The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sports and the highest prize in sailing. Although it has a colorful history dating to 1851, America’s Cup wind-powered racing yachts certainly aren’t old school: the boats use advanced light-weight materials, the latest in nautical design, and aerospace control technology to skim across the ocean’s surface at speeds approaching 50 knots. That’s 55-plus miles-per-hour for landlubbers and the ultimate challenge for the 11-sailor crews that navigate the sophisticated yachts.
Parker is no stranger to the high-pressure competition that fuels the America’s Cup, having supported U.S. teams as an official partner during the last America’s Cup and supplying parts for decades. Following the announcement on January 7, 2019, Parker Hannifin is teaming with a New York Yacht Club-backed entry from the United States called “American Magic.” Parker is the official control systems partner to bring the trophy home to America’s shore in the 36th America’s Cup in 2021. Parker and the American Magic Team will work together to develop and implement state-of-the-art systems for the team’s racing boats. Leveraging a portfolio of proven aerospace and industrial technologies, these systems will enable the advanced yachts with precise control of the lifting surfaces and the wing required to produce optimum performance.
"Parker is honored to be a part of the American Magic team and to build on our long history with the America's Cup. The motion and control challenges that are presented by this latest generation of foiling yachts are significant and relevant to those that we see in our core business. The opportunity to partner with some of the most talented engineers and athletes on the planet in the crucible of a world-class competition is a recipe for technology advancement, and hopefully some American magic."
— Craig Maxwell, vice president and chief technology and innovation officer for Parker
New monohull design developed under AC75 Class Rule
Teams will be racing a monohull boat designed under the AC75 Class Rule, which defines the parameters within which teams can design a yacht eligible to compete for the 36th America’s Cup. In addition to shared weight, mast, and sail specifications, the AC75 boats will feature a 75-foot monohull with a T-foil rudder and twin canting T-foils. The objective of this design is to allow the boats to accelerate sufficiently that their foils elevate the hulls from the water to navigate above the ocean’s surface, reducing drag and increasing speed.
The AC75 is a “one-design” vessel, meaning that all teams’ boats use the same design for the main structural elements. The teams can innovate and gain advantage at the system levels of the boats. That’s where Parker Aerospace comes in.
Parker motion controls to optimize American Magic’s performance
Putting 100-plus years of engineering expertise to work and applying a broad range of core technologies, Parker will integrate its controls, hydraulics, and actuators into a key motion and control system that helps American Magic boats achieve stability as each lift onto its foils and accelerates.
According to Mark Czaja, vice president of technology and innovation with Parker Motion Systems, a wide range of Parker products and system-level expertise will help the American Magic boat perform at its highest level.
“Working with the team's Official Innovation Partner, Airbus – with whom Parker already works closely on several commercial and military aircraft platforms – we are bringing advanced control technologies to the American Magic boats, refining the design of the control system and its components for the rigors of saltwater competition.”
— Mark Czaja, vice president of technology and innovation with Parker Motion Systems
Half-scale boat tested on the water in Pensacola, Florida
The New York Yacht Club American Magic team has built a boat to half-scale of a race-ready AC75 design. The 38-foot boat—known as “the Mule” to its sailors, designers, and shore crew—has undergone testing in the waters of Pensacola, Florida. The shakedown runs serve to train the crew and provide system-level data that will influence the building of the first full-scale American Magic boat. The first AC75 yacht should be in the water by the end of August of 2019. Data gathered from the first boat will inform construction of a second one; either of the two boats can be used in the Challenger selection events and, ultimately, the America’s Cup.
Challenger selection events to determine who will face Defender Team Emirates New Zealand
The 36th America’s Cup match will take place in Auckland, New Zealand, in March of 2021. Prior to the America’s Cup, American Magic will compete in the America’s Cup World Series (April 23-26, 2020) and the Prada Cup Challenger series starting in January 2021. These races build toward the 36th America’s Cup over March 6-21, when the competition leader will earn the right to face current cup defender, Team Emirates New Zealand. But there is much to do before that for American Magic—and Parker—to prepare for the next edition of the America’s Cup.
We’ll be blogging throughout the run-up to the America’s Cup race in 2021, keeping readers posted on Parker and American Magic progress toward winning the cup for America.
This post was contributed by Zack Cody, project lead and a member of the Parker Aerospace central engineering department.
The industrial manufacturing landscape is transforming against a backdrop of uncertainty. The shifts taking place globally in technology, advanced manufacturing, and government policy changes have created a moving target for manufacturers. This is causing many companies to be cautious. So, what’s an industrial manufacturer to do? To maintain or to create manufacturing competitiveness in our evolving landscape, companies must act now in making strategic investments essential for growth.
