These days, almost every component and system in a piece of heavy equipment is becoming more intelligent through the incorporation of sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT).
“The core vision of IoT for mobile machines is about implementing digital technology to capture actionable data about the performance of mobile machine systems autonomously, do it in real time and deliver it to machine end users and OEM suppliers so they can maximize the uptime and flexibility of their machines,” says Terry Hershberger, director, Sales Product Management & eSystems, Bosch Rexroth.
In hydraulic systems specifically, there are two major trends driving increased intelligence, says Ben Hoxie, director of engineering, power and motion controls at Eaton. The first is distributed intelligence enabled by low-cost computing and sensing, which gives rise to all types of new machine functions. Eaton refers to this intelligent machine movement as Dynamic Machine Control.
The second key driver is “a step change in connectivity” through mobile and industrial communication protocols that can cost effectively transmit significantly more data. “This improved connectivity is enabling big data innovations that will yield new insights into how machines operate and the behavior of machine operators,” says Hoxie.