Hydraulics Meets Internet of Things: Avoiding Machine Downtime the Intelligent Way

Guest Contributor: Luisa Franz, Bosch Rexroth

 

IoT-capable hydraulic power unit ensures efficient production

With the newly developed, intelligent CytroBox unit, Rexroth combines the benefits of hydraulics with low energy consumption and software-based functions. The integrated CytroConnect IoT service ensures higher availability and avoids unplanned downtimes. With this IoT service, operators can monitor operating statuses and plan maintenance in a cost-effective manner. As a result, fluid technology has taken a further step towards the factory of the future.

The digitalization of mechanical and plant engineering means more than decentralized intelligence, integrated sensors and connectivity. This applies to hydraulics too. With its power density and immunity to impacts and vibrations, hydraulics plays a central role as an important drive technology in Industry 4.0 too. The compact CytroBox unit is revolutionizing hydraulic pressure supply. CytroBox is a modular hydraulic power unit for the medium performance range from 7.5 kW to 30 kW. It comprises optimally tailored, impressively compact components. Compared to previous units, considerable amounts of space can be saved.

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75% less oil

One of CytroBox’s unique selling points is it compactness. This is possible because the hydraulic power unit can be integrated into a factory like a control cabinet, i.e. upright. The tank no longer supports all other components – Rexroth developed a special supporting structure for this purpose. In addition, a degassing flow-optimized tank is used. On the basis of extensive CFD simulations, the developers improved the tank geometry so skillfully that the new unit needs only a quarter of the oil required by classic designs: instead of 600 liters, 150 liters are now enough – with at least the same service life. The drive unit – a component which usually takes up a large amount of space in hydraulic power units – is equally compact. The asynchronous servo motor has been replaced by a synchronous servo motor. This is the most efficient motor design, producing the same torque even though it is 80 to 90% smaller. The manifold too was redesigned: thanks to 3D printed sand cores, the block including the internal flow geometry is now cast. As a result of this flow-optimized inner structure, less material and space are required. Thanks to all these measures, the CytroBox has a footprint of just 0.5 square meters instead of one and a half to two square meters. This represents a saving of up to 75%. On top of this, there are energy savings of up to 80% as well as a 10 dB(A) reduction in noise emissions. As a result, noise emissions are lower than 75 dB(A).

Connected for the factory of the future

In the CytroBox, machine manufacturers will find a ready-configured drive controller with numerous integrated functions. Various sensors provide information on the current filter, oil or drive status. The collected sensor data are bundled via IO-LinkMaster and pre-processed by the drive controller so that they can be integrated flexibly into modern machine designs. This means that the CytroBox is IoT-ready.

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CytroConnect Monitor

With the CytroConnect digital service, operators have all information regarding the CytroBox at their fingertips at all times – whether it be information regarding the standardized visualization of the component and operating status or chargeable IoT services such as forthcoming maintenance work and predictive maintenance analyses using Rexroth’s Online Diagnostics Network (ODiN).

The data collected are transferred to the browser-based CytroConnect Monitor web dashboard via Multi-Ethernet or 4G-LTE. As a result, operators can be kept up to date regarding the current operating status and key status indicators on any end device (tablet, smartphone, PC). This plug and play service is free of charge and can be used without additional installation work. CytroConnect is implemented in the CytroBox as standard.

Greater availability thanks to additional analysis functions

In addition to the CytroBox’s automatic status monitoring, maintenance personnel and maintenance managers can add extra solutions for various applications as add-ons. These pay-per-use payment models include additional IoT analysis tools and can be subscribed to on a monthly basis.

For optimizing maintenance processes, the CytroConnect Maintain module offers access to historical sensor data as well as messages if maintenance is required or in the event of critical operating statuses. Pre-defined and custom rules allow customers to improve their maintenance strategy on an ongoing basis. Customers benefit from scalable software solutions from the Bosch IoT portfolio such as the Nexeed Production Performance Manager and the integrated know-how of the Rexroth domain specialists. The Nexeed Production Performance Manager is a condition monitoring software solution for systematic production optimization.

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CytroConnect Maintain

With CytroConnect Maintain, data concerning the most important components for reliability and operating life (the hydraulic oil and the drive unit) are assessed. Comprehensive insights into the correlation between the speed of the servo motor and the flow allow the monitoring of system leakage, while correlations between motor data and the operating pressure allow conclusions regarding drive behavior. The leakage sensor, temperature and level sensor, particle sensor, water sensor and oxygen sensor are additional data sources which can be used to make a status diagnosis.

Planning predictive maintenance efficiently

A further add-on, CytroConnect Predict, uses the machine learning algorithms of the Rexroth Online Diagnostics Network (ODiN) for a predictive analysis of the system. With this IoT service, the power curves for a wide range of components are recorded for data analysis purposes. In the event of deviations, the system automatically calculates the expected remaining operating life of the relevant component and informs the operator immediately via a push message. As a result, predictive maintenance application cases can be taken into account predictively in the operator’s maintenance plans, thus ensuring maximum availability.

Conclusion

This new form of hydraulics is energy-efficient, quiet, space-saving and intelligent. With the integrated CytroConnect IoT service, the CytroBox offers anything from transparent, efficient machine monitoring to intelligent predictive maintenance measures. Thanks to the CytroBox, fluid technology is now one step closer to the factory of the future.

www.cytroconnect.com

www.boschrexroth.com/cytro

 

cropped-cmafh-logo-with-tagline-caps.pngCMA/Flodyne/Hydradyne is an authorized Bosch Rexroth distributor in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Northern Indiana.

In addition to distribution, we design and fabricate complete engineered systems, including hydraulic power units, electrical control panels, pneumatic panels & aluminum framing. Our advanced components and system solutions are found in a wide variety of industrial applications such as wind energy, solar energy, process control and more.

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