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Three things to consider when choosing a specifying a sensorThe latest generation of smart sensors for actuators are able to share information with the controller, typically via technologies such as IO-Link. They can also receive commands and parameter information from the controller and thus adapt to new requirements on a continuous basis. 
This two-way data flow helps facilitate what can be defined as a true Industry 4.0 environment. The upshot for manufacturers is considerable gains in efficiency, alongside greater flexibility and better planning with regard to maintenance.
However, to maximise the gains, engineers need to consider several factors:
1. Rugged design is a requirement 
A smart sensor that will likely spend its working life in an environment that may see wide variations in temperature, vibration, and even exposure to aggressive fluids or chemicals, needs to be able to keep operating reliably.
Smart sensors may be offered with specific IP ratings to denote suitability for use where different degrees of exposure to moisture are an issue. In addition, automated applications in which the smart sensor might be used may be operating 24 hours per day, seven days per week. 
As well as making operation more demanding, this also means that sensor failure leading directly to downtime, can be extremely costly in terms of lost production. So, as well as having a long service life in the toughest use scenarios, smart sensors must be quick to change or swap-out in order to keep any downtime – scheduled or unscheduled – to an absolute minimum. This type of operation must be able to be completed without the requirement to the remove cylinder end caps or any other ‘strip down’ of the assembly.
2. The sensor needs to be able to fit securely on the cylinder body
3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Smart Sensor - P8S CPS on ISO cylinder - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division EuropeExternal profiles may include linear slides, T-slots and dovetails. The sensor body of course needs to correspond to the profile, and the use of adaptors or some form of gripper may be needed to secure the sensor in place. 
Alternatively, a combination screw combining an Allen key head and slotted screw can provide a convenient, simple, and fast method of locating and securing the sensor. Instead, retaining ribs on the side of the sensor are a feature that can hold the device in the desired position even before the screw is tightened. By using this approach, sensors can be quickly and accurately secured in the cylinder slot with just a single quarter turn of the fixing screw.
3. Adjustment and configuration of operating parameters is essential
During installation and at points in the sensor’s operating life, adjustment and configuration of operating parameters will be necessary. For systems designers, how they wish to do this is an important consideration. Typical approaches are either via the IO-Link, or some kind of portable ‘teach pad.’
From an electrical standpoint, the ready availability of a supply voltage for the sensor is an absolute requirement. And finally, knowing that the sensor is working is of course important, and therefore a visual cue of an active state or output in the form of an LED can be of value to operators. 
Smart sensors, such as Parker’s P8S CPS series, are increasingly important and relevant as Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things begins to gain real momentum. Where there is emphasis on process and quality control and where maximising uptime is important, smart sensors can provide the information required to monitor and control processes. The selection and implementation of smart sensors is important to get right if the benefits to be enjoyed are to be optimised.  
Learn more
Continuous position sensing devices can make a significant contribution to creating a smarter, more efficient factory environment. To find out more,  download our CPS Smart Sensing Brochure that covers continuous position sensing using analogue signal or IO-Link communication for linear actuators, and discover how you can better schedule corrective maintenance and reduce your downtime.
3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Smart Sensor - Franck Roussillon - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division Europe Article contributed by Franck Roussillon, product manager, actuators, Pneumatic Division Europe, Parker Hannifin Corporation. 
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How to use smart sensors to aid predictive maintenance strategies - Smart Factory - Parker Hannifin, Pneumatic Division EuropeWhen optimally selected and applied, the latest generation of smart sensors can have a positive impact on predictive maintenance strategies for fluid power applications.

Real-time data collection via smart sensors can influence decisions about when to schedule downtime to carry out maintenance operations, helping to maximise productivity. 

  Why adopt predictive maintenance?

Maintenance operations are traditionally based on being either reactive or preventative. A reactive strategy means a loss in production and incurring unforeseen costs, while a preventative strategy often sees systems or parts repaired simply because they are listed on the general maintenance procedures, rather than when they actually need it. 

Attention has been gradually shifting to predictive maintenance, spurred on by the emergence of Industry 4.0 and sophisticated ‘smarter’ technologies. For fluid power systems, this means a whole new level of condition monitoring, to the extent that maintenance personnel can determine whether something out of the ordinary has occurred. 

Ultimately, every process has a ‘heartbeat’, so the question to ask is has that heartbeat changed over a certain period of time? Maybe it has become slower or faster, for instance. This is where smart sensor technologies begin to pay dividends. 


