Drive Multiple Pumps from a Single Motor 

Multi-pump drives are common sight in mobile hydraulic systems. These drives consist of a gear drive inside a bell housing that connects to a gasoline or diesel engine. The opposite side contains one or more standard 2- or 4-bolt flanges for mounting hydraulic pumps. This configuration provides several benefits. For one, two or more identical pumps can be connected to provide nearly identical hydraulic output flow from each. Or different sized pumps can be used provide output flow proportional to the displacement of each pump.

Designers of industrial hydraulic systems now have this option with the Lectric Drive, offered by Regal Beloit’s Durst Div., Florence, Ky. Unlike conventional boxes for industrial applications, the Lectric Drive does not require an adapter flange and shaft coupling to mate the C-face flange of the pump to that of the motor. Instead, the Lectric connects directly to Regal Beloit’s Marathon brand motors. This convenient setup not only saves space and weight but eliminates the number of components and reduces assembly time.

By mounting a hydraulic or pneumatic clutch between each pump, the Lectric Drive also provides a compact and convenient way of providing alternating or standby pump operation. For example, each time pump power is needed, a control could engage one clutch and disengage the other. Therefore, the life of both pumps could be extended because they would both operate a half the normal duty cycle. As a pump standby system, it would allow removing one pump for service or repair while the other continues to run the system. Of course, appropriate safety precautions should be strictly followed whenever working on any hydraulic, mechanical or electric system.

Multiple Configurations for Versatility
The Lectric Drive is designed to be used with Regal Beloit’s Marathon Electric motors rated 100 to 700 hp. Marathon Electric is known for its totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) and explosion-proof motors. Lectric Drive can accommodate 230-, 460-, and 575-Vac power at 50- or 60-Hz frequency. The Lectric Drive comes with mounting pads for driving as many as eight pumps. Any of several gear drive ratios can be specified, and output torque is rated 1,040 to 2,150 lb-ft.

John Locarno, global sales and marketing manager, said engineers at Durst and Marathon Electric identified the need for an easy-to-install, space-saving system that required fewer parts and literally no maintenance or setup time compared to current designs. “The conventional hydraulic power drive assembly connects the motor shaft and pump drive by way of a C-face motor adaptor and an external coupling. Direct mounting with the Lectric Drive renders the adaptor-coupler approach obsolete. The pump drive literally becomes part of the electric motor.”

Users receive the Lectric Drive preassembled and completely ready for installation. Locarno explains that not only does the Lectric drive eliminate the C-flange adaptor and shaft coupling but it eliminates the time and skill needed to align the shaft coupling. The electric motor mounts and aligns properly to the pump drive, reducing setup time.

Locarno adds that the Lectric drive’s smaller package—up to 20 in. shorter than conventional systems—can save hundreds of pounds in system weight and hundreds of dollars in installation costs. In addition, with no C-face adaptor to repair or replace, the end user enjoys lower maintenance costs.

Read more: Drive Multiple Pumps from a Single Motor 

Global Hydraulic Pumps Market to Grow at a CAGR Of 5.07% and Forecast to 2021 

A hydraulic pump is a mechanical device that converts mechanical energy into hydraulic energy or hydrostatic energy. It operates on displacement principle. A vacuum is created at the pump outlet, when the pump operates, that induces a force, which drives a liquid from the reservoir into the inlet line. With the aid of further mechanical action, the liquid gets transferred to the outlet and eventually into the hydraulic system. This system is used in hydraulic drive systems, which can either be hydrostatic or hydrodynamic. A hydraulic machine, together with a pump, performs various tasks such as lift, lower, close, open, or rotate components. It is the source of power for various dynamic machines and equipment.

There are various types of hydraulic pumps:
• Gear pumps
• Vane pumps
• Piston pumps

The analysts forecast the Global Hydraulic Pump market to grow at a CAGR of 5.07 percent over the period 2015-2019.

