Machine builders in the European market know that their machines must meet the requirements of the machinery directive if they want to be CE marked and sold. This is not news to anyone. But are you aware that the requirements are written provided that new technical solutions are constantly developed over time?
The Machinery directive, 2006/42/EC, states:
(14) The essential health and safety requirements should be satisfied in order to ensure that machinery is safe; these requirements should be applied with discernment to take account of the state of the art at the time of construction and of technical and economic requirements.
State of the art is a moving target, and it will always be a challenge for machine manufacturers to keep up with the latest developments. Technical solutions evolve and open up new ways of making machines more safe in comparison to the past.The early days of programmable electronics for machinery
Parker launched IQAN, programmable electronics to help make machinery more safe by enabling smarter safety interlocks in the mid-90s. Examples of its safety functions include load moment limitations on cranes and stopping of all movement when the driver leaves the cab. At that time, the key characteristics of best-in-class systems were robust hardware built for harsh environments and electromagnetic compatibility. These are now considered basic requirements. In the case of IQAN, software specific for developing application software made machines less prone to implementation errors, but there was no established method that machine manufacturers could use to objectively evaluate software. The standards for safety of machinery that existed at this time was very focused on different levels of redundancy, with little consideration of software aspects and analysis of electronics. Standardized solutions could be both cost-prohibitive and fail to address important control system aspects.
With the release of ISO 13849-1:2006 Safety of Machinery, designers received guidance on how to methodically develop a control system with safety functions by focusing on hardware reliability, diagnostics and software quality to reach a desired performance level (PL). The requirements in the standard adapted to the increasing experience of using programmable electronics and the growing availability of component reliability data. The ISO 13849-1 standard allows machine designers to choose the best solution for each part of a safety function. For example, sensors with redundant signals, off-the-shelf controllers certified to IEC 61508 and well-tried reliable hydraulic components.Parker's advances in technology
When Parker introduced the IEC 61508 SIL2 certified controller IQAN-MC3 in 2010, they gave machine manufacturers an effective way to implement SIL2 / PLd safety functions. The IQAN-MC3 controller is designed around the concept that in-depth knowledge of the components is the key to efficient hardware diagnostics. The core diagnostics package includes a technique called challenge-response, a set of cyclic tests that give a good diagnostic coverage without adding too much extra hardware. This gives a realistic hardware cost, but the extensive self-diagnostics firmware does take its toll in calculation speed.
An example of an application where the technology has been deployed is the load moment control of a reach stacker, where stability of a machine is calculated to prevent a machine from overturning. Another example is wheel steering on lift trucks.
As manufacturers of mobile machinery gain experience from using standards for the most critical safety functions, the next step is to bring this structured approach to normal operating functions. In mobile, it has always been difficult to distinguish some of the normal operating functions from the safety functions. Load moment limitations and stopping of all movement when the driver leave the cab are examples of functions whose primary purpose is to achieve safety. Stopping the implement hydraulics when the operator lets go of the lever is part of normal machine operation, but it can also be a safety function. As mobile machinery controllers with safety certification become more affordable, it makes sense to step up the requirements on all motion controlling functions.State-of-the-art technology joins safety and performance
The new series of IQAN-MC4xFS is a perfect example of how state of the art is changing.
IQAN-MC4xFS builds on the experience of the IQAN-MC3, reusing the proven IQAN software platform that is the foundation for all IQAN masters. It has also inherited the concept for power driver outputs with a combined high-side and low-side switching and detection of wiring faults for safety related loads. The core electronics has also evolved. A key component is the Infineon microcontroller designed for both automotive and machinery applications. This is designed from the start with hardware supported self-diagnostics. Compared to its predecessor the IQAN-MC3, this makes the IQAN-MC4xFS more run-time efficient; it can execute larger applications at a shorter cycle time.
