By Marius Hendriksen,
Product Manager at Bosch Rexroth
Plug-and-play autonomous drive and control cylinders save time and money
Autonomous drive and control cylinders (AD2C) from Bosch Rexroth provide an innovative plug-and-play alternative to the conventional setup of hydraulic cylinder, hoses, piping and separate hydraulic power unit. By integrating the hydraulic power unit, manifold, piping, wiring, controls, sensor and junction box in one unit, directly installed on the hydraulic cylinder. The results is a smart and compact self-contained system design with all the benefits of a hydraulic system, with only electrical interfaces.
This integrated system solution saves customers the cost and effort of installing a hydraulic power unit or units and all the hydraulic piping. The autonomous drive and control cylinder is the ideal solution for applications requiring accurate control (servo cylinders), resistance to shock and overload situations, that is offered by hydraulics.
No leaks or losses
Delivered as a complete unit, these integrated solutions offer many benefits. They are easy to install; only needing power and data cables to be connected. Their self-contained hydraulics means there are no risks of hydraulic fluid leaks that could pollute the installation or the environment. They also operate at maximum efficiency as there are no pressure losses across the pipe network. In fact, there is even no need for the pipe network or a large separate space for hydraulic tanks or a ‘machine room’ as all components are on the cylinder resulting in significant savings in space and cost.
As each autonomous drive and control cylinder is engineered to order, the exact mounting of the hydraulic tank and electrical components can be tailored to fit with the overall system design. And, as they are self-contained, they can be easily integrated into an existing installation without having to worry about connecting it to or increasing the capacity of the existing hydraulic system.
Tribology you can trust
When it comes to hydraulic cylinders and tribology, Bosch Rexroth are experts in the science of interacting surfaces in relative motion. For hydraulic cylinders, the company has an unsurpassed knowledge of rod fluid, seals and rod coatings. By delivering the best tribology, Bosch Rexroth solutions deliver a very linear displacement. And having the right seals and good lubrication also limits wear on the apparatus, ensuring a long operating life and minimal maintenance needs.
Servicing and maintenance
To service a traditional hydraulic cylinder, hydraulic piping and hoses must be disconnected at the site, where there is always a risk of oil spillage. The autonomous drive and control cylinder is the exception to this rule. With its fully self-contained hydraulic system, all the engineer needs to do is unplug the electrical power and data connections.
The cylinder can then be removed from the system for maintenance or repair. Before being reinstalled, the cylinder can be tested remotely and re-certified. It can then be simply re-connected without needing to test and certify the complete system again.
Also, compared to electronic drives, hydraulic solutions protect the cylinder from external shock loads and alleviate high impact stresses that could damage the cylinder over time. Automatic overload protection using fluid coupling and a safety valve enables the cylinder to retract completely. In this case, the cylinder can simply be reset and will start working again normally.
For application monitoring and predictive maintenance, sensors can be integrated into the cylinder head. By monitoring at the number of strokes and wear on the seals, it is then possible to determine when maintenance will be needed.
A one stop solution
Nearly all industries are looking for systems that are more integrated, highly reliable and easy to maintain and repair. Typically, hydraulic systems have been both messy and time consuming to install and repair. The autonomous drive and control cylinders from Bosch Rexroth offer a unique one stop shop solution.
Their true plug-in-play design makes the cylinders independent of the hydraulic power unit and other components. These complete cylinder systems are built and certified at Bosch Rexroth’s own facilities saving customers hundreds of hours in commissioning and testing.
They are also cost efficient when flushing the hydraulic system and cleaning components and offer increased reliability due to significant reduction or elimination of common cause failures. The future of smart hydraulic electric solutions is now.