The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing human lives and the way companies operate by continuously enhancing how we connect equipment. When the topic of IoT is discussed, the conversation typically centers around cloud computing and big data analytics, but sensors and gateways are just as much at the core of IoT. In fact, sensors are arguably the most critical element in IoT applications since they are the component that makes the devices “smart”. So how exactly do those sensors paired with the other IoT elements such as gateways create a framework that acts as a central nervous system?
Within the vast array of devices that compose the IoT world, there is a growing number of small, sophisticated sensors that together are transmitting signals like those of the human nervous system. In the human body, the central nervous system collects continuous streams of sensory data and transmits that information to the brain, where it is processed. Like the human body, an IoT gateway serves as the connection point between the cloud and controllers, sensors and intelligent devices. All data moving to the cloud, or vice versa, goes through the gateway, which can either be a dedicated hardware appliance or software program.
For instance, for fleet equipment companies, each piece of equipment is part of an entire connected system where the sensors continuously submits and collects data and send it to the gateway to preprocess before it goes to the cloud to be analyzed. To minimize the volume of data that needs to be forwarded to the cloud, an IoT gateway aggregates the data, which can have a big impact on response times and network transmissions, before sending it to the cloud.
As the number of devices and sensors grow in an IoT solution, so does the number of communications that will take place over a combination of public and private networks. Communications between the ‘things’, the gateway and the cloud therefore must be secure in order to prevent any data tampering or unrestricted access. Therefore, the data between the sensors, gateway and cloud is encrypted from end-to-end to preserve confidentiality, integrity and authenticity. In other words, only the IoT device and receiving cloud service hold the cryptographic keys and the gateway acts as an illiterate messenger, passing along messages that it can’t decipher.
As you can see, within an IoT system the cloud infrastructure is just as important as the devices themselves. IoT devices are no good if they can’t connect to the cloud. For instance, the gateway Parker utilizes for Mobile IoT, is an IoT solution specifically designed for off-road equipment OEMs and fleet managers. This gateway can be used with any J1939 CAN based control system, however, has a high level of integration with IQAN controllers for a user-friendly experience. By utilizing this enhanced gateway, our Mobile IoT solution connects data from off-road equipment to a secure Parker cloud and then presents information through an easy to configure interface that delivers advanced insights and data-driven value. These insights have the potential of helping users avoid unplanned downtime events through continuous monitoring with the use of alarms or analytical models.
So, whether you are connecting legacy devices or new devices to your IoT ecosystem, an IoT gateway does have a very important role to play when connecting data to the cloud.
Article contributed by Clint Quanstrom, IoT general manager, Motion Systems Group, Parker Hannifin Corporation and Kyri McDonough, marketing communications manager, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
21 Oct 2019
Over the past few years, market demand has increased for mobile equipment that is powerful and more efficient. In response to this trend, an OEM of sugarcane harvesters began a redesign of their equipment. Previously, less efficient gear pumps were used in their hydraulic systems. This presented an opportunity to increase machine efficiency and productivity while reducing fuel consumption. The goal was at least 10% to make their product more attractive to end-users. The OEM consulted with Parker’s Global Mobile Systems (GMS) team to create a new hydraulic system that would meet their new performance goals.A redesign to improve efficiency and reduce system complexity
GMS completely restructured the hydraulic system by switching to a variable displacement open circuit solution, using P1 Series pumps with Electronic Displacement Control (EDC) and F12 Series bent-axis piston motors. This compact electronic solution reduced system complexity and increased efficiency; which reduces operational costs over the machine’s lifetime. Open circuit EDC was chosen due to charge pump losses in a closed circuit solution and extra components needed for a load sense system. The system design also reduced the number of potential leakage points while providing better pump response and on-board diagnostics. Multiple P1 Series pumps were incorporated into the hydraulic circuit for different functions including the primary extractor, base cutter and fan drive.
The P1 Series was chosen because of its high efficiency and power density. This dynamic combination enables high-efficiency power management by limiting torque to the current load requirements. By optimizing flow output at different pressures and speeds, the engine uses less fuel and produces less heat. This P1 was also equipped with a displacement sensor that monitors in real-time the angle of the swashplate. This allowed the customer to achieve a more accurate flow output by closing the electronic loop via the sensor feedback giving them the ability to regulate overall vehicle power consumption more effectively. The P1-045 used for the cooling system also features ripple chamber technology, which reduces noise and pressure pulsations.