With one of the larger modules IQAN-MC42FS or IQAN-MC43FS, the machine designer has a choice to use one certified controller of on all sections on a hydraulic directional control valve. This gives a cost-effective way to meet safety function Performance Level c without adding extra hydraulic components. For functions requiring the higher Performance Level d, IQAN-MC4xFS can be used to read spool position sensors and actuate pump unloading valves to have a second hydraulic shutdown path.
The MC4xFS gives the possibility to meet current and future requirements of functional safety without compromising the performance of the machine functionality. It makes it possible to create both safe and user-friendly functionality in a cost-efficient way. The technology development on electronics has taken us to a state of the art level that makes it possible to implement safety functions in and on virtually all motion control functions in a machine. It lets you focus on what matters most - machine functionality. Learn more.
Article contributed by Gustav Widén, systems engineer electronics, Parker Hannifin Manufacturing Sweden AB.
From food processing to coal handling to cement manufacturing, silos are used for bulk material storage in many industries.
Proper ventilation is critical to the preservation of the materials stored in silos. Bin vent dust collectors are often installed to filter and vent dust and debris that forms in the storage container.
Common goals for any manufacturing facility are to minimize unplanned equipment downtime and maintenance, maximize efficiency and lower operating costs. Lost production time and increased maintenance expenses work directly against the financial and production expectations of the business.
This was the case at one processing plant where multiple bin vent dust collectors were installed to vent silos. Operators were challenged with:
The plant turned to the filtration expertise of Parker Hannifin. Parker assessed the situation and recommended installing BHA® PulsePleat® Filter Elements as a versatile and cost-effective solution.Standard benefits of BHA® PulsePleat® filter elements
The plant’s engineering and maintenance teams acted on Parker’s recommendation and installed BHA® PulsePleat® filters and realized the following results:
BHA® PulsePleat® filters helped the customer save nearly $16,000 in the first three years. They are now seeing a regular cost savings of over $3,000 every six months.
This post was contributed by the Parker Industrial Gas Filtration and Generation Division.Related content
Representing up to 40% of the electricity consumed by a company, compressed air is a fluid with many challenges. Poor management of this fluid and/or the design of its distribution network results in significant additional costs, but also low availability with negative consequences on production.
One of the challenges for industrial fluid networks is to integrate into a new industrial dimension of total automation for optimal productivity.
The compressed air network becomes an interconnected system in its industrial environment.The means for the designer to achieve optimal productivity:
Each compressed air network is unique, as user needs are variable, and the configuration possibilities are large. The main priorities for their operation are focused on the qualities intrinsic to the design of the compressed air network.
In a fully automated environment, other areas of improvement are made available for greater productivity:
Flexible and modular production methods and therefore completely reconfigurable.
Analysis of information, cloud, production line performance.
The implementation of means to ensure predictive maintenance.
Efficient monitoring of energy consumption and raw materials.
The use of virtual means for process simulation.
The integration of the Internet of Things into manufactured products.
It, therefore, becomes essential for an installation to interact with its environment.
What monitoring brings to the user and designer:
All companies try to keep downtime to a minimum. The best tool for this is preventive maintenance. It consists of shutting down the installations according to plans, performing scheduled maintenance and restarting without complications.
Preventive maintenance systems (condition monitoring) are based on value history, which originates from the phase of correct operation of the machines. Real-time measurement of values ensures that they are as close as possible to any variations and can be analysed as soon as they appear in order to refine the maintenance plan, create alerts or intervene in real time.
Moreover, having this information available in a given environment allows the designer to make changes to the system so that it can be even more adapted.
Monitoring will ensure greater responsiveness and understanding of processes and systems at two levels. That of the users and that of the designers. Monitoring is optimally integrated into the continuous improvement plan within and outside the company and can become a tool for interconnectivity between companies.
Parker Transair's proposal:
Parker Transair brings to its customers a new evolution in the field of compressed air networks with its condition monitoring technology, which allows end-users to monitor their compressed air network systems and maintain their productivity, anywhere and anytime.