The good news? The ongoing focus by manufacturers on research and innovation is paying off for those who apply it strategically. For instance, the cheap labor of the 1990s is giving way to automation technology as the more important factor for manufacturing efficiency.
The not-so-good news? These opportunities are counterbalanced by a global manufacturing environment that is beyond challenging. Fluctuating resource prices, a shortage of tech-savvy talent and growing supply-chain and regulatory risks add to manufacturers’ unease, causing them to grow cautious when boldness is required to assure competitiveness.
Download our white paper Four Strategies for Assuring Your Company’s Manufacturing Competitiveness for an in-depth look into the emerging industrial manufacturing trends and strategies that you can employ today to create new market opportunities for your company.
Strategic playbook for growth and success in a globally competitive world
For industrial manufacturing companies looking to grow and succeed in our highly competitive marketplace, making an investment into four strategies creates a potential playbook to act upon.
There’s a technological renaissance that is transforming the look, systems, and processes of the modern factory, and it’s wide-ranging. From the Internet of Things and its 4th Industrial Revolution to additive manufacturing, industrial manufacturing is shedding its skin to become an entirely different entity.
Here are a few of the life-changing advances happening now:1. Advanced Manufacturing
The Internet of Things (IoT) is well on its way to creating the connected factory of the future. With the adoption and deployment of smaller, less costly sensors, the development of advanced analytics and the commodity storage options provided by the cloud, manufacturers can have wireless/mobile access to data globally - as well as anywhere on the plant floor – facilitating new levels of information monitoring, collection, processing, and analysis.
By expanding the power of the web to link machines, sensors, computers, and humans, IoT enables the data-driven insights and digital connectivity needed to adapt, add to or reinvent business models with the end goal of delivering higher-quality, more reliable products.
Yet there are risks to IoT adoption. Prime among them is the threat of cyber attacks by hackers determined to steal trade secrets and intellectual property. To create an inviolable factory of the future, manufacturers must rethink security standards and provide enhanced security during all phases of manufacturing from design to distribution – even after purchase.
How quickly must preparations be made for the connected factory of the future? IoT factories are predicted to be commonplace within five or ten years. Of course, it’s one thing to invest in transformative technologies when business is good – it’s another when business is off.
Then there's additive manufacturing technology, also referred to as 3D printing. Right now, 3D printing can spur innovation and reduce time-to-market through application to the product development/prototyping process.2. Process Optimization
While technologies that advance manufacturing are important to competitiveness, most manufacturers identify process improvement as key to company success. That equates to:
Reducing production time,
Achieving more operational flexibility, and
Improving its equipment and layout both in and outside the factory.
To achieve these goals and meet evolving opportunities, companies need to automate, upgrade and streamline. Notably, the impact of automation on global manufacturing, particularly in the area of robotics, cannot be underestimated.3. Cost Reductions
Propelled by advanced technologies and the increasing reliability and availability of data, manufacturing competitiveness is upending the factory status quo and creating a highly responsive and innovative global manufacturing landscape. Management must search out innovations that will affect the company’s bottom line. Yet innovations cost money, right? Companies looking to protect their bottom line are pursuing aggressive and proactive cost containment programs that embrace improvements in energy consumption, advances in logistics technology and new materials.4. Skills Training
It’s taking manufacturers longer and longer to fill skilled positions - a situation that is likely to continue for the next 15 years. In fact, estimations are that there will be 2 million unfulfilled manufacturing jobs by 2025 in the United States. That means companies will need to act now in order to offset labor shortages later.
A few possible ways to alleviate the problem include:
New technology training to upgrade the skill sets of current employees.
Recruitment to attract the tech-savvy – otherwise known as millennials.
Creating a culture where suggestions for improvements are welcomed and rewarded.
Embracing an open-book management philosophy where employees see themselves as partners in the company.
Download the white paper Four Strategies for Assuring Your Company’s Manufacturing Competitiveness for details on these strategies, and the steps industrial manufacturers must take today to capitalize on new market opportunities that await.
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When classic sealing materials – for instance in temperature ranges above 300°C and below -50°C – reach their limits alternative materials are required such as metal with appropriate coating/plating.
Parker offers metal seals made of stainless steel or nickel alloys in C, E and other designs characterized by high pre-loading force and significant resilience. Drawing on many years of experience in the gas turbine market, Parker has continually expanded its expertise in large diameters and developed special problem solutions that substantially increase the efficiency of the machines.
