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Pneumatics have always played an important role in achieving maximised productivity for manufacturing automation applications and the technology is constantly evolving to solve engineering challenges.
One such evolution is the development of rodless cylinders.
The disadvantages of rod-type cylinders
The limitations of conventional rod-type cylinders are widely recognised, particularly where long strokes are required. Being unsupported, the cylinder rod has a tendency to flex in the extended position which can cause excessive wear on rod seals and bearing leading to the need for additional engineering to avoid premature wear.
Space constraints may also limit the use of rod-type cylinders with the overall length being more than double the stroke length. This can cause problems when designing or mounting cylinders to machinery. In long travel situations, rod-type cylinders can also sag under its own weight and this misalignment can cause the cylinder rod to bind or buckle.
The disadvantages of rod-type cylinders are:
The development of slot-type rodless cylinders was designed to eliminate all of these disadvantages.
The construction of rodless cylinders
The rodless pneumatic cylinder has been engineered to be a self-contained linear actuator with a unique design that offers greater design flexibility. With a unique design that uses only four main components, rodless cylinders, such as Parker's OSP range, offer a robust and reliable solution in operation that is simple to maintain; providing long trouble free service. Operated by compressed air, rodless cylinders combine controlled and precise movement with integral support and guidance in any plane.
The rodless cylinder consists of four main parts:
When to use rodless cylinders
The double acting operation of pneumatic rodless cylinders is advantageous in applications where space is limited.
This is because the installation length of a rodless cylinder is only slightly longer than the cylinder’s stroke. For example, 25mm diameter rodless cylinder with 1000mm stroke would only occupy 1200mm of space, opened or closed.
When specifying, a pneumatic rodless cylinder would be the ideal choice over a pneumatic rod-type cylinder to meet the following requirements:
Specifying a rodless cylinder solution can deliver substantial savings in engineering and greater design flexibility when compared to the use of a rod-type cylinder.
See the OSP-P in action in our application video, where the rodless cylinder is being utilised in an assembly line for modular steering kits.
Article contributed by Dieter Winger, product manager for rodless cylinders, Pneumatic Division Europe
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The automotive vehicle industry has experienced introductions of several new technologies and upgrades. One significant example is the rising amount of electrical content per vehicle. Testing for vehicle and engine performance is essential in the wake of additions and conversions from each of the new technologies.
Concurrently, OEM manufacturers are facing a number of cost pressures that are fueling the dynamometer market, from both regulatory and the consumer base, leading to higher investments in R&D and testing.
The major drivers for dynamometers use for in-plant automotive facilities are test stands with enhanced accuracy, increasing demand for vehicle quality standards and increasing awareness toward quality in new markets. The challenge faced is how to get the price down on vehicles when all other costs are increasing.
Increasing electric and hybrid vehicle production will require more specialized testing stands:
Automotive plants are looking at purchasing new test stands to support the production of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Drive/control equipment on existing test stands may go obsolete, so parts and service will be hard to come by.
Production costs will rise with energy prices if existing equipment is not replaced with a more energy efficient solution.
Automotive or truck manufacturers or makers of components or sub-systems that go into a new vehicle already have test stands and dynamometer equipment that may be outdated and in need of drive/control retrofit. These customers who already have older test stands suffer from down time, trouble obtaining parts and excessive energy consumption.
OEMs looking to purchase test stands may want specialized features in the drive/control system and not every supplier can offer that. Or, they may be looking to purchase a new test stand or dynamometer and may want to specify certain equipment in addition. Our engineers will work with the test stand manufacturer on a special design as needed.
A dynamometer is a necessity in automotive vehicle testing equipment used by OEMs, component suppliers and automotive testing service providers for recording several parameters such as force, torque, power and speed of the vehicle.
The use of this testing equipment is essential throughout the production cycle of an automobile, making it a necessary component of all vehicle assembly lines. This testing equipment is also used in vehicle engine manufacturing factories and dynamometer laboratories or the automotive testing service facilities to evaluate vehicle and engine performance.
Test stands and dynamometers cover a wide range of applications, but are most commonly used to test manufactured items for adherence to specification while simulating real-world operating conditions. While “test stand” is a more general term defining a machine that could test nearly any item including pumps, automotive components or electrical components, a “dynamometer” is used to measure torque or power and is more closely associated with motor or motor vehicle testing.
A drive system is used in these applications to either provide motive force or absorb it, depending upon the type of test stand:
A pump test stand requiring a motor to spin the pump and a drive/control system to regulate the speed and torque delivered to said pump.
A dynamometer used to test an electric motor would require a second motor that would effectively act as a braking device to load the motor under test.The drive and control system would be required to absorb this energy while regulating the speed and torque during the test.
A third example would be a test stand designed to test rechargeable batteries. Here, no motive force is involved, but the test gear would charge and discharge the batteries in a controlled manner, allowing the batteries’ functionality to be evaluated.
Many test cell designs are energy wasters. Older technologies like water brakes, fan brakes or eddy current devices, for example, convert kinetic energy from the testing process to heat. Replacing these methods with a regenerative drive system can allow this wasted energy to be recaptured and returned to the power grid. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, a solid-state drive system will quickly pay for itself in power bill savings. Energy saving features exist even within the drive system, like smart ventilation in the AC890PX series that senses internal temperature and adjusts fan speed to save energy when the unit is lightly loaded, or in cooler ambient temperatures.
Parker regenerative drives can harvest energy from the testing process and return it to the power grid, providing a substantial net reduction in a plant’s electric use. Older dynamometers that are widely in use simply burn off the excess power and dissipate it as heat, which is wasteful of resources. In the grand scheme of things, our engineering expertise in special equipment for electric and hybrid vehicle manufacturers contributes to these vehicles being efficiently manufactured and sold, resulting in less polluting gas and diesel-powered vehicles on the road.
Parker can provide a drive/control retrofit that will allow you to keep your existing mechanical equipment and enjoy more efficient operation. And, in many cases, better performance, and have the knowledge that the drive/control system is up to date and serviceable.
For example, if you have an existing test cell using DC motors as prime movers or absorbers, and do not wish to upgrade to AC technology, the DC590+ digital DC series is a flexible and economical solution for test rigs through 2000 HP. Replace your obsolete SCR units with the latest in digital DC to eliminate costly repairs and downtime, with the added benefit of IoT capabilities.
For OEMs of vehicle test stands who are looking to expand into new markets of electric and hybrid vehicle manufacturing, Parker can provide custom or specialized drive and control systems that meet the unique testing needs of these vehicles. For those competing in the more traditional markets, Parker draws from over 30 years of experience in drives and controls to provide systems that are compact, easy to maintain, and energy efficient.
Have a dynamometer application or just want to learn more? Download our Test Stands and Dynamometers Solutions brochure.
Article provided by Lou Lambruschi, marketing services manager for Parker's Electromechanical and Drives Division.
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Monitoring the acid level in a refrigeration or air conditioning system is of the utmost importance. Contaminants such as water and air are important factors in the formation of acids in the system. Also, high discharge temperatures caused by dirty condensers, high compression ratio, high superheat of suction gases returned to the compressor, fan failure, and other factors can cause oil to exceed its thermal stability and create oil breakdown.
