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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.
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.
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:
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.
Article contributed by Céline Joyeau, marketing development manager, Low Pressure Connectors Europe Division
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Washing 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.
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.
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:
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 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.
Article contributed by Hersh Chaturvedi, business development manager and Kenney Ricker, product manager, Pump and Motor Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
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Many 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.
For 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”.
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.
Ambient 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.
The 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
For 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".
This blog was contributed by Mark White, compressed air treatment applications manager, Parker Gas Separation and Filtration Division, EMEA.
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Lighter, versatile, non-corroding and cost-effective. These are some of the advantages as to why manufacturers are increasingly replacing metals with plastics for product development. Plastic injection molding is a key component in a shifting manufacturing landscape and has grown beyond specialty applications. Today, it’s a sophisticated process for producing parts requiring machinery and tooling of increasing complexity. As a result, injection molding operations are being pushed to the limits at a time when product quality and manufacturing efficiency is crucial to success.
Injection molding processes are exposed to a variety of potential risks over the course of production. From running unattended for long periods to equipment performance faults, operating without production monitoring can lead to real business headaches. Even the smallest of deviations or errors can impact an organization’s bottom line and result in significant ramifications including line downtime, increased scrap, late shipments and the biggest factor of all, a dissatisfied customer.
There are many variables affecting the injection molding process and each impacts product quality. The variations in temperature, humidity or machine pressure can lead to process or mechanical breakdown. By regularly monitoring the status and condition of processes and equipment, you’re able to identify potential problems and select a course of action to rectify it.
A continuous condition monitoring program provides a valuable amount of information for predicting machinery failure or process variation aiding in the analysis of the root cause of the problem. This solution provides reliable and useful data to assess the health and condition of injection molding machines and processes.
The following two case studies showcase how IoT-based condition monitoring solutions help injection molding operators solve production issues while increasing safety, productivity and quality.
A large injection molding company that produces components for the medical device industry struggled with maintaining the quality of a particular molded part. Production runs were inconsistent due to temperature and pressure anomalies in the mold injection lines, which resulted in short shot, or incompletely formed parts. This caused production downtime, as well as increased part inspections and scrap.
Accurate and continuous monitoring of the temperature and pressure lines with SensoNODE™ Sensors and Voice of the Machine™ Software revealed a small leak in a pressure hose that caused the pressure to drop at certain times during the molding process. With the hose replaced, SensoNODE and Voice of the Machine Software ensured the pressure remained stable during the process. In addition, data collection was much easier than utilizing standard gauges, which would be in difficult-to-see locations within the machine.
The injection molding company was able to fix the problem quickly, minimizing downtime and scrap. The company also avoided a serious product recall risk that comes from shipping out-of-spec molded parts to a medical device customer.
A customer that makes washing machines and dryers had been using manual diagnostic test tools for their manufacturing processes and machines where a majority are hydraulic-based assets. Two pieces of equipment in particular – an injection molding machine and a stamping press – are driven by the same hydraulic power unit (HPU).
The HPU is located 20 feet off the floor at the top of the machines. In order to diagnose or evaluate each asset, a maintenance technician must use a manual diagnostic tool connected to the HPU to collect pressure changes at several points of interest. A second technician would be on the floor watching and cycling the machine.
Those technicians would then test several points individually, which took hours. Because the manual diagnostic devices have long cords that connect the sensors to the handheld meters, the set up for testing was cumbersome and time consuming. Technicians would shut down the machine due to safety risks, then set up the tools to take readings, which further extended downtime and led to missed revenue opportunities.
The customer needed a solution that allowed a single maintenance technician to test multiple functions simultaneously as well as take readings from the floor while also observing asset processes.
By installing SensoNODE Sensors at each of the five points of interest, the technician is now able to run the machine and use Voice of the Machine Software to track all pressure measurements at once, as well as watch the machine functions from a safe area.
Being able to monitor multiple points at the same time simplifies the troubleshooting of a complex system, which helps technicians quickly resolve issues that minimizes downtime and saves money. In turn, the injection molding manufacturer’s customers receive quality products on time leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.
