Continental is building a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Mexico to help increase production of hydraulic hoses.

This Week in Power & Motion: Continental Building New Hydraulic Hose Factory in Mexico

July 8, 2022
Continental is building a new hydraulic hose factory to meet increased market demand, REFIRE and Clean Logistics have retrofit a truck for hydrogen fuel cell operation to help increase market adoption, and more news you may have missed.

There is much going on in the world of fluid power and motion control from technology introductions and industry advancements to new trends and industry leaders. To keep our readers as informed as possible, the Power & Motion team has collected some of the latest industry news. 

This week saw new product launches from Bosch Rexroth and igus, showing the ongoing development efforts of manufacturers in the industry. With the continued importance of hydraulic components despite the ongoing shift to alternative power sources, Continental announced it is expanding production capabilities for hydraulic hoses. These remain an important component in many applications, such as mobile equipment. And as NFPA recently reported, shipments for mobile hydraulics continue be positive  aided by continued high demand for construction and other heavy-duty equipment. 

On the alternative energy front, yet another partnership has demonstrated the capabilities of hydrogen in heavier duty applications. The retrofitting of a truck with fuel cells and electric motors shows the possibilities for bringing this technology to market faster, and therefore enabling emissions savings in the more immediate term. Keeping an eye on these types of projects is vital as the move to electrification can have many impacts on fluid power and other related components. 

If you're looking to learn more on topic of electric vehicles, be sure to register for our upcoming Engineering Academy which features several educational sessions on the subject.

READ MORE: Industry Provides Insight on Powering the Future of Electric Vehicles

Keep an eye out for a new edition each week to ensure you stay up to date on what's happening in the world of fluid power and motion control.

Continental Investing in New Hydraulic Hose Manufacturing Facility

Continental has announced it is expanding its hydraulics business in North America by building a new, state-of-the-art production facility for hydraulic hoses in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The company plans to invest $40 million in the new facility which will provide additional production capacity for wire braid and wire spiral hoses to meet increased demand in North America. 

According to Continental, the new facility will increase manufacturing capabilities in the region as well as supply chain efficiencies. Implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies will help to improve production efficiency. The company also plans to implement technologies and practices that will increase the environmental friendliness of the new facility. 

"The demand and growth of the hose market necessitates an investment like this,” said Andreas Gerstenberger, head of Continental’s global Industrial Fluid Solutions business area, in the company's press release announcing the new facility. "The new location will support ongoing activity in other Continental facilities to ensure all operate efficiently and effectively for the long term. This investment in additional regional capacity will fuel further growth for all of our facilities and operations."

Construction of the new manufacturing facility is planned for later in 2022 with operations starting in 2024.  

New Bosch Rexroth Self-Contained Actuator

Bosch Rexroth has introduced a new self-contained linear actuator, called CytroMotion, which is capable of forces up to 110 kN. It features fully electric control, aiding efficiency, and a maintenance-free, hermetically sealed design. 

Per Bosch Rexroth's press release announcing the launch of the actuator, CytroMotion combines the standard components of an electric motor, hydraulic pump and cylinder with important control functions and poppet valves to form a compact, integrated assembly. It is capable of providing the power density and robustness of hydraulics in a compact and energy-efficient design. 

Applications for the CytroMotion actuator include power plant systems, metalworking, and pressing and joining; in addition, the encapsulated hydraulic system is also suitable for testing and quality assurance and for use in the process and food industries said Bosch Rexroth in its press release.

Standards Work Continues for Fluid Power Systems 

The National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) reports progress continues to be made on the development of standards for fluid power systems, known as ISO/TC 131. In May and June, engineers in the U.S. were able to meet virtually with others from around the world to discuss, revise, publish or withdraw standards related to ISO/TC 131 under development with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). 

Per NFPA's press release discussing the work, these standards are related to pneumatic control products, hydraulic and pneumatic quick couplings, port and fitting ends, hydraulic installations and systems, and the energy efficiency of hydraulic systems.

NFPA said in its press release that TC 131 is responsible for 237 published standards, with 27 currently under development. Recently published standards included:

  • ISO 8132:2022, Hydraulic fluid power — Mounting dimensions for accessories for single rod cylinders, 16 MPa (160 bar) medium and 25 MPa (250 bar) series
  • ISO 8133:2022, Hydraulic fluid power — Mounting dimensions for accessories for single rod cylinders, 16 MPa (160 bar) compact series
  • ISO 6149-1:2022, Connections for hydraulic fluid power and general use — Ports and stud ends with ISO 261 metric threads and O-ring sealing — Part 1: Ports with truncated housing for O-ring seal
  • ISO 11171:2022, Hydraulic fluid power — Calibration of automatic particle counters for liquids
  • ISO 16889:2022, Hydraulic fluid power – Filters – Multi-pass method for evaluating filtration performance of a filter element. 

The ability to meet virtually has enabled better collaboration among U.S. and international fluid power and standards experts, and NFPA said it is encouraging members to participate in the standards development process. 

igus Introduces Material for 3D Printing Wear Parts

The new iglide i3000 from igus is a resin developed specifically for Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printing of wear parts. DLP 3D printers are beneficial for production of smaller components, such as those in the millimeter range. According to igus, resolutions of 0.035 mm are possible which equates to the thickness of a human hair. 

With the new iglide i3000 material, manufacturers will be able to ensure the longevity of their smaller 3D printed components. igus said in its press release announcing the launch of the new material that it enables a lifespan 30-60 times longer than that of conventional 3D printing resins. The company said it did so by tribologically optimizing the material for 3D printing and stronger wear resistance. 

READ MORE: Additive Manufacturing Brings Opportunities to Improve Component Design and Production

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Retrofit Brings Technology to Market Faster

Shanghai-based REFIRE Technology Ltd. has worked together with Clean Logistics SE, a developer of zero-emissions commercial vehicles, to retrofit a diesel truck to hydrogen power. Two 120 kW PRISMA fuel cell systems from REFIRE are powering the truck, known as fyuriant, which was recently shown to the public. 

The fuel cells and electric motors replace the traditional diesel powertrain in the truck, providing a zero-emissions power alternative. Also incorporated into the truck are fuel tanks capable of carrying up to 43 kg of compressed hydrogen, providing a driving range of over 400 km and refueling time of less than 15 minutes. Electricity generated by the fuel cells is delivered to the electric motors which have a maximum torque of 17,000 Nm. 

By retrofitting existing vehicles with the hydrogen power system, fleets can more quickly make the transition to a lower emissions alternative. Many OEMs are in the process of developing fuel cell trucks, but doing so takes time as the design of the entire vehicle and its various systems is taken into consideration. Retrofitting on the other hand, typically requires the replacement of only a few components which allows the vehicle to get out into the market faster and with it emissions savings. 

The companies have previously retrofitted buses with similar technology, demonstrating again the capabilities of their technologies. 

During the public event, the fyuriant competed against a diesel truck with an identical chassis in several races. Even when pulling a fully loaded trailer, the fyuriant was first to reach the finish line. This helped to demonstrate the capabilities of electric powered vehicles which are known for having faster take-off capabilities due in part to the use of electric motors. 

Clean Logistics anticipates delivering up to 450 of its fuel cell trucks per year starting in the fourth quarter of 2023 as it ramps up its production capabilities and customers look to invest in diesel alternatives. 

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Executive Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is executive editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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