ARGO-HYTOS: "Intelligent Fluid and Drive Technology"
When the clever tank glows
The future of Hydraulic 4.0 lights up: This impression was conveyed by the manufacturer ARGO-HYTOS with its hydraulic tank equipped with three sensors, in which LED technology visualizes the otherwise invisible data flow at this years’ Hannover Messe.
Sensor technology connects the digital and the real world. It is therefore one of the most important elements in the implementation of Industry 4.0. Without the right sensors, all superordinate data interpretation systems are blind. Sensor technology is increasingly being used even in seemingly inconspicuous components.
One of the most inconspicuous components of hydraulics, without which, however, hardly any fluid system manages, are hydraulic tanks. A specialty at ARGO-HYTOS are the so-called hybrid tanks with integrated filter housing for mineral oil and environmentally friendly hydraulic fluids (HEES and HETG), which are produced as ready-to-install complete modules by means of rotational molding and plastic injection molding.
Sensors on board
“We exhibited a hybrid tank with integrated sensors at the special show ‘Smart Power Transmission and Fluid Power Solutions'” says Uli Seeger, Head of Product Management ARGO-HYTOS GmbH from Kraichtal-Menzingen. Animated LED strips visualize how the data flow from the tank flows into a controller. A cut-open tank demonstrates how easily sensors for oil condition monitoring can be integrated into the product. Three proven screw-in and immersion sensors are used: a level and temperature sensor, a wear sensor (OPCom FerroS) and an oil condition sensor (Lubcos H2O+). All three sensors are proven ARGO-HYTOS products, which are already installed in tanks on customer request.
With the integration, ARGO-HYTOS meets the customers' desire for a product with which condition monitoring or predictive maintenance can be realised right from the start. It is a tribute to the sensor integration, that all the parameters required for an optimal monitoring of the oil condition are offered ex works, means that there is no need for a subsequent, usually complex assembly of external sensors. It is a symbolic construction that advertises as a sensor integration demonstrator. Seeger: "With the three integrated sensors, we are demonstrating the possibilities that the collection of data from the hydraulic fluid offers to the user."
With sensor data fusion the oil condition in sight
"Networking of sensor data is not just about forwarding data to higher-level systems, but above all the clever interaction of several sensors. The keyword is sensor data fusion. The focus is on merging data from different sensors to increase detection performance or to better classify data. Thanks to the use of three sensors in the tank that monitor the most diverse characteristics such as temperature, wear (detection of ferromagnetic particles) and oil humidity, the user can observe and evaluate the oil condition holistically - with all "sensor senses".
Author: Nikolaus Fecht on behalf of the VDMA