As the authorized Rexroth distributor in Florida, Oregon & Washington, GCC partners with its clients to fully understand their machine design, manufacturing processes and new technology requirements to implement the best solutions using Rexroth products. This article specifically discusses digital connectivity for hydraulic valves which has been driven by a need for manufacturers to seamlessly embed hydraulics into their connected manufacturing environments.
Currently, single-axis controllers are available to regulate hydraulic motions in a closed control loop and motion control can be integrated into the electronics of the valve. These controls function through target-actual comparisons and are as accurate as the resolution of the measurement systems. It’s also possible to use smart variable speed pump drives and smart pump controls to replace throttle controls with more energy-efficient displacement controls. This means, the pump controls can sometimes replace the need for a valve.
The future of valve connectivity still has a long runway of growth. Rexroth is looking at the integration of sensors into the valve housing as a potential next step for a couple of reasons:
- Sensors are readily available in the market for consumer products and due to production quantities, have experienced substantial decrease in cost over the past decade.
- Sensors can collect a wide variety of information including temperature, vibrations, fluid quality and condition monitoring creating a wide range of possibilities if integrated into the valve housing.
Hydraulic systems are found in many different industries, and with the great movement towards connectivity in devices, it’s not a question of whether hydraulic valves will benefit from connectivity. It is a question of when and how these advances will take place. GCC has witnessed the rise of digital connectivity in manufacturing environments, and as a value-added distributor who helps customers with support for their entire hydraulic circuit, we are constantly looking for ways we can help improve these systems. With Rexroth as an industry-leading partner, we are confident we can continue to provide the innovative solutions our customers need.