Covered in this Report
This report covers the present scenario and the growth prospects of the Global Hydraulic Pump market during the period 2015-2019. For ascertaining the market size and vendor share, the report considers revenue generated from the sales of hydraulic pumps.

The report, the Global Hydraulic Pump Market 2015-2019, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report covers the Global Hydraulic Pump market landscape and its growth prospects in the coming years. The report includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.

Read more: Global Hydraulic Pumps Market to Grow at a CAGR Of 5.07% and Forecast to 2021 

No Stopping Tractors with Shift-on-Fly Hydraulic Drive

High-end agricultural tractors commonly are equipped with power-shift transmissions or hydromechanical power-split gearboxes to optimize speed, power, and fuel efficiency for the specific task at hand. Tractors smaller than 70 hp, widely used by vegetable and fruit growers or landscapers, often are equipped with either mechanical transmissions or hydrostatic transmissions with medium-pressure axial-piston pumps.

Although the hydrostatic transmissions use a variable-displacement pump, they usually need a second gear ratio to provide a broader speed range. However, this second gear ratio can only be engaged when the tractor is stationary. Because the hydrostatic transmission is always engaged, it must be deactivated to interrupt the torque it transmits before gearbox can be shifted. This may not pose a problem, but users are beginning to expect many high-end features in these smaller tractors. These include continuously variable speed and acceleration throughout the speed range, simple handling with semi- or fully automatic gear shifting, fast shifting during travel, and the greater efficiency of a high-pressure, variable-displacement axial-piston pump and axial-piston motor.

The Rexroth Shift-on-Fly (SoF) system eliminates these shortcomings with a pump/motor combination and a high-end controller and software that allows the operator to shift gears while in motion, either semi-automatically in a given window with the push of a button or fully automatically. The Rexroth SoF is a two-speed shift transmission combined with a high-pressure (up to 450 bar nominal) hydrostatic circuit, which consists of an A4VG high-pressure, variable-displacement axial-piston pump, and an A6VM high-pressure variable-displacement bent-axis motor.

A Look at Drive Elements
The pump provides hydraulic power to the system and includes high-pressure relief valves with an integrated boost function and adjustable pressure cutoff. Flow direction changes smoothly when the swashplate is moved through its center position, and several control options are available to match the pump to its application. It can be controlled by an EP (electric proportional control), a DA (hydraulic control, speed-related), or an HW (hydraulic control, mechanical servo) plus DA, with a dedicated electronic hardware and software package.

In this application, an automotive speed control is used. The tractor’s accelerator pedal connects mechanically to the pump control module. In addition, a hand lever controls the diesel engine’s speed and overrides the accelerator pedal’s position. This lets the operator control speed of the diesel engine independent of the tractor’s travel speed.

Read more: No Stopping Tractors with Shift-on-Fly Hydraulic Drive 

Aircraft Hydraulic System Market Size to Grow Exponentially during the Assessment Period 2017-2025 

Hydraulic systems have experienced a major transformation in terms of weight (they have become lighter over the years), simplification of inspection, ease of installation and maintenance requirements (latest hydraulic systems demand minimum maintenance). Hydraulic systems are not new to the aircraft market. In the past, aircrafts have used hydraulic brake systems. As the aircraft industry is evolving, manufacturers are coming up with newer systems. Hydraulic power systems were developed to meet the requirements of the modern-day aircraft industry.

Aircraft hydraulic systems enhance the efficiency of an aircraft’s components. Aircraft hydraulic systems facilitate easy operation of flaps, landing gear, brakes and flight control surfaces in aircrafts. The complexity of aircraft hydraulic systems depends on the size of the aircraft. For instance, smaller size aircrafts need hydraulic fluid only for wheel brakes. Larger size commercial aircrafts, on the other hand, require hydraulic systems that are complex and large in size. To achieve the essential consistency, an aircraft hydraulic system may consist of several subsystems. Each subsystem include actuators & filters, reservoir, pump, vane & spur gear, hydraulic fluid, pressure regulator, accumulator, valves and others (connectors).