Metal seal types and sizes
The most important manufacturing technologies used to produce metal seals from stainless steel or nickel alloys are rolling, forming, CNC machining, welding, heat treatment and coating/plating. In its more than 60-year history of producing metal seals, Parker has continually tackled the challenge of manufacturing increasingly large metal seals. Currently, spring-energized C-rings with a diameter of up to 7.6 m can be produced for which special forming machines and patented welding techniques were developed. They are supported by optimized special heat treatment and electroplating processes that make it possible to manufacture high-quality products even in such large dimensions. Additionally, Parker offers non-rotationally symmetric metal seals. These E-, O- and C-seals can be produced in lengths of up to 2.3 m on machines specifically developed for this purpose.
Materials and coatings
The base materials used are special nickel alloys that withstand temperatures of more than 800 °C. These cobalt-nickel-chromium-tungsten alloys or heat-treatable nickel super-alloys make high demands on the welding technology used and are reliably processed at Parker due to optimized manufacturing processes and comprehensive suitability tests.
The choice of plating is primarily focused on wear protection, corrosion resistance and improvement of the sealing properties. For this purpose, the surface properties of the metal seal are modified and a formable external surface layer with adjusted hardness is created. Parker’s application engineering team will advise you in making the appropriate selection from the available plating range of gold, silver, nickel or TriCom® coating.
Website: XXL Size Seals and Molded Parts
Download Whitepaper: Large-Diameter Seals and Moldings - Material and Special Manufacturing Aspects
Download Brochure: XXL- Size Seals and Molded Parts - Powerful Solutions for Large-Scale Applications
Article contributed by
Thorsten Kleinert, business unit manager composite sealing systems
Engineered Materials Group Europe, Prädifa Technology Division
Following new, more stringent Tier IV diesel engine emissions regulations, Rayco, an environmental equipment designer for the tree care and landscape industries, took the opportunity to develop a more efficient, powerful and compact stump cutter, the RG165T-R. In comparison to previous designs that utilized diesel engines, Rayco’s new stump cutter is centered around a powerful 165 HP gasoline engine.
As a result of the new gasoline design, the equipment’s envelope size was reduced and components were eliminated, such as, after treatment systems, diesel exhaust fluid and electronics. In addition to the robust gasoline engine, the RG 165T-R also packs a closed-circuit hydrostatic cutter wheel drive system that delivers full engine HP to the cutter wheel, completing every job in its path.
Stump cutting presents unique operating scenarios with each cycle. A pump and motor must be able to power through different obstacles at each job site. From technical support to high-quality hydraulic components to quick, on-time delivery, Parker enabled Rayco to develop its new industry-leading stump cutter.
The initial RG165T-R prototype was created using the Parker Series F12 182cc bent axis motor, along with a competitor’s 90cc closed circuit pump. However, during initial rounds of testing, the competitor’s 90cc closed circuit pump struggled with performance and reliability issues, along with the potential for long lead times.
When Rayco reached out to Parker applications team recommended an alternative - the compact, high-performance C Series 81cc hydrostat piston pump and promptly delivered a unit for testing. During subsequent testing of the Parker pump and motor combination, the team worked with Rayco engineers to dial in the performance.
By incorporating these two Parker components, Rayco engineers were able to exceed multiple performance targets. These targets included a 20 percent decrease in heat generation while increasing system efficiency by 10 percent over alternative test units. The C Series pump delivered excellent power density and paired perfectly with the 182cc F12 motor. The combination also translated into the optimal cutter wheel speed, which increased torque output to the cutter teeth by 10%. Another and unexpected benefit of the system was a tighter radius of the wood chips to the machine, resulting in less operational risk during the stump grinding process.
Parker’s Hydraulic Pump and Power Systems Division has been designing pumps and transmission for over 50 years. The division is the result of the Parker piston pump business's acquisition of Denison Hydraulics and the merger with the Parker Oildyne Division. These two businesses combined have extended Parker's product offering to include the quality compact hydraulic products and systems the division has been pioneering since 1955. To learn more about the products, visit www.parker.com/hps or contact the team.
Article contributed by Justin Wheeler, product manager, and Wes Jackson, application engineer for Parker Hannifin's Hydraulic Pump an Power Systems Division.
For many of us at Parker, leading with purpose means identifying opportunities for making life better in the communities where we live and work. It acknowledges our strengths and aligns with our values, which also makes our work deeply personal, as a group of Parker China team members have experienced firsthand.
