the line, it’s about being able to adapt to that customer’s particular needs to provide the services they require. This has become increasingly more difficult because fluid power is not being taught in as many college and technical schools as much as it was in previous years. This change makes finding qualified talent difficult and has put the strain on companies to make sure employees are trained on fluid power components. Continuing education is an important element to ensure current employees are trained and ready to pivot with changing customer needs and industry trends. It’s also a great way to help employees grow within a business, as we at Kundinger have seen over the years. In many cases, giving staff room to level-up within a company through continuing education training can directly correlate to retention. The tenure of an employee is important to establishing and maintaining credibility with customers. The size of a company will impact how each of these service tactics is executed. A smaller, family-owned distribution company may have the opportunity to be more flexible than a larger company; not every decision needs to make its way up a corporate ladder for approval. But there are inevitably downsides for a smaller company, too, like implementation may cost more. Size aside, as long as the core value of service is at the center of a distributor’s business it can count on being in it for the long-haul. FPW


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ENERGY EFFICIENCY Ron Marshall • Contributing Editor

Compressed air fail: Low capacity During a recent compressed air assessment, the measuring instruments connected to a 50-hp lubricated screw compressor showed lower than rated amps. The customer had been complaining about low pressure in the plant, yet the plant flow meter indicated the compressed air demand was well within the rated capacity of the compressor.

Figure 1. Damage to internal surfaces of a screw compressor casing can significantly reduce air output.

Figure 2. The sealing edges on the tips of this screw element have been worn away.



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Typically, when the compressor has lower than normal full load amps, the diagnosis is low compressed air output. Most often, the reduced flow is caused by a partially closed inlet valve — frequently a characteristic of a very inefficient compressor control mode called “modulation” — but in this case, this potential issue was ruled out. An investigation ensued and found that the compressor had internal damage. This was causing excessive blowback within the screw elements. In short, the elements were completely worn. When the unit was pulled apart deep scratches could be seen in the screw casing, Figure 1, and the sealing strips on the tip of each screw element had worn away to nothing, Figure 2. This compressor had come to the end of its useful life and needed to be overhauled or replaced. If your compressor is pulling low amps, you may need to take a look inside. This case had a happy ending; a new variable speed drive compressor was installed, which solved the plant pressure problem and saved 35% of energy due to more efficient operation. The power utility paid for half of the air compressor, making the replacement less expensive than the overhaul. Significant advances have been added to modern day compressors in recent years — newer units are often much more efficient and have excellent energy savings features. FPW


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MINExpo emphasizes innovation, efficiency The latest mining machines spotlight low carbon emissions and high hydraulic performance. Ken Korane • Contributing Editor 30


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The new EX2000-7 mining excavator from Hitachi features electronic regulation of hydraulic pumps, high-efficiency regeneration, heavyduty guards for hoses and accumulators, and contamination sensors on pumps and motors.

The long delayed and much anticipated MINExpo 2021 opened its doors last month with strong participation from machine manufacturers and component suppliers alike. At the high-tech end of the spectrum, Komatsu announced its FrontRunner autonomous mine haul trucks had surpassed 4 billion metric tons of materials moved. That comes on the heels of news that Caterpillar’s MineStar Command for autonomous hauling surpassed the 3 billion ton mark earlier this year.

Other highlights included developments regarding a fully autonomous excavator by researchers at Baidu and the University of Maryland. And Komatsu demonstrated its teleoperation capabilities by operating a mining excavator in Tucson from the Las Vegas show floor. Much of the focus at the show, however, was on machines that trended toward sustainability and higher efficiency, along with improved performance, reliability and safety. Here’s a look at a few notable introductions.


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Mining excavators equipped with Liebherr Power Efficiency, an engine and hydraulic management system, reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%. Hydraulic efficiency, low emissions

The Liebherr Group’s Zero Emission Program targets low-carbon systems for the full range of off-highway trucks and excavators in 2022, and fossil fuel free solutions for most applications by 2030. Liebherr has more than 30 years of experience in electricdriven machines for earthmoving, material handling and mining applications, including electric-hydraulic excavators up to 800 tons in size. Thanks to 70% of parts commonality with diesel versions, such as structural components and hydraulic systems, Liebherr also offers complete retrofit options for existing machines. For example, the company has developed a cable reel option for electric-drive excavators either in backhoe or face shovel configurations. The cable reel is completely autonomous and has a capacity up to 300 m depending on the excavator type. In addition, Liebherr is upgrading standard machines to enable the transition to emission reductions. Liebherr Power Efficiency (LPE) is the most recent built-in technology upgrade making this productivity and sustainability contribution. Starting with Generation 7, all Liebherr mining excavators will be equipped with LPE as standard. This specific engine and hydraulic management system reduces fuel consumption by up to 20%. The system: • • • • • •


Adapts piloting processes according to operator requirements. Electronically controls pressure and oil flow. Increases efficiency of control valves and new pumps. Has a fully integrated engine control system. Reduces hydraulic losses and load profile of the engine for increased component life. Reduces energy consumption without impact on machine performance.


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As a result, Liebherr provides size-equivalent machinery with higher production rates and lower fuel consumption. In fact, the combination of LPE together with improved productivity on the R 9600 excavator has shown 29% less fuel consumption per ton of produced material over a one-year production study, compared to its predecessor, the R 996B. These outstanding efficiencies are said to allow the excavators to set new benchmarks in their respective classes and are important enablers for any kind of future drive train. Longer term, the goal is to offer completely fossil fuel free mining equipment for hauling, digging, and dozing by 2030, including machines powered by renewable fuels, hydrogen fuel cells or electric drives. It is also crucial to employ the most efficient drive system. The Liebherr hydrostatic drive system already improves fuel efficiency up to 20% compared to competitive mechanical products. Despite this, company engineers are currently comparing efficiency of electric versus hydrostatic drives on a dozer prototype. Given Liebherr’s expertise in both drive technologies, the company is in an excellent position to choose the most appropriate option for near-zero emissions. Technology for hydraulic mining shovels

The Cat Next Generation hydraulic mining shovel displayed at MINExpo is engineered for the future, according to Caterpillar officials. The design fully integrates Cat Electronics and provides a platform to support innovation and technology expansion. The Next Generation shovels feature several standard technologies that upgrade overall performance. Hydraulic Optimization creates significant fuel efficiency savings, said the company. Conventional hydraulic systems operate all pumps at maximum required flow and pressure, resulting in metering losses and excess heat and waste. Cat optimized hydraulics delivers the exact




Teleoperating an excavator 400 miles away Previewing development capabilities that help advance customers’ safety and productivity goals, Komatsu used a remote console at MINExpo in Las Vegas to teleoperate a new PC7000-11 hydraulic excavator loading an autonomous truck in Tucson, Arizona.

