The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are more than 100,000 car wash facilities throughout the country with Americans spending $5.8 billion annually to have their vehicles cleaned and detailed. In fact, over the last two decades, the number of car owners opting for car wash and auto detailing services has increased exponentially, and industry revenue growth is forecasted to grow at an average yearly rate of 3.3 percent. This will continue to rise as automatic car washes become more affordable and environmentally friendly.
With tremendous growth comes increased competition to provide the most convenient and specialized car wash process for the modern vehicle. For decades, full-service, in-bay automatic (IBA) and self-serve car wash services dominated the landscape. Today, they are competing with express exterior and flex-serve washes implementing modern systems and processes that greatly enhance the car wash experience for a better and longer wash while utilizing virtually no labor.Performance problems that can wash away business
Machines are the lifeblood of modern professional car wash facilities. Success is dependent on the performance of the equipment. As the demand grows for vehicle washes, system components are being used at a much higher pace and volume which can result in faster wear and tear of machinery. Automated conveyors, for example, can fail to operate on high traffic days due to insufficient pressure issues. If mechanical problems persist due to poor performance, this may lead to car wash downtime resulting in a huge loss of profit.
Along with machines, car wash owners and operators must be mindful of car care applications. Modern chemical systems are essential to wash performance. Running out of soap or wax can also lead to downtime. The ability to monitor liquid levels can ensure the car wash process is performing at an optimum pace. These liquids can also be affected by variables beyond control, such as the weather. The most important agents, soap and water, under the most extreme conditions can induce havoc on a car wash facility. Car washes can shut down from frozen waterlines, ice buildup, bay door malfunctions or equipment freezes. Being offline temporarily can have permanent consequences for owners and operators.
Despite industry advancements, car washes remain subservient to other variables such as air pressure and water temperature. Innovations in advanced condition monitoring and the advent of the internet of things (IoT), equip owners with data and analytics to diagnose machine health, detect issues before they arise and monitor equipment in all weather conditions.Condition monitoring for car wash facilities
One car wash equipment manufacturer for automotive dealerships wanted to provide preventative maintenance on its systems. They were seeking a remote monitoring solution that would allow them to monitor a variety of conditions:
Real-time information would enable technicians to effectively and efficiently service equipment. Additionally, the capability to sense chemical levels would allow owners to know exactly when soap, conditioner, pre-soak and other cleaner replenishments need to occur, reducing system downtime and lost revenue.Preventive maintenance ensures continuous operations and machine performance
The local Parker distributor suggested a continuous remote monitoring solution that could monitor the system including liquid level sensing. SensoNODE™ Gold Sensors and Voice of the Machine™ Software is a low-cost monitoring system with superior flexibility that can be incorporated throughout the car wash process in new or existing systems. By installing the wireless SensoNODE Gold Sensors, service technicians can monitor the bay for changes in pressure, temperature and humidity with instant data and conduct accurate diagnostics to pinpoint any potential issues without having to be on-site.
Chemical levels can be tracked with Parker’s liquid level sensor which identifies chemical fluid levels within barrels. This sensor is non-invasive and attached to the outside of the chemical container. This reduces the opportunities for spillage and employee health mishaps. This helps alleviate material and equipment issues while also providing service technicians with critical information to know exactly when they are needed to be on location.
Together, SensoNODE Gold Sensors and Voice of the Machine Software create a touch-free experience for the dealership as up-to-date machine measurements and chemical levels are available to be viewed via an internet connection. Access to this information eases concerns over inadequate car washes, equipment malfunctioning or low chemical levels. Learn more.
Article contributed by Westin Siemsglusz, IoT market sales manager, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
14 Oct 2019
It’s time for a scheduled oil change—a routine maintenance procedure critical to the operation and life expectancy of your company’s machinery and vehicles. A little downtime and a few hours of work, and you’re back in business, right?
Let’s take an up-close look at the hidden costs associated with a ‘simple’ oil change, which can impact your bottom line. These costs include lost production, proper staff training, oil change equipment, consumable supplies and their disposal, labor, testing and inspection. According to Machinery Lubrication, what you end up with is an expense oil change that exceeds 40x greater than the cost of the oil itself.
Lowering operating costs is a top priority for businesses in any industry. Today, a new solution is available that makes the routine oil change a great place to start. That solution is the Parker QuickFit Oil Change System, an ingenious way of delivering a faster, cleaner and safer oil change every time, which translates into increased profitability. Here’s how the system can impact your equipment ROI.
