Troubleshooting Challenge: Pump Shaft Seals Blowing Out

A specially designed trenching excavator was built to dig a drainage line and lay plastic drainage tile at the same time. The drainage tile was coiled up on the back of the trencher, conveyed over the top of the machine, and placed into the freshly dug trench by a bucket. A trailing plow would push the dirt back into the trench, covering up the tile. The special design allowed a single machine to perform all of these operations at once. As a result, farmers could begin planting as much as four weeks earlier than when using up to three conventional pieces of equipment.

Workers would erect a single pole with a laser that rotated 360 deg., and a laser receiver on the trenching excavator positioned the depth of the trench. The laser output was tilted at an angle so that the drainage tile would be laid with a slight pitch to direct early spring moisture away from the fields.

The hydraulic system was controlled with proportional valves to maintain the proper depth of the bucket and plow. The system’s pump was located below the reservoir, with the case drain routed up to the top and into the reservoir. A standard filler breather incorporated a 25-µm filter element. The pump intake line, which came out from the bottom of the reservoir, had a ball valve shutoff.

The excavator was stored in a heated barn in the winter, and it seemed to work well even in zero-degree weather. Every so often, though, the shaft seal would blow out after the machine was started in cold weather. Workers took the machine back into the barn to remove the pump, only to find it in great condition. Before re-installing the repaired pump, they blew compressed air into the case drain line, which seemed free of any restrictions. They were using a low-viscosity hydraulic oil formulated for use at low temperatures. Workers did notice that the problem only occurred in the cold weather when the machine had been left outside overnight.

Read more: Troubleshooting Challenge: Pump Shaft Seals Blowing Out

Caterpillar introduces new Next Generation 36t excavators

Caterpillar has introduced its new Next Generation 36t size class excavators — the 336 and 336 GC — which are designed to increase operating efficiency, lower fuel and maintenance costs, and improve operator comfort compared to previous models.

According to Cat, the new excavators offer unique combinations of features designed to match contractors’ productivity and cost targets. The new 336 features standard integrated Cat Connect Technology and the most power and lift capacity of the two models for maximum productivity at the lowest cost. The new 336 GC, meanwhile. combines the right balance of productivity features with reduced fuel consumption and maintenance costs for high reliability and low-cost-per-hour performance.

The new 336 has the industry’s highest level of standard factory-equipped technology to boost productivity, says the manufacturer. Integrated Cat Connect Technology increases operating efficiency by up to 45% over traditional grading operations. The standard Cat Grade with 2D system provides guidance for depth, slope, and horizontal distance to grade through the standard touchscreen monitor, making operators more accurate. The system is readily upgradable to Cat Grade with Advanced 2D or Cat Grade with 3D.

Among its several features and smart work aides for operators, the standard Grade Assist automates boom, stick, and bucket movements so operators can stay on grade with single-lever digging. Cat Payload delivers precise load targets and increased loading efficiency with on-the-go weighing and real-time payload estimates without swinging to prevent truck over/underloading. The E-fence feature prevents the excavator from moving outside operator-defined set points—particularly useful when working beneath structures or near traffic.

By design, Cat Next Generation excavators produce more work per unit of fuel than the models they are replacing, says Caterpillar — up to 15% more fuel efficiency for the 336. New Smart mode operation automatically matches engine and hydraulic power to digging conditions, optimising both fuel consumption and performance. Engine speed is automatically lowered when there is no hydraulic demand to further reduce fuel usage. The cooling system features a new fan that runs on demand to keep the excavator working at the correct operating temperature for maximum efficiency.

With a new electrohydraulic system built for responsiveness and efficiency, the Cat 336 and 336 GC feature a new main control valve that eliminates the need for pilot lines, reduces pressure losses, and lowers fuel consumption. Fewer hydraulic lines on the excavators result in less oil required, lowering long-term operating costs.

Read more: Caterpillar introduces new Next Generation 36t excavators

Expansion Plugs Provide Leak-Tight Sealing of Fluid Channels

Expansion plugs provide a permanent, leak-tight sealing of fluid passages in hydraulic manifolds, castings, and other components without having to use O-rings, threads, or sealants. Several methods exist for installing the plug and expanding its circumference to establish as tight seal against the inside diameter of the drilled hole.

Ball style—Originally developed as an alternative to threaded plugs, ball style expansion plugs simplified the machining of the end of the drilled hole. The plug’s design uses a simple +0.12/−0.00 mm) counterbore hole to ensure a permanent, leak-proof seal, at pressures to 6,250 psi (350 bar) at a 3:1 safety factor.

Installation for low-volume applications is accomplished using a set tool and hammer or an arbor press, tapping or pressing the ball down into the sleeve until reaching its final desired position. In higher-volume applications, operators air hammers or automate equipment is used to drive the ball into the sleeve, thus speeding up the installation.