In addition to high discharge temperatures, there are certain catalytic materials that contribute to the oil-refrigerant mixture breakdown. The most noted of these in a refrigeration system is iron. In adverse conditions, materials like iron provide a location (surface) for acid generating reactions to occur.
Sufficient acid within a refrigeration system is detrimental to system materials and may cause a compressor to fail. Therefore, monitoring acid levels within a system alerts the user of potential problems caused by acidic conditions.
Various methods exist for obtaining an oil sample from a refrigeration or air conditioning system. Since less than one ounce is required for the Sporlan TA-1 Acid Test Kit, any of the following methods are satisfactory. Or, if a detailed laboratory analysis of the lubricant is desired, the Virginia OA-1 Oil Analysis Kit is recommended.
Refrigeration rack systems typically have compressors with oil drain ports. Oil analysis can be accomplished by draining an oil sample into the oil vial of the acid test kit. Often, a technician encounters a refrigeration system where oil sampling from the compressor cannot be accomplished easily.
Usually, the compressor would have to be disassembled and a small amount of oil drained from the suction port of the compressor. Since this is a labor intensive procedure, systems of this type are rarely checked for acid concentration until it is too late.
For refrigeration rack systems, the technician may want to use the following suggestions to make oil sampling more accessible.
Method one is ideal for a technician who is installing a new split system, or installation of a new compressor after a compressor burnout, and would like to obtain an oil sample after some runtime.
Method two is for a technician who needs an oil sample from an operating system.
The method shown in Figure 1 involves installing a small oil trap in the suction line of the refrigeration system. The oil trap is designed to have an oil sample tube long enough to hold approximately 1 ounce of oil and an adaptor installed in the suction line, ahead of the shell. The adaptor should be a Schrader fitting with a cap.
Note: Be sure to purge the remaining amount of oil in the trap so the next oil sample is representative of the oil circulating in the system.
This method is ideal for a technician who needs to obtain an oil sample without opening the system. This method is applicable for systems with service valves.
Construct the trap as shown in Figure 2 and connect it to the service valves with flexible refrigeration hoses. The trap should be connected to each access port and held upright to ensure the oil sample tube is collecting oil. The side connection is the inlet fitting and is connected to the discharge service valve. The suction service valve is connected to the top or outlet connection. When the oil level is visible in the sightglass, isolate and relieve pressure from the trap, then drain the oil sample from the device.
Note: This trap should be constructed in advance so it is ready to be used when the need arises. Also, the device can be reused. Flush the trap thoroughly with a readily available flushing solvent, drain, and evaporate solvent residues by evacuating the trap with a vacuum pump. Following these steps will ensure the trap is ready for the next sampling.
These two methods will help you to provide accurate monitoring of the acid level for your refrigeration or air conditioning system diagnosis.
For more information on the Sporlan Test-All Oil Acid Kit test see page 42 of Bulletin 40-10. For more information on the Virginia Oil Analysis Kit see Form P-452.
Article contributed by Chris Reeves, product manager, Contaminant Control Products, Sporlan Division of Parker Hannifin
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Compressor Overheating Is the Number-One Refrigeration Problem
Precision timepieces operate much like the inner workings for automotive machines. Underneath the back cover lies a series of gears and springs designed to measure the passage of time. We are told how these inner workings are created with such precision that they are able to measure the time accurately over whatever time period that the name brand manufacturer wants to advertise.
Think about these “precision components” within the watch necessary to create this “machine” whose fastest rotational output is one rotation per minute, compared to an automatic transmission that has components that rotate more than seven thousand RPM!
35 years ago, the world of automotive transmissions moved from three speed boxes to four speed transmissions. In the late 90’s, six speed transmissions were introduced into the market offering improvements in fuel economy and shift quality. In the past five years, many automotive OEM’s launched several eight speed designs. Today, nearly every OEM is either launching or developing nine and ten speed transmissions, with patents being applied for eleven speeds.
The drivers for this progression in development of automotive transmissions is:
drivability, or shift quality
The goal is to make sure the vehicle is in the most optimum gear ratio for whatever speed and acceleration combination the vehicle may be in from zero to whatever the legal speed limit may be in your area. This provides the best fuel economy. The more gear ratios you have available to you; the better chance you have of being in an optimal condition which improves overall efficiency.
From a shift quality point of view, think of it like a staircase. A typical staircase has 11-13 steps in order for a person to comfortably climb. Imagine if you reduced that to six or four steps, each step would be a struggle to walk up making the climb slow and cumbersome. Perhaps you have heard concerns regarding the vehicle “constantly shifting” or driven some of these vehicles with the higher number of speeds. The experience is actually positive in that the shifts are so smooth; you don’t actually feel them.
It is important to note that the vehicles are not becoming any smaller. If anything, the trend is for smaller vehicles for better fuel economy. Obviously, a ten speed transmission had many more components than that of a four or six speed, but all of these parts need to fit within the same size transmission case.
All of the different component groups are therefore fighting for real estate. A typical rear wheel drive transmission is roughly a meter long. In design meetings an entire room full of people may be negotiating over a tenth of a millimeter. This is the average diameter of a human hair. Many of the component tolerances are in the range of a hundredth of a millimeter. We are not only talking about splitting hairs, but we are talking about splitting hairs into ten layers!
It is inspiring to me to think about these new transmissions and what it takes to put together these precision components and rotate them at more than seven thousand times per minute with enough balance that it doesn’t vibrate the driver out of the vehicle. These machines are just as much a piece of art as the “Precision Timepieces” and Parker is proud to be part of this process.
For more information from the Engineered Materials Group, please visit the Parker Engineered Materials Group Landing page.
This blog was contributed by Scott Van Luvender, applications engineering manager, Automotive.
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Looking for ways to reduced worker compensation claims and improve route times, among other benefits, some municipalities and waste companies look to design changes from the refuse truck OEMs to assist. Parker's rotary actuators engineered for use on waste-receptacle dumpers have delivered.
A Midwest-based original equipment manufacturer (OEM) designs and builds waste-receptacle dumpers that attach to garbage trucks, recycling vehicles and other waste-handling equipment. The lifter attaches to the front or side of a vehicle or onto the dumpster of a front-load refuse truck. After an operator positions a receptacle cart onto the dumper, the latter then lifts and tilts the cart, spilling its contents into the vehicle. When the dumping cycle is complete, the lifter returns to a stowed position.
Advantages of using carts and cart lifters include reduced worker compensation claims, faster route times and larger routes since workers don’t tire as quickly. The carts also improve street sanitation, reducing health risks by helping prevent animals from disturbing waste left outside overnight.
The helical rotary actuator (painted black shown with arrows) provides 220 deg. of rotation, completely emptying carts.
The heart of the lifter mechanism is a helical rotary actuator—a TorqBear Series Model T20-14E, manufactured by Parker Helac, Enumclaw, Wash. The 220 deg. of rotation produces a sharp and aggressive dumping angle that completely empties the contents of the cart.
The actuator’s mounting feet with through drilled holes facilitate attachment to the lifter mounting plate: The feet are not flush with the actuator housing but, instead, are situated on the sides of the housing. This contributes to the compact nature of the mechanism by enabling the actuator to be positioned partially below the surface of the mounting plate. The through-shaft has extensions at both ends with straight spines that facilitate the easy attachment of the lifting arms—adapters with matching splines to which the arms are welded.
These sectional drawings show the operation of a helical-gear rotatory actuator.