Aircraft hydraulic systems have many advantages such as lower cooling cost, high reliability, load handling capacity and high power to weight ratio. Such beneficial parameters are estimated to spur the global aircraft hydraulic system market over the forecast period.

Global Aircraft Hydraulic System Market: Dynamics

Drivers:

Rise in global air travel and surge in new aircraft deliveries are the primary factors driving the growth of the global aircraft hydraulic system market. The demand for new aircrafts from countries such as China, Mexico, Brazil and India is increasing and this is expected to affect the global aircraft hydraulic systems market in a positive way.

Furthermore, attractive investments in research & development of aircraft hydraulic systems by developed nations to investigate the scope of reliability, load handling capacity and high power to weight ratio will work in favour of the global aircraft hydraulic system market.

Restraints:

However, fluctuations in the aviation industry may act as a growth restraint in the global aircraft hydraulic system market. Additionally, global economic uncertainty may also hamper the growth of global aircraft hydraulic system market.

Moreover, factors such as high maintenance cost and high system weight result in increased usage of electric systems which is estimated to act as a growth restraint for the global aircraft hydraulic system market.

Read more: Aircraft Hydraulic System Market Size to Grow Exponentially during the Assessment Period 2017-2025 

Electro-Hydraulics Pump to lncrease Efficiency and Reduce Emissions

Some of the largest vessels worldwide are using the power of Eaton’s hydraulic pumps for MAN Diesel & Turbo engines. The main special feature of these two-stroke Diesel engines is that they run without a camshaft. Instead, the fuel injection and the exhaust valves are electro-hydraulically controlled in the MAN ME-generation engines, where the axial piston pumps from Eaton Hydrokraft are the hydraulic heart of the system.

Intelligent Engines
The innovative operating mode of the MAN Diesel & Turbo “intelligent” marine engines with full electronic control, means that fuel can be injected continuously and variably as required. Injection pressure and period is fully variable as well as timing of the exhaust valve. Hence injection volume and timing can be adapted perfectly to the operating conditions and the speed of the vessel. The result is significantly reduced energy consumption and emissions.

To achieve savings and reduce emissions
In view of the large dimensions of these huge machines, every per cent of saving is valuable: The 26 m long engine block has a weight of more than 2,300 tons. The piston stroke is 3 m, and the bore is nearly 1 m. The power output of the 12 cylinder amounts to a massive 72,000 kW, and the maximum torque is as high as 6,700,000 Nm. Considering this data, the power unit is one of the world’s largest Diesel engines.

Thanks to the continuously variable injection and valve timing, the new electro-hydraulically controlled Diesel engines are much more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly as they produce much less noxious emissions. So this new technology also helps to ensure the compliance with emission laws.

Development of a new series of pumps
The largest intelligent MAN marine Diesel engines use Eaton PVWS-500 swashplate pumps with an overall hydraulic power output of up to 2.5 MW. The pumps are driven by the crankshaft from the main engine via a chain drive and gearbox. These supply the fuel injection and exhaust valve actuators with hydraulic energy.

The product portfolio for this application includes axial piston pumps with displacement sizes of 130, 180, 250, 360 and 500 cm3, as well as complete electric motor driven pump packages.

Eaton has done extensive development work to meet the requirements of MAN Diesel & Turbo through the adaptation of these pumps for use with the MAN Diesel engines. Jens NØrby Hansen, R&D engineer at MAN Diesel & Turbo: ‘Often well-proven standard products have to be re-designed to fulfil our specifications, which are very demanding. In this case, our co-operation with Eaton has led to a new series of PVWS swashplate pumps that have been designed specifically for our electronically-controlled engines.’ For Markus Meitinger, project engineer at Eaton Hydrokraft, the co-development with MAN Diesel & Turbo is a good example: “This project demonstrates Eaton’s expertise to develop tailor-made solutions for customer-specific applications.” Even after the start of production a continuous product improvement takes place, such as for example the introduction of a wear-free swash plate position sensor or the implementation of a more robust proportional valve for electrohydraulic pump control.