Get smart with maintenance

The latest sensor technology available for fluid power systems, such as the P8S CPS series from Parker, have evolved to offer high quantities of data which offer the opportunity for plant managers to transform how they operate and maintain industrial equipment. 

How to use smart sensors to aid predictive maintenance strategies - Parker P8S CPS sensor - Parker Hannifin, Pneumatic Division EuropeEmbedded smart sensors can today be integrated with numerous different low-level fluid power products, from connectors, hoses and tubing, to pumps, motors, actuators and filters – all as part of an Industry 4.0 installation. One of the principal opportunities arising from this concept relates to predictive maintenance. For example, some of the diagnostic data generated from control valves could be invaluable in troubleshooting power issues. 

Among the common concerns in fluid power systems is voltage sags that can occur downstream on long runs, which sometimes lead to misfiring valves. Normally, without an oscilloscope, there are no means of diagnosing the root cause of the problem. In contrast, if each valve manifold node included voltage sensing, a ‘sweeper’ program could be written to record voltage levels across the machine during certain periods of the cycle.


Unified communications standards

How to use smart sensors to aid predictive maintenance strategies - Parker IO-Link module - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division EuropeOf course, selecting an Industry 4.0-enabled sensor is one thing, but ensuring that it can communicate with other such devices is quite another. For this reason, it is imperative to select a sensor vendor that operates a centralised strategy to ensure that its smart devices and sub-systems share open communications standards and best practices. IO‑Link is the first I/O technology for communicating with sensors and actuators to be adopted as an international standard (IEC 61131-9). This open protocol is bringing the world of Industry 4.0 to component level and already proving essential in ensuring interoperability across multiple technologies and manufacturers.

Consider a pneumatic device, for example, which is being used to grip workpiece blanks and load them into position on a machine tool. Here, the voltage of the coils across the solenoid valves can be monitored for signs of impending failure. In such a scenario, IO-Link can offer budget-friendly communication with low-level devices, connecting them to motion controllers that subsequently connect to a factory network and, if required, to the cloud. 

Smart sensors and other Industry 4.0-enabled devices must work in co-operation with products from other manufacturers. In fact, the value of any connected digital solution is directly proportional to its interoperability. There is no place for proprietary solutions; an open, exchange-based architecture that enables interoperability with third-party products, applications and platforms is essential.


The security issue

Talk about Industry 4.0 and one recurring area of concern arises - security. Indeed, this issue has been central in discouraging many plants from taking the decision to connect machines and devices to the cloud and gaining the insight required to predict failures and optimise performance at the component level. 

How to use smart sensors to aid predictive maintenance strategies - security issue 4.0 - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division Europe

For any company concerned about this issue and seeking guidance on how to move forward, this is the point where choosing the right vendor is of the essence.

It is critical to choose suppliers who can share technical knowledge and hands-on experience gained from working across a wide range of advanced applications.

With a specific focus on fluid power installations, the selected vendor should be able to offer advice on where sensors need to be integrated to obtain optimal insight, the type of data to collect, and how to present the results to MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) personnel in the way that is most useful. Progressive, forward-thinking vendors are striving to bake in best-practice data encryption in motion and storage to create secure end-to-end Industry 4.0-enabled systems. 


The big picture

Using the latest sensor intelligence is now about far more than simply monitoring factors such as position and speed. It’s about using data, collected in real time, to provide vital information concerning service life that can help facilitate the implementation of predictive maintenance. This data can be used to identify when a machine or system is not functioning correctly, or at its optimum efficiency. Early sensor notification of issues allows system operators to investigate, consider, plan and schedule the required corrective maintenance for a time when production throughput is either low or can be stopped. This could be overnight, during a larger planned plant maintenance shutdown, or whenever there is the least impact on those all-important customer delivery schedules.


Learn more

Continuous position sensing devices can make a significant contribution to creating a smarter, more efficient factory environment. To find out more, download our CPS Smart Sensing Brochure that covers continuous position sensing using analogue signal or IO-Link communication for linear actuators, and discover how you can better schedule corrective maintenance and reduce your downtime.

How to use smart sensors to aid predictive maintenance strategies - Franck Roussillon european product manager for actuators, Parker Hannifin, Pneumatic Division EuropeArticle contributed by Franck Roussillon, product manager, actuators, Pneumatic Division Europe, Parker Hannifin Corporation.




