How to attain more flexibility in the control with electro-hydraulic components
December 2, 2022 11:44 am
The “Electro” component of the hydraulic cylinder we offer is electrical. As a result, there is more flexibility in the control that may be provided and how one can use it.
Trends for the machine tool industry
People have been choosing more modularity over the past year, meaning they are choosing to have more functions from the same equipment, fixture, or system they are purchasing. The earlier trend was more dedicated production lines. They typically prepared upto 80% of overall machine capacity for one customer or component. This resulted in more idle time if volumes dropped. They now focus more on the variety of manufacturing and less on volume. Due to the current state of the market, we can’t determine whether a vehicle’s volume or level of demand will increase or decrease.
For instance, Mahindra, Maruti, Mercedes Benz, or any other AUTO OEM that brings out a new model, can only give a guarantee for a certain percentage of their forecasted sale volume to their Supply Chain. The actual volumes may increase or decrease based on the Customer response to the vehicle. As a result, the market is ready for a scenario where the volumes constantly fluctuate. Therefore, they choose greater flexibility versus, say, more conventional or dedicated production.
Digitisation effect or improve efficiency in fluid power
Digitisation happens in two areas: the product itself and the systems. In products, it has happened much less than in systems. Digitisation means giving greater control with continuous feedback.While it is still in its beginning stages in India, where labour is still affordable, Automated or continuously monitored system is becoming a trend in European countries where labour is costly, and Companies are going for this.
In the automation system, the feedback loop is critical. While they are looking at these kinds of systems,these are costly. It is almost six to seven times more expensive than the systems currently in use over here.
In the case of the systems, it has happened to how the feedback and outputs are measured on our devices. The ones offered to the market by the companies are an added enhancement for people to understand how to use and maintain these systems. Analogue Systems usually have coloured indicators. These colour gradations or similar visual aids were in place to ensure that the operator could visually see and make the necessary corrections or changes. Now, because processes are digital in input and output, one can see the performance in an easier and more understandable way. It makes it easier to see the number rather than assuming the numbers as was being carried out initially. Digital Monitoring Products are not very widely used India now, and we are still using a lot of analogue products because of the cost angle. It is a significant addition though because it allows people to monitor systems more quickly. However, the cost makes people less willing to make the investment in that product.
5G technology impact on the machine tool industry
The main benefit of 5G is the speed at which you can interact with remote systems and receive responses to your queries. IoT had a significant influence after it was introduced, Since it enabled remote monitoring of a companies’ site that was located elsewhere. The production process could be managed using flexible manufacturing technologies while the machine at a remote location. With the advent of 5G technology, downloading a large CNC program or a heavy3D file is much easier.
Developments in hydraulics designed for CNC machines
Hydraulics is essential for the automotive and aerospace industries, which primarily retain or move components. In area of machine tools, hydraulically controlled accessories are the current trend. Companies are bringing out modular systems regulated with pneumatic or hydraulic clamping methods for a large gamut of components. Based on this, solutions are being offered with the CNC machines, helping businesses cater to a wider spectrum of customers like Automotive, Mining, Defense and Power Generation.
Preventive maintenance of an industrial pneumatic system Preventative maintenance is required for hydraulic as well as pneumatic systems. It is particularly significant since preventative maintenance can almost double the system’s life.
Preference for the hydraulic system over the pneumatic for the automotive & aviation sector
Hydraulics is an essential component for AUTOMOTIVE and Aviation sector. With higher operating pressure, the size of the system becomes much smaller for the same amount of work. If it is pneumatic, the size is bigger because the amount of compression the air can take versus the compression that oil can take is very low.
In hydraulics, When it comes to working with compressed oil, it can accomplish more work due to its high compressibility. The downside of hydraulics is that it requires a larger initial investment and is more difficult to maintain. The oil also needs to be changed periodically and once used, disposing of it improperly can create environmental problems. Pneumatic Systems are more environment friendly and more easily maintained.
Application of electro-hydraulic & pneumatics systems
As far as machine tools are concerned, Electro-Hydraulics is a new development. It has existed in the construction sector and has been an integral element for a long time. The construction industry used hydraulic cranes or cranes that are servo controlled. But electro hydraulics is just getting off the ground in the machine tool sector. European nations are now migrating to electro-hydro control systems because one can obtain highly accurate input from a system or provide their systems more control. Usually, a servo or an electrical impulse is used to regulate the hydraulic valves. Since it is possible to regulate and programme that impulse, It improves the performance.
Integrated Electric Signal Controlled Hydraulic Cylinders are not yet offered by us. Integrating the signal to move the piston or provide some actuation is something we are working on for the next year and is still in R&D stage.
Opportunities for hydraulics & pneumatics systems
Hydraulics is still used in the braking systems of electric cars. Hydraulic steering pumps are a component of the IC engine( gasoline or diesel) and an electric car. So, hydraulics will still play a role as Manufacturers move on to Electric Vehicles. Accessories in vehicles still make use of pneumatics or hydraulics and should do so for at least a few more years.