Caterpillar’s Next Generation hydraulic mining shovels include Hydraulic Optimization that generates significant fuel efficiency savings. flow and pressure required for each hydraulic function, improving efficiency by up to 15%, reducing heat, mitigating waste and prolonging component lives. Operator Assist: Enhanced Motion Control incorporates angle sensors on the linkage to calculate boom and stick positioning. Reducing pressure spikes and shock feedback to the operator, the control system slows stick/boom movement as it nears the end of the cylinder stroke. This prevents hard stops and metal-to-metal contacts, improving the service life of these main structural components. Other technologies offered include the new Product Link Elite, which includes condition monitoring capabilities, and MineStar Guide, a platform for high-precision on-board guidance and 3D grade control. Caterpillar also plans to bring these technologies to existing shovels. For example, its Vision 360 kit includes cameras with harnesses, an electronic control module, and high-definition color displays. Vision 360 reportedly reduces blind spots, alleviates potential safety hazards and lowers cycle times, while reducing operator fatigue. Hoseless drilling machine

Komatsu introduced a new underground hard-rock drilling machine with several advanced features including hoseless booms. The ZJ32Bi is a battery-electric, medium-class jumbo which, according to the company, is built on a common platform for increased user adoption and efficient training. A drilling jumbo consists of one or more hydraulically powered rock drill carriages, attached onto a chassis which holds the operator cabin and powerplant. Drilling jumbos are typically used in underground mining for excavation by drilling and blasting. They are also used in tunneling if rock hardness prevents the use of boring machines. The new machine offers a standard reduced hose configuration — only six per boom — with a hoseless option. The hoseless boom permits all fluid and communication transfer inside of the boom cylinder, a potential game-changer in terms of automation and productivity. A hoseless boom also eliminates the need to account for hoses in automation algorithms and eliminates wear between the inner and outer boom tubes for improved drilling accuracy over time. Other key features of the ZJ32Bi include an intelligent control system that allows for semiautonomous functionality or operator augmentation; and lightweight, durable feeds in fixed and double telescopic versions, with cast polyurethane components that reduce weight and improve longevity. A modular battery-electric driveline offers up to 130 kW (65 kW base) of onboard energy for the demanding tram cycles and rigorous hard rock mining. The unit is also available in a diesel model (ZJ32i).


The operator console provides information and views of what is seen from the machine’s actual cab onsite. Multiple cameras and sensors around the machine and bucket, as well as a 360-degree monitor and machine display, support visibility and situational awareness for the remote operator. The PC7000-11 features semi-automated teleoperation capabilities to reduce cycle times and combat operator fatigue. Operator-assist with augmented reality (AR) technology supports productivity improvement, displaying information and data to provide real-time feedback to production plan. Leveraging the machine’s onboard sensors and systems from Modular Mining and Immersive Technologies, data are translated into insights on ways to improve productivity, safety and reduce running costs. This information is incorporated into real-time as well as offline coaching. Operator guidance is also under development using AR technology. Komatsu plans to trial the semiautonomous 700-ton-class hydraulic excavator with teleoperation at a customer site in 2022.

Komatsu engineers used a remote console on the MINExpo show floor to teleoperate a new PC7000-11 hydraulic excavator running in Tucson, Arizona.

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Komatsu’s new ZJ32Bi underground hard-rock drilling machine eliminates hoses to the boom by routing fluid through the boom cylinders.

Powerful demolition robot The new Brokk 900 is said to be the world’s largest and most powerful demolition robot. Compared with its predecessor, the unit features enhanced design, more rugged engineering and 25% more power, which translates into more-effective hydraulic breakers. All this comes with almost no increase in size and weight. The machine’s SmartPower control and monitoring system reportedly increases output power through hardened electrical design, which extends the life of all electrical and hydraulic components. And Brokk’s SmartRemote permits safe machine operation at distances up to 300 meters. The largest hydraulic breaker, BHB 1500, is a 1,500 kg device for the hardest materials. Paired with the hydraulic power of the Brokk 900, this reportedly delivers an unmatched impact with each blow and is excellent for breaking hard rock. It uses a variable load-sensing pump with attachment pressure of 3,626 psi. Maximum pump flow is to 47 gpm. The machine comes with an electric or EPA Tier 4 Final diesel powertrain.



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Hydraulic system upgrade

Hitachi Construction & Mining, a division of John Deere Construction & Forestry Co., announced the EX2000-7 — its latest EX-7 series mining excavator that is said to enhance efficiency, reliability and durability. Its new Cummins QST30-C engines cut fuel consumption for significant cost savings and lower environmental impact. Hydraulic pumps optimized with electronic regulation, high hydraulic efficiency regeneration, and a cooling package work together as sustainability technologies that help reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%, compared to the previous EX1900-6 model. The EX2000-7’s hydraulic system reportedly conserves energy as each individual control valve is closely adjusted to direct the exact required amount of pressure to each cylinder and swing motor from the pumps. This lowers fuel consumption and improves pump life. A larger hydraulic oil cooler with variable-speed fan also helps reduce energy demand and create a more reliable hydraulic system. The oil cooler, separate from the radiator, effectively reduces hydraulic oil temperature, lengthens hydraulic service life, and improves maintainability. The new machine has a larger 12 m³ bucket compared with the previous EX1900-6 model’s 11 m³ bucket, designed to increase loading capability with a tilt angle that enhances operational efficiency. To improve reliability and reduce chafing, front attachment hoses have been rearranged from the traditional arch style to an underslung configuration, removing the need for clamping. Likewise, a newly designed heavy-duty guard protects hoses and accumulators located in the track center frame from rocks and debris. The EX2000-7 also features contamination sensors on main hydraulic pumps, travel motors and swing motors to detect any contaminants that may damage the hydraulic system. These sensors alert the operator of potential contaminants, record fault codes in the Data Logging Unit (DLU) and have the capability to remotely advise maintenance personnel. Autonomous excavator navigation

The development of robotic systems such as autonomous excavators in the construction and mining industries is a growing trend as companies worldwide are encountering labor shortages in the face of increasing demand for skilled heavy-machinery operators. Researchers from Baidu Research Robotics and AutoDriving Lab (RAL) and the Univ. of Maryland, College Park (UMD) have developed a real-time mapping approach for autonomous navigation of excavators. Named Terrain Traversability Mapping (TTM), it lets an autonomous excavator navigate through unstructured environments such as deep pits, steep hills and rock piles. This is said to be the first complex terrain processing approach developed for heavy-duty excavation machines. Excavators frequently operate in dangerous environments that have unpredictable and potentially hazardous conditions. Operations such as digging and The new Brokk 900 dumping raise the risk of landfalls or cave-ins. These sites features more-powerful lack lane markings, and obstacles tend to be non-uniform hydraulic breakers. and random. To ensure safety, it is crucial for autonomous excavators to identify different terrain features and predict safe regions for navigation. To enable autonomous operations, the researchers developed an efficient learning-based geometric method to extract terrain features from RGB images and 3D LiDAR data and incorporate them into a global map for planning and navigation. The method relies on physical characteristics of the www.fluidpowerworld.com


excavator, including maximum climbing degree and machine specifications, to determine the traversable area, adapt to changing environments, and update terrain information in real-time. Tests show that an excavator using TTM can navigate through unstructured environments with a much higher success rate compared to existing planning schemes. The new TTM technique builds on another innovation from Baidu RAL and UMD, an autonomous excavator that can perform material loading tasks around the clock without any human intervention, while offering performance nearly equivalent to that of an experienced human operator. Fuzzy-logic controls