The Transair Condition Monitoring System (TCMS™) uses wireless sensor technology to monitor the compressed air piping system, alert the end-user to system changes and provide critical data that helps reduce downtime and increase productivity.
A user-friendly web interface allows users to easily view and analyse the data to ensure that the system is operating at optimal levels of pressure, power, temperature, humidity and flow.
A 4-20mA wireless transmitter allows other equipment to be connected to the system to make their data available at the interface.
Transair Condition Monitoring System (TCMS™) helps to reduce overall costs by avoiding unnecessary downtime and extending the life of sensitive equipment.
"It is essential for end-users to be able to accurately monitor this data, because compressed air systems are very complex and highly scalable."
Guillaume Tetard, Director of the Transair Business Unit.
Transair Condition Monitoring System (TCMS™) complements the Parker Transair Aluminum Network System, known for its high performance, corrosion resistance and efficient use in a wide range of industries.
"Thanks to the light weight of Transair components and the instant connection technology, manpower is reduced to only 20% of overall installation costs, which saves money right from the start."
Françoise Lunel, Transair Communication Manager.
Combining a Transair system with the Transair Condition Monitoring System (TCMS™) will save the company money by finding ways to increase air supply efficiency, reduce maintenance costs and prevent unwanted scrap, thereby reducing the overall cost of the plant.
This article was contributed by Laurent Orcibal, eBusiness manager, Low Pressure Connectors Europe Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
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As automatic transmissions become more advanced as a system, the components within must evolve as well. Performance drives the design and there are many factors that must mesh together to achieve the overall goal.
Efficiency drives system improvement
Improved efficiency is the leading factor when it comes to system improvement. The move to eight, nine, and ten-speed automotive transmissions are focused around improving fuel economy. Obviously, with the increased number of gear ratios, the number of clutches and clutch pistons has also increased. A reduction in the amount of energy needed to engage and retract a clutch piston directly reduces the parasitic loss of energy within the entire system. This has resulted in a significant focus on the impact of seal drag within each clutch piston.
D-Rings provide advantages for automotive transmission clutch pistons
For more than a decade, D-Rings have been the preferred sealing technology for automotive transmission clutch pistons as they provide several advantages to other seal designs including:
Bi-directional sealing capability,
Symmetrical design simplifies assembly,
Lower drag than other radial compression seal designs,
Reduced variation in drag response, and
In the past, there was always enough fluid pressure to overcome seal drag and activate the clutches. Because these same size pumps must supply so many more clutch circuits in the transmission, this energy supplied is in greater demand. Similarly, heavy springs in the past provided enough return force to ensure immediate disengagement of the clutch. Limited availability of space, as well as lower cost targets, have resulted in smaller, lower force return springs.
D-Ring cuts drag forces by 50%
Our engineers have developed a low drag D-ring which reduces the drag forces in the application by 50%. All other advantages of D-ring seals are maintained including the symmetrical profile which simplifies the assembly process. This improves the first time through capability and reduces warranty costs.
By creating volume space to which the deflected rubber can easily flow to, the reaction forces against the mating surface (normal force) is reduced while still maintaining sufficient sealing forces.
In addition, Parker’s unique manufacturing approach provides a significant cost reduction over compression and injection molded designs. The absence of mold parting lines in this new technology also eliminates molded rubber flash on the sealing surface which is inherent with injection or compression molded products.
Lower clutch seal drag provides several advantages including:
Overall improvement in system efficiency, and
Smaller return springs save space, weight, and cost.
This technology is also available for applications beyond transmission clutches. Any reciprocating piston application can benefit from low drag D-rings. Examples would include active differentials and other torque management applications.
Please contact one of Parker’s application engineers to discuss how low drag seals can improve the performance and efficiency of your applications.
Article contributed by Scott A. Van Luvender, automotive applications engineering manager, Engineered Materials Group
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