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Know Your Pneumatics: Continuous Position Sensing - Smart Factory - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division EuropeThe use of industrial networks to make sensors and actuators more intelligent has become common across modern factory environments, and the use of continuous position sensing is a pathway to achieving smart motion control in pneumatic systems.

Continuous position sensors are more sophisticated sensor devices with two-way data flow that help to bring intelligence to pneumatic motion control and provide necessary continuous data to help facilitate a true Industry 4.0 environment. 

Using contactless technology to continuously detect the linear position of a piston in its cylinder, the quick, precise and high-resolution sensing of the piston magnet is achieved without the need for separate position encoders or additional mechanics, therefore minimising the cost of implementation.

The data communicated by the sensor allows for monitoring, and when information flows in both directions and actuators are employed, control. The result is that positional data is made available for fast detection of any issues that might cause downtime or potential loss of productivity.

Easy mounting
Know Your Pneumatics: Continuous Position Sensing - 4MA Cylinder with Sensor - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic DivisionFor cylinders, linear slides and grippers with common T-slot or C-slot dimensions, the latest continuous position sensors, including the P8S CPS series from Parker, can be mounted without the need for extra accessories. Mounting on other cylinder types, such as round body, tie-rod and profile cylinders (and cylinders with a dovetail groove), is possible using a simple adaptor.

By externally mounting on the cylinder body, you avoid complicated integration requirements or any drilling of the piston rod itself. This design also facilitates quick and simple sensor maintenance or replacement. 

Application benefits
Know Your Pneumatics: Continuous Position Sensing - Printing Application - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division EuropeAmong the principal benefits of continuous position sensors is the ability to monitor quality and provide process control and support optimisation, especially in tensioning applications such as paper or film processing where quality, repeatability and speed are paramount to profitable operations.  

Here, the remote reading of data from position sensors allows process deviations to be seen quickly and acted upon, thus keeping processes optimised and supporting predictive maintenance strategies.

Many other types of applications will also benefit, including materials handling, consumer packaging, small component assembly, machine building, and even tasks in the renewable energy industry, such as the positional control of solar panels as they track the sun.

With the appropriate shock, vibration, moisture, chemical and water ingress resistance, continuous position sensing can be used in challenging environments reliably over very long periods of time.

Two-way data flow
The monitoring of sensor data via traditional discrete or analogue signals is one-way communication; this is sufficient to allow the remote monitoring of automated processes, for example. However, in order to implement Industry 4.0 strategies, two-way communications are required meaning a connection to a network such as Profinet or IO-Link. In terms of Continuous Position Sensor implementation with pneumatics, it would include not only monitoring but also automatic configuration at start up and/or during maintenance replacement.   

In many cases, the early sensor notification of issues allows system operators to investigate, consider, plan and schedule the required corrective maintenance for a time when production throughput is either low or can be stopped. This could be overnight or during a larger planned plant maintenance shutdown.

Leveraging IO-Link
Know Your Pneumatics: Continuous Position Sensing - Parker IO-Link Module - Parker Hannifi Pneumatic Division EuropeAnother critical part in the success of Industry 4.0 manufacturing strategies is choosing the right protocol to connect sensors with controllers and actuators. Here, IO-Link provides the ideal solution, allowing two-way communications to receive data and then download a parameter to the device/actuator. As a result, processes can be adjusted remotely.

The advantages of IO-Link include the automatic detection and parameterisation of the IO-Link device, device monitoring and diagnostics, changes on the fly and reduced spare part costs.

Ultimately, the key to unlocking the power of smart sensors is in making diagnostic information easy to access. IO-Link allows for cyclic data exchange capabilities so that programmers can easily send the information directly to where it is required, either to an HMI screen, a signal light or a maintenance request. If sensor or actuator parameters need to be changed or calibrated, this can be done remotely, even while the production line is still running, ensuring that shutdowns, stoppages and unnecessary costs are avoided.

Learn more

Continuous position sensing devices can make a significant contribution in creating a smarter, more efficient factory environment. To find out more, download our brochure and discover how you can better schedule corrective maintenance and reduce your downtime.

