One of DTS Fluid Power’s customers is in the infancy stages of producing asphalt-patching machinery to be used for road repairs. This customer has historically been a road maintenance company with ties to the Michigan Department of Transportation.
The goal of this project was to do a complete redesign of the customer’s system to increase overall efficiency. In the past, they had collaborated with a number of other suppliers whose products consistently fell short of expectations. As a result, they sought a new supplier who could provide a more reliable system. The customer wanted a complete solution with one responsible source and DTS was able to provide them that along with the ability to monitor machine productivity.
Key Business Challenges
Convert the customer’s current industrial control scheme and hardware to a more suitable and robust mobile electro-hydraulic control package
Convert machine from a standard Pressure Compensated system to a more efficient Load-Sense system
Deliver solution that monitors many different functions to include the patching material
Control the mix of proprietary formula via auger speeds
Track the product location via GPS
The traditional pressure compensated system maintains an even pressure constantly, which can result in pressure and flow that is above and beyond what is needed to do the work. With the load sense system, however, the system will only provide the pressure when it is actually needed. This smart system saves horsepower, and fuel, by allowing the pump to dial back operation when the additional pressure isn’t needed. Overall, the load sense system achieves about a 30% higher efficiency than a pressure compensated operation.
Prior to the rework, the customer’s machine used the outdated pressure compensated system and as a result was running more than necessary for the work at hand. So, the DTS team decided to achieve desired increase in efficiency by upgrading it to a load sense system.
To better control and monitor the system, the team deigned a full controls scheme and packaged it with hydraulic motors, sensors, telematics functionality and tied everything together through an on-board touch-screen HMI (human machine interface). The 7-inch bonded LCD screen of the new interface was larger and more visible in sunlight than the previous display.
The customer chose DTS because there were able to handle every aspect of the project. DTS collaborated with the customer to determine exactly what they needed to be successful in their market with their machine.
The prototype is currently in operation today. The customer has already inquired on ways to advance the telematics technology to further increase their capabilities. It is the customer’s perception that the machine currently outperforms anything else in the market. DTS estimates the new machine saves the customer around 15% on its cost to operate over their old system.