Poverty continues to be an ongoing struggle in many parts of rural China. So when a massive earthquake destroyed a primary school in the remote mountain village of Tianshui, Gansu in 2008, families in the neighboring communities had little hope of recovery.
The China Youth Development Foundation quickly formed a plan to rebuild damaged schools in the area and put out a call for help. The answer came from more than 2,000 kilometers and a day’s journey away. Working together, Parker China in Shanghai and The China Youth Development Foundation established The Parker Hannifin Hope School in 2009.
"We believe that education is the root of eliminating poverty in China. So when we learned of the opportunity to help rebuild this vital resource, we felt it was our responsibility to help."
Joan Cai, admin officer, Parker China
Mingde Elementary School
On December 30th, in the southwestern city of Jiangxi winter was cold. On the same day, the Parker Hannifin Volunteer Team consisting of Liu Jianrong, Xu Linling and Gu Jianquan and the staff of the Jinqiao Management Committee of Pudong New Area arrived at this gathering of love-the "Light of Hope" poverty alleviation aid project. School——Mingde Elementary School, Jianchang Town, Nancheng County, Fuzhou City, Jiangxi Province. The team brought with them a "Love Fuel Bundle," items collected inside the company for the school, so that children can feel the warmth from thousands of miles away.The Hope School
Located in Tianshui, Gansu along the Qingshui River in Western China, The Hope School provides kindergarten and primary education to students from neighboring villages. In the decade since Parker China began partnering with the Hope School, more than a dozen graduates have enrolled at high-performing universities across the country, including Hunan University and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.
And the partnership remains vibrant. Each year, team members from Parker China undertake the long journey to the Hope School to deliver gifts, build relationships and to help address the needs of the surrounding community.
Other team members routinely donate gift packages to the school and one even went as far as helping a Hope School Teacher put his daughter through University. Parker plans to establish five new libraries and three sports fields in collaboration with Project Hope.
"Everywhere you turn, there are stories like these. Our Parker team members find meaning and fulfillment in helping rural children learn, grow and thrive."
Joan Cai, admin officer, Parker China
Indeed, The Parker Hannifin Hope School is a shining example of what can happen when Hope meets Purpose. Learn more about Parker's Purpose and download our stories and videos.
Article and images submitted by the Parker China Team
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Traditionally, agricultural sprayer machines were custom-built on a four-wheel chassis. These custom-built units were heavy, expensive and not easily adapted to other farm applications. Sprayers are typically used to apply herbicides, insecticides and fertilizer. Naturally, it would be more practical if a machine that could be used for other functions – such as tilling, loading, and baling.
One manufacturer designed a retrofit using unconventional technologies which resulted in a three-wheel flotation spraying applicator. The new vehicle is less heavy, costs 20 to 50 percent less and is more versatile because it's designed to accomplish more than one function. The sprayer exerts lower ground pressure and more affordable than traditional machinery.
The three-wheeled commercial applicator was designed by retrofitting a mid-range (50 to 120 hp), two-wheel-drive tractor chassis with three major innovations:
Tractors of this size generally have hydraulically assisted steering using a hydraulic cylinder and mechanical linkage assembly. In place of the typical front-wheel steering cylinder, the manufacturer used a Helac helical hydraulic rotary actuator. Parker's Helac L30-65E-FT-180-S1-O-H rotary actuator produces a steering angle of up to 180 degrees and contains a bearing to support the load.
The rotary actuator is a part of the steering super structure, providing the strength and flexibility the vehicle requires without unnecessary weight, complexity and maintenance required of mechanical linages. It supports a thrust load of 8000 pounds and accommodates 423,000 pounds per inch of bending moment capacity. It transmits 55,000 pounds per inch of steering torque when fully loaded. The L30 series actuator’s design makes it capable of angular displacement of 360-degrees or more.
The tractor’s original-equipment hydraulic power unit supplies pressurized fluid for steering and other hydraulic functions. Maximum system pressure is 2950 psig with eight gallons per minute of flow but the steering function generally operates at pressure of 1500 to 2000 psig. The only modification needed to the tractor’s original hydraulic system is a higher displacement steering unit. This is because a rotary actuator requires more fluid to move the wheel through its entire range of motion than a cylinder does. The plumbing of the steering control unit is routed directed to the actuator, eliminating sections of hose and fittings otherwise required by the cylinder.
