Soami Das, General Manager - Application and Commercial Engineering & Market Development, Hydraulics Group - India, Eaton, elaborates on equipment productivity and how his company helps OEMs to improve the efficiency of equipment through advanced hydraulics.
Productivity is a function of time. Any equipment that can help accomplish the given set of tasks in shortest possible time would be the most productive for those given tasks. Productivity of an equipment is tied to quite a few factors. Some of them being: size and power of the machine - typically high power machines tend to be more productive as they have more load carrying capacity; reliability of the machine - machines with more uptime and fewer failures can work harder and longer; precision of equipment - machines with greater accuracy can accomplish tasks with greater precision avoiding rework and multiple attempts for getting the work done; flexibility - machines that are versatile can accomplish different types of work faster. An example of flexibility increasing productivity is an equipment that is adaptive to different types of attachments that can be used for multiple tasks on a project such as excavation, dozing, loading, drilling, rock breaking, trenching etc.
Technology leads productivity
Advances in hydraulics are helping the construction equipment industry move towards smarter machines. At the most basic level, a smart machine is one with a brain - a machine that can be programmed to do a simple or complex set of tasks, and that can communicate externally. With these basics established, machines can add capabilities, from sensors that find and alert operators about problems to advanced control algorithms that allow for optimised efficiency. Eaton's commitment to advancing capability of construction equipment through dynamic machine control (DMC) along with its state-of-the-art offerings such as CMA advanced mobile valves, Pro FX range of controllers and displays, LifeSense® hose etc, is helping OEMs address various concerns and drawbacks of conventional machines for optimising productivity.
In a conventional machine, one concern is the operator-controls that are required to operate the many hydraulic tools and processes. Most conventional equipment typically require a series of expertly coordinated movements that can prove taxing over time. And while expert operators are becoming difficult to locate, smarter machines have begun to show that automation can help mid-level or even newer operators exercise precise control.
Boom control has continued to improve in general, but precision boom movement still has room to advance. A significant step forward in boom control uses load feedback from pressure sensors to change how the machine reacts to various operator inputs. For instance, the boom will respond differently depending on whether or not it carries a load. Additional opportunities for smarter boom operation might be the creation of subroutines that mimic expertly-coordinated movement. Creating smarter machine movement could rely on a growing library of automated functions written for Eaton Pro-FX ready products that use the Pro-FX technology platform.
Telematics, or the technology focused on communicating data over wireless networks, is making it possible for companies to use the data being gathered by their smart equipment. Terabytes and even exabytes of data is available, and the ability to easily gather and store that data makes it easier for fleets to optimise day-to-day operations and improve productivity.
Adaptability is key: A machine that can adapt to the duty cycle at hand and can be reconfigured as required is a dynamic, intelligent machine. Instead of one machine good for one task, a smart machine can switch modes easily, from digging a trench as quickly as possible to slowly lowering a pipe into that trench. Additionally, when something fails - or is about to fail - a smart machine can sense the problem and reconfigure so it can continue working. All of these developments are making machines achieve higher levels of productivity and Eaton is excited to be part of this evolution.
Soami Das, General Manager -Application and Commercial Engineering & Market Development, Hydraulics Group - India, Eaton