SECURITY FOCUSED OFF-ROAD HYDRAULIC SOLUTIONS FROM ELESA (UK) LTD
The developmental trend for industrial and off-road machinery, whether mobile or otherwise, is increasingly to employ a sophisticated hydraulic system as a means of exerting power over it’s chosen work environment. These high power hydraulics have been a focus for Elesa over many years for the many accessories needed to make the details work and it has led to many apparently simple but deceptively thoughtful technical solutions.
Hydraulic based equipment from dump trucks and road laying machines to tractors, telehandlers and forestry or military vehicles – all operate in extreme conditions of various types where they are also vulnerable to outside interference and are prone to damage from both daily operation and vandalism. The Elesa development focus has therefore been on security focused accessories aimed at prevention of leakage/damage to the hydraulic system – preserving the integrity of the system, so as to ensure that it has sufficient clean fluid at all times.
These are safety and performance critical components, which cover areas of personnel and equipment safety, while seeking to minimise downtime by reducing the likelihood of damage and simplifying/reducing maintenance.
Such components generally come into four main areas:
· Vandal proof caps – keep dirt out
· Pressure relieving caps – keep fluid in
· Magnetic plugs – keep fluid clean of metallic particles
· Fluid level monitoring and alarms – advise adequate fluid levels
Development technicians at Elesa corporate laboratories work with all relevant EU legislation, which covers European Standards (EN), International Standards (ISO), Health and Safety requirements and the Machinery Directive regarding CE marking. In order to do this to the highest level they use a process of Virtual Product Development originating in Computer Aided Design (CAD) and moving on to Computer Integrated Manufacture (CIM).
This work has addressed the problem of damage to sight glasses on tanks and led to a shrouded version and an electronic version, which allows the gauge itself to be hidden from view yet give a clear readout to the operator in the cab. In addition to visual readout of oil level, the HCX/E column level indicator features AC/DC electronic signal generation when the oil level drops to a minimum.
Fluid tank security can present especially difficult problems where conflicts between security and performance require careful attention – for example the SFW/VP is a specific development of Elesa's proven SFW series filler/breather caps, complete with overpressure vent and vacuum breaker features (to prevent under-pressure tank collapse in the event of sudden drainage). The unique vandal protection design incorporates a special locking key that may be readily kept with vehicle ignition keys. TVD series breather caps address the problems of venting toxic chemical reservoirs and tanks, especially during transit when there is risk of overturning and spillage. They incorporate a vacuum breaker valve threaded to suit a standard 70mm inlet and ensure a complete seal in the event of overturning.
Simple oil level indicators allow rapid condition checks for level and temperature from 0 deg to 100 deg C and column level indicators give volume indications or max/min readings. For those difficult high pressure reservoirs Elesa now offer the HGFT oil level window capable of withstanding up to 3 Bar. Where high temperature is also a consideration then the HGFT.HT.PR will withstand both 140oC and up to 7 Bar tank pressure.
Elesa clearly has the accessory solution for hydraulic applications off-road – but this forms just one section of a standard range of industrial elements where they have a history of partnering with OEMs in the global “standard machine element” supply chain, including knobs, handles and hand-wheels - essential for operation and control functions of all types of hydraulic and manual equipment. Further information regarding Elesa products may be found at: www.elesa.co.uk