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Latest Blog Posts

Position Sensing of Mechanical Components in Rail Increases Safety - Digital Train - Parker LPCE Division

Whether train driving is done manually or automatically, human being remains responsible for safety. Man is increasingly assisted by automatic means to control and communicate with his machine. This assistance is provided by systems called Human Machine Interfaces (HMI).

The objective of the HMI is to make the facilities more functional, better adapted to the environment and to avoid risks. For this reason, electronic systems are growing to benefit passenger and goods safety but also for the productivity of equipment.

In trains, the HMI are deployed on different mechanical components in the form of electronic systems. They can be placed on the mechanical components of a pressure circuit to monitor and control their operation.


How do HMI optimize the operation of railway mechanical components?

The sensor is an element of the HMI more and more used in the architecture of mechanical systems of a train, especially in pressure circuits. The assembly of sensors on mechanical components allows precise control of movement in pressurized fluid transfer systems, thus improving safety.

These sensors are detection devices with signals that make it possible to bring intelligence to the control of the movement. They provide the data needed to foster a reactive and preventative environment. Position sensors, for example, make it easy to control the open or closed position of a valve on a fluid transfer circuit.

The use of a sensor with electrical or contactless technology minimizes the overall cost of implementing a secure mechanical system. Indeed, it allows to quickly and accurately detect the open or closed position of a circuit, without separate encoders and especially without additional mechanics.

The data transmitted by the sensor allows the monitoring and, when the information flows in both directions, the control of the mechanical component itself. Position data available improve risk control and prevention by quickly detecting any problem and saving it to databases. The HMI then makes it possible to avoid malfunctions that can lead to downtime or productivity losses.


The example of Parker Legris valves dedicated to railway applications

Position Sensing of Mechanical Components in Rail Increases Safety - Sensor - Parker LPCE DivisionPosition Sensing of Mechanical Components in Rail Increases Safety - Sensor 2  - Parker LPCE Division







Several fluids are circulating in a train between a tank and actuators such as brake shoes and motors. The medium conveyed range from compressed air, water or glycol water, to diesel or hydraulic oil. Some circuits need to be secured.

Well known for its expertise in fluid transfer solution, Parker Legris has developed a new lockable valve with sensor, adapted to the low-pressure circuit for compressed air supply. Thanks to this valve with open or closed position detection, the user quickly identifies the valve status and can act faster at the exact location.

This new Parker Legris valve has two additional functions:

  • Locking the lever via a lockable plate to prevent unintentional manipulation.
  • Detection of the open or closed position state of the valve via a position sensor. This sensor will directly transmit the information to the driver in the cabin or to other electromechanical devices of the circuit to modify their operation if necessary.

To adapt to the railway equipment constraints, the new valves have a robust IP67 protection box at the sensor. They are 100 percent leak-tested and have an inductive sensor electrically connected to the HMI.

Electronic sensors are now essential safety instruments in railway vehicles. They are expected to expand to more mechanical components, because safety is at the heart of the innovation of railway market players, and more widely of manufacturers like Parker.

Position Sensing of Mechanical Components in Rail Increases Safety





 Article contributed by Céline Joyeau, marketing development manager, Low Pressure Connectors Europe Division

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A Case Study for Hydraulic Motors in Leading Industry Car Wash System Application Pump and Motor DivisionWashing a car effectively takes more than soap and water; it takes proper equipment. At the heart of the operation is the motor. Motors actuate brushes, cars, water-hoses and more within a car washing system. Because these motors must operate for long hours under harsh conditions, motor selection presents a unique engineering challenge. For example, electric motors last longer, but can be more expensive. Conversely, hydraulic motors are more cost efficient, but reputed to suffer periodic oil leaks.

Electric motors: advantages vs. disadvantages

While electric motors appeal to consumers because of their longer life, applications in water-rich environments can lead to issues. Water and electricity do not mix. Leaks, rust and corrosion are prevalent in a car-wash application and can lead to premature failure.

In addition to problems with water, an electric motor’s long life comes with a cost.  Simply put, electric drive motors are more expensive. Typically, electric gear motors cost four to five times as much as a hydraulic motor with comparable performance. If repairs are required, electric replacement parts cost more as well.  However, in an application that requires long life, the costs of an electric motor may be justified.

