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JCB & ARGO-HYTOS - A Bilateral Cooperation for Creative and Innovative Solutions

Innovation Award from JCB

Innovation meets construction machinery

As ARGO-HYTOS, we stand for best serving our customers in the mobile and industrial hydraulics with innovative components, systems and services. System orientation, application expertise, creativity and requirements-based design are keywords that we adopt as our own when it comes to develop pioneering solutions together with our customers.

Matthias Vorbeck, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, ARGO-HYTOS Group underlines: “Thereby, we always see ourselves as a partner from the idea until series production. This requires close interaction between sales, application engineering, product management and development to manufacturing technology and logistics.

“Pro-active advice on technology trends as well as the understanding of the pronounced as unarticulated needs of our customers shows our solutions expertise. So, creativity in the qualifying designing of the solutions and the constant questioning of what already exists, are an absolute must both within ARGO-HYTOS as well as in interaction with our customers. Our innovation stands for making “tomorrow” a bit better than “today”. The long-term, sustained and stable customer relationship is the goal. This objective is achieved when we have managed to develop the operational and strategic value-adding customer benefit and the customer honors this with: “order placed”. We have just written this success story together with the internationally operating construction machinery company JCB.

Background
Skid steer loaders are among the most versatile pieces of equipment on the market today. That versatility stems from the core of these machines - their hydraulic systems. The hydraulic system is used to drive the machine, operate the loader and attachments, provide dynamic braking and lubricate components. A fair share of maintenance cost is centered on the hydraulic system. Proper maintenance and care of skid steer loader hydraulic systems is crucial not only for the longevity of the machine, but also for keeping costs and downtime to a minimum. While many brands of skid steer loaders may appear similar and have similar components, there can be differences in how to service their hydraulic systems properly. Hydraulic systems in skid steer loaders can be rather complex due to the compact space available. Service availability is a premium. Contamination is the single biggest reason why hydraulic components fail, most of the time, this can be prevented.

Challenges
ARGO-HYTOS was approached by JCB at the ConExpo in Las Vegas to forge a partnership for the purpose of designing a tank solution for their Tier 4 updates. JCB was well-aware of ARGO-HYTOS’ reputation as an industry wide leader for innovation and creative design solutions to customer challenges. Engineers from ARGO-HYTOS wasted no time working in parallel with JCB’s engineering team to address their requirements and the issues faced. Among those requirements were incorporating return filters, suction strainers, breathers, sight gauges, fill ports, and to implement a clever quick disconnect fitting for installation. Additionally, all of those design elements were to fit into a space that would be accessible for serviceability and maintenance concerns and also pass an SAE service audit. ARGO-HYTOS formed a bilateral team composed of ARGO-HYTOS Design Engineers and Project Management and JCB Engineering and Supply Base Management to generate a total system “plug and play” solution.

Results
The outcome of both company’s cooperation was a composite tank geometrically designed to meet the customer specifications on space requirements which achieved all of the design targets and goals. The tank is also considered to be at a higher level of serviceability than competitor machines based on SAE service audit scores. The endeavor also resulted in patents for protective elements and the disconnect coupling that were designed for ease of assembly.  The benefits for JCB’s supply chain arise from the fact that the tank system is all-encompassed into one part number for ease of traceability and inventory management and that the price that met their targets for our integration of filter, strainer, breather, sight gauge into the tank design with internal baffles to reduce aeration of oil. The competence of ARGO-HTOS in designing composite tank and filtration systems was the key for this system solution.

Honors
JCB celebrated the success of the project by awarding ARGO-HYTOS the certificate of Achievement of Innovation for the cost-saving initiatives and the all-inclusive composite tank design solution. Together in partnership, creative solutions to highly technical design and specification requirements are possible.

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