New XCMG products unveiled during MINExpo are reportedly adapted to work under highly challenging conditions. The 95ton XE950G crawler excavator, with a bucket capacity of 6 m³, is an efficient and energysaving model featuring advanced controls, a behavior monitoring system and industryleading dual-pump independent technology,


XCMG displayed three new customized products at MINExpo 2021, an articulated dump truck, grader and the XE950G excavator.

according to the company. It is said to excel in terms of smart operation and is suited to extreme mining environments. The company said the unit has the industry’s first adaptive boom potential energy recovery and utilization technology, which reduces fuel consumption by more than 15% compared with previous machines of similar size. The dual-system automatic switching technology uses critical-state fuzzy control

methods to facilitate automatic switching between energy recovery and reuse systems and the base hydraulic power system, for optimal operation under different working conditions. The energy recovery system has passed bench-test verification of more than 2 million cycles, to ensure long service life, reliability and durability. Rated flow of each hydraulic pump is 476 lpm (126 gpm), with working and travel hydraulic pressures to 350 bar (5,076 psi). FPW

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A variety of seals support the function of a bull dozer’s hydraulic lift and angle cylinders, engine, transmission, and numerous attachments



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that support the mobile machinery industry face strong demand. It stems, in part, from the pandemic recovery that is underway. As a result, supplies that were previously limited are becoming available. Another contributor to increased demand is the ongoing need for machinery components, and fluid power seals top the list because of their wide use and application. Hydraulic seals, O-rings, oil seals, and backup rings are just a few of the many products found in the digging machines, lifts, cranes, and other construction tools used by industry every day. Hydraulic seals vary in range and function. Take for example, the hydraulic radial seal, or slipper seal, which is typically selected for general industrial pneumatic/ hydraulic applications requiring a dynamic sealing element (Figure 1). Oil seals, also known as lip seals, grease seals, and rotary shaft seals are used to seal rotary elements, such as shafts or rotating bores (Figure 2). And back-up rings are used in conjunction with O-rings for both static and dynamic sealing applications (Figure 3).


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According to recent reports by analysts that follow the market, sales for construction and earthmoving equipment, especially compact machines, are trending upward. The demand for components rides the upward sales trend, making the search for a reliable supply source critically important for distributors. The following tips, compiled from the fluid power seal supplier’s perspective, can serve as a practical guide for distributors on the hunt for general, non-spec sealing products used in mobile construction machinery. Apply standards

Many sealing devices are used on a given piece of mobile equipment. Take a bulldozer, for example. A variety of seals support the function of its hydraulic lift and angle cylinders, engine, transmission, and numerous attachments. These components require ongoing maintenance and repair. Therefore, during the design process, it is critical that industry standards are considered above all other options to allow for the greatest amount of flexibility with regards to seal types, materials and manufacturers. This design-formanufacturing mentality, choosing standard designs over custom solutions, allows distributors to provide customers the confidence that those vital products will be available when they need them. Using standard products also has positive financial ramifications. Standard designs tend to be pre-tooled by multiple vendors, reducing the need for costly tooling and non-standard solutions. Well-accepted resources for standard seal grooves for a specific hydraulic application, particularly with regards to reciprocating hydraulic seals, are the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards known as ISO 7425-1 and ISO 7425-2. These standards specify the dimensional characteristics for a series of hydraulic cylinder seals versus functional characteristics. The National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) NFPA/ T3.19.18 R1-2009 standard provides dimensional recommendations for the radial compression type piston ring. It is

important to note that ISO and NFPA standards do not stipulate seal design. They merely suggest what dimensions to use to maintain metal groove dimensions which equate to readily available commercial products. With recognized, objective industry standards in hand, designers and customers can avoid the pitfalls that come with guesswork and single source solutions. Understand the application

It is critical to completely understand the nature of the work a sealing device is designed to perform. Often, the scope of the needs of a sealing device are grossly misunderstood, leading to issues such as excessive component costs, inadequate performance, and fluid incompatibility to name just a few. Building on the fluid compatibility challenge, designers and engineers have a multitude of standard materials for use in common applications in and around mobile machinery. For example, nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) is one of the most widely used materials in the field of sealing devices. It is characterized by good mechanical properties, high tensile strength, low gas permeability, low compression set, and high resistance to petroleum-based oils and fuels. NBR is also highly resistant to silicone greases, hydraulic fluids, water, and alcohol. NBR does however have its limitations, especially when it comes to wear. Significantly better options are available in the marketplace if wear resistance is a key performance requirement of the design. Depending on the type of application, it may be better to choose hydrogenated nitrile butadiene rubber (HNBR) or an injection molded thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is another widely used sealing material because of its high thermal and chemical resistance. However, PTFE has no elastic properties and is typically energized with other complementary materials, such as elastomers. A designer who selects PTFE for the reasons mentioned above but ignores other key details, such as PTFE’s inability to provide a completely dry seal, may encounter unexpected and disappointing performance if absolute leakage-free performance is expected or mandated. Ensure compatibility

Figure 2. Oil seals are used to seal rotary elements, such as shaft or rotating bore 38

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Knowing how fluids interact with specific seals and the impact therein is another key to a successful product selection. It is common to see a seal required for exceptionally high temperature tolerance paired with a seemingly


Figure 1. The slipper seal is a radial sealing element

normal fluid that cannot possibly withstand the temperature expectations described within the specification. This suggests that either the total temperature is not completely understood, or that the specification for the entire piece of equipment is being used to determine the needs of the sealing elements which may or may not need to be rated as highly. The internal quality and product performance tests a piece of equipment may experience should also be considered. Several cases exist where a seal material is selected for its fluid compatibility; however, the standard test stand fluid used in the application is not compatible to the seal material selected. A good example is the use of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) material for waterbased applications. A common and most unfortunate mistake with special EPDM sealed cylinders is to run them in the test stand with normal mineral-based fluids,

resulting in the catastrophic destruction of the EPDM seals. Designs and specifications that do not address the challenging dynamics of materials and fluids are at risk for excess costs or premature failures. Compatibility is a vital part of the seal design that is often overlooked.

Figure 3. Back-up rings are used with O-rings for static and dynamic sealing applications


When sourcing sealing devices, remember to use industry standards, fully understand the application, and know which material and fluid combinations are most compatible. This is critical to the success of the operation of the sealing elements contained within mobile construction equipment. FPW

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Streamlining equipment IIoT connectivity Micro-PLCs with support for Wi-Fi and industrial communication protocols make it possible to add IIoT to any type of machinery in an easy and incremental manner. Bill Dehner, technical marketing engineer, AutomationDirect

Pneumatically- and hydraulically-operated equipment is found worldwide in machine shops, factory floors, and production sites. While these heavy-duty systems excel at manufacturing and production tasks, they typically lag behind common consumer devices with regards to convenient connectivity and data access. Which is unfortunate, because all sorts of industrial equipment contains a wealth of operational knowledge. End users have become accustomed to remotely accessing and viewing information from consumer devices, and would like some of the same capabilities for their production equipment. Unfortunately, even ‘intelligent’ equipment is often installed in a standalone, local-only manner (Figure 1). Sometimes data connectivity is possible via a serial or Ethernet connection, but in many cases — especially for hardwired machines — it can be very difficult to obtain even basic information like on/off status. Combined with the fact that end users may use many makes and models of field equipment, it can be complicated and expensive to create a standardized way of obtaining the data needed to improve efficiency. Across most industries, end users are looking for an affordable way to bridge the gap from the plant floor to the cloud. Creating this edge-to-cloud connectivity is a key requirement for industrial internet of things (IIoT) implementations, and there are some sophisticated and complex ways to create these types of systems. However, many end users are finding the best answer is often to leave existing automation systems largely as-is, and to add IIoT capabilities by installing easy-to-use and low-cost industrial controllers that are cloud-capable. 40