Hydraulic Motors are a Good Car Care System Solution Light Duty hydraulic motor Pump Motor Division The hydraulic motor solution

A hydraulic motor is more cost effective, but has the reputation of creating a mess. While hydraulic lines can break and lead to oily spills, hydraulic motors should operate indefinitely, if proper system maintenance is followed:

  • Regular inspection and replacement of worn hydraulic hoses
  • Use of stainless steel tubing
  • Standard maintenance of hydraulic power unit tank to the float level

When water and metal is involved, corrosion is a concern.  By design, hydraulic motors can withstand corrosion in a way that electric motors cannot. Unpainted and sealed hydraulic motors form a rust coating that allows the motor to adapt to a wet environment, without compromising motor performance.

Parker light duty hydraulic motors for car wash applications

Parker Low-Speed/High Torque (LSHT) motors are used in conveyor systems, wheel polishers and/or brushes. They offer a two-pressure zone, high pressure shaft seal that does not require a case drain line back to the reservoir. This design reduces cost, while retaining possible leak points on fitting and hose lines. The internal flow passage of the motors allows oil to reach all internal components, keeping fresh oil at the internal bearing and ensuring seal shaft lubrication. Fresh oil for components means longer life. 

Robust bearings withstand higher side loads for applications that may require chain or sprocket shaft connections such as the car conveyor. The rugged construction of the TK series motor can transmit over 23,000 lb-in of torque in a compact, 6 x 10 inch package.

Discover more about Parker’s motors used in car wash application motors. 


Hydraulic Motors Make a Splash  in Car Care Systems - Car Wash Interactive




A Case Study for Hydraulic Motors in Leading Industry Car Wash System

Article contributed by Hersh Chaturvedi, business development manager and  Kenney Ricker, product manager, Pump and Motor Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation.





Hydraulic Motors Car Care System Kenney Ricker Pump Motor Division







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How Oil Vapour in Ambient Air Affects Downstream Compressed Air Quality - Car Exhaust Pollution - Parker HannifinMany companies, including those in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, manufacturing and electronics industries, recognize the negative effects on quality created by oil contact with their product during production. Product rejections and consumer safety concerns associated with oil contamination can have broad negative financial and commercial impacts on a company. However, an often overlooked source of oil in compressed air — ambient air — is frequently misunderstood, underestimated or ignored.

In this blog, we’ll examine the effect that ambient oil vapour levels can have on downstream compressed air quality and what to consider when looking for technically oil-free compressed air to ISO8573-1 Class 0 or Class 1 for total oil.


How Oil Vapour in Ambient Air Affects Downstream Compressed Air Quality - White Paper Oil Vapour in Ambient Air - Parker HannifinFor details on oil vapour testing levels in ambient air, test methods, compliance and other gaseous contaminants of concern, download the full white paper “Oil Vapour in Ambient Air”.







What is ambient air?

Ambient air is the air we breathe and it’s all around us. It’s also the air that is drawn in by air compressors. Ambient air is made up of approximately 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. The remaining 1% contains a mix of argon, carbon, helium and hydrogen as well as a variety of contaminants — oil vapour being one of them. Ambient air is an often overlooked source of contamination that can have a big impact on a compressed air system.


How is ambient air contaminated?

How Oil Vapour in Ambient Air Affects Downstream Compressed Air Quality - Factory Exhaust Pollution - Parker HannifinAmbient air quality is directly impacted by air pollution caused by industrial processes such as burning fossil fuels and emissions from vehicle exhaust, oil and gas fields, paints, and solvents.

Oil vapour in ambient air is made up of a combination of hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds (VOC). Ambient air typically contains between 0.05mg/m3 and 0.5mg/m3 of oil vapor, however, levels can be higher in dense, urban or industrial environments or next to car parks and busy roadways.

These levels may seem negligible, but when it comes to compressed air contamination, we must consider the effect that compressing the air has on the ambient contamination, the amount flowing into the compressed air system, and the time the compressor is operating.


Compressing air – compounding the problem?

