Whether it’s agricultural machinery, construction equipment, or municipal vehicles, intelligent sensors are indispensable nowadays throughout the mobile machine market. Accurately recording paths and angles is an integral component of intelligent operating functions. These functions improve not only the convenience, but also the safety of mobile machines. Using intelligent sensors also increases the performance and efficiency of mobile machines, allowing repetitive work processes to be automated and therefore relieving machine operators at the same time.
Measure and monitor motion sequences
Since most motion sequences for mobile machines employ hydraulic cylinders, one of the most important measurement tasks for sensor technology is precisely determining the stroke of the cylinder to enable measurement and monitoring of the motions to be carried out. No wonder, then, that both machine and sensor manufacturers are always looking for new innovations in stroke measurement for hydraulic cylinders. SIKO GmbH has developed its new SGH10 measurement system following close collaboration and dialog with customers.
Patented measuring system for stroke measurement in hydraulic cylinders
The SGH10 is a measuring system for direct stroke measurement in hydraulic cylinders. SIKO GmbH from Buchenbach has now developed a specialized, integrated, and patented measurement solution based on customer feedback and our many years of experience in the area of path measurement technology. The cylinder stroke is measured precisely using Bowden cable sensor technology installed directly in the cylinder. The high quality plug ensures the system fulfills protection class IP69K.
A minor technical revolution
Technologically speaking, the patented SGH10 cylinder stroke measuring system pursues an entirely different technological approach than measuring systems commonly found on the market, which are based on magneto-restrictive, inductive, or hall based technology. In contrast to these systems, a Bowden cable mechanism installed directly in the cylinder is used to measure the stroke. The cable of the Bowden cable mechanism is mounted in the piston head. If the cylinder is extended, the cable, which is wound up in a cable drum, is pulled out. The rotation of the cable drum that is thereby created is detected without contact by the sensor electronics and used to calculate the linear travel. This makes it possible to detect the position of the cylinder precisely and completely at all times. The magnets that are used to detect the rotation are scanned by the electronics through the pressure-resistant base plate of the SGH10. The electronics are fully encapsulated on the pressurized side of the system. This means the entire measuring system is built into the cylinder and is optimally protected from external environmental conditions. This provides a clear advantage: in contrast to a measuring system mounted externally on the cylinder, the sensor system cannot be influenced or damaged by loose parts or by environmental influences.
Piston drilling unnecessary
Another aspect is the reduction of costs for integrating the system into the cylinder. This is because in previous measuring systems, the sensor rods had to be integrated into the piston over the entire measuring path; this often required long and highly precise bore holes in the piston. This is not only expensive, but also weakens the structure of the piston. In the SGH10 stroke measuring system, just one small thread is needed in the piston to mount the cable. This allows the system to offer major potential cost savings, which affects production times and, ultimately, overall costs for hydraulic cylinders. The greater the stroke length, the greater the potential for monetary savings.
Integrates into telescopic cylinders
The SGH measuring technology can even be used in telescopic cylinders. It provides design engineers with options when developing assistance systems and supplemental functions in mobile machines.
The SGH wire-actuated encoder measures the absolute, direct cylinder stroke in the hydraulic cylinder. Cost-intensive drilling of the piston is no longer required thanks to the patented measurement system. As a result there are lower integration costs compared with other measurement systems and weakening of the piston is effectively avoided.