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Figure 1: For many types of standalone industrial pneumatic and hydraulic equipment, end users are looking for practical and affordable ways to add IIoT capabilities; modern micro-PLCs are often the best solution. All figures courtesy of AutomationDirect


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IIoT empowers machines and small systems

Some end users may be intimidated by the thought of adding IIoT connectivity to pneumatic and hydraulic equipment, especially legacy systems. They may think IIoT requires extensive ‘big data’ project expenditures, along with custom code that is difficult to create and support. Sometimes the equipment, and even the automation component, simply don’t offer the required connectivity options. However, the truth is that some IIoT technologies are very scalable and can be easily implemented for just a few data points, and then expanded when it makes sense. In fact, in many cases a small amount of data can yield great value. For most machines, simply providing visibility (and possibly data-logging) whether the machine is enabled and running, if it is paused due to external conditions, and if there are any faults, can be the first steps toward helping users improve the overall equipment effectiveness. Once the basics are handled, users might move on to monitoring and improving more advanced aspects like finetuning throughput and energy consumption. 42


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Specific to pneumatic and hydraulic equipment, there can be plenty of other useful on-board data to monitor, such as pressures and cylinder extend/retract times. The best IIoT solutions will allow designers to start small, then scale up once basic concepts are proven. Any data capable of being monitored and transmitted to on-site or cloud-based databases can be logged, visualized, analyzed, and used as the basis for reports. In particular, cloud access makes it possible to compare multiple machines installed at one or many locations. An end user company with multiple sites can identify best practices at any location and implement these across all plants and facilities. An OEM can develop performance information of an entire fleet of like equipment installed at multiple locations and operated by a variety of end users. New options are available so users can easily create an IIoT connection at any machine without affecting the underlying hardwired or automation platform. These users can follow a consistent hardware and software approach to add IIoT to any systems in their facility. www.fluidpowerworld.com

Figure 2: The AutomationDirect Click Plus PLCs combine a compact industrial form factor with advanced connectivity, Wi-Fi, and cloud connection capabilities, for an easy to use and low-cost link to IIoT platforms that can be added to any type of automated equipment.

Affordable IIoT implementations

Brand-new machinery and equipment may be available with PLCs or other built-in provisions for establishing IIoT and cloud connectivity. Some of the latest sensors and even pneumatic manifolds are intelligent devices capable of providing a wealth of information. But new installations number far less than the thousands of existing systems, and it is rarely practical or cost-justified to retrofit existing operational assets with new automation. For these reasons, it is far more attractive to install a device at existing systems to add IIoT functionality without impacting basic operation. A device used for this service should have several key characteristics: • • • •

Built for industrial installations, yet economically priced. Offer basic wired I/O signals for connection to any type of field signals. Include connectivity for typical industrial busses — like Modbus, EtherNet/IP, and ASCII — so data can be gathered from intelligent edge devices. Support Ethernet for high-performance connection to a supervisory network.

• • • • • • •

Support Wi-Fi so the device can be quickly installed without the expense of network cable runs. Support Bluetooth so users can configure the device wirelessly. Use the low-bandwidth MQTT protocol, which is ideally suited for transmitting IIoT data through site-based firewalls and up to the cloud. Provide a degree of on-board programming to manage the gathered data. Have an on-board microSD card for local data logging. Configurable with easy-to-use and free software. Include enhanced security measures since the device will be network connected.

Until recently, PLCs could only meet a few of these requirements. While industrial PCs could address some of the other points, this involved expense and complication. What has changed today is the availability of micro-PLCs incorporating some or all the capabilities listed above, and available at a reasonable price (Figure 2). These PLCs provide many familiar capabilities, such as stackable and expandable modular I/O and convenient ladder logic programming via

Figure 3: Wi-Fi capable micro-PLCs like the AutomationDirect Click Plus are easily distributed throughout a site on machines and automated systems to create IIoT connectivity.


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free software. In conjunction with support for multiple communication protocols, they include improved security measures like a strong password requirement, the ability to disable unused ports, ping disable, and more. Streamlined IIoT in reality

One manufacturing company used many makes, models, and vintages of pneumatically-operated assembly equipment. There really was no effective way to monitor the production floor other than walking around and observing the machines.


To gain the desired remote visibility, they installed Wi-Fi capable micro-PLCs one at a time on their most important machines (Figure 3). These micro-PLCs were added in parallel to existing automation systems, using traditional I/O points to monitor the running status, any trouble condition, and cycle count. Each installation was performed quickly during a period of brief machine downtime, and then the data points were transmitted to a cloud service. At first, this simply made it possible for operators to use a mobile tablet for visualizing

which machines were operating properly. But as more machines came online, it was possible to analyze other situations. For instance, if a downstream machine was experiencing trouble and delaying an upstream machine, the condition was alerted. Or, where multiple similar machines were connected using this IIoT solution, the lead operator was able to compare the machines and look for any with substandard performance. Another system integrator took things a step further using a micro-PLC platform as a solution for local data logging and a data source for a database. They connected a micro-PLC analog input to a local temperature sensor, and configured the micro-PLC to log the temperature and a date/timestamp to a microSD-located CSV file, based on a periodic time trigger. Using free SQLite running on a PC connected to the wireless micro-PLC, they created a database table with DATETIME and temperature columns. The source temperature tag was connected to a MQTT host on the PC, and then Node-RED running on the same PC was used to inject timestamped temperature readings to the database. In this way a low-cost micro-PLC and free software was used to capture the latest information, and this scheme could be extended to other equipment as needed. Edge to Cloud, simplified

Manufacturing and production companies everywhere typically operate many legacy machines, but they are challenged with obtaining a birds-eye view of performance. Traditional methods of adding typical PLCs, PCs, and software can be used to address this issue, but this often requires a level of cost and effort exceeding the benefit. New micro-PLCs — with on-board WiFi, industrial protocols, and other related features — have improved upon this situation. These micro-PLCs can be quickly added anywhere to monitor a few points, or even an intelligent device, and then transmit data to the cloud wirelessly. End users can follow this approach as a standardized way of adding IIoT capabilities to any of their machines and production systems. With the right data accessible, users can improve the efficiency of their operations. FPW

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The necessity of

clean, dry compressed air Learn some tips to ensure reliable, high-quality compressed air output at an affordable cost. BY: Ron Marshall, Contributing Editor 46


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crunch time. That important order needs to be processed by the end of the day. You are up against a deadline, and you

only need a few more hours of production, and then the phone rings. The compressed air system is down and then everything stops. And when things start back up some ugly black gooey liquid starts seeping out of your compressed air pipes, ruining your final product packaging. If you own or operate a compressed air system, you have likely been in a similar situation at some point in your career or have heard the horror stories of someone who has lived through this disaster. It’s almost as if the air compressors can smell fear, and respond by shutting down, and the pain you feel drives home how important the central compressed air system is to the operation of the whole plant. This article discusses the need for clean, dry and reliable compressed air and gives some tips on how to reliably achieve a high-quality output at an affordable cost. Seeking the “Holy Grail” of air

There are many compressed air systems in the industrial world, and many thousands of uses for compressed air. An organization called The Compressed Air Challenge (compressedairchallenge.org) has created training to help compressed air system owners and operators understand their air systems and take steps to optimize their equipment. In the first level of this training a very important statement is made relating to the needs for any compressed air system — A basic requirement statement for a good supply of compressed air is this, “A properly managed compressed air system results in clean dry stable air being delivered at the appropriate pressure in a cost-effective manner.”