The lightweight, compact F12 Series bent-axis piston motor features a unique, lightweight spherical piston design, which provides high efficiency, speed, and acceleration capabilities. The result is unmatched power density with less heat generation. The F12 is utilized on the fan blower to convey leaves and stripped chaff out the rear of the machine.
Measuring equipment performance
The results of the system yielded lowered fuel consumption by more than 10 percent which exceeded the original goal. Additionally, the system saved costs by simplifying the hydraulic system and reducing the number of components. It also provided improved pump flow response and upgraded control versatility and stability that contributed to improved machine productivity.
The GMS team works directly with their OEM customers as trusted partners in developing innovative solutions. By understanding customer goals, needs and expectations, Parker delivers value by improving the bottom-line and increasing machine performance.
This article contributed by Keith McDonald, product manager, Parker Hannifin Corporation Hydraulic Pump and Power Systems Division.
9 Oct 2019
A power take-off must be properly matched to the vehicle transmission and to the auxiliary equipment being powered. An improperly matched power take-off could cause severe damage to the vehicle transmission, the auxiliary driveshaft, and/or to the auxiliary equipment being powered. Damaged components or equipment could malfunction causing serious personal injury to the vehicle operator or to others nearby.
To avoid personal injury and/or equipment damage always refer to Chelsea catalogs, literature, and owner’s manuals and follow Chelsea recommendations when selecting, installing, repairing or operating a PTO which can be accessed on our website.
This article was contributed by Michael Mabrouk, marketing leadership associate, Chelsea Products Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
8 Oct 2019
Gone are the days where equipment must be serviced on a set schedule. IoT technology helps enable maintenance based on equipment use. For instance, in an IoT solution for heavy equipment, cloud-based machine analytic sensors detect depleted parts and hardware before failure that extends the lifecycle of the components. Equipment health status monitoring ensures that over-used equipment components receive maintenance sooner than later, while lightly used products aren’t serviced unnecessarily.
It has also been revealed that more than one-third of the maintenance spend is wasted in ineffective or unnecessary upkeep. But what if there was a way to reduce unnecessary maintenance costs? What if there was a way to not only stop spending money on unnecessary maintenance and prevent paying the steep prices from emergency breakdowns, is it something you would consider?
It is important to distinguish between predicative and preventative maintenance. Unlike preventative maintenance, which seeks to decrease the likelihood of an equipment failure through the performance of regular maintenance, predictive maintenance relies on data to determine a machine’s likelihood of failure before that failure occurs. This allows heavy equipment manufacturers and fleet managers to move from a repair and replace model to a predict and fix maintenance model using predictive analysis — which relies on data, statistics, machine learning, artificial intelligence and modeling to make predictions about future outcomes.
Manufacturers and service technicians are now utilizing smart sensors to improve the maintenance process and avoid inefficient routines and the costs that go along with them. Essentially, the preventative maintenance technology allows heavy equipment OEMs and fleet managers to analyze the operational data from each piece of equipment to identify any patterns that emerge to predict when maintenance will be required. All in all, proactively maintaining off-road equipment as opposed to unnecessary time-based maintenance or relying on reactive maintenance can create real economic value by lowering overall operating costs and prevent major headaches for the OEMs and fleet managers.
Proactive maintenance with an IoT solution specifically designed for heavy off-road equipment can not only drastically reduce the amount of time and money spent on maintaining equipment, but also extend the longevity of the equipment.
Reactive maintenance and remote monitoring
Thanks to a combination of IoT and machine learning, technicians are not only able to remotely check the condition of in-service equipment, the equipment provides guidance as to when maintenance should be performed. This approach promises cost savings over routine or time-based preventive maintenance because tasks are performed only when necessary.
Off-road equipment with IoT technology, such as Parker’s Mobile IoT, has the ability to send detailed information to the maintenance department without having to send a technician to a job site. If onsite maintenance is required, the data provided will ensure that the technician has the right tools and parts on the first trip, which can reduce downtime, labor and travel costs.
Predictive and remote monitoring maintenance are just two examples of how IoT is a game changer in the mobile equipment industry. The opportunities that we have to positively improve maintenance costs on heavy or off-road equipment is too valuable to leave unexplored. Don’t wait for another breakdown to happen. Be proactive and prevent catastrophes and unnecessary costs by monitoring the equipment and stopping the problems before they happen and schedule a Parker Mobile IoT demo today.