What’s more after the commissioning stage of the Hydrokraft pumps the Eaton support does not stop. In every port globally, experienced Eaton service engineers are available to ensure the smooth operation of the ships.

Eaton’s Hydrokraft pumps are also used in industrial applications where high efficiency and reliability are needed. At the facility in Wehrheim, Germany, the Hydraulic machines, especially the axial piston pumps and motors in the range from 66 cc up to 750 cc are developed and manufactured.

Read more: Electro-Hydraulics Pump to lncrease Efficiency and Reduce Emissions

New Komatsu timber harvester set to ‘fell’ all in its path

McHale Plant Sales, the Irish distributor of Komatsu equipment, has launched the Komatsu 931 harvester at this year’s National Ploughing Championships.

The distributor explained that the harvester is the first in its class with a Stage IV / Final engine; rated at 251hp.

Apparently, it can carry out the heaviest of tasks while minimising emissions. This new engine technology is said to improve fuel economy and reduce noise, thanks to its “intelligent” variable fan control.

The new 931 harvester has an “extremely high-performance” operator environment; the larger cab and smart screen placement is said to improve visibility.

The machine has a 3-pump hydraulic system – split into dual circuits with separate pressure levels. The system is power-regulated. A “unique” pressure and flow optimisation mechanism supposedly enables the operator to work faster without losing hydraulic power.

The machine can operate several crane and head functions at the same time. These functions include: slewing the crane; feeding a log; and manoeuvring the machine.
The crane’s “clever” placement, together with the large-work area, afford the Komatsu 931 “unrivaled” conditions for high production, says the distributor.

The harvester sits on wide floatation tires, with ‘band-tracks’ available as an optional extra.

According to the company’s spokesperson, its “simple design” provides “market-leading” visibility and performance – the coupling between the cab’s tilt cylinders and the stabiliser cylinders mounted on the rear axle provides “world-class stability”.

Stability is also said to be improved by the sheer weight of the machine (19.6t) and by the central positioning of the crane.

The self-levelling cab can rotate a full 360°, which allows for a larger work area.
When it comes to servicing, improved access to filters and separate hatches for refilling diesel and hydraulic oil allow the task to be carried out with “ease”.

The crane is home to the C144 head, weighing 1.4t. This, says the distributor, is designed for demanding and rough harvesting conditions.

Read more: New Komatsu timber harvester set to ‘fell’ all in its path

Global Hydraulic Pumps Market to 2025 – Research and Markets

The global hydraulic pumps market is expected to exceed US$ 9.8 Bn, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5% during the forecast period 2017 – 2025.

A hydraulic pump is a device ideally used in a hydraulic drive system to convert mechanical energy into hydrostatic energy. It works on displacement principle. While operating, a hydraulic pump creates a vacuum at the pump outlet, which pushes the liquid into the inlet line from the reservoir. The liquid gets transferred to the outlet and then transmits the requisite force throughout the hydraulic system. Thus, hydraulic pump is the source of power for several machineries.

The top four hydraulic pumps manufacturers accounted for over 45% of the global market revenue in 2015. Parker Hannifin Corporation (the U.S.), Eaton Corporation (the U.K.), and Danfoss Power Solutions (the U.S.), and Bosch Rexroth Ltd. (Germany) are identified as the leading hydraulic pumps manufacturers.

The market for hydraulic pumps is highly matured and has been plagued by lack of product innovation. This has resulted in price wars among manufacturers leading to profit crunching. Thus, lack of product innovation is identified as one of the biggest challenges to the growth of hydraulic pumps market. Focus on product enhancement is the key strategy for manufacturers.

Read more: Global Hydraulic Pumps Market to 2025 – Research and Markets

New Control System Doubles Honing Machine’s Productivity

Older machine designs can be given new life by retrofitting new motion control systems. Such is the case for Sunnen Products Co., St. Louis, and its latest generation of heavy-duty tube honing system, the HTG. Honing is done on the inner walls of oil drilling pipe, hydraulic cylinders, nuclear fuel rods, and other pipe segments to achieve a precision size while reducing metallurgical stress and creating a cross-hatched surface finish.