How Oil Vapour in Ambient Air Affects Downstream Compressed Air Quality - Compression of compressed air - Parker HannifinThe process of compression, as well as flow rate and time, build the level of oil in the compressed air that travels through a production system — air that eventually finds its way to production equipment, instrumentation, products and packaging materials.

Compression, or pressurizing the compressed air, can significantly increase the volume of oil. The greater the operating pressure, the higher the potential level of oil in the compressed air. This is compounded by the flow rate and time of operation. Compressors are often designed to operate continuously. This means that the concentration of oil continues to multiply in the confined space of the compressed air system. In turn, it will only exit the system at points where the air is released. These exit points are often in areas where the contaminated air comes in contact with product, production equipment or instrumentation. So, what may seem like negligible levels of hydrocarbons and VOC in ambient air, can become a great concern when the same is drawn in and compressed for use in manufacturing.


Effect on quality

Once inside the compressed air system, oil vapour will cool and condense, mixing with water in the air. This contamination causes numerous problems to the compressed air storage and distribution system, production equipment and final product leading to:

  • Inefficient production processes.
  • Spoiled, damaged or reworked products.
  • Reduced production efficiency. 
  • Increased manufacturing costs.
  Oil-free compressors

Due to the financial and commercial impact of contaminated product, many companies specify the use of an oil-free compressor, in the mistaken belief that this will deliver oil-free compressed air to critical applications. 

Oil-free compressed air systems are typically installed without downstream purification equipment intended to remove oil, as they are deemed unnecessary accompaniments. While it is true that oil-free compressed air systems will not contribute contamination in the manner that oil lubricated systems will, oil vapour from ambient air remains untreated.  

  Considerations for technically oil-free air

Technically oil-free air, in accordance with ISO8573-1 (international standard for compressed air purity) Class 0 or Class 1 for Total Oil, can only be guaranteed through the proper application of downstream purification equipment. This equipment may include water separators and coalescing filters to remove liquid water and oil, aerosols of water and oil, and solid particulate as well as adsorption filters to treat oil vapour. Compressed air users seeking an oil-free source of air would be wise to consider these precautionary purification steps, whether they are used with oil-lubricated or oil-free compressed air systems. 

In order to establish compliance with ISO8573-1 Class 0 or Class 1, the international standards categorizing oil level in compressed air, users must perform tests to assess both oil aerosol and oil vapor presence in their systems. The levels of each phase will combine to establish total oil in the compressed air system. 

To conduct the tests, samples of each phase must be drawn through a solvent extraction process and analyzed using gas chromatography (GC) or Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) technology. The combination of the two methods will provide an accurate reading down to 0.003mg/m3. 

While there are other methods for testing oil levels, like Photo Ionisation Detector (PID), these will leave certain compounds undetected. To this end, they should be used for estimation purposes only. GC and FT-IR will provide results that can be related to ISO standards with reliable and complete accuracy.  


How Oil Vapour in Ambient Air Affects Downstream Compressed Air Quality - Oil Free Air System OFAS - Parker Hannifin Advanced solutions

Parker has recently introduced a new compressed air purification system. The OFAS Oil Free Air System is a fully integrated heatless compressed air dryer and filtration package suitable for use with any compressor type and can be installed in the compressor room or at the point of use. Fitted with a third adsorbent column for oil vapour removal, the OFAS has been third-party validated by Lloyds register to provide ISO 8573-1 Class 0, with respect to total oil from both oil-lubricated and oil free compressors, ensuring the highest quality air at the point of use for critical applications.



Compressed air is vital to any production process. Whether it comes into direct contact with the product or is used to automate a process, a clean, dry reliable compressed air supply is essential. If the compressed air contains oil, the consequences can be high both financially and in terms of brand damage. 


How Oil Vapour in Ambient Air Affects Downstream Compressed Air Quality - White Paper Oil Vapour in Ambient Air - Parker HannifinFor details on oil vapour testing levels in ambient air, test methods, compliance and other gaseous contaminants of concern, download the full white paper "Oil Vapour in Ambient Air"


How Oil Vapour in Ambient Air Affects Downstream Compressed Air Quality - White Paper Oil Vapour in Ambient Air - Parker HannifinThis blog was contributed by Mark White, compressed air treatment applications manager, Parker Gas Separation and Filtration Division, EMEA.






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