Parker's Central Tire Inflation System (CTIS) offers improved mobility when operating vehicles in severe off-road or soft soil conditions. Ideally suited for the agriculture and military markets, this automatic tire pressure adjustment system allows the driver to optimize tire inflation pressure from the cab while operating on varying terrains with the simple push of a button. Reducing tire pressure results in a bigger tire footprint, providing increased flotation and traction when operating in soft soil terrain. Although often used in conjunction with all-wheel drive, non-all-wheel drive vehicles with CTIS can actually outperform all-wheel drive in many soft soil conditions.
Operating vehicles with reduced tire inflation pressure is approved by tire manufacturers when operating at reduced vehicle speeds. Contrary to common perception, operating at reduced tire inflation pressure can extend tire life due to reduced susceptibility to tire punctures and tread chunking. CTIS also results in increased fuel economy due to the improved rolling resistance as the tire floats on the surface rather than creating ruts in soft soil or sand.What's included in Parker's CTIS?
Each wheel end is equipped with a CTIS wheel valve. The wheel valve connects the tire to the CTIS control system whenever it is actively measuring or changing tire pressure. Otherwise, the wheel valve is closed, isolating the tire from the system, thus ensuring that the tire will not leak down. This eliminates the need for manually operated shut off valves when the vehicle is inactive for extended periods of time. This feature also provides extended air seal life when the vehicle is in motion and tire pressure adjustment is not occurring. Parker offers wheel valves in a variety of sizes and configurations including valves with hose connections as well as flush-mount hose-less versions for use with wheels that have integral air passages. Located on the vehicle chassis or undercarriage, Parker’s CTIS pneumatic control unit consists of electro-pneumatic valves and pressure sensors required to monitor and control the pneumatic system.
CTIS provides independent wheel-end control ensuring fail-safe operation in the event of damage to the vehicle or wheel end. The CTIS wheel valve is completely sealed to the atmosphere at the wheel end ensuring reliable deepwater forwarding capability. Tire venting while deflating is routed back through the pneumatic control unit rather than at the wheel end. The CTIS electronic control unit provides decision making and logic execution. The electronic circuitry is completely sealed in an aluminum enclosure resulting in a rugged environmentally robust package.How does the CTIS work in certain operating conditions such as extremely soft soil for vehicle mobility?
Vehicle mobility is improved by reducing tire inflation pressure resulting in a larger tire footprint. This bigger footprint improves traction, reduces wheel slip and allows the vehicle to float across the soft terrain instead of compacting the soil and causing rutting. When returning to improved terrain conditions, a simple push of a button on the driver interface automatically inflates the tires to the appropriate pressure utilizing the onboard air compressor.
Its unique wheel valve design provides the best in class deflate performance while incorporating the non piloted remote venting control strategy preferred by most vehicle manufacturers. CTIS can deflate tire pressures significantly lower than the competition while operating reliably over a wide range of temperatures and altitudes. The CTIS is insensitive to vehicle installation variables such as wheel-end, the back pressure and air seal flow. This results in enhanced fault tolerance as wheel valve shutoff is assured even with kinked, contaminated or restricted airlines. This is a patented wheel valve design that gets the job done faster, resulting in industry precedent-setting deflation rates. The operator interface provides the ability to select four terrain modes:
Pressing any of the terrain buttons results in the system checking all tire pressures and then automatically adjusting them to pressure targets. A green light on the driver interface will flash while pressure changes are being made and then turn solid indicating that target tire pressures have been reached. The operator can also select from three load levels: no load, partial load and full load optimizing tire pressure for load improves fuel economy, vehicle stability and ride comfort.
The CTIS monitors tire pressure at regular intervals and offers a run-flat mode which reduces this interval to almost continuously monitor pressure. This is useful when an increased threat for puncture exists. CTIS will return to normal pressure check intervals after a predetermined time has expired.
The system also monitors vehicle speed and provides both an over-speed warning and an automatic terrain mode bumper to ensure safe operation operators can run in an overspeed condition for a short period of time, for example, to preselect for an impending terrain change continue to over-speed will result in the amber warning led on the selected terrain button beginning to flash. If the vehicle speed is not reduced within an additional time, CTIS will automatically bump up the terrain mode to a more appropriate setting and inflate the tires to the new target pressure. This staged approach allows the operator to pre-select terrains as needed while protecting tires from damage.
Watch the video to learn more and see a vehicle in action:
Are you headed to IFPE 2020 in March?
Parker off-highway and mobile solutions will be showcased at IFPE/CONEXPO-Con/AGG in Las Vegas March 10 – 14. The Parker CTIS system will be on display. The CTIS offers best in class performance, including tire pressure control range and deflate rates with robust full tolerance. Parker is the global leader in motion and control technologies. For more information regarding Parker's central tire inflation systems, contact us.
Article contributed by Ryan Mills, project engineer, Parker Hannifin's Pneumatics Division.
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23 Jan 2020
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.
