«At present, nearly all forming technology manufacturers are working on new machinery concepts because users are demanding higher energy efficiency, shorter cycle times, standardized safety, and consistant automation. For a long time they relied on pure hydraulic solutions. Some of them then switched to purely electrical concepts, but are currently noticing that they don’t allow them to meet all of their needs. The solution: hybrid automation solutions that combine the advantages of hydraulics and electrics.
Hydraulics is a drive technology that has proven itself in presses due to unique force density and robustness. On the other hand, manufacturers and users, have for a long time, accepted the higher levels of energy consumption associated with classic hydraulics. By switching to electric drives, machinery manufacturers are attempting to meet demands for increased energy efficiency and consistant automation. However in doing this, design engineers miss key opportunities, for example with regard to design space and low maintenance. Cutting-edge developments in the fusion of hydraulics and electrics, known as hybrid solutions, are paving the way toward a synthesis.
To achieve that goal, Rexroth has integrated all of its electrohydraulics experience in the IndraMotion MLC control solution software. The best-in-class controllers allow for the special characteristics of fluid technology and in most cases replace elaborate programming with parameterization. This considerably reduces engineering expenditure for machinery manufacturers. Depending on performance requirements, it can execute both electrical and hydraulic movements without any major changes in the machine control.
Hybrid solutions with Sytronix variable speed pump drives meet users’ requirements for higher energy efficiency. They reduce energy consumption in hydraulic applications by up to 80 %, often with better performance than before. At the same time, average noise emissions are significantly reduced. This allows machinery manufacturers to combine the lack of wear and compact dimensions offered by hydraulics with electric intelligence to create energy efficient drives.
The innovation goes even further: At EuroBLECH 2012 Rexroth will present, for the first time, the concept of self-contained servo axes which require an electrical connection only, independent of the drive technology. They allow for free choice between electrical and hydraulic axes. Identical servo regulators optionally drive electromechanical linear axes or hydraulic cylinders. This means there is no difference between electromechanical and hydraulic versions in terms of assembly, commissioning, and parametrization. In the hydraulic version, the fluid circuit is completely integrated into the Plug-and-Run module; an external power unit is not required. This approach combines the advantages of steplessly controllable fluid drives with the high level of energy efficiency offered by Sytronix. The integrated digital hydraulics also opens up new opportunities for energy-saving hydraulic controls with robust on-off valves. This shows: the automation of the future in forming technology is hybrid.»