The use of the actuator in its lifter designs allows the OEM to build a high-performance machine not possible with a cylinder. Actuator-equipped machines dump higher and deeper than cylinder machines. At the same time, they can be designed thinner, making access to the hopper by the operator as easy as possible.
In the illustration, the cutaway shows initial positions of piston (green line) and output shaft (red line). Pressurized fluid entering the lower port pushes the piston up. The stationary ring gear causes the piston to simultaneously rotate clockwise. In the cutaway at right, teeth on the output shaft mesh with those in the ID of the piston, causing the shaft to rotate clockwise relative to the piston. (The output shaft rotates at twice the speed of the piston.) Pressurizing the upper port returns the piston and shaft to their initial positions.
The long, slender configuration of the helical shaft actuators provides a clean, compact design that enables the lifter mechanism to be bolt mounted flush to the vehicle for an exceptionally low profile. The rotary actuator has no exposed moving parts; lifters using hydraulic cylinders can provide no more than 180 deg. of rotation and incorporate a more complicated system consisting of bearings, brackets, pivot points, and rods—all exposed to damage. Further, the inherent characteristics of Helac’s helical rotary actuators offer several advantages over other rotational devices and actuator designs:
Very high torque output in an ultra-compact configuration; Equal torque output from both ends of the shaft; Shaft support provided by integral large diameter tapered roller bearings; Smooth, positive positioning without drift due to the elimination of internal bypass and external leakage (and nearly zero backlash); No exposed, external moving parts; A helical gear design that provides exceptional resilience to shock loading and abuse; Constant speed and consistent torque through the entire angle of rotation; and much cleaner and more streamlined installation.
Taking everything into account, the helical actuators have enabled the refuse truck OEM to design a compact lifter with power sufficient to lift heavily loaded carts.
A typical refuse truck’s hydraulic system operates at pressures to about 3,000 psi, with flow rates varying widely from 20 to 80 gpm. The rotary lifter uses less than 2 gpm, so a way to siphon off the correct flow was required. The lifters tap into the truck’s existing pressure line via a flow-diverter valve. This custom-made valve sends an adjustable amount of flow to the lifters and allows the remaining flow to pass through to the packer (compactor) blade.
The system has been designed to minimize back pressure, which in turn, minimizes heat and extends oil and system life. Competing OEMs use a fitting with an orifice, but those systems do not properly regulate flow (which fails to regulate lifter speed) and create excess heat. The Helac actuator has been designed for low flow requirements, thus helping minimize oil take-off from the packer and virtually eliminating any packer slow-down.
This article originally appeared on Hydraulics & Pneumatics and was contributed by Jessica Howisey, marketing communications manager, Helac Business Unit, Cylinder Division.
During normal operation, a Parker nitrogen generator should not vent any significant volumes of oxygen or nitrogen gas within the installation location as long as the area is adequately sized and ventilated. This obviously depends on quite a few factors including but not limited to - the free volume of room where the system is installed or gas used within, potential exhaust/permeate flow, possible nitrogen vent capacity, and room ambient air volume change rate.
Ensure adequate ventilation and set vessel vent flow to ensure no oxygen depletion occurs. Alternatively, fit a suitable flexible hose of the correct pressure rating to the vessel drain connection and vent to a safe location.
This post was contributed by Phil Green, industrial gas application manager, Parker Gas Separation and Filtration Division EMEA.
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Facility operators in the oil and gas industry have raised concerns on how to solve their top failure modes: extremely short or non-existent dry run pump time limits and unacceptable levels of cavitation when pumping extremely light liquids with high vapor pressures.
Pump cavitation and dry run related failures cost companies millions of dollars annually, including replacement costs for damaged equipment and lost sales due to poor performance. With an improving economy and anticipated fuel production increase, sales of fluid-handling pumps are forecast to rise 5.5% annually to $84 billion in 2018. Given this proliferation, the historical pattern suggests that costs associated with repairs or replacements also will increase dramatically.
Learn how Parker's innovation in pump technology can reduce your operational downtime, decrease operating costs, and improve performance. Download our white paper now.
Dry running occurs when a pump operates without sufficient lubricating liquid around the pumping element. This can be caused by either widespread vapor formation, also known as cavitation, inside the pump or absence of pumping fluid altogether. These adverse conditions can lead to dangerously unstable pressure, flow, or overheating which may cause the pumping element to seize or break.
When cavitation occurs, vapor bubbles form and expand in the pumping liquid on the suction side of the pump before reaching the higher-pressure discharge side of the pump and violently collapsing near the surface of the pumping element. This triggers shock waves inside the pump which cause significant damage to the pumping element. If left untreated, cavitation will destroy the pumping element and other components over time, drastically shortening the pump’s life.
Cavitation may also cause excessive vibration leading to premature seal and/or bearing failure, in addition to creating an immediate increase in power consumption and a decrease in flow and pressure output.
Cavitation itself may also be so widespread that it creates a dry run situation inside the pump due to excessive vapor formation. Pumps most often rely on the pumping fluid itself to lubricate the bearing surfaces of the pumping element – if a pump is operated without this fluid, the low to non-existent lubrication at these bearing surfaces will cause excess heat generation, increased wear, and potentially even failure of the pump if the pumping element seizes or breaks. The life of a pump subjected to dry run will be significantly reduced or, in the worst case, brought to an untimely end.
Whereas cavitation is a common cause of pump degradation and failure related to the physics involved in the pumping operation, dry running, on the other hand, is usually related to how pumps are actively operated by end users. The most immediate cause of dry running is usually human error. Companies rely on operators to monitor their pumps, but problems occur in cases where operators unintentionally leave pumps running after the pumping operation is complete.
Despite an operator’s best efforts, harmful events still may occur from:
malfunctioning monitoring systems;
improper use of even well-designed control equipment;
pumps running overtime after the pumping operation is complete;
Our engineers were up for the challenge and developed the next generation solution of fluid transfer systems. The new technology combines advanced engineering and manufacturing capabilities to deliver a rugged solution for stationary, mobile, and high vapor-pressure ﬂuid applications.
The solution offers customers efficiency improvements as well as increases their uptime, which ultimately translates into revenue to the bottom line.
“What separates our solution from our competitors is, our technology is automated and integrated into the pump design. You don’t need to worry about pumps stopping and starting every 20 – 30 seconds, they will dry run continuously.”
James Chu, PE, chief engineer, Corporate Technology Ventures, Parker Hannifin
Learn how this innovation in pump technology can reduce your operational downtime, decrease operating costs, and improve performance. Download our white paper now.
Article contributed by Sara Weichman, business development manager, Fluid Transfer Solutions, Parker Hannifin
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While more traditional materials like aluminum, copper, and other metals are recycled without difficulty at your local scrap-metal dealer, there isn’t an equivalent hydraulic hose collection point. However, with the necessary knowledge, a bit of effort, and a commitment to preserving and protecting our environment, recycling hydraulic hoses is a feasible, eco-friendly achievement.
Below you will find a few important things to consider before you can recycle your hydraulic hose.
The typical hydraulic hose is usually made of rubber or plastic, which should make recycling a simple task. However, steel components frequently line hoses to make a longer lasting, more durable product.