16 Jan 2020
In the world of industrial automation, pneumatic rodless cylinders can now be found just about anywhere; from food and beverage packaging to pharmaceutical and chemical production lines. They have a significant advantage over more conventional rod-type cylinders because they are fast, efficient, capable of supporting high direct and cantilever loads and are smooth-running. In addition, they require only about half the space compared to their traditional counterparts.
They are also easily adjustable and offer air cushioning at the end positions. This serves to dampen the piston as it reaches the end of its travel, thereby slowing down the speed of the load at the end of the stroke to prevent unnecessary impact or shocks. Without the right setting, the service life of the overall system will be considerably shorter and generate potentially problematic vibrations throughout the entire assembly line.
Adjustable cushioning can be tailored to specific applications and is therefore more efficient than cushioning preset by the manufacturer, which can only assume a standard load and the speed at which it needs to travel. By adjusting the cushioning settings, which is known as “ideal cushioning”, the piston is decelerated to zero velocity at the end of the stroke, thereby dissipating all kinetic energy in the load. Therefore, shorter cycle times are achieved because with no piston bounce, no time is lost due to shock or vibration. System wear is reduced as the ideal cushioning eliminates shocks to the cushioning sleeve, thereby increasing the lifetime of the cylinder. Productivity is also ultimately improved when the system is at optimal operation, working well on a continuous basis without force, shocks or vibrations.Adjusting the end position cushioning
Let us take a look at the correct way to adjust the end position cushioning on a Parker ORIGA OSP-P pneumatic rodless cylinder to ensure shorter cycle time, less wear, higher productivity and longer product lifetime. This is recommended for any Parker rodless pneumatic cylinder before first use.
It is recommended that six bar of operating pressure is used for the adjustment process; any variations in pressure will require a slightly modified adjustment process.
The adjustment screw is located at the cylinder's end caps.
All you will need to perform the adjustment is a small slotted screwdriver.
With the fine thread of the cushioning screw, there is a high degree of sensitivity and set-up can be completed very accurately. The cushioning screw itself is secured against completely unscrewing. The factory setting of a Parker rodless cylinder cushioning adjustment screw is approximately one half turn open.
Firstly, loosen the cushioning adjustment screw by one full turn.
The piston re-bounces from the air cushion causing it to vibrate.
Cushioning must be slowly adjusted by loosening the screw turn-by-turn.
Cylinder noise will increase slightly but the piston vibrations will immediately start to decrease.
The vibrations will continue to decrease as you loosen the cushioning screw.
The noise will continue getting louder - this is completely normal for the adjustment process.
Continue to slowly loosen the cushioning screw until the vibrations stop.
The cylinder will now become quieter until the noise is barely perceptible.
The piston will gently move into the end position.
The adjustment process is complete.
The ideal cushioning will increase productivity and output and will reduce costs at the same time.Learn more
To find more information on how to adjust the end position cushioning of the Parker ORIGA Series of pneumatic rodless cylinders, please see this video:
Article contributed by Dieter Winger, Product Manager, Pneumatic Rodless Actuators, Pneumatic Division Europe, Parker Hannifin Corporation
19 Dec 2019
As an engineer, the responsibility to adopt not just the latest, but the safest technologies, never goes away. Protecting people and machinery has become, quite simply, industry’s number one priority. Safety first. Always.
Factory automation is certainly no exception. Here, major advances have fuelled greater focus on smarter controls and increased integration of smart devices and safety componentry. Included in this are the latest pneumatic solutions, which nowadays form a core part of safety controls for implementing the preventative technical measures needed to ensure machine safety, including clamping, blocking, exhausting and holding equipment in place.
But hold on a moment, what actually classifies a product as a safety component? Well, as with all things related to machine safety, the best place to find out is the Machinery Directive, which states that a product is deemed to be a safety component when it is tested and verified to provide specific safe function for a pre-determined period of time in a given state.
The Machinery Directive also offers clear distinction between safety devices and standard pneumatic components deployed in a safety circuit. Notably, the term ‘safety component’ does not imply the actual reliability or safety level of the component. Those products offered as safety-rated must undergo stringent requirements for certification, testing and approval. As a further point, the Machinery Directive does not prescribe the use of safety-rated componentry, it merely provides a description of the conformity assessment procedures to market a product as safety rated.
So, how is it best to determine what level of safety is required? The answer: perform a risk assessment. Three steps are involved here: analysis, evaluation and reduction. The first step, risk analysis, also requires engineers to estimate risk and determine the performance level required (PLr).
After the PLr is established the performance level (PL) will need to be calculated based on safety categories that are established in line with factors such as a measure of diagnostic capabilities (DC) for the control system, the meantime to dangerous failure (MTTFD) and common cause failure (CCF). In combination, these inputs will define the level of a given safety function.
In tandem with the strategy set out here, peace-of-mind can, of course, be found by specifying safety-rated products from a reputable supplier. After all, as machine builders will be well aware, the price of non-compliance can be extremely costly.
To discover more about Parker’s factory automation solutions, please see our guide "A Comprehensive Guide to Machine Safety".
Article contributed by Linda Caron, global product manager for Factory Automation, Pneumatic Division.