Height and orientation of the sprayer boom are also controlled with hydraulics. A five-spool solenoid valve routes hydraulic fluid to and from cylinders that raise, lower, rotate, and pivot the prayer boom. Furthermore, an open-center motor, controlled by an electronic flow-control valve, supplies the driving torque to apply the fertilizer or other substance to crops. The retrofit package also includes a suspension style swing arm fork with twin air springs capable of supporting loads to 8000 pounds above the front tire. The air springs’ pressure is adjustable for different loads for smooth riding in the roughest of field conditions. The manufacturer supplied an electric air compressor to generate the pneumatic power for raising pressure in the air springs. The fork’s open front allows for easy access for changing or repairing the front tire. The fork is 50 inches wide, allowing use of huge, 44.00-inch tires for the maximum flotation and the potential for ground pressure as low as four psig.
An integrated solution
The cutaway above shows initial position of piston and output shaft. Pressurized fluid entering the inlet port pushes on the piston; a stationary ring hear causes the piston to rotate clockwise. At right, teeth on the output shaft mesh with those on the ID of the piston, causing the shaft to rotate clockwise relative to the piston. Pressuring the B port returns the piston and shaft to their initial positions.
The actuator used for steering and load support is Parker’s Helac L30-65 actuator. This actuator not only provides a simpler, less expensive structure than alternative designs but also can generate the high torque needed to steer such a large wheel assembly under full load. Previously the manufacturer used steering cylinders, bearings and multiple joints before designing in the sliding spline actuator. With cylinders, all the external moving parts were exposed to the elements. The stress on the joins was high because each steering cylinder had a clevis pin at each end. Stress concentrated on each pin created high wear points, which increased maintenance. Worn pins also allowed side loads to be transmitted to the piston rod. This accelerated wear on the rod and piston bearings increased the occurrence of seal leakage.
The actuator used in the manufactuer's sprayer retrofit is composed of three basic parts: a housing, a central through shaft and an annular piston. Helical gear teeth on the shaft mesh with matching teeth on the inner circumference of the piston; a second set of helical teeth of opposite hand on the outer circumference of the piston engage the housing’s integral ring gear. The double helix gear design works to compound shaft rotation. The rotation of the shaft is almost twice that of the piston. The result is a slender, compact, symmetrical design that generates high torque, is highly tolerant of shock loads, and has none of the house protrusions found in alternative designs.
Characteristics of the helical rotary actuator make it ideal for applications requiring high torque within a small envelope, attributable, primarily, to its sliding-spline operation. Because all spline teeth remain engaged at all times, loads are equally distributed over the teeth. This results in high tolerance to the stock loads. Backlash is minimal – approximately 1°. Furthermore, the integral bearing design enables the actuator to support heavy radial, moment and thrust loads without the need for additional, external bearings. The integral bearing design also produces a clean, compact assembly for a wide variety of applications, including construction and mining equipment, refuse cart dumpers – anywhere compact size, high torque, and wide angle of rotation are needed. Aside from the inherent compact size of the actuator, the integral bearings and large drilled-and-tapped mounting holes make it easy to design the actuator info a structure and simplifies installation.
The manufacturer significantly benefited from switching to Parker’s Helac rotary actuators in three distinct ways:
Parker’s Helac actuators offer a compact package that provides all the support for the load as well as the hydraulic turning needs without adding unnecessary weight. Seal leakage is eliminated and there are fewer maintenance issues since all moving parts are safely enclosed in a cylindrical envelope. Visit www.parker.com/cylinder for more information about Parker’s various actuators.
Planning on attending IFPE 2020?
Five Ways Quickfit Oil Change System Can Increase Your Equipment ROI - IFPE 2020 logo - Parker HannifinTo learn more about Parker’s off-road machinery solutions stop by Booth #S80245 at IFPE/CONEXPO-Con/AGG in Las Vegas March 10 – 14.
Article contributed by Dan Morgado, applications engineer, Parker Hannifin's Cylinder Division.
Many metalworking facilities feature large, open workspaces. While ideal for large scale production, this setting presents challenges for air quality and in assuring clean air in the work environment. Weld smoke, fumes, oil and coolant mists are harmful to workers. In any manufacturing setting where welding is done, precaution must be taken to limit worker exposure to these harmful contaminants to assure a safe plant environment.
Let's take a look at how one metal fabrication company solved this issue with the help of Parker.
Cherubini Metal Works, a fabricator of large structural steel assemblies for bridges and buildings in Nova Scotia, supplies hundreds of thousands of tons of cut, shaped, welded and pre-assembled steel into a variety of standard and custom designs. Their newest fabrication facility in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia measuring 56,000 square feet, often has 15 to 20 welders operating at the same time in their large open workspace. The resulting weld smoke and fumes presented a challenge to the safe and productive environment the company valued.
