March 2, “Smart Sensors for Fluid Power Applications”

“Smart Sensors in Fluid Power: A Systems Solutions Approach”
Roger Grace, President, Roger Grace Associates

The presentation will serve as a basis of the understanding of the concept of “smart sensors” from an evolutionary and functional perspective citing examples from their early adoption to their current status. We will address the “definition” of smart sensors from the perspective of sensor industry cognoscenti and define the constituent functional elements that constitute their being including signal conditioning, logic, memory, processing, embedded algorithms, power management and communications. Also addressed will be interconnectivity and packaging. As such, they provide a “systems solutions” approach to creating new products. Benefits of the adoption of smart sensors with a focus on their applications in fluid power will be addressed.

“Pressure and Temperature sensing are combined into a single package by using Smart packaging, calibration, and testing”
Gary Winzeler, VP Sales & Marketing DunAn Sensing

The “Voice of the Customer” has been heard by being smart while incorporating dual sensing into a single package. Calculating superheat of refrigerant necessitates the need for dual sensing of pressure and temperature. High Volume manufacturing requires streamlining, being smart when testing, and providing calibration. This new technology has several advantages including, size, weight, accuracy, affordability, isolated from media, easier installation, etc.  Another feature is the DURAsense® capability. This makes the sensor assembly Accurate, Reliable, and Affordable. Customer testing results will be reviewed and as well other applications.

“IO-Link: A New Way to Communicate with Smart Sensors”
Yuen LiProduct Marketing Manager, Industrial Networks, IFM Efector

Manufacturing plants, worldwide, are preparing to leverage data and information technology to improve operational efficiency. IFM’s goal is to unlock "trapped" data in our sensors to attain new levels of insight by making this data transparent to business intelligent systems. By unlocking the “trapped” data …

  • Machines can be serviced when needed instead of at scheduled intervals
  • Energy usage can be monitored to better understand the cost of producing a product
  • Exact tolerance standards can be determined to produce quality parts
  • Data can be transmitted to central management systems from different sources throughout the plant
  • Product efficiency can be improved by tracing valuable assets throughout the manufacturing process

A breakthrough technology that makes this possible is IO-Link. IO-Link allows the pathway for sensors to communicate diagnostic information to the PLC. For the safe connection of sensors to transmit digital data, ifm has developed a line of IO-Link masters that sets a new benchmark in the industrial automation market.   Case studies will be presented showing the benefits of IO Link Technology.

June 1, “Advanced Hydraulics Fluids for Enhanced System Reliability”

“Advanced Hydraulic Fluids for Enhancing System Reliability and Longevity”
Paul Michael, Manager of Tribology Services, MSOE Fluid Power Institute

Improvements in fluid life and hydraulic equipment reliability can be realized through the selection of hydraulic fluids that possess enhanced anti-wear performance and thermal stability.  Seminar participants will learn about advancements in hydraulic fluids and market-ready technologies that improve system reliability and reduce maintenance costs.

“How Well Does Your Hydraulic Fluid Protect Your Hydraulic System?  Improving Hydraulic System Reliability with Specification Upgrades and Fluid Chemistry:  A Case Study”
Betsy Butke, Technology Manager for Industrial Products, Lubrizol

Newer hydraulic pumps operate at pressures from 400 to 700 bar and beyond, yet until recently, most hydraulic fluid specifications were based on fluid pump testing that was carried out in the range of only 200 to 350 bar.  Bosch Rexroth has introduced an upgraded specification (RDE 90245) that includes pump testing at 450 to 500 bar.  Information about this specification, with an emphasis on the pump test, will be presented.  Another incongruity between fluid specifications and the real world is the common occurrence of varnish build-up, particularly in industrial applications.  There is no industry wide accepted screen test for this phenomenon.  There are commercial products designed to clean systems, and proper fluid selection can significantly increase the time before varnish deposition occurs.  However, not all cleaners and fluids are created equal.  Results from a case study will demonstrate a cleaner that works while the system operates and then compare system cleanliness over four years when using a varnish-mitigating fluid with that of a standard anti-wear hydraulic fluid.

“Science-Based Approaches to Reliable Fluid Power Components”
George Fenske Aaron Greco, and Ali Erdemir, Argonne National Labs

Reports and workshops on energy consumption by mobile off-road fluid power systems ranges from 0.36 to 1.8 Quads annually, or 1.3 to 6.5% of the total energy consumed by the transportation sector.  The US Department of Energy will soon initiate collaborative R&D projects with its labs, academia, and industry partners to improve system efficiency.  One of the projects involves a multi-lab team (Argonne, Oak Ridge, and Pacific Northwest) focusing on the development of high performance hydraulic fluids and coatings to improve efficiency, productivity, and reliability of hydraulic fluid components.   The materials for harsh conditions group at ANL has extensive experience in understanding material damage modes through both advanced characterization of field failures, as well as accelerated benchtop replication. The presented work will highlight high-energy X-ray-imaging techniques at the Advanced Photon Source which were utilized to study the root-causes of wear and fatigue induced failure in moving components such as large wind turbine gearbox bearings.  Using X-ray tomography, researchers investigated networks subsurface cracking failures which were accompanied by local nano-grained microstructural alterations. The understanding that this analysis provided was then used to develop benchtop protocols used to accurately reproduce this unique failure mode, and in turn, understand the role of materials, lubricants, and tribological environments on drivetrain reliability.   The second topic examines Argonne’s capabilities in synthesis and engineering of functional coatings such as novel catalytically active coatings that react in-situ with organic fluids to form protective films on sliding surfaces.  Argonne researchers have developed models and processes to design a class of coatings that are hard and durable, and, catalytically active.  The catalytic nature of the coating can be tailored to control the formation of tribo-chemical films when surfaces are rubbed together.  Of particular interest is the in-situ formation of DLC films – amorphous carbon films continuously under sliding and exhibit low-friction properties.