Figure 1: A good set of flow meters can really help understand how compressed air is used, and sometimes wasted.

This is an important but loaded statement containing six key elements: 1. Manage — To adequately manage a compressed air system it must be measured. 2. Clean – There needs to be adequate operating conditions for compressed air equipment and good equipment to filter and deliver clean high-quality compressed air. 3. Dry – The dew point of the air must be lowered to well below the ambient temperature of the plant environment. 4. Stable – To ensure stable pressure the compressed air system should be designed and fitted with reliable equipment with minimal pressure loss. A wellcontrolled system with adequate storage capacity will consistently maintain system pressure at a stable value. 5. Cost-Effective – All of the above should be achieved efficiently with well running high quality equipment.


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Figure 2: This customer went to great lengths to filter the air for their food process, however, because they were not measuring air quality they were not aware there was contamination passing downstream.

Managing by measuring

An often used, but appropriate statement is that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Compressed air systems are notoriously bad in that regard. Sure, there are many pressure gauges all over to ensure people can see that the pressure levels are adequate, and if you are lucky some may be accurate. There will be a few temperature readouts on the air compressors, but most systems don’t have enough instrumentation to ensure your operators have a handle on the flow, power and energy consumed. And rarely are there any instruments to reliably measure air quality. This leads operators to operate blindly, and often leads them to make the wrong decisions on how to solve nagging problems. Over the years, the cost of high-quality instrumentation has come way down, so there is now no excuse for not having a full slate of instrumentation and a system of displaying the outputs so someone can easily assess when things go wrong. Some basic equipment recommended to monitor your system: • Pressure readings before and after air treatment equipment, and at critical locations in the plant • Flow measurement at the output of the compressor room 48


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Power (kilowatt) and energy (kilowatt hour) metering on each compressor to enable the calculation and monitoring of key performance indicators • Temperature monitors on the inlet of air-drying equipment • Dew point monitors on the output of the compressor room • Particle and lubrication detectors if you need to provide super clean air • Handheld ultrasonic leakage detectors to find system waste Ensuring a clean supply

Let’s face it, air compressors are like big vacuum cleaners — they suck in anything in their immediate area. If you have ever had the responsibility of keeping a compressor room clean you know it is a never-ending job — dust, debris, chemical vapors and hot humid air are drawn into the compressor to the detriment of the cleanliness of the produced compressed air. Filters on the inlet of the compressor stop the coarse dust (anything larger than about 5 microns), but smaller particles and contaminants in vapor form, even microbes, pass into the compressor and beyond. When air is compressed and cooled, water condenses and mixes with the dirt, pollen, compressor lubricant, microbes and rusty pipe scale. This location before the air dryers is warm and oxygen rich — a great place for things to grow. This is why — if you have ever had the misfortune of spraying some condensate on your hand — it smells like an old gym sock. Ensuring a clean supply of compressed air requires attention to these items: • Ensure the rating of all system filtration is meeting with the quality requirements of your end uses. • Filters pick up contamination, but don’t last forever so you must replace them regularly. • In addition to properly rated main filters, sensitive equipment should have adequate filters installed at the end use. • Don’t rely on the differential gauges installed on the top of filters because they often stick. www.fluidpowerworld.com

• •

Use high quality piping because standard steel pipe can shed particles well after main system filters have cleaned the air. Make sure your air-drying system is working well. How can you test this? Measure the dew point. If your system needs very high-quality air, install hydrocarbon detectors and particle counters.

Keeping the air dry

The flow produced by any air compressors is always 100% saturated with water when it comes out of the compressed air aftercooler. This air is usually above ambient temperature, so if allowed to cool, free water will drop out and be carried along with the flow of air in the system piping. This can contaminate downstream equipment and products. To produce dry air, some method of air drying needs to be installed. The most common drying method is a refrigerated dryer type that cools the flow of air within the dryer, separates out the condensed moisture, then reheats the air to near ambient. The result is a flow of air with a dew point of around 35° F. This is adequate as long as the plant’s piping does not fall below that temperature, however, some sensitive products require dewpoints of below –40°. This requires desiccant dryers using internal moisture adsorbing beads. It should be noted the cost of

Figure 3: Poor quality compressed air can cause a mess downstream, especially in this cement plant where the air in this receiver is supposed to be dry.

producing very dry compressed air at this quality is at least five times more. The biggest common problem with air drying equipment is overheating. As the temperature of the compressed air increases, every 20° doubles the amount of water vapor. This becomes a problem, for example, on the hottest and most humid summer days. If your compressors are air cooled, and the ventilation in the compressor room is lacking, air dryers can easily see excess temperatures on their inlet. Unfortunately, most dryers are only rated for about 100° inlet conditions. If the temperature exceeds this in any way there will be trouble. Some tips about air dryers and moisture: • Plan for dryer failure, slope pipes properly for drainage, take air off the top of the pipe, and install drains on low spots. • Ensure the inlet air to dryers is as clean and as cool as possible, as heat is almost always the cause of moisture in the air. • Know the dryer ratings. If they are exceeded in any way you should oversize for worst case conditions. • Maintain dryers, especially condensate drains within dryers and filters, to ensure they always work. Failed drains are the second most common cause of water in the compressed air. • Choose dryers for low pressure differential to save energy. • Choose cycling or dew point controlled dryers to save energy. • Realize the display of refrigerated dryers does not measure dew point; rather, it is an indication of the temperature within the dryer. A failed drain or heat exchanger in the dryer can still allow moisture to pass through. • Measure dew point with an accurate instrument to ensure you are warned when things go wrong.


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Producing a stable pressure

Achieving stable plant pressure is all about reliable and accurate compressor control and the minimization of pressure drops in components. Control of system pressure means you must put exactly the amount of air you are using into the system as you are taking out. If you do this, you reach equilibrium, and the pressure is constant. And you must have a significant amount of air stored in a large air receiver to ensure you can ride out large system events with only a small fluctuation in pressure as the system adjusts. The system must be designed and sized so that any peak requirement can be covered by adequate compressor capacity, and consider any future increase, such as what might happen if a significant level of leakage develops. Making sure this selected equipment is properly sized and operates in a well-controlled manner is important. These days the best pressure control is achieved if one or more compressors in a system is a properly sized variable speed-controlled unit. When a system has more than three compressors it usually becomes economical to install some sort of sequencing controller to orchestrate the operation of compressors to ensure precise air pressure. Figure 4: A well designed filtration and drying system removed this from a compressed air system, saving the plant from contamination.

