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 Looking ahead to the future of industry, with all the advancements in technology that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) holds in store, one might rightly wonder if pneumatics will still have pride of place on the production line. After all, it’s basically just gas or air passing through tubes! Surely all the innovation that’s happening with digitalisation will mean that IIoT components will become much more important than the pneumatics?


Pneumatics and IIoT inseparable

In actual fact, the real answer is that the two technologies will most likely become inseparable because they perform equally important functions that are increasingly becoming interdependent. Parker’s recent ‘Factory of the Future’ market research has revealed that pneumatic technology will indeed remain a critical component in the digital manufacturing field for the foreseeable future. Although pneumatic equipment indeed functions through pressurised gas or air moving through tubes, these tubes remain the ‘veins’ of the factory, delivering fast, precise and efficient movement on complex automation lines and facilitating quick and easy assembly, cleaning and a host of other functions on the production floor. 


Pneumatic designs compliment approach of Industry 4.0

Since pneumatics have been around for quite some time, they already offer high reliability and efficiency, and their designs naturally complement the modular approach of Industry 4.0. In the increasingly digital manufacturing sphere, pneumatic systems are being adapted to answer the need for real-time process data through the incorporation of IIoT enabled nodes and sensors. 

 Although some pneumatics manufacturers have been slow off the mark to follow the digitalisation trend, Parker recognised the opportunity to serve customers with industry-leading connectivity and safety solutions well in advance. For instance, our entire product development cycle is now focused on making devices ‘smart’ by ensuring that they are able to communicate their status to the rest of the network. OEMs can now easily use these smart pneumatics equipped with cost-efficient sensors to intelligently monitor the real-time status, positioning, velocity, condition and efficiency of the various components that make up the modern automation line.

Although there is still a long road to travel in order to realise the ultimate vision of Industry 4.0, the intermediate period will see the gradual introduction of these smart products that offer both traditional control functions and actionable intelligence. The evolution of manufacturing is contingent upon the development and continuous improvement of this actionable intelligence, giving users the ability to track the uptime and availability of the machines in their plant. The analytics from this data will enable significant operational cost savings, for instance by performing predictive maintenance and achieving optimised operations using continuous position sensing.


Choices ahead to future-proof designs

 While the technology is still in a state of flux, machine builders and their component suppliers will now need to make careful choices in order to future-proof their designs. Parker believes that open-source, low-cost Industrial Ethernet (IE)-based components and subsystems is the answer to this challenge, and so our recent product development efforts have been based on IO-Link enabled connectivity and network solutions. 

IO-Link enabled products are just one example of how Parker, leading with purpose, is providing customers with cutting edge technologies for use in globalised manufacturing operations. Regardless of location, the use of IE and IO-Link network nodes make the control, safety and maintenance of a range of different devices, machines, systems and users simple and cost-effective. 

Ensuring that key automation components such as pneumatic valves are IIoT-enabled is an excellent way of creating white space opportunities for innovation in the factory of the future. 


Learn more

To discover more about Parker’s I/O Link IIoT solution, please download our brochure IO-Link Solutions here.


 Article contributed by Richard McDonnell, marketing development manager (IoT & Smart Products) Pneumatic Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation.

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 Reliable functionality and efficient economy are the key drivers to the innovation in the development of marine engines. Improvements in the design efficiency in the maritime industry over the past three decades show engine applications have had the largest increase.

Current filtration practices in hydraulic and lubrication throughout marine applications center around preventing contamination from getting into the machinery, thereby delivering improved component life. However, purely prescriptive maintenance of filter elements causes unnecessary maintenance costs and unanticipated downtime. Our white paper demonstrates why a move to more predictive maintenance with condition-based maintenance of filter elements enables the operations team to optimize the use of resources.


How Predictive Maintenance Improves Marine Engine Filter Performance - WP cover image Towards the Predictive Maintenance of Mechanical Filters - Parker Hannifin

Download our technical white paper: Towards the Predictive Maintenance of Mechanical Filters to learn about the scientific testing behind the data substantiating the results.