Typically, source capture systems are used to collect weld fume contaminants. Source capture systems include fume collection hoods, ducting, air cleaning components and fans. However, in a large, open facility like Cherubini, where overhead cranes and large fabricated structural pieces were taking up substantial space, a source capture system was impractical. Cherubini's management team also determined that, due to the low outside temperatures in the winter that could range from -4° to -22°F (-20 to -30°C), they needed to re-circulate filtered air in order to avoid the high heating costs associated with warming air drawn from the outside.
Cherubini's management team consulted with Parker, a leader in the clean air system design, on how to proceed. Typically, there are two ambient air collection options for welding fumes:
Re-circulating air through the Cherubini facility, as opposed to exhausting it outside, was viewed favorably as it would provide a healthy work environment while saving the company substantial energy costs. Based on Parker’s recommendation, Cherubini chose to install 10 SmogHog SG-4S mist/fume collection units with automated in-place cleaning.
SmogHogs, using electrostatic precipitators (ESP) technology, are highly efficient, heavy-duty air cleaning devices that remove smoke, fumes, dust and coolant mist from the air stream. In open-air applications, like the Cherubini facility, multiple units are installed in a pattern that circulates the air from unit to unit in a circular- racetrack- configuration.
ESP works by electronically charging both visible and microscopic contaminants and capturing them like a magnet in collection cells. Operating continuously, ESP units will then circulate clean air back into the plant.
Cherubini’s SmogHog systems re-circulate clean air throughout the facility, they also reduce exhaust make-up requirements by up to 80%. The air is recycled into the workspace, saving the company thousands of dollars a year in heating costs during the cold winter months. Maintenance is minimal. In Cherubini’s case, the 10 SmogHog SG-4S units are cleaned via an automatic wash system, depending on weld work volume.
“I continue to purchase SmogHog electrostatic precipitators because they are effective...and meet all local air quality and occupational health and safety requirements. And, because building heat is too expensive to waste.”
— Renato Gasperetto, vice president of Cherubini Metal Works Ltd.
The AHR Expo is the world’s largest HVACR event, attracting the most comprehensive gathering of industry professionals from around the globe each year.
Visit Parker at the AHR Expo in Orlando, booth 2525, FL February 3 - 5 and learn about our climate control and filtration solutions for improved air quality wherever you work.
Article contributed by the Filtration Team.
Our sense of taste is changing. We’re becoming more health conscious of the foods and beverages we consume to living a better life. No more perplexing and hard-to-pronounce food labels. Rather, simplicity rules the day as consumers seek transparency in knowing the ingredients going into the products they eat and drink. Simple does not discount sophistication though. The demand is present for high-quality foods that are healthy, sustainable and of course, appease the tastebuds.Reassessing traditional food and beverage operations
So then, what does this all mean? Food and beverage companies have to think differently about infrastructure and plant operations to satisfy evolving appetites, from processed foods to healthier options. Manufacturing processes need to be structured to support plant-based foods and successfully manage fresh and short shelf-life products that do not contain artificial preservations or ingredients. This involves a fundamental shift in how food is produced, from shifting operating models to investing in new technology, to bring healthier, fresher foods and beverages to market.
The food manufacturing industry is highly competitive. In the United States alone, there are 27,000 organizations, generating annual revenue of nearly $790 billion. Being operational efficient to produce and distribute a complete, desirable and quality product while staying mindful of consumer tastes and nutritional trends ensures business longevity and its place among competitors.
This is no easy feat. There are many challenges and obstacles unique to the industry, including government guidance and regulations, food and beverage safety standards, extremely elaborate food processing machinery and sanitation equipment, and supply chain and logistical difficulties. In return, organizations may be reluctant to make changes and bring aboard new technologies, as this may be assumed as digital disruption, causing roadblocks in the form of production downtime and maintenance costs.
Improve product quality through condition monitoring
Adapting new technologies and processes will be a necessity for food and beverage. The integration of innovative applications, advanced equipment and better automation translates to an improved product (in regards to food taste and safety), an increase in productivity and efficiency, and reducing unscheduled machine downtime.
How can these initiatives be achieved while producing a superior product? The food and beverage manufacturing sector has the tendency to be late adapters of digital trends. However, the affordability of technologies coupled with improved software tools creates a compelling case for implementing the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. And the course of action to establish sound machines is with condition monitoring.