Unfortunately, while such reinforcements are vital to the functionality of hoses in various applications, they also make recycling them more difficult. While hoses that are metal-free or have very little metal inside them can be crumbled to create modified-asphalt surfaces, rubber hoses that are lined with significant amounts of steel are slightly more complicated.
Although determining which materials are used in different hydraulic hoses takes time, it will make finding the appropriate recycling center easy. The easiest way to identify and recycle hoses is to call the manufacturer to get the necessary information.
When disposing of hydraulic hose, there a few simple instructions you should follow to ensure a simple and successful recycling process:
Drain: Always allow the hose to drain overnight.
Rinse: Be sure to rinse all pesticide hoses and reuse the water as part of a legal application.
Bundle: Tie hoses together to make transport easier and to keep it as compact as possible.
While it would convenient if the local recycling center accepted hydraulic hoses, municipalities cannot easily recycle every material. Therefore, it is important to identify and use recycling centers that can dispose of these more difficult-to-recycle materials.
To get started, look to the local district. The case can be made that these tax-funded municipalities should be aiding in hydraulic hose recycling, particularly when a local business or employer is doing the recycling. However, if the district is not equipped to handle hydraulic hoses, the next appropriate step is to contact the local recycling centers in the area regarding their recycling capabilities. Depending on their equipment, size, and function, they might be able to help recycle hoses with certain components.
If both the local district and recycling centers are unable to aid in recycling hoses, it is a good idea to apply for recycling exchange. These programs allow companies to sell or trade hydraulic hoses that are still usable or recycle the hoses to groups seeking certain materials for projects and repairs.
If there isn’t a local recycling exchange, there are some recycling companies that use hoses to make fuel blends, all it takes is a bit more research to locate them. For instance, one of Parker's hose manufacturing plants wanted to consider additional recycling options when it comes to recycling rubber hose that are feasible and eco-friendly. The process to create hydraulic hose assemblies generates a variety of waste materials including: scrap hose and couplings as well as other rubber and plastic material associated with the assembly process. These items all need to go somewhere if they can’t be reused or recycled. Many of these materials were ending up in the scrap yard or a landfill. The 75-person team in Davenport, Iowa looked at fuel blending and other alternatives options before partnering with Covanta, which offers Energy-from-Waste solutions.
In operation since July 2016, Hose Products Division’s new approach to recycling hydraulic hose has resulted in over 200,000 pounds of non-hazardous waste being shipped to Covanta's Energy-from-Waste facility in Indianapolis, Indiana instead of local landfills.
Once the waste arrives at the Indiana facility, it enters Covanta's high-temperature combustion process that destroys it at temperatures of 2,000ºF, producing clean energy as a byproduct that is then used to feed the steam loop in downtown Indianapolis.
In 2016, Hose Products Division's Davenport facility sent 31 tons of waste to the landfill compared to a three-year average of 80 tons – that’s more than a 60 percent reduction.
By identifying additional waste streams to include in the material sent to Covanta, including food and other non-manufacturing wastes, the conservation team anticipates they will be able to further reduce the amount of waste ordinarily sent to landfills over the next several years. Besides making an impact on their sustainability goal, another benefit that the Davenport conservation team expect from reducing waste sent to the landfill is facilitating the attainment of ISO 14001 certification for any customers requiring it. ISO's (International Standards Organization) 14001 certification serves as accreditation of an organization or company’s environmental management program against a pre-established set of qualifiers.
Before disposing of hydraulic hoses and assemblies, it is important to remember that each state has their own rules and regulations regarding recycling and waste disposal, so be sure to contact local waste management authorities to learn your options and proper procedures for hydraulic hose disposal and recycling.
Article contributed by Kyri McDonough, marketing services manager at Hose Products Division, Parker Hannifin.
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As the United States military embarked to build the second ever fifth-generation fighter aircraft, Parker Aerospace’s Fluid Systems Division (FSD) was selected in the mid-1990s to provide the fuel system and the onboard inert gas generating system (OBIGGS) for the F-35 Lightning II program. The scope and complexity of this program posed a significant challenge to the FSD engineering team, and required the breadth of knowledge and capabilities of the team to successfully deliver a qualified fuel and fuel tank inerting system.
Parker was responsible for the system architecture, system analysis, design, development, and qualification of all the components within the fuel and fuel tank inerting systems. FSD was uniquely qualified to provide the fuel and inerting system for this aircraft due to our long history of providing fuel system components in military applications and our ability to furnish all of the necessary components within the F-35 fuel and fuel tank inerting systems. These systems utilize over 130 unique components with a total part count approaching 270 per aircraft.
Fuel tank inerting on the F-35
For the F-35 program, there were additional challenges to design the fuel and inert gas generation system for three different aircraft variants for specific branches of the military. Each variant had different performance requirements which drove different fuel and inerting system architectures. Parker was able to utilize common hardware between all three aircraft variants even though the system architectures were unique.
System development and qualification processes are closely aligned to reduce development and certification risks.
Parker also developed new relationships and partnerships with international suppliers in order to meet performance and cost targets for the program.
Parker Fluid Systems Division is proud of the work accomplished on the F-35 Lightning II program. The F-35 is the fifth generation of fighter aircraft for the United States and represents numerous technological advancements for military aviation. Parker’s contributions on the aircraft continue the company’s legacy of involvement on aircraft from the Spirit of St. Louis in 1927 to today’s F-35 Lightning II.
F-35 advocacy event
In August of 2017, Lockheed Martin chose Parker Aerospace for a special advocacy event. Local area leaders attending the event featured 45th District Congresswoman Mimi Walters who addressed the audience and included California state assembly members, four mayors, three city council members, chamber of commerce representatives, county supervisor staffers, key Parker suppliers, and Lockheed Martin leaders. Hosted by Parker Aerospace Group Vice President of Operations Guy Martin, the event focused on the F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft, which is playing a significant role in the defense strategy for the United States, its nine partner countries, and three foreign military sale customers.
Group Vice President of Operations Guy Martin hosted the event. The F-35 simulator is seen on the left.
Within Parker Aerospace, the F-35 provided more than 350 jobs and supported over 300 suppliers over the past year. The biggest star of the event, however, was the full-size F-35 cockpit simulator that Lockheed Martin brought to the Alton facility. More than 300 employees were given the opportunity to participate in a briefing, lesson, and flight session inside the cockpit simulator in the two days before the event. With the conclusion of the event speeches, local dignitaries attending were given their own chance to fly the simulator.
Parker team member Jeffrey Nazar gets hands-on instruction for the controls of the F-35 from a Lockheed Martin trainer experienced flying the aircraft.
Two other highlights of the event included an extensive display of F-35 aircraft components manufactured by Parker Aerospace and a comprehensive tour of the Control Systems Division facility. Components displayed included a refueling receptacle, fuel pumps, hoses, fittings, swivel joints, electrohydrostatic actuator, motor-driven pump, rudder actuator, and horizontal tail actuator.
Jacque Becwar (right) gives a tour of the F-35 production cell to Congresswoman Mimi Walters (left) and an audience of local officials, Parker suppliers, and Parker team members.
Parker Aerospace has an impressive bill of material on the three variants of the F-35 aircraft. This includes flight control components, fuel and inerting system components, engine subsystems, and other airframe components. Our work on the aircraft has included specification, design, simulation, integration, testing, certification, production, and support. You can learn more about the F-35 aircraft by visiting F35.com.
