Equipment Controls

Equipment Controls Deliver Preventive Maintenance and More...

Intelligent controls can curtail increased cost of operating equipment in face compressed job margins.

Rising fuel cost and wages, extended payment intervals of contractors, and not to mention the depressed margins, have increased the cost of owning and operating the equipment manifold in recent years. OEMs have been carrying out periodic engineering advancements to increase equipment uptime and minimize cost of operations. The initiative can be supplemented in a major way through installing intelligent controls in the machines.

One of the major attributes of intelligent control is that it can contribute towards preventive maintenance which can neutralize extended downtime in a major way as operators look for extended deployment of their assets, so as to generate surplus cash that can go on to meet their repayment obligations as well as generate decent profits.

Samip Desai
German automation and controls manufacturer, Moba Mobile Automation who is a leader in Automation for Mobile machines provides digital consoles for compactors, pavers, motor graders, excavators, tandem rollers, and tippers. According to Mr. Samip Desai, National Sales Manager, Moba Mobile Automation, "The digital consols can fully integrate the equipment. It provides information to the owners and operators about the health of the equipment. Taking into consideration varied site conditions, we have carried out advancements in the consoles by making them water and dust proof. Besides, the controls have software orientation, minimizing wiring systems, hitherto not made available by other suppliers locally. The consoles can be easily mounted on the equipment."

Moba Mobile Automation
Moba is a well know for its leveling systems for road construction equipment specially the Big Ski system which has become very popular for providing excellent riding quality and ease of use due to elemination of string lines in top layers. The leveling systems can be used in pavers, motor graders and also excavators. Mr. Desai says, "In pavers, graders and dozers the leveling control systems can assist the operator by making the machines perform for attaining the desired grade and slope specified as per the job contract. For compactors and tandem rollers the MOBA MCA2000 helps to know the desired number of passes required for completion of the job, thereby rationalizing the number of passes consequently cutting down fuel consumption to a big extent."

Moba has supplied the leveling systems to Volvo CE, Ammann-Apollo, Macons, Unipave etc. The company has begun localizing of non critical parts of the controls and leveling system, as per its international quality specifications to make them affordable to Indian customers. Product support is provided by Moba through its eight trained service engineers, by assisting the OEMs to install and integrate the intelligent control solutions with the machines.

MOBA has also started developing some affordable Pay load monitoring systems for tipper trucks which logs the number of trips with loading, unloading time along with weight and location.

Harpreet Singh Wahan
Equipment integration solutions are also made available by FW Murphy–India. According to Mr.Harpreet Singh Wahan, Head Marketing, FW Murphy, "Our display solutions entirely work to integrate the equipment – engine, transmission, hydraulics, payload, camera, safety and other systems in real time with set-point based safety alarms. This is cumbersome with conventional gauges." He explains, "Icons, round gauges, bar graphs and pop-ups in application and customer specific layouts makes our display systems extremely user friendly. Comprehensive multi-language text based fault warnings and acknowledgement system keeps the operator aware about the health of the equipment. Data is available in several formats and measurement units which can also be changed by the user through the user settings". FW Murphy commemorated its 75th year in business of controls in 2014.

FW Murphy supplies its display based solutions worldwide to OEM's that include, Volvo CE, Shantui, Sany, BEML, Atlas Copco, Caterpillar, John Deere, Vermeer, Godrej, XCMG etc. The company also supplies sensors and engine panels to major Engine manufacturers like Perkins, Cummins, Caterpillar, John Deere, Kubota etc.

FW Murphy Sensors and Control Systems
The systems supplied are used to monitor critical engine parameters like rpm, oil pressure, coolant temp, transmission oil temperature, transmission oil pressure and fuel level etc. Mr. Singh explains, "with the systems the software can be adjusted to maximum and minimum set points and then can be used to automatically for triggering alarms and warning for critical conditions." He adds, "our solutions also integrates other equipment parameters and sensors like length transducers, proximity sensors, load cells, inclinometers, angle sensors. These among many can also be directly configured for display and alarm triggers."

According to Mr. Singh, "The competitive advantage that the Murphy systems working for off highway construction and mining equipment is that they can work up to 8g of vibration, 50g of shock, have IP rating of IP67 perform at work sites with temperature conditions varying between -40 to +85 degree celsius. The added advantages are, the displays are visible even in bright sunlight." Product support to the OEMs in India is provided by Murphy based on application engineering, analysis and custom programming from its setup in Pune.

According to company sources of IFM Electronic India Pvt. Ltd, "Our sensors and control systems can provide maximum reliability under extreme conditions, be it heat, cold, moisture, and extreme vibrations. The reliability of the solutions provides high equipment uptime."

The official sources further mention, "Our sensors and control systems extensively facilitate towards communication of the equipment with the owners and operators and also assist towards remote maintenance." IFM India has its operations in Kolhapur, Maharashtra.

The ability of intelligent controls to facilitate preventive maintenance is well endorsed by equipment owners. The major advantage of preventive maintenance is that it can help replacement and reconditioning of critical parts and components when they remain between the realm of economic repairs. However, most significantly it can contribute towards attainment of the desired job specifications as stipulated by the project developer. To meet the same more accurately, it is pertinent for suppliers of the controls to supply solutions that can meet the critical performance criteria of the OEMs based on the job site conditions in an affordable manner.

NBMCW May 2014