25 Oct 2019
Industrial Ethernet (IE) is growing at a startling rate. In fact, the latest estimates put the annual growth at a staggering 22 percent, which means some 52 percent of the connectivity market is now commanded by IE, putting it ahead of traditional fieldbus networks for the first time.
There are many reasons for this. In our opinion, these include the widespread accessibility of several IE protocols, a good degree of backward compatibility and the availability of rugged components (hardwired) that are typically protected from electrical noise. And it is important to not overlook the emergence of cloud technologies, as well as the pure and simple demand for more connected devices as part of industry’s smart factory evolution.
Smart factories look to eliminate downtime and enhance productivity, which is why the systems and equipment in such facilities must be far more intelligent, flexible and dynamic.
Data collection and analysis is at the core of this effort, an activity that is intended to aid faster and more informed decision making. It’s perfectly clear why all of you production managers out there would want to make decisions based on accurate reporting of what’s actually trending on the shop floor.
From a technical perspective, analytics can be accomplished in different ways. Data can be stored and retrieved as needed (acyclic data) or returned through the network in real time for immediate attention (cyclic data).
In either case, as already mentioned, there are numerous IE protocols which can help communicate this data, not least familiar ones such as Profinet, Ethernet /IP and EtherCAT. And each has its own set of attributes, but regardless of which best suits a given application, the proliferation of these protocols has made IE a major fixture in control systems around the globe.
While our industry is without doubt seeing more take-up of IE, the goal for automation equipment vendors has been delivering IE connectivity in a cost-effective and straightforward manner. For this reason, Parker has been busy developing a high-capability, high-reliability IE network node: the P2M node.
Designed with advanced factory automation in mind, Parker’s engineers have created the node so that it’s both easy to configure and cost-effective. The result is that the company’s H Universal ISO Series valve, Moduflex valve and H Micro valve families can now connect to the IE network. In fact, we can now offer a large range of IE connectivity options, including EtherNet/IP, Profinet IO, EtherCAT, Ethernet PowerLink, Modbus TCP/IP and CC-Link IE protocols.
Adding further to the options for easier and more cost-effective network connectivity is our H Series Network Portal, which delivers on-machine flexibility for IE applications. The portal handles machine digital or IO-Links I/O's, eradicating the necessity for extra PLC input and output cards or other remote I/O modules. Offering full configurable IO-Link channels on the valve manifold via the network portal facilitates straightforward and cost-effective centralised machine application, even in caustic, wash-down or hazardous areas and even where extreme temperatures are present.
Ultimately, the reality of low-cost connectivity with integrated diagnostics has at last arrived, serving to further reduce complexity and cost at the machine, while simultaneously meeting the requirements of smart factories and Industry 4.0. The IE compatibility of critical automation components such as pneumatic valves is paramount if industrial users are to leverage the full benefits that total and reliable connectivity can bring.
If you’d like to discover more about Parker’s P2M IE network node, please watch the video below:
Article contributed by Patrick Berdal, EMEA product manager for control devices, Pneumatic Division Europe, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
30 Sep 2019
Careful and correct sensor installation is vital if accurate and reliable information is to be measured and communicated from the sensor.
What all engineers want when it comes to sensor installation is a simple, secure and rapid assembly process, without complicated processes such as the need for additional mountings.
The P8S proximity sensor offers universal use, flexible integration and excellent form. Its square design is also suitable for rapid installation in industry-standard T-slots, regardless of cylinder profile or brand. The upshot of this direct, drop-in design – as opposed to ‘turn-in’ or ‘slide-in’ concepts – is a significant reduction in installation time.
Among the innovations with the P8S are retaining ribs on the side of the sensor body that enable simple mounting, including hard-to-reach locations or overhead assemblies. These ribs ensure the sensor conveniently holds its position in the T-slot even before the screw is tightened.
To begin the installation, simply slide the sensor into the T-slot. When in the desired position, a quarter-turn of the eccentric stainless steel screw is all that is required to secure the sensor. To further simplify mounting, the screw head design is such that it accepts either a flat-blade screwdriver or Allen key. The mounting screw even features a knurled head that helps to withstand shock or vibration.
Of course, not all cylinders have T-slots. With P8S sensors this is not a problem as they also mount externally to cylinders. As a result, fitment to round, tie rod and profile cylinders are straightforward.
To make life as simple as possible, every P8S sensor is delivered with a specific adaptor to suit dovetail grooves. Also available are special brackets for round and tie-rod cylinders. The concept is to provide one sensor for all actuator types and brands - not just Parker units.
Cables are be supplied in three or 10 metre lengths (flying lead) or 0.3 metres with an M8 rotating plug, as standard.
Ultimately, automation demands excellent functionality and precision, which in turn requires solid expertise and knowledge at all levels, including best-practice installation.
To discover more about Parker P8S sensors and benefits they can deliver, watch this video:
This article was contributed by Franck Roussilon, product manager, Pneumatic Division Europe, Parker Hannifin Corporation.
12 Sep 2019