For additional information about Parker Aerospace products and innovations, please visit our website.
This blog was contributed by David Brockman, business development manager, Fluid Systems Division of Parker Aerospace.
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Parker Aerospace’s Fluid Systems Division (FSD) has been a major supplier of aircraft fuel tank inerting systems and components since the 1960s. Fuel tank inerting systems create a non-combustible atmosphere in the air space or ullage gas present over the liquid fuel in an aircraft fuel tank. This non-combustible or inert atmosphere prevents a fire from occurring inside the fuel tank. The means by which that inert atmosphere is created has evolved considerably over the last 50 years and Parker has remained at the forefront of each technology advancement.
Nitrogen and Halon for military aircraft
Fuel tank inerting systems were initially developed to help protect military aircraft from hazards unique to combat and supersonic aircraft. Parker’s first aircraft fuel tank inerting system was a cryogenic liquid nitrogen (LN2) system used on the supersonic XB-70 aircraft. The LN2 system extracts liquid nitrogen from cryogenic-storage dewars installed onboard the aircraft, vaporizes the liquid into gaseous nitrogen and sends it to the fuel tanks to provide an inert blanket over the top of the fuel. Several research programs conducted by the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) subsequent to the XB-70 also used Parker LN2 inerting equipment. In the early 1970s, LN2 technology produced by Parker Aerospace was put into regular service on all C-5 aircraft. This system remains in service today.
The evolution of fuel tank inerting systems away from the complexities of cryogenic LN2 systems to Halon-based systems followed in the late 1970s. Halon inerting systems discharge a fire-suppressing agent into the fuel tanks to create an inert atmosphere over the fuel. Parker proliferated Halon inerting equipment on programs such as the F-16 and F-117A. Like the LN2 systems that came before them, Halon inerting systems require a fixed amount of inertant to be loaded and stored on the aircraft before each flight. The capacity of these stored gas systems is limited to the amount of inertant that is carried onboard the aircraft.
Hollow-fiber membrane air separation module advancements
In the 1980s and 1990s, advances in hollow-fiber membrane air separation technology enabled nitrogen to be generated onboard an aircraft from atmospheric air. Air separation modules (ASMs) contain thousands of these hollow-fiber membranes and are the heart of the contemporary fuel tank inerting system. High-pressure air enters the ASM and is separated into nitrogen-enriched and oxygen-enriched air streams. The nitrogen-enriched air stream is directed to the fuel tank to provide a blanket of inert gas over the top of the liquid fuel in the tank.
The development of the ASM for aircraft use enabled a new class of inerting system that does not require inertant to be stored and carried onboard the aircraft. Inerting systems using Parker-supplied ASM technology were explored on several advanced aircraft programs and culminated in the widespread use of Parker ASMs on the F-22.
Fuel tank inerting comes to commercial aircraft
For many years, fuel tank inerting systems remained exclusively within the realm of military aircraft and were perceived to be unnecessary and impractical for use on commercial airliners. However, the loss of TWA 800 in 1996 forced a re-examination of the fuel tank safety paradigm for commercial transport aircraft. Between 1996 and 2001, an extraordinary body of work was performed by a consortium of industrial, academic and governmental researchers to determine viable means by which to improve fuel tank safety on commercial transport aircraft.
Parker led the way in demonstrating how hollow fiber membrane-based ASM technology developed for military aircraft applications could be implemented in a practical and viable way on commercial transport aircraft. Parker also worked closely with FAA and provided inerting equipment and expertise in support of a flight test program using the FAA’s 747SP. Technology advances demonstrated in this time frame ultimately paved the way for new rulemaking for fuel tank safety which was implemented by the FAA in 2008.
Modern aircraft inerting
Since 2008, inerting systems and equipment provided by Parker FSD have been installed on almost every large commercial airliner in domestic service today. In fact, Parker’s aircraft inerting systems and equipment are in operation on well over 10,000 aircraft worldwide. Parker FSD maintains its leadership position through a close working relationship with its sister division in the Parker Filtration Group, which manufactures the ASM used on many Parker inerting applications.
Parker continues to explore new ways of improving the performance as well as reducing the weight, cost and bleed air consumption of the existing ASM-based technology. At the same time, Parker is developing future inerting technologies that will be more ideally suited for helicopters, UAVs, and business jets.
For more information on Parker Fluid Systems Division products, including fuel and inerting systems, download our brochure.
This blog was contributed by Pat Fancher, engineering manager and Bryan Jensen, senior principal engineer, Parker Fluid Systems Division.
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We receive many requests from customers asking for recommendations on how to retain seals in an application. One of the most popular "quick fixes" is to apply liberal amounts of adhesive to a standard O-ring type product without respect to groove shape or sealing function. However, Parker OES provides a wide array of sealing technologies, offering innovative solutions to accommodate the challenging and vast sealing needs of our customers.
A customer had been using a standard O-ring product on an outdoor electronic device. This part was sealing the external edge of the enclosure and meant to keep out water and dust. The enclosure was plastic injection molded so this extreme edge had irregular geometry to accommodate the molding process. The original proposal was to shove O-ring cord in place and adhere it down with RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanization) so that it did not fall out during assembly. This left a rust colored stripe exposed on a consumer device due to fitment issues. Parker’s proposal was to replace the O-ring cord with a custom hollow extrusion that fit the available space and allowed complete closure, thus not exposing the seal to be visible. The RTV process was replaced with PSA (Pressure Sensitive Adhesive) that was preassembled to the seal and allowed for quick and clean placement during assembly and retention for any maintenance needed.
A different customer had been using a similar product solution for an industrial cartridge filter. A sheet metal cap had a groove stamped into it and then an O-ring was adhered in place with a cyanoacrylate adhesive (power glue). This was a time consuming, messy step with a relatively costly consumable being used. Parker was able to offer a custom hollow shape that self-retained in the groove due to interference based friction rather than adhesive attachment. It was bonded into a finished ring using Parker’s proprietary splicing technology to give a complete seal around the whole perimeter of the cartridge opening
The discussion of how to keep a seal located in the right place is one that happens on every application. Sometimes, the answer is as simple as “gravity will hold it.” Other times, a more purposeful solution needs to be pursued. Standard product can be combined with adhesives to achieve the goal. However, Parker has other solutions that do not require that additional time and the expense of another consumable item.
For more information on custom sealing solutions, visit the Parker O-Ring & Engineered Seals Division website and chat with an engineer today!
This article was contributed by James Upshur, product engineer, Parker O-Ring & Engineered Seals Division.
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Reducing routine service intervals is an important objective of any fleet manager. Preventing unscheduled maintenance is even more critical to keeping heavy-duty trucks and equipment operational. Methods and innovative product solutions that guarantee trouble-free operation offer tremendous value in ensuring productivity and customer satisfaction. Proper air filtration is paramount to preventing contamination from reaching the engine. Even the smallest amount of dirt can cause a huge amount of engine damage resulting in unscheduled, costly downtime and failure. When choosing an engine air filter, considering these factors will help ensure the best possible performance and engine protection:
An air filter must be highly efficient at capturing contamination throughout the full life of the filter. This makes structural stability and media strength critically important. Contaminant by-pass (going around, not through the media), failed seals or adhesives and microscopic holes in the media itself will render a filter practically useless. Rigorous testing under extreme conditions for longer than the typical service interval is an excellent indicator of how a filter will perform in its intended application.