The HTG machine can hone tubes from 2 to 24 in. inside diameter (ID) in 2-m increments up to 14 m (46 ft) long. Although the original design performed well, the Sunnen team decided to make some control upgrades to enable higher material removal rates and improve operating stability.

The tube honing process can be harsh, noisy, and prone to shock and vibration—sometimes violently. The machine (Fig. 1) puts two hydraulic axes to work: the feed axis and the stroke axis. The stroke axis is powered by a hydraulic motor and chain drive to move the honing tool (Fig. 2) on a drive shaft through the tube.

The feed axis moves a rod within the drive shaft to expand the abrasive tool at the end of the shaft to come into contact with the inside of the tube. The rotation of the honing tool (the spindle axis) is provided by a fixed-speed hydraulic motor and controlled by a PLC. The machine can push the feed rod, aided by mechanical leverage, to apply up to 3,000 lb. of force to the inside of the tube.

Limitations of Previous System
The previous feed system used analog control of a complicated array of hydraulic valves to prompt the honing tool to exert varying amounts of force on the ID the tube. Because of the system’s limited responsiveness to forces encountered in the honing operation, operators had to delicately balance cutting conditions to ensure safe operation. The Sunnen team felt that upgrading to the latest electrohydraulic motion controller could improve reaction to reduce the shock and vibration. The result would be improved productivity and longer machine life.

The decision was made to replace the analog controls with an RMC75P two-axis electro-hydraulic motion controller from Delta Computer Systems. Peter Kwentus, Sunnen’s engineer, had previously used this controller in a tensile-testing machine, so he was familiar with its capabilities and how the machine can be set up.

The controller (Fig. 3), is designed to provide direct interfaces to transducers and proportional servo valves, making system connection and I/O setup easy tasks. The RMC75P also provides a built-in PROFINET interface. Sunnen uses this interface to connect to a supervisory PLC, which seamlessly shares all necessary control variables with the motion controller.

Read more: New Control System Doubles Honing Machine’s Productivity

Fiber Sensors, Cyber-Steering the Next Wave in Oil Drilling

Devon Energy Corp. manages all its oil operations in southeast New Mexico directly from a command-control center on the 44th floor of its Oklahoma City headquarters.

Teams of engineers continuously monitor everything happening in the field and deep underground from the company’s 24-hour Well Construction Center, a state-of-the-art, computer-based work station where operators track and guide activity through fiber sensors embedded alongside the drill bits that bore into hard shale-rock formations.

Through cyber-steering, the team troubleshoots everything from Oklahoma, guiding drills in real time as they bore into the earth.

“WellCon operates 24/7 to monitor all the information being pulled by fiber sensors from the holes,” said Devon spokesman Tim Hartley. “Those technology tools tell us where drill bits are at any given time to adjust and steer them up, down and sideways.”

It also allows engineers to manage a myriad of problems that can plague operations, such as “screen outs” caused by cuttings clogging up the drill hole.

“That happens when you go too fast, and it mucks up the works,” Hartley said. “The system senses it before it happens and automatically slows things down for protection.”

Technology like WellCon, combined with a broad array of other high-tech innovations directly in the oil fields, is helping producers like Devon streamline operations and cut costs to a minimum. That, in turn, is fueling a new surge in activity in the Permian Basin in southeast New Mexico and West Texas.

Longtime energy analyst Daniel Fine says it’s the next wave in the technological revolution that began about 10 years ago, when hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling helped crack open hard shale-rock deposits that operators couldn’t reach before.

That first wave of technology gave new life to aging basins like the Permian, while opening up vast new oil fields in places like North Dakota. This next stage is now radically lowering the costs for those operations, allowing producers to continue drilling and producing despite today’s low oil prices.