1. Return equipment to full operation faster:
Pulling a vehicle or piece of equipment out of its normal rotation is expensive. Each minute these assets go off-line, your organization is missing revenue. Even a routine oil change renders your equipment out of commission for at least an hour. The QuickFit Oil Change System delivers a faster, cleaner oil change in as little as 30 minutes. Ask yourself, what does a time reduction of about 50 percent mean? It means the vehicle or machine will be returning to full operation faster and generating revenue.2. Reduce consumables:
Changing oil sounds simple enough, but as you know, there are many consumable supplies, accessories, tools and equipment necessary to completing the process. With a lot of moving pieces associated with the traditional oil change, there’s an enhanced risk that an oil spill may occur, impacting workers and the environment. Simplicity is best and that’s where QuickFit can deliver a safe and efficient oil change. This is achieved through an accessible, single connection point that allows oil to drain directly from the vehicle to the final waste containment for complete control. For the technician, this means utilizing fewer tools, saving oil and creating less consumable waste. As a result, there’s a significant reduction in oil change costs, improving ROI and opening up new opportunities to spend money enhancing other facets of your business.3. Cut labor costs attributed to each oil change:
A traditional oil change is pretty straightforward, correct? Unfortunately, there are many steps to getting the job done right. QuickFit can alleviate these challenges and reduce oil change times by 50 percent with a three step standardized process to purge, evac and refill the oil system. The direct result is lower labor costs per oil change and greater productivity for your technicians.
QuickFit applies ergonomic principles with a simplified design that delivers an easy, fast and safe way to performing oil changes by significantly reducing the number of steps involved with the process. This includes reducing time and effort to locating access points while eliminating the need to remove the oil drain plug and prefilling the filter. A single connection point allows oil to drain directly to the waste containment and a vacuum is applied to extract the used oil from the pan. This same connection point is then utilized to refill the system with new oil through the filter. By applying one connection per compartment, this eliminates the exposure to fluids and reduces the possibility of slips, falls and burns. Improved safety conditions while changing oil saves time and costs by avoiding workplace injuries while increasing productivity.4. Standard process for every model of equipment:
Each OEM, make and model has unique engine configurations for equipment, which are consistently updated every few years. The traditional method of changing oil means technicians need to be trained on all types of engine compartments to effectively complete the task. However, different instructions and processes during training could cause potential errors, leading to unplanned downtime and lost productivity. Whether you’re a skilled technician or trainee, there’s minimum training involved with the QuickFit system. A three-step process to purge, evacuate and refill oil ensures oil changes can be completed correctly and hassle-free, every time.5. Protect your equipment:
Cross threading a drain plug, introducing contaminated oil, starting the machinery dry: a traditional oil change presents a number of risks that could put the performance and longevity of equipment in jeopardy, affecting your workflow and costs. By simplifying the process to three easy steps, the QuickFit system minimizes safety hazard risks, and maintains the integrity of your machines and equipment, thus improving your bottom line.The easy-to-use solution
Parker’s QuickFit Oil Change System provides a solution that is incredibly easy to use, simplifying routine maintenance while increasing productivity and eliminating the risk of spills and contamination. The system is fast, clean, efficient and a major contributor to your company’s equipment ROI.
This article contributed by Matt Walley, Product Sales Manager, Quick Coupling Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
25 Sep 2019
When it comes to hoses and cold weather performance, force to flex is not as important as actual hose construction. In harsh winter temperatures, hose construction materials can be a major contributor to hose failure. Over time, cold temperatures and UV rays dry out the core and jacket of a hose. This embrittlement of materials results in cracks. Cold sluggish fluid or low temperature fluids not compatible with the core materials can also add stress and cause damage.
Parker engineers have been working closely with machine and vehicle designers for more than 30 years on the selection of optimal hoses. The added stress of colder environments, led them to design the new, low-temperature hydraulic hoses which operate in temperatures as low as -70°F/-57°C with pressures operating up to 5,000 psi (345 bar).
This new technology for low-temperature hydraulic systems has proven itself in a variety of different low and high-pressure applications, especially forklifts and aerial lift equipment or used in commercial freezers in harsh winter conditions. Applications range from low pressure fluid transfer, over-the-sheave, and steering lines to high-pressure hydraulics.
Parker low temperature thermoplastic hoses are built with a proprietary blend of materials specifically formulated to withstand repetitive flexing in cold temperatures. The 563LT and 594LT offer the same abrasion resistance as Parker's standard hose but decrease component downtime in low temperatures. The ability of these hydraulic hoses to perform repetitive flexing in a cold environment opens a new range of possibilities for the industry while increasing product life. For the customer, excelling in cold climates means reduced change outs, reduced warranty maintenance and replacement costs.
Each hose is reinforced with either synthetic fibers, steel wire, or a layer of each, which enables assemblies to handle up to 5,000 psi (345 bar) working pressure (depending on hose selection). Available core tube options have a low coefficient of friction while maintaining excellent flexibility and a premier, abrasion resistant cover. This maximizes efficiencies and minimizes pressure losses to ensure long service life.
Temperature deformation of the product does not affect the assembly’s chemical compatibility, technical performance or functionality. In addition, hose covers are durable and insensitive to UV or ozone exposure and thus, resistant to environmental stress.