Parker Engine Mobile Aftermarket Division has recently introduced a revolutionary new air filter technology, the Baldwin EnduraPanel™. EnduraPanel air filters combine high efficiency and maximum capacity in an extremely rugged, compact design that is up to 50 percent smaller than conventional engine air filters.
"EnduraPanel's single and dual element designs provide the maximum amount of filter media with ample air flow, even when space is at a premium."
— Steve Zimmerman, head of product management and engineering, Parker Engine Mobile Aftermarket Division
EnduraPanel filters have been designed to withstand extreme conditions, such as vibration and high temperatures, for extended periods without rips, tears or structural failures — providing exceptional protection to heavy-duty trucks and equipment.
These filters deliver superior efficiency throughout the entire service interval with dirt holding capacity surpassing the OE filters. Even more importantly, structural endurance testing shows how Baldwin EnduraPanel exceeds the OE in durability. Baldwin filters protect equipment throughout the filter life, even under the toughest working conditions. See figures 1-3.
Figure 1. Capacity (g) Baldwin EnduraPanel PA31010 vs. OE
Figure 2. Efficiency (%) Baldwin EnduraPanel PA31010 vs. OE
Figure 3. Structural Endurance (Cycles) Baldwin EnduraPanel PA31010 vs. OE
As a global provider of filtration products and services, our mission is to protect our customers’ engines and mobile equipment, from first to last use, through innovative filtration solutions and outstanding customer service. We have a worldwide customer base, superb product quality, an extensive distribution network and the industry's broadest product line. This comprehensive portfolio of filtration products and technologies offers customers a single streamlined source for all their engine and mobile filtration needs.
For additional information on the Baldwin EnduraPanel, please visit our website.
This blog was contributed by Steve Zimmerman, head of product management and engineering, Parker Engine Mobile Aftermarket Division.
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The trucking industry is experiencing tremendous growth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for diesel service technicians and mechanics is projected to grow by 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. The demand has accelerated based on a variety of conditions, including a growing economy and increased vehicle complexity.
Trucks are quickly transforming into rolling data centers that track everything from emissions to blind zone obstacles, to tire inflation and more. As a direct result, the skill requirements of technicians and mechanics are changing.
Efficient use of your skilled service team is key. One way to increase productivity and make the best use of your service team’s skills is to simplify the processes that are time consuming and routine, such as fleet vehicle oil changes.
Parker’s QuickFit™ Oil Change System provides a path forward for better standardization of oil changes with a more efficient, cleaner and safer process. Whether a veteran mechanic or first-day-on-the-job technician, there’s only minimum training needed to perform an oil change using the QuickFit System. Only three easy steps will complete the process to purge, evacuate and refill oil. This is achieved through a single connection point that allows used oil to drain directly to the waste containment, and then apply a vacuum to extract the used oil from the filter. Finally, the same connection point is used to refill the system with new oil.
Employs compressed air to purge the oil by pushing it through the filter into the engine sump.
Oil is drained directly to waste containment, allowing for clean removal of the filter.
New oil is pumped into the engine using the same connection point.
“Reducing the number of steps in the process eliminates any risk of safety hazards or spills, which creates less consumable waste and is more environmentally friendly. The QuickFit System three-step process helps to lower operating costs, increase profitability and reduce oil change times by about 50%.”
Mario Calvo, division marketing manager, Parker Quick Coupling Division
QuickFit features an ergonomic design that allows for easier access to even the most cramped and isolated engine compartments. This greatly reduces exposure to fluids and lowers the possibility of slips, falls and burns. Plus, oil changes can be completed from start to finish in less than 30 minutes.
The QuickFit system provides a solution that is incredibly easy to use. Maintenance becomes simple, productivity goes up, the risk of spills and contamination is virtually eliminated and it works for engines and machinery across multiple applications.
The future is bright for the trucking industry, as the demand for experienced technicians and mechanics has never been higher. To properly maintain vehicles, fleet service centers must invest in the latest tooling, equipment and software to keep up with the rapid pace of technology and change. The QuickFit Oil Change System greatly simplifies a crucial aspect of fleet maintenance by allowing technicians and mechanics to change oil in a matter of minutes and focus more time on other key components of equipment maintenance and repair. Simplifying this one process will increase efficiency to allow better use of your highly valued service team.
Ready to get started or have questions? Locate the Parker Distributor near you.
Learn more about Parker's QuickFit™ Oil Change System.
Contributed by Matt Walley, product sales manager, Quick Coupling Division, Parker Hannifin
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In 2017 Parker Aerospace’s Fluid Systems Division (FSD) achieved a significant milestone with its industry-leading fuel tank inerting technology and systems capability. The division now has inerting systems installed on over 11,000 commercial aircraft in service across 15 major aircraft platforms.
Since entering production on the Boeing 737, 757, 767, and 777 platforms in 2008, Parker’s inerting equipment has gone on to support the retrofit of the Boeing fleet as mandated by the FAA rule that kicked off the commercial aircraft inerting business in earnest. As a follow-on to the Boeing platforms, Parker won the air separation module (ASM) contract for the Airbus fleet of commercial aircraft, the A320, A330, and A340. Later, the A350 XWB was added to the mix, as were aircraft for Bombardier, Sukhoi, and COMAC.
Parker and its dedicated team have made it possible to reach these milestones over the last 10 years for Parker’s onboard inert gas generation systems (OBIGGS). This milestone also includes greater than 170,000,000 proven flight hours.
Parker’s installed commercial inerting systems are expected to grow to over 17,000 aircraft in the next five years, as current production continues and new platforms enter service.
Chengdu Airlines’ first ARJ21 (photo: COMAC)
COMAC C919 first flight (photo: Chen Cheng)
Additionally, the division is actively developing the next generation of aircraft inerting technology. While a leader in today’s membrane-based air separation module technology, the division is also pioneering new catalytic fuel tank inerting for aircraft. This version doesn’t require engine bleed air, as the current technology requires, and can expand aircraft fuel tank inerting to additional aircraft markets that don’t currently apply a fuel tank inerting system.
To learn more about Parker Fuel Systems Division products, including fuel and inerting systems, download our brochure.
Like many industrial markets, the heavy truck market utilizes brass fittings for a variety of applications. With composite fittings gaining traction in the arena, why do many truck OEMs continue to use brass fittings?
Like many industrial markets, the heavy truck and transportation markets utilize brass fittings for a variety of applications. Brass fittings have the strength, corrosion resistance and machinability in a variety of shapes and sizes to provide cost-effective solutions; making them an ideal material for many truck applications. It is common to find brass fittings in the air brake systems, cab controls, fuel systems, engine, transmission, cooling and air tanks on a heavy-duty truck and they meet DOT and SAE requirements. Let’s take a deeper look into why brass is an ideal material for this market.
Brass is comprised of approximately 60 percent copper, 38 percent zinc, and 2 percent lead. Brass fittings are characterized by their strength and ability to handle high as well as reasonably cold temperatures. They have good conductivity, excellent corrosion resistance, and low magnetic permeability. Brass not only is easy to machine, but it has great plating, joining, polishing and finishing characteristics all packed into a relatively low cost material for manufacturing.