      Factors that influence the mechanics of filtration

Combustion and lubrication are complicated events with usual uncertainties in their operating conditions. A mechanical filtration system is an integral part of lubrication and combustion units, and may display an uncertain performance due to the sensitive behavior of several upstream and downstream components. On one hand, the flow and fluid characteristics along with the varying ambient conditions strongly impact the filter’s performance. On the other hand, unpredictable characteristics of contamination including the particle size and shape, specific weight and concentration of solids, the chemical composition of impurities and diverse intermolecular and adhesive forces highly influence the mechanics of filtration. The source of foreign matter in hydraulic liquids and underlying mechanisms of generating solid particles such as wear, welding slag, ingressed contamination, etc. is very complex, and a holistic analysis from the perspective of the system’s entirety would lead to superficial knowledge about oil quality.


Moving from preventive to predictive maintenance

 The presence of solid particles in the lubricant is a major cause of failures in hydraulic systems. Studies show that over 80% of the failures of hydraulic units are due to the foreign matter in the hydraulic oil. From a combustion perspective, stringent regulations on the emissions and realistic certification processes demand more efficient filtration practices.

The conventional practice of preventive maintenance of mechanical filters is purely time-based. This may cause additional maintenance costs if the filter element is still in relatively good condition, and unanticipated operational downtime if the element is clogged or damaged before its prescribed lifetime. Therefore, the need for switching from preventive/reactive maintenance to predictive maintenance is obvious, where the information about the element’s lifetime is critical without missing the focus on the optimal response to the key performance requirements:

  • Oil cleanliness

  • Sustainability

  • Serviceability

  • Safety


Optimizing filter predictive maintenance with sensors

 In order to optimize the filter’s maintenance, the analysis of the performance over time must be precise. This objective can be achieved by improving the quality and relevance of the filter’s test data provided by the deployed sensors at the right locations of the test bench. Performance and statistics based predictive approach rely on the robustness and validity of the models that correlate influential factors to enable more accurate estimations of the filter element’s lifetime.

Predicting the lifetime of a mechanical filter is, therefore, a major challenge due to the dynamics associated with the filtration as a process itself. Depending on the areas of application, this estimate requires knowledge about all those processes that alter the operation settings, fluid condition, porous media properties, and the filter’s status.


Developing a framework for the data correlations

The rapid growth of sensing technologies has made oil condition monitoring a reality. However, the dynamics associated with the phase separation through porous media and ambiguous variation in the filtration phenomenon due to the uncertain operating conditions unleash the complexity in realizing the prognostics of a hydraulic or fuel filter.


HOw Predictive Maintenance Improves Marine Engine Filter Performance - Test System - Parker Hannifin

Therefore, a laboratory-based experimental framework has been developed to quantify the effect of fluid/flow conditions on filtration. Here, the identification of the right filtration parameter should lead to the analysis of the filter element’s condition and predict its residual lifetime.

A smarter shift to condition-based maintenance

As a filter’s maintenance practices cause unnecessary maintenance costs and unanticipated downtime, condition-based maintenance enables the optimum utilization of resources. This foresees a new horizon where the preventive or reactive maintenance could be replaced by the state-of-the-art predictive maintenance models in the context of industry 4.0 and the IoT.


Download White PaperDownload our technical white paper: Towards the Predictive Maintenance of Mechanical Filters to learn about the scientific testing behind the data substantiating the results.


Jagan Gorle Ph.D., principal R&D engineer at Hydraulic & Industrial Process Filtration Division of Parker Hannifin in Finland.Article contributed by Jagan Gorle Ph.D., principal R&D engineer at Hydraulic & Industrial Process Filtration Division of Parker Hannifin in Finland. 





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 Are you looking for an obsolete or current Parker or competitor part? By using our recently launched web-based Cross Reference and Interchange application, we deliver! The tool is built on direct feedback from customers and distributors to provide a quicker, easier way to access competitive cross-reference information and parts. The resulting tool aggregates all of Parker’s cross reference and interchange tools into one user-friendly interface. This post will detail how to use the tool step by step.


Why Cross-Reference?

We gathered feedback from a gamut of customers- OEMs, engineers, MROs, and distributors who indicated they would use the Cross Reference & Competitor Interchange tool because they want:

  • Shorter lead time than their current vendor.

  • Lower cost than their current vendor.

  • To stay with Parker but the part they had used is obsolete.

  • Alternatives when a company that makes their part no longer exists.