Tips for stable pressure: • Ensure compressor controls are coordinated to ensure optimum pressure delivery. • Make sure system storage is at least 5 gallons per cfm times the capacity of the largest trim compressor. • Choose system components like filters, piping, dryers with the lowest possible pressure drop. Operating in a cost-effective manner

Ensuring the system operates in a cost-effective manner requires two things: first, you must produce the air in the most efficient manner possible, and second, you should produce as little air as possible. To achieve these points, the selected equipment must be run in the most efficient manner, with the least pressure drop, and the lowest possible pressure. And compressed air waste needs to be managed though the reduction of leakage, artificial demand (flow caused by high pressure), and inappropriate uses of compressed air. To achieve these goals you need assistance. As a start, learn about these various efficiency measures in Compressed Air Challenge’s Fundamentals of Compressed Air Systems seminar. And then call in some experts to help you out. Conclusion

By measuring your system, and taking some care in how things are purchased, sized, operated and maintained, you can come very close to perfection. This can help you achieve a properly managed compressed air system supplying clean dry stable air being delivered at the appropriate pressure in a cost-effective manner. Figure 5: The display on this refrigerated dryer doesn’t really measure dewpoint but temperature inside the dryer. This dryer was passing wet air due to a drain failure.



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Ron Marshall is the owner of Marshall Compressed Air Consulting. He has 26 years of experience in the compressed air optimization field and provides training, technical writing and compressed air audits to his many clients.






HOSE ASSEMBLY? IoT-enabled crimpers can improve crimp production, keep track of data and simplify maintenance and troubleshooting. By: Thomas Carpenter, Gates Global Product Line Manager – Connected Platforms


the process of hydraulic hose crimping has been around for decades, in the last few years technology has changed the landscape, completely

redefining what is possible in the industry. Like others who have introduced IoT-enabled crimpers, the Gates GC20 Cortex crimper has made crimping a hydraulic hose a more intuitive, efficient, and transparent process. In turn, this technology has produced some significant benefits for end users. First, what exactly is meant by IoT? For many it is seen as a buzzword, popping up practically everywhere you look. Lights, speakers, cameras, smoke detectors, and many more products have integrated into the “Internet of Things,” allowing these devices to communicate to online applications as well as each other in real-time to make our lives easier. Also known as “smart devices,” the value of a light that can be remotely switched on or off via voice command or a doorbell that alerts your phone when you have visitors is clear. But how does this technology integrate into crimping hydraulic hose? The benefits may be more considerable than they initially appear. A visual interface increases the accessibility of crimping, and connecting the crimper to the internet provides powerful ondemand tools while also laying the groundwork for impactful data analytics. Simply put, by upgrading traditional crimpers with IoT capabilities, everyone from operators to managers will benefit.



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IoT-enabled crimpers, like GC20 Cortex Crimper, allow for easier training, maintenance and data collection.


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Next-generation crimping

Safe, effective crimping of hydraulic hoses has long been considered a specialized skill set at best and was often seen as arcane or even tribal knowledge, but IoT integration has changed the game, making crimper operation easier and more accessible to everyone. Now operated using a tablet, IoT crimpers such as the Gates GC20 Cortex Crimper provide all sorts of training materials at the user’s fingertips. On-demand training videos clearly explain and demonstrate for new operators how to use a hydraulic crimper safely and effectively. A digital user’s manual ensures that help is available anytime, without the need to store physical booklets. Employee turnover and the need to maintain a proficient and professional workforce is a universal challenge across all industries; IoT crimpers ease that burden by offering simple, fast, and consistent onboarding and retraining for operators. Not only is standard onboarding simplified, but IoT integration helps knock down other intimidating barriers of traditional crimping. Screensaver images with tips, tricks, and best practices enhance the operator’s understanding of the crimper, allowing them to use any new features to their full potential. The ability to change language ensures training and other resources are accessible to all. Additionally, the tablet touch screen interface for the crimper is incredibly intuitive. If you can operate a smart phone, you can operate a crimper with IoT capabilities. This has proven invaluable as tech-savvy millennials and gen-Zers make up an increasing percentage of the industrial workforce. To make the process even faster, machines like the Gates GC20 Cortex Crimper have a “favorites” feature which allows operators to preprogram common assemblies, so crimping can now be done with a single touch of a button. Having operators more familiar and comfortable using a crimper can have a direct impact on the sales of hydraulic assemblies. After installing a Gates GC20 Cortex Crimper, some customers have seen hydraulics business increase ten-fold. Smart maintenance and troubleshooting

Caring for an IoT crimper is also made easier thanks to integrated tutorials and other resources. Videos walk the user through the various processes of calibrating the machine, including setup calibration, maintenance calibration, and die-specific calibrations. If a specific die-set is worn or not providing optimal results, the Gates GC20 Cortex Crimper can perform a die-specific calibration, adjusting the crimping algorithm only for the affected die, resulting in a more accurate crimp every time. Likewise, when an IoT crimper does experience any issues, its integrated resources can help guide the user towards a solution. If a traditional crimper experiences any issues, it may stop working without any indication of what the underlying issue may be — it could just stop. It could take a great deal of time and effort to diagnose the problem, all while losing potential sales with a non-functioning

Smart crimpers simplify the crimping process, thus allowing technicians to make more hose assemblies quickly and efficiently, with less mistakes.



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CLEAN EASY. SEAL EASY. s r Exceed Meets o & SAE S ISO, NA ess n Clea lin ds Standar

The Ultra Clean System eliminates unseen dirt and grime the cutting and crimping process leaves behind — contaminates that could shut down your machinery indefinitely.

Clean Seal Systems protect your clean assemblies utilizing heat shrink technology to secure a Clean Seal Capsule onto the end of a hose or tube assembly. Eliminating unwanted contamination and excessive cap and plug inventory.




crimper. In contrast, the software in IoT crimpers is designed not only to detect what the specific issue is, but also to troubleshoot a solution. Is the sensor not working properly? Check to make sure nothing is obstructing it. Not crimping to tolerance? Perform a simple maintenance calibration. Having the intelligence to self-diagnose any potential issues makes the software in IoT crimpers incredibly valuable, greatly reducing machine downtime and increasing overall productivity. Not only are operators more comfortable and better trained on an IoT crimper, but the customer support process is vastly improved. If an IoT crimper is having issues that operators have difficulty solving locally, troubleshooting can take place remotely. Through the crimper software, customer service teams are able to directly connect to the crimper and fix issues without costly and time-consuming on-site visits. Mobile device management systems combined with error reports allow a fast, accurate diagnosis. By connecting the crimper directly to support teams, users have the tools to minimize crimper downtime, ensuring maximum efficiency and minimizing the possibility of lost sales. The big picture

All of these benefits are readily apparent to the end-user thanks to the updated technological interface, but let’s peel back another layer to examine how IoT integration helps us understand the big picture through data. The IoT crimper can now provide real time access to crimp data. How many assemblies have been created? Which operators perform the most crimps? How many couplings have been used? Which hose is the most popular? All of these insights and more are now at the user’s fingertips. Through Internet connectivity, the crimper is also able to provide real-time crimp specs, ensuring that assemblies are always created to the latest quality standards. Higher quality translates to better performance and less warranty replacements – not to mention eliminating the need for keeping a large crimp-spec reference book on hand. How else can data provide insight? Take for instance a user managing multiple sites. Having real time crimp data on site activity can help assist with effective resource management and highlight trends or opportunities that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. It also provides the opportunity for automatic replenishment 56