Know Your Pneumatics: Continuous Position Sensing - Franck Roussillon product manager for actuators - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division EuropeArticle contributed by Franck Roussillon, product manager for actuators, Pneumatic Division Europe, Parker Hannifin Corporation




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How to achieve safe motion control in ATEX environments - Oil and Gas Plant - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division EuropeMachinery and moving equipment is a vital element in all areas of modern automated industry, but what happens when the atmosphere in the working environment is potentially explosive? 
All motion control creates friction and, with sufficient magnitude, could provide a source of heat or ignition. A simple switch could be viewed as a potential ignition source. Therefore, machinery and equipment OEMs must use motion control components that are tested, rated and certified for safe use. 
Explosive atmospheres in the workplace can be caused by flammable gases, mists or vapours, or by combustible dusts. If there is enough of the substance, mixed with air, then all it needs is a source of ignition to cause an explosion.
The ATEX Directive
ATEX (derived from the French term ATmospheres EXplosive) is the name commonly given to the European directives for controlling equipment designated for operation in explosive atmospheres. 
The directives state that employers have a duty to eliminate or control the risks from explosive atmospheres in the workplace. Areas where hazardous explosive atmospheres may occur must be classified into zones. The classification given to a particular zone, and its size and location, depends on the likelihood of an explosive atmosphere occurring and its persistence if it does. 
Zones and classifications
There are three zones classifying the presence of a potentially explosive atmosphere:
  • Present continuously or for long periods (Gas Zone 0)
  • Likely to occur in normal operation occasionally, typically between 10-1000 hours per annum (Gas Zone 1)
  • Not likely to occur in normal operation, but if it does occur it will persist for a period typically less than 10 hours a year (Gas Zone 2)
How to achieve safe motion control in ATEX environments - ATEX Zones - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division Europe
Equipment and protective systems earmarked for deployment in these zones areas should meet the requirements of the Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 1996 (EPS). 
EPS implements the ATEX directive within the UK, regulating the supply of products intended for operation in these hazardous environments. However, EPS also requires the supplier to provide instructions for the safe operation of the products. 
To help with equipment classification, two classification groups have been established:
  • Group 1 equipment is intended for use in underground mines and surface installations of such mines likely to be endangered by flammable vapours and/or dusts
  • Group 2 equipment is intended for use in other places exposed to explosive atmospheres. 
The level of protection offered in each group can be classified into normal, high and very high categories.
Specifying Motion Control Solutions
How to achieve safe motion control in ATEX environments - Chemical Plant - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division Europe
There are many examples of potentially explosive atmospheres across the industry in sectors such as oil and gas, power generation, chemical, pharmaceutical, wood processing and paint spraying.
Deploying motion control solutions in these industries means using a supplier with a thorough understanding of ATEX and products that can be operated safely and with confidence.
This means ensuring their products meet essential safety requirements and undergo appropriate conformity procedures. As a result, any component which contains or constitutes a potential ignition source requires preventative measures to be incorporated into its design or installation in order to prevent it from initiating an explosion.
How to achieve safe motion control in ATEX environments - ATEX logo - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division Europe
The components are tested and certified by a 'third-party' certification body (known as a Notified Body) although some components can be self-certified for use in less hazardous explosive atmospheres. 
Once certified, the equipment is marked by the 'EX' symbol to identify it as such, making it easier for you to identify products fit for its intended purpose and that adequate information is supplied to ensure its safe use.
A broad choice backed by applications expertise is vital to end customers seeking a safe and effective solution to motion control in potentially explosive environments.
Learn more
Parker offers many components suitable for use in ATEX environments, such as cylinders (including rodless types), valves, filters/absorbers, air motors, logic controllers, push buttons, solenoids, coils, limit switches and sensors. Download our catalogue to find out more.
How to achieve safe motion control in ATEX environments - Franck Roussillon - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division EuropeArticle contributed by Franck Roussillon, european product manager for actuators, Pneumatic Division Europe, Parker Hannifin Corporation
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3 ways to magnify return on investment (ROI) on pneumatic cylinders - Milk moving application - Parker Hannifin - Pneumatic Division EuropeAs the range of pneumatic cylinders available on the market today becomes more extensive and sophisticated, it can be challenging to ensure you’re maximizing the ROI available from your application. 
There are many recommendations and tips that plants and machine builders can follow to help shorten the payback period for investments in pneumatic cylinders. Here’s some best practice advice on how engineers and specifiers can convert necessary outlays into returned investments. 
1. Avoid side-load mounting 
Cylinders are designed to deliver push-pull stroke action, so side-load mounting can result in a number of performance problems, including misalignment, off-centre loads, rod deflections, imprecise tie-rod torque or long stroke action. 