In manufacturing, there are two methods for creating a brass fitting, one from extruded bar stock and the other through forging. A fitting made from extruded bar stock is created from bar stock in round, hexagon or shaped bars. These bars began as a solid round billet that is heated to a pliable state and forced by approximately 80,000 pounds of pressure through a die resulting in a bar, shaped to the desired external dimensions. That bar is then cut into slugs and machined into fitting components. The process produces a dense, nonporous material.
A forged fitting is made from an extruded round bar that is cut to length and straightened. After straightening, the bars are cut into slugs, much like a fitting from extruded bar stock, but at this point, rather than machining, the slugs are reheated to a pliable state and pressed under approximately 25,000 pounds of pressure per square inch between an upper and lower die cavity into the desired fitting shape. After cooling, the flash, or excess, is trimmed away and the forging blank is ready for machining.
The forged fittings produce a uniformly dense material of exceptional strength from forming under extreme pressure. Since the grain flow follows the contour of the fitting shape, the fitting has high impact strength and resistance to mechanical shock and vibration. You can easily spot the difference between a forging and an extruded part by looking at it. A forging will have rounded edges characteristics of the forged shape from the die and an extruded part will have squared off corners that resemble the original bar stock they originated from. Brass fittings can have components from both manufacturing methods that are assembled together to create a finished part.
"Brass compression style fittings, which have been used in the industry for decades, remain a low-cost fitting option for truck and trailer OEMs." Tom Cook, product sales manager, Fluid System Connectors Division, Parker.
Some applications, like diesel fuel applications, require additional corrosion resistance above and beyond the capabilities of brass alone. The great plating characteristics of brass, allow nickel-plating to original brass fittings to accommodate fuel systems.
Parker’s Fluid System Connectors Division offers the widest range of brass fittings for the transportation market. From extruded, forged, plated, and even composite materials, we make connections to bring increased efficiencies and higher productivity. Our vast offering of NTA, Transmission, Vibra-Lok, Prestomatic, PTC, Air Brake Hose Ends and PMH and Pipe fittings can fit the needs of the heavy truck market with superior quality.
For more information about our vast offering of transportation fittings, please visit our DOT Fittings Website or contact Parker Fluid System Connectors Division at (269) 694-9411.
Article contributed by Samantha Smith, marketing services manager, Fluid System Connectors Division
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Here is information on Psychrometrics that should help remind the HVACR technician what this subject is all about... with perhaps a few tidbits the tech may not have known! Psychrometrics: the study of the physical and thermal properties of dry air and water vapor mixtures.
Degree of saturation (μ): See relative humidity.
Dew point temperature (tdp): Temperature at which water vapor starts to condense in the air.
Dry air: Air devoid of water vapor and pollutants. Dry air has relative humidity of zero.
Dry bulb temperature (tdb): Actual temperature of the air, as observed using a thermometer or temperature sensor.
Enthalpy (h): Total useful energy content in the air. It is the sum of the enthalpies of the dry air and water vapor.
Humidity ratio (W): The ratio of the water vapor in the air to the dry air. This value is often multiplied by 7000 grains/ lb and expressed simply as humidity in grains of moisture.
Relative humidity (RH): The ratio of the mole fraction of water vapor to the mole fraction of water vapor with saturated air. If you don’t like the term “mole fraction”, it is also the ratio of the partial pressure of the water vapor to the partial pressure of water vapor with saturated air. If you don’t like the term “partial pressure”, it simply refers to the fact that both water vapor and dry air exert a component pressure that sums up to the total air pressure. If you want to think of relative humidity as the ratio of water vapor in the air compared to the water vapor in saturated air, that’s ok, but it is not technically correct. This value is actually the degree of saturation, which happens to be close to the value of relative humidity.
Saturated air: Air having a relative humidity (and degree of saturation) of 100 percent. At this condition, air is also at its dew point temperature. See the “Concerning Dry Air and Water Vapor Mixtures” section below.
Specific heat ratio (SHR): The ratio of the sensible heat load to the total heat load. Matched air conditioning systems typically have SHRs in the 68% to 80% range. Systems having a low SHR will remove more moisture from the air than systems having a high SHR. SHR can also be used to determine the required supply air temperature to maintain a room at desired conditions.
Specific volume (v): The volume occupied by a unit mass of dry air.
Psychrometer: A device used to measure relative humidity. It consisting of two thermometers, one that measures wet bulb temperature, and the other dry bulb temperature.
Psychrometric state: The state of an air sample. It is represented as a point on a psychrometric chart.
Standard air (for fan ratings): Air having a density of 0.075 lb/ft3 at 70°F and 14.696 psia (29.921 in. Hg) barometric pressure. Used to rate fans in standard cubic feet per minute (SCFM).
Standard atmosphere: Reference for estimating properties at various altitudes. It is air at 59°F and 14.696 psia (29.921 in. Hg) barometric pressure.
Wet bulb temperature (twb): Temperature of a wetted wick thermometer exposed to high velocity air. It is normally used with dry bulb temperature to determine relative humidity.
It is a misconception that water vapor is somehow held, absorbed, or dissolved in the air. Water vapor is only a resident in the air, somewhat like dust. Air acts as a “transporter” of water vapor. But unlike dust, atmospheric water constantly changes state, and it is a major regulator of air temperature.
The term “saturated air” is a bit of a misnomer as it suggests water vapor is absorbed or dissolved in the air. In this context, “saturation” simply refers to the state of water vapor, and that water vapor and dry air behave largely independent of each other.
Adiabatic mixing: Mixing of two or more air streams while maintaining constant enthalpy (no heat loss or gain).
Cooling and dehumidifying: Reducing both the dry bulb temperature and humidity ratio of the air.
Evaporative cooling: Reducing the dry bulb temperature and increasing humidity ratio of the air while maintaining constant enthalpy (no heat loss or gain).
Heating and humidifying: Increasing both the dry bulb temperature and humidity ratio of the air.
Sensible cooling: Removing heat from the air without changing its humidity ratio.
Sensible heating: Adding heat to the air without changing its humidity ratio.
We hope this blog helps you in your HVACR career and you learned some valuable information along the way. If you need other helpful documents on HVACR related topics please visit our additional blogs below.
HVACR Tech Tip article contributed by John Withouse, senior engineer - refrigeration, Sporlan Division of Parker Hannifin.
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A common challenge in the automotive industry is to seal a wide variety of fluids that are being utilized in a host of unique applications. Whether it be due to dynamic motion, component geometry, or a combination of the two, there are many times when an O-ring is not ideal for a part’s sealing needs. When millions of people trust automotive manufacturers with their lives each day, “non-ideal” simply won’t do. Fortunately, Parker has utilized our precision cut and extruded product line to efficiently manufacture solutions to common problems that arise in the automotive industry.
In a transmission, it is the clutch’s job to repeatedly engage and disengage drive shafts from one another to help turn the transmission’s output shaft. This often requires sealing while the clutch is in motion. Parker is able to manufacture D-rings and double chamfer seals that utilize their unique cross-sectional geometry to provide an inherent advantage over O-rings in dynamic situations such as these. The flat base of each of these profiles allows for smooth reciprocating and rotary motion without the potential of bunching, rolling, and/or spiral failure. These products are readily available in AEM or FKM materials, which are often used in transmission applications.
