Tampere University brings hydraulics into the digital age
The Tampere University of Technology in Tampere, Finland, is engaged in a wide assortment of fluid power research that falls under the school’s department of intelligent hydraulics and automation. This department is currently engaged in three main fields of study, remote handling, digital hydraulic technology and intelligent mobile machines.
The university’s research into intelligent mobile machines attempts to integrate energy efficiency into its research of autonomous mobile machines. The university is working closely with Bosch Rexroth in digital hydraulics research and uses an intelligent wheel loader as one of its research platforms. The machine will include mission-planning software with a graphical user interface, an improved odometry algorithm, an inertial measurement unit, a GPS device and a model based path-following control strategy and speed control.
One of the university’s specialties is in the field of digital hydraulics. Some of the active research topics in this field are power management, digital micro-hydraulics and valve systems, energy efficiency and controller design.
Digital hydraulics was an invention of Tampere University of Technology and applies a binary control system to the control of valves. Unlike traditional proportional valves that can operate anywhere from 0.9% to 100% open, a digitally controlled hydraulic valve can only exist in an on or off state.
“Digital hydraulics is seen as a very promising technology, which has already shown its possibilities in some practical applications,” Kari Koskinen, a professor at Tampere University said. “I believe the ultimate goal for digital hydraulics is to develop a cost-effective and reliable technology, which can be applied in all hydraulically driven machines.”
The program’s latest development in digital hydraulics is digital power management. This technology allows the user to control how much power is generated through special programming, which can limit losses and fuel consumption by 50%. Fewer and more intelligently controlled components reduce overall maintenance costs in a digital hydraulic system.
With digital hydraulics comes digital power management, which allows the amount of energy generated by a system to be controlled through programming. The system is efficient enough that energy can be recovered from the system.
Tampere University of Technology
The 14th Scandinavian International Conference on Fluid Power will be held in May 2015 in Tampere Finland. The conference will focus on various areas in the fluid power automation field including mobile, industrial, digital and water hydraulics, as well as, robotics, teleoperation and more. For more information click the link below.