“This new wave of innovation is all about doing more for less,” Fine said. “It’s a revolution in service operations that’s allowing drilling rigs to do a lot more at much lower cost than before prices crashed in 2014.”

That includes multi-well pads where drilling rigs now typically dig up to eight, or even 10, horizontal holes, rather than the two or three they dug before. And lateral wells are being extended much farther, boring up to two miles or more through different layers of shale rock to extract oil from hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.

Companies use 3-D seismic imaging to pinpoint precise locations in the most productive zones before drilling. They co-locate multiple well pads in a single area to rapidly move rigs around, significantly cutting the number of days and rigs needed to pull crude from the ground.

“A few years ago, it took about 40 days at a cost of $50,000 a day to drill a well,” Fine said. “But with all the new technologies and operational efficiencies, that’s been cut to two or three days.”

Most companies now hedge their operations with long-term contracts that lock in sales at above-market prices. They also negotiate lower drilling and operational costs with service companies.

Read more: Fiber Sensors, Cyber-Steering the Next Wave in Oil Drilling

Extension Answers: Hydraulics – Open vs. closed 

Hydraulic power is something that is easy to use but not always easy to understand. At its root, hydraulics is the science of how fluids are harnessed to perform mechanical tasks. That can be anything from folding a disc at the end of a field to running a generator at the bottom of a huge dam.

Hydraulics take me back to my days as an undergrad at Virginia Tech. Even though I was not an engineering student, many of my friends were and they would engage me in their discussion on the topics of “fluids”… namely “was air a fluid?”

A fluid can be defined as having no shape, yield easily to external forces and have the ability to flow. The sticker to the fluid question dealt with the subject of compressibility. Air is compressible; most fluids are not.

I think about this sometimes when I am using one of my floor jacks. The oil inside the jack is not compressible so as I increase the pressure on the oil by pumping the jack, the jack raises the cylinder and, in turn, the vehicle as well.

The hydraulic oil inside your tractor acts in much the same manner. As the hydraulic pump creates pressure within the system, the oil inside the tractor or the oil within the hoses connected to the tractor transfers that pressure to the point of mechanical action, which might be the cylinders on your round baler or the brakes that stop you from rolling where you really don’t want to go.

A properly working hydraulic system is a must in today’s world of high-horsepower, heavy equipment. Let the power steering go out of your pickup truck and you understand quickly how important good hydraulics are to the completion of our tasks.

In tractors, two main types of systems are used: open-center and closed-center hydraulics. “Center” is a bit of a misnomer. It would probably be more accurate to replace center with circuit, but it is the term that many of us have grown up with so there is no sense in debating the point here.

Closed-center hydraulics are just that, closed in a continuous loop. It has the advantage of using a single central pump. Open-center hydraulics have more than one pump in stages that supply power to different applications as the needs arise. For example, in an open system, the tractor’s steering and PTO would have separate pumps that supply the oil to make those important systems work. A closed system would use only one to supply power to both.

Open center refers to the open central path of the control valve, when the valve is in neutral position. The hydraulic pump is a continuous flow type. When the valve is neutral, then hydraulic fluid goes back to reservoir or the tractor housing. This design is a bit more simple and generally uses pumps that are less expensive.

Closed-center circuits supply full pressure to the control valves, whether any valves are actuated or not. The pumps vary their flow rate, pumping very little hydraulic fluid until the operator actuates a valve. The valve’s spool, therefore, doesn’t need an opencenter return path to tank. Given the pump’s need to react or sense what the need of the machine is or is not, these systems tend to be a bit more complex and expensive. They are powerful and are used in most heavy equipment and modern high-performance aircraft.

So in a nutshell, open-center systems always have oil flow. Closed-center systems are always under pressure but oil does not flow until you activate a lever asking the system to perform. Closed systems build and hold pressure, and, in the past, took some hits because the pressure held at high levels made initial power at start up more difficult.

Read more: Extension Answers: Hydraulics – Open vs. closed 

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