Rivet style—developed about 30 years ago, rivet-style plugs again simplified machining of the end of the drilled hole, requiring only a straight bore (+.12 mm/−0). The design often requires a smaller plug being than with the ball style. Rivet-style plugs introduced a hydro-pneumatic installation tool to secure the proper installation of the expander, virtually eliminating any potential installation error by relying on the tool to break the plug vs. an operator pressing the ball to the proper depth.

Operators insert the plug into the hydro-pneumatic tool, press the plug against the hole to be sealed, and depress the tool’s trigger. With the tool maintaining flush contact with the surface of work piece, the internal components of the tool grab a mandrel while holding the body of the plug just below the surface of the workpiece. The tool draws the pin into the body until the necked down area of the plug reaches its desired break point. When this occurs, the pin fully engages the body, causing radial expansion sealing the hole at 7,250 psi (500 bar) at a 3:1 safety factor. A quick, simple, and cost-effective permanent seal, the rivet style plug was an improvement to expansion plugs for many applications.

A Newer Option
These two options come in a variety of material choices, sizes, pressure ratings, and installation tools. The EIS pull plug was introduced in 2013 and automatically threads the plug onto the installation tool’s mandrel until ready to insert into the hole for sealing. Unlike the ball-style plus, the EIS Pull Plug does not require a counterbore, nor does it rely on the reaching a break force, as with the rivet-style plug

Read more: Expansion Plugs Provide Leak-Tight Sealing of Fluid Channels

Hydraulic Upgrades Enhance Aerial Lift Performance

Hydraulics technology plays an important role in the aerial devices the utility industry uses to reach and service electric lines. Cylinders on these truck-mounted lifts operate the booms that raise buckets or platforms carrying workers and equipment to heights that may reach up to 65 ft., with side-reach capabilities that can exceed 50 ft. on some models.

When Terex Utilities designed its Optima series of Hi-Ranger devices, the company addressed performance, productivity, and maintenance—three top concerns of its electric utility customers, according to Joe Caywood, director of marketing at Terex, Watertown, S.D. Starting with its proven Hi-Ranger design, the company incorporated several product improvements that provide greater vehicle payload capacity, better boom speeds, enhanced side reach and ground access, and features that improve maintenance access and reliability.

Terex Optima Series aerial lift uses hydraulics to raise and position utility workers for their work on distribution lines, as well as for handling materials and powering tools.

Machine Benefits from Hydraulic Upgrades
Although some of the upgrades required structural changes—such as using high-strength steel to reduce aerial weight and increase vehicle payload capacity—others focused on modifications to the equipment’s hydraulic system. For example, a higher-capacity pump provides greater flow, which translates into higher boom speed and allows operating multiple functions simultaneously with no reduction in speed. This also called for upgrading some valves to accommodate the higher flow rates, as well as improving the routing of hydraulic lines. Ultimately, these improvements boost the machine’s productivity.

The Optima aerial lifts are available with either an open- or closed-center load-sensing hydraulic system, with pilot-operated valves used on the closed-center version. The open-center system uses a vane pump, while the closed-center system has a pressure-compensated piston pump. A single-stick control is used in the work bucket for both systems, whereas the ground controls use individual levers.

Read more: Hydraulic Upgrades Enhance Aerial Lift Performance

 

Aircraft Hydraulic System Market: Business Opportunities, Current Trends, Market Forecast & Global Industry Analysis by 2023

The Aircraft Hydraulic System Market Report provides thorough backdrop investigation of Aircraft Hydraulic System business, with an evaluation of the previous years. The Aircraft Hydraulic System Market Reports provides data on Aircraft Hydraulic System patterns and improvements, and target business sectors and materials, limits and advancements. The report broadly provides the market size, share, trends, growth and forecasts to 2025.

“The Aircraft Hydraulic System market was valued at Million US$ in 2017 and is projected to reach Million US$ by 2025, at a CAGR of during the forecast period. In this study, 2017 has been considered as the base year and 2018 to 2025 as the forecast period to estimate the market size for Aircraft Hydraulic System.

The Aircraft Hydraulic System Market report begins from Synopsis of Aircraft Hydraulic System Industry Chain structures and Industry Environment, then analyses market size and forecasts of Aircraft Hydraulic System by Key Players, Product Types, and Applications, additionally, this report includes Market Competition situation of Aircraft Hydraulic System among the Major Manufacturers along with company profiles.

Major Key Players of Aircraft Hydraulic System Market Report: United Technologies Corporation, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Safran S.A., Eaton Corporation PLC, Liebherr-International AG, Woodward, Inc., Triumph Group, Inc., Moog Inc., Arkwin Industries Inc., Beaver Aerospace & Defense, .

