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Combined Fluid Power and Mechatronic Technology Optimizes Solutions
Combined Fluid Power and Mechatronic Technology Optimizes Solutions
Combined Fluid Power and Mechatronic Technology Optimizes Solutions
Combined Fluid Power and Mechatronic Technology Optimizes Solutions
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Combined Fluid Power and Mechatronic Technology Optimizes Solutions

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Combined Fluid Power and Mechatronic Technology Optimizes Solutions …

Combined Fluid Power and Mechatronic Technology Optimizes Solutions
Current electro-hydraulic actuation products employ technologies that
provide greater functionalities and practically eliminate many drawbacks of
hydraulics. Additionally, some new electro-hydraulic actuators on the
market today come as a highly integrated unit
with advanced electronic control and plug and
play design for modern distributed architecture.
These advancements in electro-hydraulics technology
create opportunities for users to optimize
their investments in automation solutions by selectively
using both electric and electro-hydraulic
actuation.

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  • 1. THOUGHT LEADERS FOR MANUFACTURING & SUPPLY CHAIN ARC INSIGHTS By Himanshu Shah & Sal Spada Some users increasingly employ electric and electro-hydraulic actuation technologies side by side on the same machinery to create optimum solutions. These solutions offer increased productivity and higher quality output while keeping capital expenditure low. INSIGHT# 2003-32MD&H AUGUST 13, 2003 Combined Fluid Power and Mechatronic Technology Optimizes Solutions Keywords Electro-hydraulics, Actuators, Intelligent Axis, Combined Technologies Summary Current electro-hydraulic actuation products employ technologies that provide greater functionalities and practically eliminate many drawbacks of hydraulics. Additionally, some new electro-hydraulic actuators on the market today come as a highly integrated unit with advanced electronic control and plug and play design for modern distributed architecture. These advancements in electro-hydraulics tech- nology create opportunities for users to optimize their investments in automation solutions by se- lectively using both electric and electro-hydraulic actuation. Analysis Many industry groups forecasted the demise of hydraulic actuators in many machine segments as the technology was characterized as having significant drawbacks compared with electric actuation. As machine build- ers continued to push leading edge technology with each generation of machinery to achieve higher productivity and a higher quality output, the move to electrical actuation was perceived as inevitable since it is all about creating a competitive advantage in the market. However, the mass exodus from hydraulics to electric actuation has not materialized. In a recent survey, ARC found that the primary reasons that machine builders converted machinery from hydraulic actuated to electric were re- lated to both environmental concerns and issues of cleanliness of the overall system.
  • 2. ARC Insights, Page 2 ©2003 • ARC • 3 Allied Drive • Dedham, MA 02026 USA • 781-471-1000 • ARCweb.com Primary Reasons for Switching to Electric Actuators Percent Cleanliness of the Overall System 38.9% Environmental Concerns and Disposing of Hydraulic Fluid 33.3% Customers are asking for Electric Actuation 27.8% ARC Advisory Group Survey Results In light of this, manufacturers’ use of hydraulic actuation persists in the market for numerous reasons: (1) Replacement of existing equipment, (2) Relatively low cost; and (3) Other technologies do not offer similar form, function, or performance. High torque without a gearbox No need to translate rotational motion to linear motion Actuators are smaller and lighter No energy consumption at zero speed or pressure Low audible noise No sparks in hazardous environment Hydraulic Actuation Usage Persists for Numerous Reasons With the availability of sophisticated electronic controls for hydraulic actua- tion, the selection between electric and hydraulic actuation is evermore difficult, albeit this situation is to the user’s advantage. Hydraulic Actuation Improved in Recent Years A new generation of electro-hydraulic actuation, complete with servo valve, hydraulic cylinder, feedback unit, and advanced control electronics offers a host of additional benefits due to the use of digital technology. • External Feedback Configurations Eliminated Servo valves integrated with hydraulic cylinders with closed loop con- trol electronics improve performance and reduce wiring. • Networked CANopen, Profibus DP, Ethernet/IP, SERCOS, or DeviceNet integrated Field Busses reduce wiring and facilitate diagnostics. • Adaptable Hydraulic valves adapt to changing process or load conditions during operation using addressable control loop algorithms.
  • 3. ARC Insights, Page 3 ©2003 • ARC • 3 Allied Drive • Dedham, MA 02026 USA • 781-471-1000 • ARCweb.com • Plug and Play in Distributed Architecture Smart configurations make the actuator easy to integrate into a distrib- uted system along with electric actuators. • Reducing Leakage and Extending Mechanical Life Jerk limiting profiles eliminate high pressure spikes • Enabling Collaboration Embedded or integrated smart electronics with hydraulics allow fast in- formation exchange over networks for a modern collaborative manufacturing environment. While standard networking interfaces, remote diagnostic capability, closed loop control, and over load features make electro-hydraulic units compara- ble to intelligent electro-mechanical actuators, electro-hydraulic actuations offer specific advantages over electric actuation. The integrated concept transfers the system responsibility from the machine builder or end user to the actuator manufacturer. With built-in programmability, the user can eliminates the higher cost controller and can use simple PLC control to re- duce the cost. Combining Hydraulic and Electric Actuation Offers Optimal Solutions For many applications, electric actuations offer superior performance due to higher bandwidth with greater positioning accuracies, better axis-to-axis coordination, and lower maintenance. Hydraulics requires complex non- linear compensation compared with linear compensation that electro- mechanical actuation requires. But if higher power density and lower cost are important criteria in an application, electro-hydraulic now becomes a competitive technology. Hydraulic offers the strength and flexibility of Programmable Parameters Hydraulic Actuation Electric Actuation Pressure/Force Torque Position Position Velocity Velocity Ramp generation Ramp generation Analog and Digital I/Os Analog and Digital I/Os Motion Sequence Motion Sequence Combining Technologies Offers Optimal Solutions
  • 4. ARC Insights, Page 4 ©2003 • ARC • 3 Allied Drive • Dedham, MA 02026 USA • 781-471-1000 • ARCweb.com fluid power and can exercise very precise and smooth motion with the right control system, shunning the imprecise ‘bang- bang’ valve control. Today, electro-hydraulic actuation enables a smooth transition from precise position to pressure control required in many appli- cations such as plastic molding, powder metal parts, and the lumber industry. These industries increasingly employ both technologies, side by side, on the same machinery creating opti- mum solutions. These solutions offer increased productivity and higher quality output while keeping capital expenditure low. While hy- draulic and electric actuation technologies are generally not offered by the same suppliers, few suppliers offer both of these technologies. Users now can have a single source in forming optimum automation solutions using combined technologies. Recommendations • Adoption of electro-hydraulic solutions is increasing. Users should un- derstand its benefits and evaluate its use on plant machinery to increase performance and reduce cost of ownership of plant assets. • Users need to be ready for the servicing and maintaining machinery with a combination of electro-hydraulic and electric actuations. Please help us improve our deliverables to you – take our survey linked to this transmittal e-mail or at www.arcweb.com/myarc in the Client Area. For further information, contact your account manager or the author at hshah@arcweb.com and sspada@arcweb.com . Recommended circulation: All MAS-D and MAS-H clients. ARC Insights are published and copyrighted by ARC Advisory Group. The information is proprietary to ARC and no part of it may be reproduced without prior permission from ARC. Automation Suppliers Bosch Rexroth Delta Computer Systems Moog Parker Hannifin Electro Hydraulic and Electric Actuation for Industrial Applications

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