A quick look under the hood is all it takes to notice that there are many caps, nozzles, and covers that contain a wide variety of fluids. Antifreeze, coolant, and oil are the traditional fluids found in an engine, but even on the modern-day hybrid or electric vehicle, there are still many components that are covered and need sealing. Parker’s extrusion and splicing manufacturing process allows us to design seals for a wide range of challenges. Our hollow profiles allow for friction fit groove designs which retain themselves in the groove and can be utilized for low closure force on oil pans, hybrid electric battery covers, and under-the-hood sensor covers. Additionally, Parker can extrude and precision cut rectangular cross-section parts or press-in-place seals for an alternative sealing solution to any of the applications previously described. Spliced or precision cut parts can be manufactured in EPDM, Silicone, FKM, NBR, or HNBR materials.
Due to the high degree of customizability with the precision cut and extruded product line, the possibilities of applications are endless. Parker can manufacture flat rubber washers as bumpers or vibration dampers, tubes of material as fluid transfer seals, and other custom or more exotic profiles can be extruded and precision cut into solid grommets for sealing plug holes and other openings.
Vehicles today are made up of thousands of complex components and the technology is continuing to be pushed further each year. As companies continue to innovate, so will the sealing needs and challenges. With virtually endless possibilities for our precision cut and extruded product line, Parker continues to meet and exceed the sealing needs of the automotive industry.
Visit our Seal Solutions eGuide to find the best sealing solution for your application or speak with one of our engineers by using our Live Chat tool.
This article was contributed by Tyler Karnes, applications engineer, Parker O-Ring & Engineered Seals Division.
Seals and the Quest for MPG
Safety in your factory or test stands should always be a priority. Anywhere high pressure or high velocity are at play, being able to monitor the process and changing conditions, with accuracy, while your team members stay at a safe distance is key.
According to OSHA,
"Twenty-two million workers are exposed to potentially damaging noise at work each year. In 2017, U.S. business paid more than $1.5 million in penalties for not protecting workers from noise." OSHA.gov
One key area that OSHA discusses is engineering controls that can be implemented in a manufacturing environment to reduce noise levels at the worker's ear such as:
Modifying or replacing equipment;
Making related physical changes at the noise source;
Making changes along the transmission path;
Choosing low-noise tools and machinery;
Maintain and lubricate machinery and equipment (e.g., oil bearings);
Placing a barrier between the noise source and employee (e.g., sound walls or curtains);
Enclose or isolate the noise source.
Download the Success Story - Avoiding High Decibels to Monitor Motor Performance.
A customer manufactures high-pressure hydraulic power units (HPUs) for testing ram airplane turbines (RAT) to verify performance. Motors are mounted to an adapter and mating shaft, connected through a torque/speed sensor, and loaded using a water brake dynamometer. The RAT must reach 5,000 rpm for a successful simulation. A pyrometer monitors the water temperature in the RAT.
This creates a potentially unsafe situation for manual monitoring:
High-velocity shrapnel and hot liquids in the event of a failure
Noise as loud as 90-95 dbA
Technicians monitor the gauges from a distance in a remote test lab using a video camera pointed at the measuring devices. However, vibrations from the motor made the analog gauge difficult to read accurately.
Installing a SensoNODE™ Blue pressure sensor and temperature sensor gives technicians a wireless solution that eliminates the need for the video setup. Technicians can run tests while viewing the readings from the lab using their mobile devices with SCOUT™ Mobile software. The digital readout ensures an accurate reading.
Condition monitoring is done easily and at a safer distance.
Technicians get immediate and accurate readings while varying the flow and load on the motor being tested.
Readings can be recorded and stored for documentation.
SensoNODE Blue sensors and SCOUT Mobile software improved the efficiency of the diagnostic process, allowing for reduced process time. Operators can run the needed tests without exposure to the high-decibel noise or flying parts/liquids in the event of a product failure.
SensoNODE™ Blue is Parker’s series of Bluetooth-powered sensors. Compact, energy-efficient, and wireless, they are designed to provide simple and useful solutions for diagnostic and condition monitoring applications. SensoNODE monitors assets to help predict problems and prevent downtime and delivers the information to your mobile device.
SCOUT™ Mobile software gives access to machine and process measurements right on your mobile device. The user-friendly interface makes connecting to sensors uncomplicated and measurements easy-to-read. With customizable dashboards and alarms, you can focus on the data that’s most important to you and be alerted when your measurement thresholds are exceeded. Exporting of data is done with a click of one button, which sends a .csv file right to your email.
Article contributed by David Shannon, business team manager, Parker Quick Coupling Division
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When it comes to linear actuators, selecting the right drive technology can be a precise balancing act as there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.
Due to the breadth of applications – from automated packaging lines and pick-and-place operations to complex machines such as 3D printers – making the correct choice is less about concentrating on a single aspect than finding the optimum balance of performance from a variety of different factors.
Most electromechanical linear actuators rely on one of five common drive train types: ball screws, lead screws, timing belts, rack and pinion tracks and linear motors.
Ball screws are ideal for high duty cycle applications and where high force density, precision and repeatability are required. The rolling ball bearings reduce friction and deliver high mechanical efficiency, even in continuous use. Ball screws can achieve moderate speed.
Lead screws are suitable for low duty cycle applications, or those requiring small adjustments. They typically only offer about half the efficiency of ball screws, so require twice the torque to achieve the same thrust output. However, lead screws provide cost-efficient and compact solutions for high-force applications.
Timing belts are simple, robust mechanisms for high-speed applications requiring long life and minimal maintenance, where precision greater than 100 microns is sufficient. They are efficient and easy to operate and can run at 100 percent duty cycle. Timing belts are available in longer lengths than screw drives.
Rack and pinion systems are useful for very long travels requiring high speed but are not known for their precision. They offer high force density but require regular system lubrication. In addition, removing system backlash from this type of drive train is not always possible, and they can be quite noisy in operation.
Linear motors offer high speed, acceleration and precision. Cost is the principal drawback, while force density is also less than other drive systems. The absence of a mechanical connection between the moving and static components of linear motors makes their use difficult in vertical applications.
The selection options for a linear drive can be grouped into the following categories: precision, expected life, throughput and special considerations (PETS).
For precision, always start with an understanding of needs relative to resolution. The other considerations are repeatability and velocity control. Linear motors and ball screws are typically best in terms of precision characteristics.
With lifespan, mechanical efficiency is the primary consideration, unless the requirement is for a dirty or harsh operating environment. High drive train efficiency is synonymous with long life and reduced energy consumption. Factors such as wear resistance, dirt resistance and maintenance requirements are also important. Due to their high efficiency and limited maintenance needs, timing belts are the go-to option in this category.
Throughput can be considered by first scrutinising the speed and acceleration or deceleration characteristics of each technology – depending on the length of linear travel required. If the need is for longer travel where more of the cycle time is spent at top velocity, speed is the most important. If shorter moves are required, acceleration and deceleration characteristics will take precedence. Linear motors are unparalleled when it comes to throughput.
Some other considerations to take into account when looking at each technology include material and implementation costs, while force density is a further increasingly important factor to bear in mind as machine designs continue to miniaturise, particularly when specifying end effectors or tooling mounted to an axis.
For more information about the four key performance characteristics to consider when choosing a linear drive train from our white paper click here to download.
Article contributed by Olaf Zeiss, product manager, Actuators Electromechanical & Drives Division Europe.
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