Aircraft Hydraulic System Market Segment by Product Types considering Production, Revenue (Value), Price Trends:

Open-Center
Closed-Center
Aircraft Hydraulic System Market Segment by Applications considering Consumption Growth Rate and Market Share:

Civil Aircraft
Military Aircraft
Helicopter
The study objectives of Aircraft Hydraulic System Market Report are:

To study and forecast the market size of Aircraft Hydraulic System in global market.
To analyse the global Key players, SWOT analysis, value and global market share for top players.
To define, describe and forecast the market by type, end use and region.
To analyse and compare the market status and forecast between China and major regions, namely, United States, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, India and Rest of World.
To analyse the global key regions market potential and advantage, opportunity and challenge, restraints and risks.
To analyse competitive developments such as expansions, agreements, new product launches, and acquisitions in the market.

Read more: Aircraft Hydraulic System Market: Business Opportunities, Current Trends, Market Forecast & Global Industry Analysis by 2023

 

Hydraulic Seals Designed for Heavy Duty

Machines operating in harsh environments often encounter wide swings in pressure and temperature shock loads, and sometimes side loads that present major challenges to seals in hydraulic cylinders. This report outlines the challenges of preventing seal leaks and keeping contaminants out of the hydraulic system.

Selecting the right seals for a specific heavy-duty application can be a daunting task without the expertise of a manufacturer with deep technical and engineering roots matched by field experience. Based on decades of technical knowledge and partnering with equipment manufacturers to design, test, and implement sealing solutions, the following are some of the most common piston, rod and wiper seals used in heavy-duty applications.

Challenges for Piston Seals

Piston seals are designed to prevent pressurized hydraulic fluid from leaking past a cylinder’s piston from one end of the cylinder to the other. This internal leakage wastes energy and can cause the piston to drift from a stationary position. It can also reduce extension and retraction speed and make positioning difficult.
Piston seals are selected by the amount of time, direction, pressure, and work to be done by the hydraulic cylinder. The challenge is for the seal material to maintain tight contact with the cylinder bore to prevent leakage while also resisting wear from the friction produced from the sliding motion with the bore. Common materials used for manufacturing single- and double-acting piston seals include polyurethane, rubber-fabric composite, PTFE, or polyester elastomers.

Read more: Hydraulic Seals Designed for Heavy Duty

 

Compact Excavators Adopt Big Machine Features

For the past decade full-sized excavators have adopted new technologies and features that make them more productive and fuel efficient. Now many of these features and technologies are trickling into the compact excavator market.

“More and more often compact excavators are being tasked to do the job of their larger counterparts, so they are equipped with greater hydraulic flow for improved hydraulic attachment/tool versatility, larger better-equipped cabins and fleet management/telematics to help manage machine location, usage, downtime, etc.,” says Lee Padgett, product manager, Takeuchi-US.

Comfort features from full-size machines are also trickling down into compact excavators. “It was not that long ago that none of the compact excavators had air conditioning,” recalls Tom Connor, product manager, Bobcat. “Now it is a fairly high take rate as far as a factory option.” Cabs have also continued to grow. “When the zero tailswing craze took off 15 years ago, one of the quick ways to help get to zero tailswing was to shrink the cabin space.” In the last five years, creative engineering has gained back space for the operator. “We were able to get about an inch and a half more in width of the cab, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but in a cab that size, it is actually quite noticeable. It allows us to put a wider seat in the machine.”

Bobcat E35Bucket64a320716u5FcBobcat offers several seat choices tailored to customer requirements. “For the R Series, the standard seat is a vinyl suspension seat on an open canopy machine,” says Connor. “But you can option that up to a cab with heat and air that comes with a cloth seat, which is a nice upgrade, especially in the hot weather.” You can even go above that and order a heated cloth seat in the cab-enclosed options.

According to John Comrie, product manager, compact equipment, Volvo Construction Equipment, larger cabs and air conditioning allow operators to focus more on the work with less fatigue, potentially extending the working season. “Many of Volvo’s compact excavators, like the ECR88D short swing model, offer the same features and spacious cabs found on our full-size machines,” he notes. Compact excavators increasingly have not only more cab space and foot room, but also storage. “Operators are often spending an entire day inside these machines. They want to focus on their work with minimal fatigue.”

Read more: Compact Excavators Adopt Big Machine Features

 

Equipment Showcase: Pumps

Pumps and pumping systems have multiple applications in power plants and can be located in several locations throughout a facility. These pumps are generally centrifugal and positive displacement pumps. Centrifugal pumps use an impeller to move fluid through the application process, with the velocity of the rotating impeller imparting energy on the liquid, causing a rise in pressure proportional to the fluid’s velocity. Positive displacement pumps move liquid with pressure generated from resistance to movement of the liquid downstream of the pump. The liquid being handled usually determines which pump technology to use. Some of the leading manufacturers and service companies for pumps serving the power generation industry are featured here.