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Smart crimping machines can self-diagnose issues.For example,if a specific die-set is worn or not providing optimal results, the Gates GC20 Cortex Crimper can perform a die-specific calibration, adjusting the crimping algorithm only for the affected die. orders, to ensure the most popular items are always in stock. Between more efficient operators, higher quality assemblies, and access to crimp data, the benefits of an IoT crimper can have a real impact for managers and their business objectives. Moving forward

The beauty of having an IoT crimper is that new features are constantly added to the machine. By utilizing connected software, the crimper application can be updated and enhanced with additional functionality directly resulting from customer feedback. Is additional training needed? New content can be downloaded easily. Are there new features or process improvements that could be made? The crimper can download the latest software version to take advantage of the newest features and benefits. Traditionally a crimper was a very static purchase. Having a connected platform ensures that the owner is always in touch with an ever-evolving array of enhancements. New features and updates aren’t the www.fluidpowerworld.com

only benefits of having a connected machine. Perhaps the most exciting aspect is that IoT functionality is laying the groundwork for future innovations. Improved inventory management, automated crimp OD validation, assembly tracking, replacement referrals – the possibilities for implementing more value-added capabilities are endless. The Internet of Things is continuing to transform everyday industries, and hydraulic hose crimping is no exception. With the introduction of connected crimpers such as the Gates GC20 Cortex Crimper, benefits of incorporating this new technology are seen at all levels, including the bottom line. Bringing state of the art technology into hydraulic crimping is breathing new life into the industry, and paving the way for even more possibilities to come. FPW

Gates Corp. gates.com


Pump for the medium pressure range

New manual and mechanical pneumatic valves

The manually operated VHEF and the mechanically operated VMEF pneumatic valves are small, durable, and versatile valves that can ship within 24 hours. Whether the valve is triggered by a workpiece, a component, or a person, manual and mechanical valves are the most direct way to control a process. VHEF and VMEF do not require energy conversion, additional reaction time, or long cables. The actuated plunger switches the valve and triggers the next step in the process. Given that the conditions in the field are sometimes quite harsh, for example, with sawdust in furniture production, or even in agricultural automation, these manual and mechanical valves are designed to withstand environmental stresses. Each style of valve offers multiple configurations to satisfy a wide range of applications. The VHEF has seven manual versions, including pushbutton, toggle, finger, hand, and selector. The mechanically operated VMEF offers four actuation versions, including stem, roller lever, roller lever with idle return, and piloted.

HAWE Hydraulik has supplemented its series of axial piston pumps in the medium pressure range with the new type C40V as a successor to the type V40M. This lightweight axial piston pump is designed and compactly built for use in open circuits of mobile machines. Available in various sizes, it supplies system solutions for pressure ranges up to 280 bar with the required flow rate. The axial piston pump type C40V is lighter than its predecessor and has an even higher maximum self-priming speed of 3,200 rpm. The maximum delivery volume is 85cm3/rev and is available in three sizes (28, 45, and 85 cm3). A wide range of applications is opened up by a diverse range of controllers. The load-sensing regulator is available with an integrated or an electro-proportional pressure cut-off. In addition, purely mechanically adjustable pressure regulators or electroproportional pressure or flow regulators are also available.

Enhancement for 1¼ and 1½-in. SLPL spring-driven hose reels A product enhancement has been added to the spring-driven 1¼-in. and 1½-in. SLPL model hose reels. Before this update, these models of the SLPL came standard with the aluminum inline swivel. Optional on all of these models was the outsourced 90° swivel. For users needing a stainless-steel fluid path, the outsourced 90° stainless steel swivel was the only option. Coxreels has now eliminated the aluminum inline swivel on five SLPL models (725, 750, 825, 835, and 850) and incorporated a nickel-plated steel inline swivel (from the 1185-Series). This swivel increases the pressure rating of the inline plumbing from 250 to 1,500 psi. The nickel-plated steel is also far more rugged and durable than the aluminum swivel that it replaces. The new swivel includes multi-lobe seals for much-improved leak integrity. 58


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Hydraulic Live Swivels Inline & 90°

In-line mounted filters

Heavy Duty Ball Bearing Design

Adding to its high-pressure filter range, the Filtration Division of Eaton introduces the HP3 series for mobile and industrial applications. Suitable for oils, emulsions, coolants, and most synthetic and lubrication fluids, the filters have a working pressure of up to 6,000 psi (420 bar). The HP3 series is available in different sizes ranging from HP3 30 to HP3 60, HP3 90, HP3 170, HP3 240, HP3 360, HP3 450, HP3 900 up to HP3 1350, and with flow rates from 8 to 357 gpm (30 to 1,350 lpm). The cast iron head of the filter provides up to a 30% lower pressure drop than previous generations. The flow direction is from outside to inside. Visual or electrical differential pressure (DP) indicators are available as well as reverse and by-pass valves. A core part of the HP3 filter is a high resistance version of the 01.E filter element. It is available for filtering down to 5 µm with a differential pressure resistance of 2,320 psi (160 bar). The high resistance 01.E filter element supporting components are designed to be robust and use full metal instead of plastic.

Available In BSPP

Simplified hose configuration, less hose and adapters combine to reduce repairs and downtime cutting the overall cost of hydraulics.

No Kinks No Hose Twisting

New series-production range for piston accumulators

• Available In 304 & 440 Stainless Steel • Rated To 10,000 P.S.I. • Heat Treated • Custom Design & Sizes Available • Rebuildable Ball Bearing Design • Full Flow —Low Pressure Drop

To complement its lines of hydraulic cylinders, hydraulic power units, and gas cylinders, Liebherr has created a series-production range for piston accumulators. The series stands out due to modern and economical production processes and a low-maintenance and compact design. They are available in a range of piston diameters from 100 to 360 mm, with oil volumes of up to 400 l. The design and production of the piston accumulators meet country-specific requirements in line with PED 2014/68/EU and ASME Code Section VIII regulations. The production range offers a selection of different oil and gas connections. Furthermore, there is an option to integrate a position transducer system. Depending on the requirements, the products can be primed, painted, or coated for salt-water protection. The solutions in the series-production range are designed for both mobile and stationary applications. They find their use in industrial applications, mobile machines, in the field of renewable energies, as well as in maritime and offshore applications. In this context, they can be applied for energy storage and emergency operation but also for shock absorption. In the system, the piston accumulators of the new production range can be integrated into vertical and horizontal installation positions. In use, the components can withstand temperatures from –40° to 90°C. www.fluidpowerworld.com

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® Switc h Your Swivel® Switch Your Swivel



• Superior Quality Alloy Steel • Side Load Resistant

Quality Products Made In The U.S.A. Patent No. 5547233

Fax: 1-763-784-7423 Email: sales@superswivels.com

1-763-784-5531 www.SuperSwivels.com


OEM pressure sensors NOSHOK noshok.com These high-volume OEM pressure sensors include switches and transducers that provide excellent reliability, durability, and repeatability at a cost-effective price. These industry-proven OEM pressure transducers are robust and dependable and are available with a wide selection of measuring ranges, output signals, and process and electrical connection options. NOSHOK’s upgraded mechanical pressure switch program is engineered to address a range of applications and provide a significantly expanded selection of process connection options, and electrical connection options including spade terminals, Hirschmann, Packard, Deutsch, M12 x 3-pin, flying leads, terminal screws, and both Weatherpack Tower & Weatherpack Shroud. NOSHOK mechanical switches offer vacuum, low pressure, and highpressure options, and are RoHS compliant. The electronic indicating pressure transmitter/switch is a suitable choice for local indication, and provides excellent reliability, accuracy, and repeatability. Multiple output options, adjustable ranges, electrical connections, and other options are available.