ICUEE 2019 Conference
19 Sep 2019
A subsystem is a self-contained module within a larger system. Often in the life sciences marketspace, manufacturers look for partners that specialize in a specific industry to design and supply subsystems for their larger system. This allows their engineers to focus on other aspects of their device while outsourcing subcomponents inside a larger system. When looking for a partner to provide subsystems and components one should look for expertise in the field with decades of industry experience. A single provider of the components is ideal too as this makes less work when managing inventory and ordering, as well as minimizing time coordinating with a partner's customer service team.
Parker Hannifin's Precision Fluidics Division is unique in the customized subsystem solutions it can provide. Precision Fluidics is the global leader in providing miniature fluidic components and is predominantly focused on the life science market. The Precision Fluidics portfolio includes miniature pneumatic proportional and liquid control valves, diaphragm pumps, thermal mass flow controllers/meters, electronic pressure controllers, high-precision regulators, and rotameters. Parker can integrate the full range of its technologies into engineered subsystems. This can reduce an OEM’s technical risk, as well as lower its development cost and time. Precision Fluidics engineers have the industry expertise along with the manufacturing and project leadership knowledge to ensure our solutions work seamlessly in your product. This will allow you to focus on your core science and technology and leave the fluidic control systems to Parker.
At Parker Precision Fluidics the engineers get involved in the early design process to provide the greatest value from collaboration and to provided successful product integration. Since we are a single solution provider that can design, prototype, and manufacture, your team benefits from shortened design and production cycles with convenient customer service and single point of contact.
What we do
Parker Precision Fluidics is a collaborative engineering partner, working with you throughout your OEM design cycle from concept to design through production and sustaining. Learn about our typical stage-gate project management process:
Throughout the entire product lifecycle, Parker works to ensure our customers' return on investment and to drive advancements in the life science industry.
OEM applications experts
Parker Precision Fluidics employs engineers and scientists with extensive experience in the life science market. This enables them to collaborate with customers on an engineer-to-engineer and scientist-to-scientist level, allowing us to clearly understand the requirements and develop solutions in Automation & Motion Control, Miniature Solenoid Valves & Diaphragm Pumps, and Filtration & Gas Generation. Working with Parker Precision Fluidics will ensure low risk/complexity, access to all Precision Fluidics' products, integrated manifolds, fittings, tubing, and check valves.
With a single solution provider that can design, prototype, and manufacture, you benefit from shortened design and production cycles. By working with a lean enterprise, you will simplify your procedure and enjoy convenient customer service and a single point of contact.
Service and support
Parker Precision Fluidics lean manufacturing allows them to respond quickly to orders and special requests. PPF's industry experienced sales force, knowledgeable application engineers, and friendly customer service representatives are available for your technical assistance and ordering needs. Parker's worldwide support ensures that your system, plant, or equipment can be serviced and supported anywhere.
Parker offers customers more than precision-manufactured, reliable parts; they offer a diverse knowledgebase of engineering expertise, as well as the assistance of dedicated customer service representatives. Precision Fluidics has the experience, history of performance, and uncompromising commitment to quality that you can rely on to meet your project schedules.
Our applications engineering team is always available to provide recommendations and customize equipment to customer specifications.
To learn more, visit Parker Hannifin Precision Fluidics Division or call +1-603-595-1500 to speak with an engineer
This blog post was contributed by Bill Schaeffer, senior applications engineer, Parker Precision Fluidics. Bill has been an employee at Parker Precision Fluidics for 25 years.
17 Sep 2019
Reliable cooling is a decisive factor for production, particularly in the marine industry. It is responsible for ensuring adequate temperatures in the turbine, the electronics racks and on the tool, or the machine, itself. The entire production and product life cycle of elements and machines are dependent on the efficiency of the cooling process and how it ensures ideal operating temperatures.
Parker has a broad program of thermal management components. It stands out thanks to its efficient interplay which is essential for ensuring that cooling circuits work reliably on a permanent basis. Each individual product stands for reliable functionality, durability, high material quality and compact design.Parker quick-action couplings are easy and fast to assemble
Quick-action couplings that can be used to connect cooling elements and cables are well suited to the thermal management field. Parker's RNS Series systems for block and panel installation expand the possibilities of design freedom for planning and installation. The series was initially developed for control cabinets to allow fast and reliable coupling and locking of the cooling circuits to the racks.