Simply put, condition monitoring is the process of observing the parameter of conditions in machinery and equipment (temperature, pressure, humidity, vibration, etc.) in order to identify performance anomalies during operation. Over time, these indicators of equipment and system health will become easier to predict, allowing for the appropriate measures to resolving issues before escalating into serious complications and resulting in machine downtime.Implementing a condition monitoring solution
Condition monitoring is achieved through sensors and software that is constantly capturing a variety of data points that can be utilized to monitor the health of an asset. For example, Parker’s SensoNODE™ Gold sensors and Voice of the Machine™ Cloud Software provide continuous condition monitoring of equipment. Together, they work in coherence to monitor temperature, humidity, pressure, current and vibration. These are critical parameters to measure in the food and beverage plants in establishing food safety.
SensoNODE Gold sensors can be attached anywhere on a machine, even in the most difficult-to-reach locations, transmitting real-time measurements to the Voice of the Machine Cloud web-based platform that allows viewing data 24/7 from anywhere with an internet connection. Workers can monitor asset conditions and changes among the different processes to identify abnormalities and resolve those issues through simple, wireless monitoring. This prevents unnecessary production downtime and costs associated with maintenance and repairs.
Voice of the Machine web-based solution presents data through easy-to-understand dashboards and provides notifications when measurement thresholds are exceeded. A user-friendly interface makes connecting sensors uncomplicated and measurements easy-to-read. Exporting of data is done with a click of one button, which sends a CSV file right to your email. The wealth of data collected can be leveraged to tweak existing processes, establish new systems, cut maintenance costs, increase product output, and utlimately increase the bottom line.
SensoNODE Gold Sensors and Voice of the Machine Software create a touch free experience, as up-to-date machine measurements are available to be viewed via an internet connection. Whether on the plant floor or out of the office, workers can monitor and analyze data from multiple assets and get alerts of deviations, which ensures continuous productivity, increased efficiency and eliminates downtime that improves the overall bottom line.
Contact Parker today to see how its SensoNODE sensors and Voice of the Machine software can improve condition monitoring for your food and beverage operations.
Article contributed by Westin Siemsglusz, IoT market sales manager, Parker Hannifin.
Starting from agriculture and food processing arriving to the packaging operation, automation is everywhere in the modern food plants and plays a fundamental role to address the required control movement quality, production speed, labour savings and overall profitability. Especially for food zones and wash areas, where there are multiple national and international standards to take into account and frequent cleaning and sanitising cycles to support, pneumatics offers a cost-effective choice. Applications in food production typically require specific certification for air motors, pneumatic cylinders and other associated equipment and special clean design features that minimize entrapment points for bacteria.
Food production environments necessitate frequent wash-downs of the work area, which can lead to damage to static and dynamic gaskets and seals. Constant exposure to damp and the caustic sprays of hydrogen peroxide and other cleaning materials used in wash-down cycles can eat away at unprotected materials. These environmental challenges have made stainless steel the most commonly used material for all food processing applications. Although stainless steel is more expensive than aluminum, it can resist the steam, high pressure water and caustic cleaners often used in food and beverage production. Parker P1VAS air motor and planetary reduction gear for example is built into a polished stainless housing that is sealed by a fluorocarbon rubber O-ring. The output shaft, which is made of polished stainless steel, is also sealed by a fluorocarbon rubber seal and thanks to the cylindrical shape, there are no pockets that can accumulate dirt or bacteria.
No matter which component is being specified, it’s critical to understand the details of the food processing application and what is required - such as pressure, temperature, flow, port sizes, configurations and locations. Too often, filters or valves are chosen based on cost or size alone, forcing maintenance personnel to spend extra time on maintenance as a result of the system designer’s less than optimal choice. Longevity and repeatability are basic requirements for any good pneumatic solution. The choice should be made on products that have been thoroughly tested and designed to withstand the toughest conditions for operation, vibration and impact.
The accessories and options for pneumatic components are frequently neglected, so it’s important to ensure the entire product can withstand the environment where it will operate to avoid forcing maintenance personnel to waste time replacing parts. For example, the adjustment knob or T-handle of a typical regulator is made of a composite material. The caustic chemicals used in wash-down can corrode many types of plastic, so in addition to a stainless steel regulator, the knob should be made of stainless steel or other compatible material.
Filter-regulator options such as tapped manual drains or automatic stainless-steel drains are widely used to get rid of excess liquid and prevent water from draining onto the floor. Look for non-relieving regulators that do not release gases or liquid into the atmosphere. Whenever possible, select pre-lubricated or lubrication-free mechanisms that use food-grade grease and don’t require periodic lubrication.