Article contributed by Clint Quanstrom, IoT general manager, and Kyri McDonough, marketing communications manager, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
Other related topics on Parker Mobile IoT solution:
The ROI of IOT for OEMs
The Strategic Approach to Fleet Optimization for Heavy Equipment
Connecting the Dots Between IoT Data and Equipment Efficiency for OEMs
Delivering Visibility and Reducing Fleet Management Costs
3 Oct 2019
Even when a business is doing well, margins can be razor thin, so keeping track of your off-road equipment fleet is an important job. Providing your project managers and crew with actionable data obtained from an IoT solution allows them to adapt to the situation immediately, help them control costs, and keep work orders on schedule. Reducing paperwork related to tracking utilization is priceless for any off-road equipment fleet manager.
The more closely you can analyze your spending on a project, the more efficient your operations can be. Real-time and historical data can assist in job costing by providing objective results, which improves the bottom line for fleet managers and prevents unexpected expenses. Accuracy in projecting and monitoring costs is essential, not just for current jobs, but also for bidding on new contracts. Half the battle is collecting detailed, historical data on all aspects of a project, from materials and labor to vehicles and equipment.
IoT solutions for off-road equipment help fleet managers collect the information on equipment, vehicles, operators and tools required for estimating and managing job costs. The right fleet management tools provide access to advanced real-time equipment data that can help increase visibility, expose blind spots, and optimize fleet operations through more efficient cost management.
Unlike a simple GPS or telematics solution, an IoT solution is more than a single technology - it is a combination of sensors, devices, networks and software that work together to unlock valuable, actionable data. For instance, Parker’s IoT solution for off-road equipment works by creating a digital link from traditional on-machine networks to a secure Parker cloud, and then presents information via a brandable, customizable, easy to configure digital interface that provides full visibility and advanced data insights.
These different IoT enabled components are placed in the equipment's diagnostic port and use GPS and accelerometer technology to gather information in real-time. For instance, with GPS tracking and geofencing, a user can be alerted the moment a piece of heavy equipment leaves the job site or when equipment is being operated outside scheduled work hours. Furthermore, in the case of Parker’s Mobile IoT solution, there is a customizable, web-based dashboard that enables fleet managers to analyze the collected data and identify different trends in driver behavior, as well as other metrics such as:
Access to this type of data has transformed the way fleet managers track and maintain company vehicles and equipment as well as how they manage drivers. With IoT technology, managers have complete visibility of their workforce, assets and costs. The visibility using data from an IoT solution for off-road fleet managers can reduce operating costs in the following areas:
Using sophisticated reporting tools and alerts available in an IoT solution for off-road equipment enables fleet managers to make faster decisions as well as help optimize routes, control workforce hours, integrate compliance tools, minimize regulatory violations and reduce fuel and maintenance costs. If the initial cost of procuring a monitoring system is giving you pause, think about the ROI you’ll get in the long run.
Delayed deliveries and slow service technicians will not only frustrate customers, but negative experiences can also cost you thousands in potential business. If you need help figuring out if an IoT solution like Parker’s Mobile IoT is right for your business, request a demo today.
Article contributed by Clint Quanstrom, IoT general manager, and Kyri McDonough, marketing communications manager, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
Other related topics on Parker Mobile IoT solution:
1 Oct 2019
The basics of electrohydraulic valves are easy to understand: they are electrically operated valves that control how hydraulic fluid is sent to actuators. However, to apply electrohydraulic valves for efficient and effective hydraulic systems, designers must consider several factors. This article will explore seven key design considerations for applying electrohydraulic valves.
On/off valves are basically the on/off switches for hydraulic systems. On/off valves are typically used in applications where precise position or speed control are not required. Parker offers a first-class line of on/off directional control valves under the VW series. Proportional valves offer more variable control of flow rates for hydraulic systems. These valves are typically used in applications where more control is required beyond a standard directional control valve. A few applications that call for variable flow rate control where proportional valves shine include wind turbine pitch control, wood processing, machine tools, metal forming. If specific timing and/or positioning is required, think proportional.
Determining whether a valve with onboard or offboard electronics is the best choice requires an in-depth evaluation of the application. Generally, onboard electronics are used to localize control at the valve and simplify the wiring at the controller. Offboard electronics are often utilized in areas with high vibration and temperatures that can reduce the performance of the electronics.