It has several benefits:
Another benefit of Parker's quick connection couplings is the variety of materials available. NSA Couplings, for instance, are made of aluminium and correspond with the trend towards lightweight construction. In addition, components made of nickel-plated brass or stainless steel are corrosion-free with a wide range of liquids, while offering consistent quality and long service life, just like the other couplings. Thanks to the different sizes available (3, 6, 9, 12, 16, 19 and 25 mm), couplings can be adapted optimally to the specific cooling circuit. When used in transportation systems, the couplings prove their resistance to vibration and torsional movements.Silicone hose minimizes maintenance costs and assembly time
The 6722 Series Silicone hose is an important system element for the heating and cooling applications as they allow to minimize maintenance cost and time and maximize the performance of the system.
The extruded hose meets SAE J20 R3 Class A specification and can be installed as thermal management solution wherever there is a cooling/heating circuit to run efficiently. The low permeation material is suitable for a wide range of coolant fluids and withstands ozone and UV attack more efficaciously than traditional solutions. The series is not only chemical and oxidation resistant but also extremely stable at elevated operating temperatures in engine compartments starting from –54°C to achieve +177°C. It maintains flexibility and elasticity over time. This reduces the risk to crack, harden, or become dry rotted and increases the possibility of installation in narrow and compact spaces, tight envelopes and around an obstruction. Additionally, it offers good ability to dampen sounds and vibrations keeping a quiet and stable profile. All these benefits contribute to an extended service life reducing costs of maintenance, downtime, warranty and logistics while sustaining the performance of circuits and equipment over the long haul.
There is no better choice for today’s trend where there are applications surpassing the temperature capabilities of other rubber solutions on the market. Silicone is the ultimate choice for extreme temperature applications and when flexibility over the lifetime is requested.Total system solution
The wide Parker product range for Thermal Management is enlarged by its extensive portfolio of push-to-connect fittings as an alternative to metal screw-on, clip-on and barbed connection technologies. The productivity is increased thanks to quick assembly (connection without tools; no need to weld, glue or crimp).
Based on its broad product range, Parker develops modular systems in close collaboration with its customers. In addition to individual products, the company also offers ready-to-install systems from coupling to screw fitting, hose or distributor. The benefit for the customers is that they can rely on the supplier’s decades of experience and they can save valuable assembly time thanks to the delivery of complete systems blocks, which in turn greatly simplifies the spare parts stocking process.
Georg Kälble, manager marketing service
10 Sep 2019
ISO 14001: was recently updated to ISO 14001: 2015, which introduces a few requirements to a universally beneficial certification. Key benefits of ISO 14001: 2015 include:
Reducing environmental impact
When becoming ISO 14001:2015 certified, Precision Fluidics Division of Parker Hannifin was getting two trash and one recycling pickup each week. The goal was to reverse those numbers. It was achieved in 18 months by training, raising awareness to all employees, increasing recycling bins throughout the facility with signs/labeling, and constant monitoring. Goals of this magnitude take time and planning, but the environmental rewards are immense.
Helping our customers and our team
Precision Fluidics is a great example of an organization set on reducing its environmental impact. A goal was set to improve the durability of product packaging and eliminate landfill waste at a customer location by introducing recyclable materials. A few simple adjustments were made such as using recyclable trays instead of bubble wrap, bubble bags, and foam inside each shipping container. The change resulted in energy savings, trash reduction, and reduction in the weight production needed of each box. The total result was almost 64,000 pieces of foam a year eliminated from landfill, 100% percent recyclable packaging, and a simpler tray packaging system.
Transitioning to a tray system reduced the weight the production team needs to handle when transporting from the production cell to shipping, providing a much-appreciated safety and ergonomic improvement. Another exciting feature of the new packaging is that our product is even more secure during shipment. Following the ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) test procedure, Precision Fluidics validated the new packaging to be an improvement over the non-recycled foam — reducing the risk of shipping damage and increasing the product quality when it's received at our customers' locations.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
Another simple adjustment Precision Fluidics has made is utilizing reusable packaging for component parts from repeat vendors.
Precision Fluidics reuses trays from various vendors when possible (see image left). After the trays are empty, they are shipped back to the vendor and reused. This is a great example of a very simple way to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Precision Fluidics is an ISO 14001: 2015 certified company that has set both large and small goals that have been beneficial to the company as a whole, customers, and best of all, the environment. The above examples show how ambitious yet simple goals can have great impacts. The main objective in ISO-14001: 2015 is having continuous improvement and never being content with what you have achieved.
The first step in becoming ISO 14001:2015 certified is to define your objective. What does your company want to achieve by getting this certification? Make sure you have the support of senior management. Take the time to review any existing processes and systems pertinent to environmental impact. If desired, third-party certifications are available that will conduct audits of your practices against the requirements standards. ISO does not perform certification. For more information about the certification process, visit www.iso.org.
To learn more about Parker Precision Fluidics Division, visit our website or call 603-595-1500 to speak with an engineer.
Article contributed by Jamie Campbell, pump product manager, Parker Precision Fluidics Division, Mooresville, NC. Jamie is constantly looking for new ways to reduce and recycle at the Mooresville location.
6 Aug 2019