Customer benefits
  • Ability to cross-reference and make an interchange with competitor’s parts.

  • Find a replacement for an obsolete part and alternative parts.

  • Find the replacement part quickly, 24/7, from anywhere, without having to make a phone call.


Parts are available for the following product categories with more being added daily:

  • EMI Shielding

  • Filters, Separators, Purifiers

  • Fittings and Quick Couplings

  • Hose, Piping, Tubing and T-Slot Framing

  • Motors, Drives and Controllers

  • Pumps

  • Valves

Quicker, easier, and faster results

Using Parker’s Cross-Reference tool is as easy as 1-2-3. Simply enter a competitor’s complete or partial part number or a Parker complete or partial part number and the results will display suggested Parker functionally equivalent parts.


Getting started

Start by visiting the Cross-Reference & Competitive Interchange web portal. After agreeing to the disclaimer statement, you will see this.


Please note that the only option is to choose is the [Search] bar at the top. You will notice that the drop-down menus on the left are grayed out or disabled. That will change to accessible after you enter in your part number.

In the [Search] box, you can enter a single part, or up to 5 parts separated by commas. Even if you do not have the full part number, you can type in as little as two characters to have results displayed.

  Automatic selection of Contains vs. Exact
  • If 2 characters are entered, Exact search results are automatically displayed.

  • If 3 or more characters are entered, Contains search results are displayed, with Exact matches displayed first. I.e. all parts that contain the string of characters entered in the search box.

  • Up to 100 results are displayed. At the bottom end of the results, is a [Show More] bar. Clicking on that will display more results if they are available.


Example 1– In this example, you are looking for a replacement part from the manufacturer Weatherhead (Eaton) and have a partial part number of 1001.

Step 1- Type 1001 into the [Search] bar.

Step 2- Use the left column [Filter by] navigation menu to narrow your search results.

  • [Cross From] is the Manufacturer's name.

  • [Product Type] are each of the product categories that resulted from the number entered in the [Search] bar.

  • [Division] is Parker's part division.


From the [Results] menu:

  • [Type] is Parker's part category.

  • [Cross From] is the Manufacturer.

  • [Part Number] is the complete part number.

  • [Cross to Parker] is Parker’s equivalent or interchange part.

  • [Fit] – if a green checkmark is displayed. Fit refers to the ability of the part or feature to connect to, mate with, or join to another feature or part within an assembly. 

  • [Comments] are brief descriptions. A comment in yellow means you can hover your mouse over it and description will display.

  • [Where to buy] – clicking on this takes you to the Product Locator.


Step 3– Once you have identified your [Type] category, use the left navigation menu to further filter your results. Use the [Cross From] drop-down menu, you can type in the first few characters of the manufacturer's name, to find the manufacturer [Weatherhead Eaton].


Step 4- As only two results display, there is no need to narrow your search further. However, if you click on the [Product Type] drop-down menu, one type will appear, which is the [Hose, Piping, Tubing, and T-slot Framing] category.

Clicking on the [Division] drop-down menu, [Hose Products Division] will display as the available choice.


Step 5– You have found your interchange [Part Number] H10012. Under the [Cross To Parker] column the part is hyperlinked to the Push-Lok Higher Pressures Multipurpose hose product page.


You have several options to work with on this page. You can:

  • View Series Page for the technical specifications.

  • Share/Email and Print.

  • Request a Quote.

  • Find a Distributor from the Where to Buy button.


Example 2-  In this example, you are searching for a replacement for an Alco Filter. You do not have the full part number but know that it contains [123].


Step 1- Type [123] into the [Search] bar to display the results.


Step 2- As you know the manufacturer, you can choose by name from the [Cross From] drop-down menu on the left side navigation menu.


Step 3- From the results, you will see under the [Cross to Parker] that one part [BF7663] is available on Clicking on that hyperlink takes you to the Hastings - Spin-on Fuel Filters product page. The other parts displayed above are available by clicking on the [Where to Buy] to locate a distributor near you. Simply enter your zip code.



We hope you have found this post helpful and will utilize our Cross-Reference & Competitor Interchange tool frequently and for all of your replacement part needs! Be sure and bookmark this post and the application itself for future use.
Article contributed by the Parker Global Team.


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