Sulzer Launches New CPE End-Suction, Single-Stage Centrifugal Pump

Sulzer’s new CPE ANSI process pumps are specifically designed to exceed the strictest energy regulations for all industries as well as the requirements of ASME B73.1. With revolutionary hydraulics and high efficiency, they offer low lifecycle costs. The new CPE pumps meet the process requirements in a variety of industrial applications, and are suitable for use with clean or slightly contaminated liquids, viscous liquids of up to 3,000 centistokes, and fibrous slurries with a consistency up to 6%. Sulzer’s engineering of the new range of CPE pumps can bring cost savings, along with improved reliability and reduced risk for unplanned shutdowns thanks to optimization of the shaft sealing. Heavy-duty rigid bearing units ensure a long bearing life and further protection against unexpected shutdowns. The new pump design brings higher efficiency that translates into lower energy consumption.

Read more: Equipment Showcase: Pumps

 

Simple Pneumatic Servo Keeps Fast-Moving Web Aligned

Materials such as paper, plastic film, foil, and cloth often are produced in long, continuous sheets that are rolled up for more-convenient handling and transportation. These rolls of material vary significantly in size and weight—ranging from 2- to 200-in. wide and weighing as much as several tons.

The Converting Industry takes these continuous rolls of thin, flat materials—known as webs—threads them though processing machines (such as printing presses, laminators, coaters, slitters, etc.), and changes the web of material into an intermediate form or final product. For example, a converter’s equipment might take a web of plastic film, cut it into lengths, and fuse their edges, thus converting it into plastic bags. This activity is known as web processing.

Keeping the Web on Track
A moving web of material has a tendency to tend to track off course and wander out of alignment during converting processes for any of several reasons. When a web is out of alignment with the equipment processing it, the quality of the finished product may suffer, and scrap rates can escalate. To avoid these problems, designers have developed a variety of automatic web-guiding systems that ensures production accuracy and reduces waste.

Web-guiding systems typically are positioned just before a critical stage on a converting machine (for example, just before a print station on a printing press). Each type of web guiding system uses a sensor to monitor the web position for lateral tracking, and each has an actuator to shift the running web mechanically back on course whenever the sensor detects movement away from the set path. Actuators may be pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders, or some kind of electromechanical device.

Because the web may be fragile—particularly at its edge—non-contact sensors are used. These sensors may be pneumatic, photoelectric, ultrasonic, or infrared. The system’s controls must put the output signals from the sensors into a form that can drive the actuator.

Many controls today are electronic, typically using an amplifier to convert signals from the sensor, then commanding a special servomotor incorporating a lead or ball screw for guiding actuation. Some electromechanical guiding systems also utilize comp

Read more: Simple Pneumatic Servo Keeps Fast-Moving Web Aligned

 

Choosing a compact excavator: The questions you should ask

Selecting the right compact excavator for your landscaping company can be an overwhelming task when you have multiple manufacturers and specs to consider.

Compact excavators are excellent tools to have on the jobsite thanks to their versatility and ability to reduce the need for hand labor.

If you are considering adding one to your fleet, or if you’re shopping for a new one, here are the questions you should be asking and what really matters when trying to narrow down your options.

Do I need a compact excavator?
It may sound like a no-brainer, but machinery is a big investment, so it is important to not end up buying something your business doesn’t really need.

Compact excavators can be used for jobs such as digging trenches for irrigation systems, moving brush, grading, making holes for posts and trees and much more if the right attachment is used.

“When properly matched to the project; there really are no limitations to what these machines can do,” says Jeff Jacobsmeyer, Kubota product manager for excavators, wheel loaders and TLBs. “Advanced load sensing hydraulics with an adjustable auxiliary flow allows the operator to ‘dial’ in the flow rate needed for any attachment.”

Bucket and thumb attachments are two of the most commonly used for compact excavators, as they enable the user to manipulate irregularly shaped objects, debris and rocks. Other popular attachments include augers, hammers and variously sized buckets.

If you’ve already been renting a compact excavator for the majority of your jobs, this is a good indicator it will be put to good use if you buy one, and it may even enable you to pick up more of these jobs after purchasing one for your business.

What are the specs?
Once you’ve determined a compact excavator would fit well in your operations, there are a number of specs to evaluate.

The nature of your work will determine which specs you’ll really need to pay attention to, but the two main details you should focus on are the listed dig depth and lifting capacity.

Read more: Choosing a compact excavator: The questions you should ask