Upon installation, the cylinder piston rod should be aligned with the mating machine component and then inspected in both the extended and retracted positions. Improper alignment can lead to excessive rod gland and cylinder bore wear, resulting in a shortened lifespan for the cylinder and lower productivity. Both of these unwanted effects only serve to extend the payback period.
2. Prevent Contamination
Also, consider how contamination can be prevented as this will further maximise the life of the cylinder.  Particulates, pipe rust, scale and thread sealant debris can all curtail the life of the seal and plug openings, and damage surface finishes. So until the system is fitted with piping, keep the port plugs supplied with the cylinder in place and be sure to clean the piping thoroughly before making connections. 
3 ways to magnify return on investment (ROI) on pneumatic cylinders - Parker P1S Stainless Steel Cylinder - Parker Hannifin - Pneumatic Division Europe
Moisture is another key factor to consider when trying to stop contamination, as when moisture collects in components in all compressed air systems it blocks the outlet flow-through. This can be potentially damaging to the performance of the cylinder as it can lead to diluted pre-lubrication grease, contaminated airline lubricants, a damaged barrel or rod finish, and the potential to freeze in cold weather. 
To avoid this happening, consider using stainless steel cylinders such as Parker's P1S, which features a smooth, hygienic exterior design to prevent contamination. These are particularly useful for food industry applications as cleanliness is assured via the use of stainless steel piston rods, cylinder tube and end covers.
Plus, the end covers have no recesses or other grooves that can collect unwanted contaminants or bacteria, while the scraper rings, piston rod bearings and seals are made from self-lubricating materials to allow for regular washing and degreasing of the piston rod.
A final consideration when thinking about preventing contamination is to watch out for oils that result from air compressor lubrication carryover or synthetic oils which are typically incompatible with air-line components. Such oils can swell the seal and plug openings. Instead, consider using oil-compatible seals.
  3. Use the appropriate seals and cushioning
Poor selection of seals can cause degradation, leading to the ingress of particles and dirt, which ultimately risks cylinder failure; therefore it is imperative that ‘fit for purpose’ choices are made to ensure the maximum lifetime and to guarantee productivity.
The end application drives the selection of wiper seals.  For example, applications that are extremely dusty or feature very high operating temperatures will require appropriate seals to match the installed environment. 
In terms of cushioning, this is directly linked to the lifetime of cylinders. Cushioning is required to decelerate a cylinder's piston before it strikes the end plate. Reducing the piston velocity lowers the stress on cylinder components, increasing the usable lifespan and ROI. 
Whilst cylinders that feature automatic adjustment exist, a best practice recommendation is to use manual variants to achieve optimal cushioning, as you are able to match the weight of the workpiece to the dynamics of the movement. This method has been found to be much more accurate and efficient. 
3 ways to magnify return on investment (ROI) on pneumatic cylinders - Parker MC/SC Shock Absorbers - Parker Hannifin - Pneumatic Division EuropeIt’s well documented that cylinders operating at high or fast cycle rates will typically generate significant shock loads at end of stroke. Furthermore, the heat generated by the system can exceed the component’s temperature limits and affect the lubrication. With this in mind, consider selecting a pre-lubricated or air-cushioned cylinder.
Other options include adding a shock absorber or lowering system pressure via a regulator on the return (non-working) side of the cycle. Finally, adding flow control to the cylinder can also help, as long as high speed is not required.
As many engineers will be aware, running cylinders over their capacity applies high levels of stress and unwanted friction to seals, resulting in broken rod ends and disintegrated actuators. In addition, if the system contains speed control or energy-absorbing devices, then pressure spikes can double or triple normal system pressures. As a result, engineers should make sure rod accessories are shouldered firmly by threading all the way down or by using spacers or shims. Alternatively, consider increasing the rod thread size or using a studded rod end.
There are plenty of best practice procedures that can help plant engineers and machine builders maximise return on their investment in pneumatic cylinders. What’s more, most only require minimal time and effort to investigate, with any subsequent investments within reach of most budgets.
Learn more
Find out how to make further changes to optimise the pneumatic valves on your plant with our post on Know Your Pneumatics: 3 Ways to Adopt Advances in Pneumatic Valve Technology
3 ways to magnify return on investment (ROI) on pneumatic cylinders - Franck Roussillon - Parker Hannifin - Pneumatic Division Europe
Article contributed by Franck Roussillon, product manager for actuators Europe, Parker Hannifin, Pneumatic Division Europe
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How to Innovate to Address the 4C Challenge for Rail - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division EuropeLooking at a complete system within the vehicle along with all its interfaces from a completely clean sheet will give us the opportunity to question, review and potentially improve that system (in this example, rail) utilising the latest technology and manufacturing advances.
  The 4C challenge
When thinking about how to address the 4C Challenge for rail, the ability to innovate, both in technology and thought processes, is crucial. The four Cs challenge originated from the UK Railway Technical Strategy which defines the top-level strategic drivers as:
  • Cost
  • Customer
  • Carbon 
  • Capacity  