September 7, “Robotic Automation for Small Batch Manufacturing of Fluid Power Components”

“State of the Art in Industrial Robotics: Ease-of-Use, Adaptive Technologies, IIOT-Connectivity”
Bryan d’Ouville, Senior District Manager, Fanuc America-Robotics

This presentation is an overview of various technologies used in current industrial robots including co-bots, which are available from several manufacturers.

“Robotic Automated Solutions for Manufacturing Fluid Power Components”
Peter Gratschmayr, VP of Sales and Marketing, Midwest Engineered Systems Group

MWES specializes in designing robotic automated systems for a variety of complex processes. The broad product knowledge of our engineering staff, enables MWES to integrate a variety of mechanical and electrical subsystems, hardware, and software into a complete robust solution which utilizes the most current sensory, end effector, vision systems, motion control, and software available for the rapidly changing manufacturing environment.  Our custom designed and built solutions are tailored for your specific needs including customized robots with specialized End-of-Arm-Tools (EOAT) along with other technical equipment to help your organization to improve its manufacturing process. Midwest Engineered Systems has designed and installed hundreds of robotic-based systems for startups to Fortune 500 companies.  This presentation will focus on case studies of small batch manufacturing in fluid power and/or related industries.

“Robotics for SMB Manufacturing: Small-batch, Mixed Product Assembly, Materials Handling and More”
Dan Kara, Robotics Business Unit Leader, WTWH Media Group

A large percentage of small-to-medium businesses (SMB) manufacturers have missed out on many the benefits of robotic industrial automation such as increased productivity, quality and overall competitiveness. Rapid change, however, is underway.  Both traditional industrial robotics companies, as well as a number of new vendors, are providing products and services specifically designed satisfy the requirements and support the culture of this sizable and underserved market. For example, many of these new systems come in at a low purchase price and dramatically reduced life-cycle costs,  can be programmed easily and quickly, support multiple types of automation tasks, and supports manufacturing that makes no assumptions as to volume levels or even types of products.  Some products can even work safely and effectively in workspaces occupied by humans. This presentation will focus on new products and services that support small-batch, mixed product assembly and materials handling.  Real world case studies will be presented to illustrate salient points. Topics covered include:

  • Small Volume Manufacturing
  • Application Specific Systems
  • Non-Traditional Manufacturing and Novel Application Areas
  • Flexible Automation
  • Bench-top Systems
  • Rapid Deployment and Simplified Programming

December 7, “Advanced Sealing Technologies and Materials for Improving System Reliability”

Assessing and Managing Rod Seal Friction in Hydraulic Applications: Giveaways and Takeaways”
Chuck White, Director of Commercial Development, Hallite

Rod seal leakage in a hydraulic application can reduce equipment performance and result in hydraulic system failure. While several factors may contribute to rod seal leakage, friction is one of the most common and underestimated causes. Advances in rod seal design, friction assessment methodologies, and materials have improved their reliability. Increased sealing reliability enhances a hydraulic system’s operational efficiency in an environment where cylinders work harder, faster, and for longer cycles than ever before.  For more than a century, Hallite has manufactured a variety of fluid power hydraulic and pneumatic sealing solutions for a wide range of applications. The company’s technical and engineering teams have accumulated a wealth of experience and knowledge about seals and their interaction with other components within a hydraulic system. This presentation will provide some practical considerations to manage rod seal friction. Case studies demonstrating how equipment manufacturers have benefited from applying these practices will also be presented.

“Lubrication Management, Maximize the Lifetime of your Hydraulic Systems Now”
Holger Jordan, Technical Manager Marketing, Europe; Trelleborg Sealing Solutions

Effective sealing in demanding hydraulic applications requires seals and lubricant to work together. Trelleborg’s Lubrication Management technology transforms hydraulic sealing by adjusting lubrication conditions of all single sealing elements within a sealing system. Performance; Efficiency; Longevity.  These are the things that matter in engineering. They’re also the things that an effective sealing and lubrication system safeguards. Trelleborg’s Lubrication Management technology approaches hydraulic sealing and lubrication systems from a comprehensive perspective, in which each element is a complementary component of a unified whole. Lubrication Management technology uses adequate lubrication to reduce the load on each sealing element, thereby optimizing the performance of the hydraulic system in terms of friction, wear and lifetime.

Analyzing Seal Component Interactions to Maximize Performance and Reliability”
Tim Girardi, Application Engineer, System Seals, Inc.

Through examination of the interactions between sealing components during the design phase of a cylinder, it is possible to minimize the risk of cylinder failure.  Performance and reliability of the sealing components can be maximized by expanding this concept further through a sequential process approach that includes analyzing side load, chemical compatibility, surface finish as well as other considerations.