Mini vacuum pumps with IO-LINK communication COVAL coval-inc.com

The LEMAX IO series of mini vacuum pumps with IO LINK communication integrates all the required functions for optimized vacuum management in a compact package. Via its IO-Link communications interface, the mini vacuum pumps communicate permanently with the environment, and thanks to ASC (Air Saving Control) technology, combine productivity with energy savings and adapt to many applications in packaging, robotics, or plastics processing. Without needing extra peripherals, these all-in-one mini pumps are fully compatible with Industry 4.0 automation. Compact in size, the LEMAX IO pumps have all the principal functions integrated into a single module: pressure regulation, solenoid valves, anticlogging open silencer, electronic vacuum switch, M8 connector (direct Plug & Play connection), and adjustable blowing. Their reduced size and weight (130 g) allow the suction cups to be positioned at minimum distance to achieve the shortest possible grip time without load loss.



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making a difference

FOR YOUR BUSINESS Our cutting-edge line of hydraulic hose and fittings is not just a product division. It’s a promise of superior service, quality, technical support and availability. We’ve built our company on impeccable customer service. Let us know how we can make a difference for your business. call 800.231.7116 or email sales@texcelrubber.com

Some of the best companies in the USA use GRH Products in their machines. Why shouldn’t you?

The best American manufacturers buy only from the best.

ALA INDUSTRIES LIMITED 3410 Delta Drive • Portage, IN 46368 Tel. 877-419-8536 Fax. 219-762-2066 12-20_FPW.indd 62 AD1_APPROVED.indd 1 GRH 2020_FPW_PEOPLE

Web. www.alaindustrieslimited.com

10/19/21 1:07 AM PM 7/24/20 7:45

COMPONENT FOCUS Frances Richards • Contributor

Where are single-acting pneumatic cylinders used? Single-acting cylinders are used frequently in packaging applications, where pushing, pulling, punching and clamping are accomplished with their quick, accurate movements. | Courtesy of Adobe Stock

Pneumatic cylinders are a clean and cost-effective option for achieving reliable linear motion in many industrial environments. Because they are lighter weight and lower maintenance than their hydraulic and electric counterparts, they are an excellent choice in applications from factory automation and transportation to packaging and life sciences. Two main styles exist: single-acting and double-acting. In single-acting pneumatic cylinders, air is supplied through one port to one side of the piston, causing the piston rod to extend in one direction for a task such as lifting an object or pressing one object into another. The other side of the cylinder vents air to the environment. Movement in the opposite direction occurs most often by means of a mechanical spring, which returns the piston rod to its original or base position. Double-acting pneumatic cylinders feature two ports that supply compressed air to both extend and retract the piston rod. Double-acting designs are far more common throughout industry, with an estimated 95% of applications using this

cylinder style. However, in certain applications, the single-acting type is the most cost-effective and appropriate solution. Here we will explore where single-acting pneumatic cylinders are a good fit. Single-acting cylinders are a great choice for applications with space constraints, as these tend to be smaller cylinders than other designs due to their integrated springs that leave less room for compressed air. Analytical equipment, diagnostic instrumentation, bottling machinery, and commercial laundry and kitchen equipment are just a few examples of where these single-acting cylinders are specified. They are typically used in applications where work is performed in one direction. These include tasks such as positioning, marking, clamping, and light assembly. It is also helpful to consider the advantages and drawbacks of this cylinder style in order to determine where single-acting cylinders are an appropriate option. On the plus side is their compact size, simple design, and reduced valve and tubing costs compared to their double-acting counterparts. Also keep in mind that air consumption is 50% less than that required for an equal sized double-acting cylinder, boosting their efficiency and lowering their operating costs. Disadvantages are also important to be aware of, to determine if any of these factors is a deal breaker for a particular application. First, the side of the cylinder that houses the return spring is vented to the ambient environment, which could allow ingress of foreign particles and lead to reduced cylinder life. Second, spring operation can become inconsistent and lead to uncertain end-of-stroke positioning over time. In addition, bore size and cylinder stroke are both restricted due to limitations in spring size and available force. Finally, a slight reduction in thrust can be expected due to the opposing spring force. Because of these factors, single-acting pneumatic cylinders have a limited stroke length but are often useful in more compact and slower operations. Single-acting cylinders are often found in factory automation settings, performing jobs such as materials handling and packaging operations. Here they are used to position parts and tools, helping with tasks such as clamping and punching. They can also be found in specialized pumps and hydraulic rams, assisting with jobs such as lifting heavy items. Pushing, pulling, lifting and lowering are other actions these single-acting cylinders can assist with. Overall, single-acting pneumatic cylinders are highly efficient, simple, durable, and easy to install, making them an excellent choice for reliable linear motion in the right application. FPW


Component Focus 10-21_FPW Vs3.indd 63

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10/19/21 12:03 PM


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Adaptall ...................................... 18 Aggressive Hydraulics ................ 13 AutomationDirect .............1, Insert Bailey Hydraulics .......................... 7 Canfield Connector .................... 60 Clippard ...................................... BC DMIC .......................................... 11 Doering Co. ................................ 24 Fairview USA Inc. ....................... 49 Fluid Line Products..................... 25 FluiDyne Fluid Power ................. 44 GRH Power ................................. 62 HBC-Radiomatic ......................... 35 HydraForce ................................. 45 Hydraulex Global ........................ 29

Hydraulics Inc ............................. 27 Industry Summit FPDA ............... 51 Main Mfg ...................................... 8 Motion ......................................... 3 MP Filtri USA ................................ 5 Permco, Inc. ............................... 23 Polyconn ..................................... 57 Prince Manufacturing ................ 39 Stauff Corp. .................................. 9 Super Swivels ............................. 59 Texcel Rubber ............................. 61 Tompkins Industries .............. IFC, 8 Ultra Clean Technologies ........... 55 Veljan Hydrair............................ IBC Zero-Max, Inc. ............................ 21

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October 2021 Date


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10 • 2021


EVP Marshall Matheson 805.895.3609 mmatheson@wtwhmedia.com @mmatheson


Control Solutions 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.

• • • •

Electronic Valves Proportional Valves Isolation Valves Precision Regulators

• • • •

Toggle & Stem Valves Needle Valves Electronic Pressure Controllers Pneumatic Assemblies

• • • •

Special Manifold Designs Pneumatic Circuit Design Cylinders Fittings, Hose & Tubing