When combined, they ask the following question: How can we improve our customer experience whilst increasing capacity on the network and at the same time reducing both our carbon footprint and the cost of running the railway? 

The four Cs are inextricably linked: Won’t an increase in capacity mean an increase in the carbon footprint? Won’t more capacity mean a higher cost? Or, if we take cost out, will this negatively affect the passenger experience? This is where we need to think about the relationships across the four Cs and how we, as suppliers, can think holistically to benefit the complete picture.
An example is shown below where, starting with a clean sheet, a pantograph control solution has been developed for use without the need for an auxiliary compressor.
How to Innovate to Address the 4C Challenge for Rail - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division Europe
From an interiors perspective, this example illustrates our ability to have a direct impact on the four Cs, the four key top-level drivers, particularly when we employ innovative thinking. Not all projects or activities will be able to affect all four quite so obviously. They may have a significant impact in one area whilst still having a positive impact on another, but the thought process remains. 
If you look back at Fig. 1, we can see that two factors affect these four Cs, and they are weight and space. 

It is not just a case of reducing the size of something; performance characteristics must be at the very least retained but preferably enhanced whenever possible. You also have to consider mechanical strength, suitability for the operating environment and the forces that may be applied.
The reduction in size may also not result in a proportional weight loss, depending on the construction materials. Therefore, we should look at each point in isolation and then as a whole in order to achieve the ultimate end result.

There are obviously many things that can affect component weight. Size, shape and material are all key, but production method can also be vital in producing the optimum form. 

Just consider the ability of additive manufacturing to produce components without traditional problems, such as shape and form restraints, or material waste produced by machining. The resulting components can be complex forms that maximise material thickness; this gives us engineered solutions that are both mechanically sound yet of lighter weight, and all in a shape or form to fit and integrate into the interfaces.  


Reducing equipment weight alone may not affect the space envelope required; however, some gains can usually be made. It is worth weighing up the cost of aiming for using less space against the cost of developing the equipment to fit.

How to Innovate to Address the 4C Challenge for Rail - Additive Manufacturing Example
Miniaturisation in itself can be an expensive exercise. It may be better to think of the effective utilisation of available space and look at methods to reduce wasted space. As previously stated, additive (or 3D) manufacturing can go some way towards addressing this, but the optimised design must include a consideration of access for maintenance and service requirements. 

However, the previously illustrated example shows: weight and space can also be reduced by returning to basics and challenging the current thinking.
The “we’ve always done it this way”, or “this is best practice”, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” sayings need to be challenged; then maybe a new best practice will come to light. 
New technologies that benefit the whole life-performance and life-cycle costs can be considered, including the IoT (Internet of Things). Operating from this level we can also take a holistic view of the vehicle system with the four Cs in mind. The link, then, to innovation – which may not mean a completely new solution, but could include technology transfer from other industries and utilising alternative technologies – can truly be explored and the benefits maximised. 
It may also be that it's not a new technology that facilitates a new approach, it may be advancements in existing technologies that previously could not have met the requirements, so preconceptions need to be taken out of the thought process.
Learn more

Learn more about Parker solutions for rail at this transportation website, or contact our dedicated transportation team to discuss your particular rail application performance, cost, weight and space requirements.


How to Innovate to Address the 4C Challenge for Rail - Dave Walker, Market Development Manager for Rail - Parker Hannifin Pneumatic Division Europe

Article contributed by Dave Walker, market development manager for Rail, Motion Systems Group, Parker Hannifin Corporation. 






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