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FEATURE HYDRAULICS & PNEUMATICS


during the duration of demanding applications, which would make it suitable as a pump replacement in a highly specialist application. Specifying an adequate replacement


pump is therefore not simply signposted by certifications for suitability in differing industries. Even in the same sector, applications can vary. The question to ask, as an MRO professional, is ‘does this pump display the features to tackle the demands of my specific application?’ Working with low lubricity fluids, or serving a high duty application, requires specific solutions and expertise. Therefore, the first point of reference


should always be a trusted manufacturer or expert. Certification should be treated as an


absolute bare minimum, rather than the bar of quality. In addition, time taken to discuss your application requirements with a design expert will ensure the final product specification meets your exact needs. By following this strategy, you can minimise not only downtime, but also maintenance and ownership costs when specifying a replacement hydraulic pump.


Oilgear T: 01133 947300 www.oilgear.com


Sports stadia are becoming more and more sophisticated. First there were closable roofs, then movable seating; now even the pitches can be reconfigured to suit different sports or other activities. Requiring massive loads to be moved with speed, precision and safety, stadium architects naturally turn to hydraulic specialists, such as Oilgear. Despite being in use for many decades, hydraulics technology is continuing to develop, such as by integrating electronic controls and addressing new application areas. Originally developed for other markets such as oilfields, marine, aerospace, defence, power generation and manufacturing, the technology and expertise is directly transferrable to stadium projects. Oilgear has evolved a tried and trusted procedure for optimising new application development projects. A critical factor in major undertakings is project management


OILGEAR DRIVES SPORT STADIA TO NEW LEVELS OF AUTOMATION In addition, a business that has been established for many years can


demonstrate financial security and offer a greater service in terms of ongoing maintenance support the future. Often, new applications have to be approached with fresh ideas, but these need to be mixed with relevant experience, lateral thinking, wisdom, innovation, practical details and theoretical knowledge. In the early stages of a design project, it is good practise to ask the


expertise. It is unrealistic to assume that a job like a 100,000 seater sports and/or entertainment venue can be completed precisely to a predetermined plan without project management. There is a major need to constantly monitor progress, predict future problems and adapt to changing requirement. Typical problems that may arise include the client asking for changes and adaptations; intervention by national or local government bodies or other interested parties; budget changes, unavailability of materials or specialist personnel; bad weather; and even unexpected archaeological or ecological finds. Companies such as Oilgear, which has had experience on many large


jobs, know to expect such issues and be prepared to adapt to them. It also knows that small issues can be equally as disruptive, so need to be addressed properly and with flexibility. For instance, a morning’s traffic problem may disrupt the delivery of materials, or the arrival of people for meetings, and it is important to be able to work around such little niggles without losing productivity and progress.


‘awkward questions’ and think about how the proposed system will need to develop over its lifetime. It is sensible to assemble a broad based design team that will include experts in several different fields, including non-technical ones. Of course, it is also a good idea to involve the client from the outset. Although they may not be technically minded, they will have tremendous insight into what will be required of the system in a real-world setting. After the initial brainstorming, it is important to establish defined objectives and parameters for the project so that a goal can be focused on. Good design teams often start by considering several possible solutions and as the project develops an optimum solution will emerge. It involves all parties, hosts round-table discussion forums and looks at all the ‘what ifs’ to ensure a good foundation. The actual design phase deals with developing the specifications, which will include performance parameters, component selection, performance limits, and compliance with relevant legislation and standards. Analytical tools, such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA), play a crucial role in this stage. The next stage is computer modelling of a system, which allows


theoretical testing before a prototype is built. It is often possible to build parts of a prototype and assess them on a test rig, then assemble all the sub-systems into a complete system for final testing. Testing facilities and capabilities are essential for the successful completion of large-scale projects. Oilgear, for example, maintains regular investment in such equipment. For instance, at its plant in Nebraska, the company has expanded its testing facilities to include 1/10,000th of a second data acquisition and multi-fluid testing. Facilities in Oilgear UK include a new custom-built, test station that can be used to evaluate the performance and reliability of new and existing pumps and valves in any working environment. The importance of after sales service of large hydraulic systems cannot be overstated. Such systems are likely to have a life expectancy measured in decades, so a program of regular service and maintenance is the basic requirement. On top of this, there may be a future need for upgrades and redevelopments, plus new legislation or standards may come in which will need to be met. World-class hydraulics companies will build in provision for these eventualities from the very start of the project. They will also maintain an engineering team and remain in contact with the client long after the installation and commissioning is finished.


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JUNE 2017 | DESIGN SOLUTIONS


/ DESIGNSOLUTIONS


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