Although some pneumatic valves meet NEMA protection standards or IEC/IP ratings, most are designed to be mounted in an enclosure to protect them during wash-downs. Check the design of this enclosure for any crevices between the valves and subplate or manifold bases and other non-smooth surfaces that can harbor bacteria. For those who use serial communications with their valves, these electronics also require protection.
Components that require lubricated compressed air or periodic manual lubrication should be avoided when working in food processing to minimize the risk of product contamination. Lubricant in the compressed air can collect near exhaust ports, and manually applied lubricant can spill onto or collect on multiple components.
Using dry air in non-lubricated applications is critical; condensation can corrode system components, increasing maintenance costs and reducing system efficiency. Also, unless distribution air lines are made of stainless steel, aluminum, or high-strength plastic, water can create pipe scale that can work its way into components and cause malfunctions. Water is a poor lubricant; when emulsified with residual compressor oils, it becomes a milky substance that must be drained away. In addition, there should never be any contact with synthetic emulsions in food processing. Dry, filtered, non-lubricated air usually eliminates these issues.
Find out more information about P1VAS air motors in this video.
This article was contributed by Franck Roussilon, product manager, Pneumatic Division Europe, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
Is your manufacturing plant's compressed air purity validated? Perhaps the methods you are employing to check the purity or quality of the air in your facility are only indicative? Is there a difference?
The answer to this last question is, yes. There is a difference, and it matters in how companies present their capabilities and quality.
Here, we will discuss the standard that defines the sampling methodology and equipment that must be employed in order to present compressed air purity (quality) as validated. We will also learn the relevance of practices that are indicative of the compressed air quality and differentiate them from those that present complete validation.
Download this white paper for an in-depth look at what is required to test compressed air for ISO validation purposes, methods and equipment used for indicative testing, as well as cost-effective performance validated compressed air treatment options.
Validation - ISO compressed air purity standards
The ISO 8573 Series has been the international standard for compressed air purity (quality) since 1991. It is used to define the quality of compressed air used for a variety of applications across manufacturing industries worldwide. The standard is segmented into nine distinct parts.
Beginning with ISO 8573-1, users are provided a method of classification with specific contamination types and limits defined. This method is employed by compressed air users to select the treatment equipment that they will need in order to produce certain air quality. In kind, ISO 8573-1 is used by compressed air treatment equipment manufacturers to define the quality of compressed air delivered by their products and systems.
But in order to claim compressed air purity is actually validated, users and manufacturers must go beyond IS0 8573-1 to the remaining eight standards, as shown in the above illustration. ISO 8573 parts 2 through 9 have been developed to provide the most accurate measurement of the main contaminants found in a compressed air system. In the standards, the user is presented with the equipment and methodology that must be employed to accurately test and claim validation. It offers specifics for the accurate measurement of common compressed air contamination — solid particles, water vapor and total oil — as well as contamination of specific interest to certain industries, like microbial contamination in food, beverage and pharmaceutical manufacturing applications.
Indicative testing is basically purity and quality testing that is performed in a manner that is not carried out in accordance with ISO 8573 parts 2 thru 9. If the ISO standard is not followed, a company cannot claim validation on the levels of certain contaminants in their compressed air supply.
While indicative testing can not be used for validation purposes, it still can provide valuable information to compressed air users. It may satisfy that some air quality testing is conducted, required in certain industries. It remains, however, important for the users to understand the limits of the testing equipment and methodologies it employs. The chart below offers an overview of commonly available test equipment used for indicative testing of compressed air systems.
Examples of indicative testing
Performance validated compressed air treatment equipment
The cost and complexity of testing and validating compressed air purity in accordance with ISO standards can be prohibitive. Therefore, products that are third party validated are an attractive option.
Parker Hannifin Corporation, a leader in compressed air treatment, offers a complete range of products with 3rd party validated performance. These state-of-the-art components and systems are backed by an air quality guarantee.
The Parker OIL-X range of compressed air filters and Parker adsorption dryer ranges have been designed to provide compressed air purity (quality) that meets or exceeds every classification shown in all editions of ISO 8573-1. Filtration and dryer performance has also been independently 3rd party verified by Lloyds Register.
For an in-depth look at what is required to test compressed air for ISO validation purposes, methods and equipment used for indicative testing, as well as cost-effective performance validated compressed air treatment options., download this white paper.
This article was contributed by Mark White, compressed air treatment applications manager, Parker Gas Separation and Filtration Division EMEA