Learn more about our injection molding solutions or speak to an engineer to discuss your injection molding issues.
Contributed by Dan Davis, product sales manager, SensoNODE Sensors and Voice of the Machine Software, Parker Hannifin.
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Maintaining a safe and productive work environment should be top priority in any facility. More and more companies are putting programs in place to improve the working environment and thereby increase the performance of workers.
Audible noise is one of the factors most commonly present on the manufacturing floor, since the operation of any equipment or machinery involves the generation of noise at some level. Usually, the lower the technology of the equipment, the greater the intensity of the noise emitted, reaching in some cases to exceed the tolerable or legally allowed levels.
In addition to the risk of hearing loss, excessive noise has been known to cause physiological effects such as fatigue, tinnitus, lack of concentration and stress, even at levels well below 85 decibels (dB). Keeping people working in environments with excessive noise is a safe bet for reduced productivity and lost time.
Excessive noise exposure can be mitigated by addressing several elements. The actions for noise control can be classified according to the element on which they are carried out:
Directly reducing the noise generated by the source is the ideal option because it eliminates the need to add elements external to the process and results in a more efficient operation, but can potentially require more initial investment. Among the actions of this type we find:
When it is not possible to act on the noise source, or the reduction reached is not enough, it is possible to alter the propagation medium to reduce the sound effect. These actions have the advantage of being able to be carried out without modifications to the production process, representing a fairly low implementation risk. Among these actions we have:
The noise control actions in the receiver must be the last ones due to the inconvenience that it generates for the worker and the consequential reduction of the effectiveness of oral communication. These actions are typically:
Parker's t-slot aluminum profile system (IPS) is an excellent solution for the manufacturing of enclosure cabinets and noise reduction barriers. The flexibility of the system allows adaptation of the design to the specific geometry of the machine and provides semi-fixed sections that facilitate access for operation and maintenance.
The wide selection of panels allows to have opaque or transparent walls and profiles with double grooves allow the easy fabrication of walls with double panels that increase the attenuation of the noise.
Parker IPS profiles are easy to modify and totally reusable, so you will not only be satisfying your current needs but also future ones. A great way to get started on a Parker IPS project is to download our T-slot Aluminum Design Architect software and start designing today.
To learn more: Visit our website.
Article contributed by Julio Sanchez, IPS product manager, Parker Mexico.
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Parker Chomerics is delighted to debut CHOFORM® 5575, an all-new form-in-place EMI gasket at electronica, the world's leading trade fair and conference for electronics. Located in Munich, Germany, electronica brings together nearly 80,000 visitors from 90 countries to discuss the industry’s latest market and technology topics.
CHOFORM 5575 is a silver-plated aluminum filled, electrically conductive form-in-place gasket. Form-in-place gaskets are dispensed using an automated system and provide reliable electromagnetic interference (EMI) protection for packaged electronic assembles. They are ideal when isolation and complex cross section patterns are required, such as on automotive advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) modules or telecommunications boxes.
CHOFORM 5575 brings exciting new technology, providing premier EMI shielding over a broad frequency range in high temperature environments up to 125° C (257° F). CHOFORM 5575’s patented silver-plated aluminum filler technology allows for exceptional galvanic corrosion resistance when mated to an aluminum substrate, making this an ideal product for aluminum castings or airframes.
CHOFORM 5575 joins the family of Parker Chomerics CHOFORM dispensed form-in-place (FIP) EMI shielding gaskets, which are known to provide the lowest total cost of ownership for small cross section and complex pattern applications. From engine control modules (ECMs) to telecom infrastructure, to advanced avionic systems, CHOFORM is the designer’s first choice in form-in-place EMI gasket technology.
Be sure to visit Parker Chomerics at electronica, November 13-16, 2018 in Munich, Germany, in hall A2, stand 432 to see CHOFORM 5575, as well as the latest EMI shielding and thermal interface materials products from Parker Chomerics.
This blog was contributed by Jarrod Cohen, marketing communications manager, Parker Chomerics Division.
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