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FEATURE PNEUMATICS & HYDRAULICS


HOW HARD CAN IT BE TO CHOOSE A QUICK-RELEASE CONNECTOR?


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täubli claims to be different to most connector manufacturers; it studies


closely the detailed requirements of a specific application and then provides an optimised connection solution that will provide an easy to use, safe and secure, robust connection capable of performing over numerous cycles with the minimum of maintenance. In most cases the offered solution will be from the extensive range of standard parts, but for more complex applications, Stäubli can adapt an existing product to meet the specific customer requirements. It is through such close customer relationships that the Stäubli product range has developed over the years to become one of the most comprehensive available today.


PARAMETERS TO CONSIDER It is critical to first consider the working environment and then the pressure, temperature and medium. The fluid characteristics could be identical in two different applications, but individual demands of the industry can be very different. For example, minimum weight and high vibration may not be the first requirement of the nuclear industry, but is critical for a Formula 1 car. Vice-versa, the chances of a coupling being connected via a remote handling device are of no consideration to the motorsport industry, but in nuclear applications this can be a basic criteria. Military, automotive and pharmaceutical industries all have their own specific demands, which Stäubli can fulfil through its many years of experience across industry. Safety is of upmost importance – is there a chance of making a cross connection? Is hose whip a danger? What indications are given that a secure connection has been made? These are each, in turn, considered by Stäubli technologists in making their recommendations. Mechanical keying to avoid cross connection, colour-coding for circuit identification, a unique profile on


20 APRIL 2016 | AUTOMATION


Stäubli experts can help identify the best connector solution for your project if consulted early at the design stage


What is a quick-release connector? Just something selected from a catalogue that joins things together such as fluid and gas lines, compressed air circuits and the like – or can a connector bring additional useful practical benefits such as reducing down time, eliminating errors and boosting productivity? Stäubli, an expert in connection solutions, outlines some of the important connector features that are often overlooked


breathing air connectors making connection to the wrong circuit physically impossible, ‘active safety’ systems to eliminate hose whip on compressed air lines, robust locking systems tailored to the application, direct indication that a secure connection has been made. The list goes on. Does any spillage on connection or


disconnection need to be avoided? Flat face, clean break connectors eliminate completely any spillage. Also, air or contaminant ingress is also eliminated removing any need to purge the circuit; reducing downtime, improving productivity and maintaining the life of the medium. Is connecting remotely required,


perhaps by manipulator or robot? Is one handed connection or connection in a difficult to reach location important? Will the operator be wearing gloves? These are all requirements that regularly are raised by users and for which Stäubli has a suitable solution. Are several circuits being connected? Is it an advantage for


multiple medias to be connected simultaneously such as electrical, signal, data, fluids and gases? In this instance Stäubli can offer a solution using a multi-coupling plate making all service connections safely and simultaneously in one simple action, eliminating any chance of cross connections and with locking systems that ensure security.


GETTING THE BEST CONNECTION These are just some of the requirements that need to be considered to ensure selection of the most suitable connectors. Connector requirements are often overlooked or given scant attention late in a project. But why should you, the user, bother at


all? Stäubli is an expert in connection solutions; bring them in early, at the design stage ideally and benefit from the company’s expertise in recommending the best connection for you.


Stäubli (UK) www.staubli.com VIRTUAL REALITY IMPROVES CUSTOMER SUPPORT


Augmented reality software and smart glasses from Swedish company XMReality have enabled automation and drive system manufacturer Bosch Rexroth to roll out a new service and support programme with remote assistance. The first Rexroth solution launched for industrial hydraulics is called Hägglunds InSight Live. The support programme involves the client company’s own maintenance team in carrying out adjustments, troubleshooting and emergency work, with guidance from Bosch Rexroth’s systems specialists back at base. Using the software from XMReality with an ordinary smartphone, tablet or laptop, along with the optional smart glasses, the local service engineer


works directly with one of the in-house experts at Bosch Rexroth. The system was initially used by Bosch Rexroth in Sweden, but is now being rolled out in other selected countries. Potentially, any of Bosch Rexroth’s 375,000 (30k+ employees in Rexroth) personnel worldwide can access the system.


Bosch Rexroth T: 01480 223200 www.boschrexroth.com /AUTOMATION T: 01952 671918


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