Open-loop vs. closed-loop control
Driving an offboard electronics valve requires use of an electronic module, such as a series PWD00A-400, which can be configured to custom parameters such as desired solenoid drive current and ramp rates. Onboard electronics valves can be commanded directly with a standard command including 4-20 mA or ±10 VDC and flow for the same level of customization.
There are two control options for hydraulic systems: open-loop and closed-loop. In general textbook terms, an open-loop system cannot compensate for any disturbances that alter the driving signal of the controller. Closed-loop systems do not have this shortcoming; disturbances in the system are compensated for by measuring the output response and comparing it to the input. If there is an observed difference (known as an error signal), the error is fed back to the controller to adjust the output to the desired value.
For example, FB series valves are operated by proportional solenoids but do not internally close the loop around the spool. They are used for acceleration and metering applications.
Valves like the FC and FP series close the loop internally around the position of the spool but can be integrated into a closed-loop system. The error in the system is measured by a transducer, i.e. a position or speed sensor on an actuator, a pressure transducer, or a flow meter for even greater accuracy. Electrohydraulic servo valves operating in closed-loop control systems are designed to use low power and mechanical feedback to provide precise control.
Parameters that must be considered when specifying open and closed loop control systems include:
Proportional valve spools are typically rated for a nominal flow at a differential pressure of 10 bar, while servo valve spools are typically rated for a nominal flow at a differential pressure of 70 bar. Equal metering spools provide symmetrical flow to each work port. This can be useful when driving a motor or a double-rod cylinder with equal effective areas. Equal metering spools will result in reduced speed during retracting of a single-rod cylinder due to the differential area between the rod and the piston.
Ratio spools provide asymmetrical flow between the work ports. The most commonly used is a 2:1 ratio design. When used to drive a 2:1 ratio cylinder, for example, equal speed will be achieved between extension and retraction of the cylinder due to the matching of the imbalanced areas. It is recommended to size proportional valves as small as possible to control the load. To maintain control, back pressure against the load must be exerted at all times. A general rule of thumb is to select a spool that will use 90-95 percent of the maximum flow rating. Selecting a spool with too large of a flow capacity can result in instability of the system.
When selecting the compound for the elastomeric seals in any directional control valve, consult the manufacturer’s resources for fluid and compound compatibility information such as in the Parker O-Ring Handbook. Standard industrial applications using mineral oil will typically use a nitrile seal, which is also recommended when controlling water-glycol. Applications involving elevated temperatures or less commonly used fluids may utilize one of many grades of fluorocarbon seal. When in doubt, consult the factory for assistance in selecting a seal compound.
A regenerative circuit routes fluid evacuated from the rod end of a cylinder back to the piston end instead of to the tank for accelerated extension of the actuator. Use of a regenerative circuit can allow a system designer to use a smaller pump to achieve design requirements when rapid movement is needed in only one direction. Parker offers regenerative valves directional control valves for on/off and proportional control (R flow code) which allows system designers to achieve regenerative function without the need to add additional valves to the circuit.
Hybrid regenerative valves offer system designers the ability to enable regenerative control through a separate electrical signal than the command signal. When utilizing regenerative control, force is sacrificed for speed. The hybrid function (Z flow code) enables designers to select between standard hydraulic function to build force and regenerative function to accelerate the load quickly.
Mounting configurations for electrohydraulic valves are guided by NFPA/ISO standards. D03, D05, D07, D08 and D10 series designations will indicate compliance with the standards. Parker valves that are D07 or larger are pilot-operated. Pilot-operated valves are more stable across a wide range of flows and enable systems to operate with greater flow capacity. Often, the hydraulic pilot pressure used to control the main stage spool provides greater force than that of a solenoid on a directional drive valve, resulting in more predictable performance for the user.
There are many resources available to design engineers when specifying components for systems: reference sheets, calculators, configuration tools and more. However, there is no substitute for experience and deep application knowledge. Take advantage of the “been there” and “seen that” experience that your supplier’s applications engineers can offer. Not only do they understand how the components their company offers perform, they have the benefit of having helped others in the same situation correct design mistakes and they have problem-solved for some of the most unique applications. More information is available in our EH catalog or Contact us.
Article contributed by Matthew Davis, product sales manager; Mitch Eichler, applications engineer; and Tom Gimben, product sales manager, Hydraulic Valve Division, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
30 Sep 2019