Hydraulic fluid particle detection is essential in maintaining the performance of the systems and equipment requiring the movement of materials and parts. Standard operating procedures call for regular monitoring of contaminants in hydraulic fluid to make sure particles are within the acceptable range to ensure safe and optimum operations.
The importance of hydraulic fluid particles detection in machinery-in-motion systems cannot be overstated. It is critical in plants, facilities and equipment across many markets and industries, including mobile equipment for earth-moving, agricultural planting and harvesting, and forestry; power generation wind turbines, gear boxes and lubrication systems; industrial equipment for production plants, fluid transfer, pulp and paper, and refineries, and maintenance test rigs and flushing stands.
Particle detectors provide data that indicates cleanliness of fluids and the performance of filters and pumps. Detectors allow technicians and other plant and facility personnel to identify issues that can be corrected before machines and processes are shut down.
If filters aren’t working correctly, then pumps work harder, creating more wear and larger particles delivered into the hydraulic fluid. Particles can include metal chips, dirt, moisture and other contaminants. Water in hydraulic fluid makes it less efficient to lubricate gears and it corrodes the system.
To ensure optimum safe operations, hydraulic fluid particles must be monitored. That typically requires frequent inspection by maintenance and tech personnel who often must do their work in locations where hazards lurk.
To assist in ensuring their hydraulic systems are performing at max levels and to reduce maintenance activities on plant floors, many are turning now to a new way to measure hydraulic fluid particles that allows for remote monitoring.
Parker has created a wireless and remote particle monitoring system combining its SensoNODE™ IoT technology and particle detector. Parker’s SensoNODE Analog Transmitters are integrated with Parker’s particle detector, iCountPD.
The measurements from the iCountPD are transferred from the SensoNODE Analog Transmitter to Parker’s Voice of the Machine™ Cloud interface, allowing managers and techs to get the data from any location, including offices and even at home—wherever Internet access is available.
Parker’s solution makes a formerly wired control system wireless so you can receive data remotely. The SensoNODE Analog Transmitter uses 4-20mA measurement outputs and translates the data into particle size measurements. The technology stores the data in the cloud.
The system detects hydraulic fluid particles and reports them with ISO 4406 codes. Particle size measurements are 4, 6 and 14 microns. The iCountPD can also measure moisture in hydraulic fluid.
Parker’s iCountPD systems can be used to monitor the upstream and downstream sides of filters. The before-and-after measurements provide data that shows whether the filters are working and whether the fluid needs to be changed. If issues are detected, technicians can flush the hydraulic system and change the filter.
The compact iCountPD is a permanently mounted system using leading-edge laser-based technology to assist in hydraulic fluid management and contamination control. Three versions are available:
The system integrates Parker’s IoT-based platform, Voice of the Machine™ Cloud. This means data is accessed through the web-based platform from anywhere technicians, operators or managers have an internet connection.
The platform dashboards with live and historical data provide particle measurements and insights into what’s happening with the hydraulic fluid. You can also set customized alarm thresholds of measurements (min/max) and be alerted when measurements fall outside of those defined thresholds.
The wireless system delivers advantages in safety and convenience, as they reduce the number of technicians required on the plant floor or in the vicinity of hydraulic equipment. Readouts from the various installed iCountPD particle detectors can be accessed well clear of hazardous or dangerous locations. Having fewer technicians and maintenance workers on the plant floor also helps operations stay in compliance of social distancing recommendations.
The Parker solution provides an accurate and reliable tool to monitor the quality of the fluids in hydraulic equipment. Parker’s iCountPD products deliver continuous performance for dependable analyses and have been shown to prolong fluid life and reduce machinery downtime.
Article contributed by Marc Williams, IoT project lead, and Gavin Barker, iCountPD applications engineer, Parker Hannifin Corporation.