S. Jensen
3D printing technology on display at RAPID + TCT 2023.

This Week in Power & Motion: Trade Shows Highlight Advancements in Hydraulics, Electrification and 3D Printing

May 5, 2023
Advancements in hydraulics, electrification and 3D printing were among the key technologies on display at the 2023 editions of WasteExpo, OTC, RAPID+TCT and ACT Expo.

There is much going on in the world of hydraulics, pneumatics and electronics motion control, from technology introductions and industry advancements to new trends and industry leaders. Each week the Power & Motion team collects some of the latest industry news to help keep our readers up to date on what's happening in the fluid power and motion control sectors as well as the industries they serve.

This week's edition is another trade show focused one. Several events took place this week applicable to the hydraulics, pneumatics and electric motion control industries: 

  • WasteExpo
  • Offshore Technology Conference (OTC)
  • Advanced Clean Technology (ACT) Expo and
  • RAPID + TCT. 

Fluid power and electronics manufacturers were present at these events, highlighting their latest technologies. In addition, each event highlights the trends taking place in sectors important to these component suppliers such as heavy-duty trucking, additive manufacturing and others. Following are some of the news highlights which came from these shows this week. 

OTC 2023

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), held May 1-4 in Houston, TX, is focused on the energy sector, providing an opportunity for the exchange of ideas and new technology developments for oil & gas and other energy related applications. The fluid power industry is typically well represented at this event each year, especially the hydraulics segment as this sector is a key customer market. 

Hägglunds Atom Motor Wins Technology Award

Each year, OTC recognizes technology developments in the industry with its Spotlight on New Technology Award. Bosch Rexroth's Hägglunds Atom motor was named among the 2023 award winners. 

Also a winner of Power & Motion's IDEA! Award in the Motors and Drives category in 2022, the Atom motor features a compact yet powerful gearless drive which converts electric energy or diesel power to rotary motion. The motor provides a maximum torque of up to 13.6 kNm while offering a smaller footprint for OEMs; its outer diameter measures only 350 mm. Speeds up to 400 rpm are possible as well, depending the frame size. 

Bosch Rexroth explains in its press release announcing receipt of the award that all sizes of the motor allow maximum pressure up to and including its maximum speed, meaning an output power of up to 394 kW – with a motor weight of 52-102 kg.

Featuring peak pressure up to 420 bar, the motor can handle shock loads which aids with its use in a range of heavy-duty applications. 

WasteExpo 2023

For those in the waste management sector, WasteExpo is a key event to learn about new techniques and best practices as well as equipment and technologies. The event was held May 1-4 in New Orleans, LA, and brought together a range of attendees such as waste services companies, recycling firms, transportation providers, equipment manufacturers and hydraulic component suppliers. 

Mack Trucks Highlights Vehicles, Debuts New CNG Truck

At WasteExpo, Mack Trucks showcased four truck models which are well suited for the refuse sector: 

All trucks on display can be configured to meet the needs of various refuse applications. The Mack LR Electric is a battery-electric model which can help to curb carbon emissions. A CNG (compressed natural gas) version of the TerraPro is available as well to aid with emissions reduction efforts. 

The company also debuted a CNG version of its Mack Granite. Equipped with a Cummins L9N engine offering 320 hp, the truck provides an option for those customers looking to utilize alternative fuels or are capable of generating their own fuel. In addition to its ability to run on CNG, the truck features updated styling and headlights to increase visibility for operators. 

RAPID + TCT

RAPID + TCT is considered the largest additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing) event in North America. This year the annual event was held May 2-4 in Chicago, IL, and brought together over 160 conference sessions and more than 350 exhibitors to showcase the latest technologies and trends in 3D printing. Additive manufacturing is in use by some in the fluid power industry, but also can be part of larger manufacturing operations which make use of various motion control technologies, making it an important industry to monitor. 

READ MORE: Q&A: How Design for Additive Manufacturing Can Benefit the Development Process

HP Looks to Automate 3D Printing Operations

HP Inc. introduced automation solutions to aid customers who are looking to scale up their 3D printing operations at RAPID + TCT. According to the company, 3D printing workflows become more complex as they are scaled up which is why it has developed solutions to help simplify operations while also helping customers stay productive. 

Two new solutions have been introduced for customers using HP's Multi Jet Fusion technology:  

  • HP Jet Fusion 3D Powder Handling Automation Solution: a pneumatically connected, closed-loop material processing system to minimize labor, provide cleaner, more efficient material flow, and enable quality control and operational traceability.
  • HP Jet Fusion 3D Automation Accessory: designed for customers with high-volume production demands, provides automatic build unit exchange for two consecutive prints without requiring manual support. In addition to minimizing idle time between print jobs and reducing requirements for manual labor on nights or weekends, the Accessory is automation-ready for further integration into factory configurations with Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs).

The company is working with Siemens on a proof-of-concept demonstration in which the two new automation solutions will be integrated with Siemens Automation Hardware and industrial Software.

Fabrisonic Introduces New 3D Metal Printer

Fabrisonic showcased its new SonicLayer 1600 3D printer which combines additive and subtractive 3D metal printing processes in a single machine. It features a build envelope of 14.5 x 14.5 x 17 in. and a high-powered 9 kW head on a medium-sized CNC milling center frame. 

The machine aids with the production of parts with dissimilar metals as well as embedding of sensors or other electronics. It is smaller in size compared to some other machines from the company due to customer requests; Mark Norfolk, Fabrisonic President & CEO told Power & Motion during an interview at RAPID + TCT that many customers have noted space constraints within their operations and the need for smaller sized machines. 

Siemens Expands Additive Manufacturing Initiatives

Siemens has announced plans to expand its focus on additive manufacturing (AM) focus in the U.S. to help uptake of the process. The company plans to make its software and technology available to aid with AM initiatives. In addition, Siemens said it will make its Charlotte Advanced Technology Collaboration Hub (CATCH), located in Charlotte, North Carolina, Siemens will act as an ecosystem platform for machine builders, machine users and additive design engineers.

CATCH is designed to help customers accelerate their AM initiatives. It is meant as a collaboration space for OEMs, end-users and national laboratories to help with the successful industrialization of AM. Siemens said in its press release announcing the expanded AM focus that it is adding technology to CATCH to incorporate metal binder jet technology. 

Through its efforts, the company aims to help customers expand their 3D printing capabilities as it is a method of manufacturing which is seen as helping many operations be more productive and agile. 

ACT Expo 2023

The Advanced Clean Technology (ACT) Expo is an annual event highlighting clean transportation technologies, most of which are related to the heavy-duty trucking market. Held May 1-4 in Anaheim CA, the event brought together over 275 exhibitors and industry partners and more than 185 clean vehicles were on display. The transport sector is an important market segment for hydraulics and pneumatics, and the advancements being made in clean technologies — such as battery-electric, fuel cell and alternative fuels — will impact the design of these components. 

Dana Launches e-Transmissions for Commercial Vehicles

Dana Inc. continues to expand its powertrain components for heavy-duty applications with the addition of an e-Transmission to its Spicer Electrified range. The new Spicer Electrified Zero-6 e-Transmissions will benefit applications suited to use of a central drive e-Propulsion system with a conventional axle and driveshaft layout the company explained in its press release announcing the product launch. 

Features of the e-Transmission include integrated high-efficiency motor and inverter to enable peak performance as needed; an electromechanical actuation system for smooth shifting and efficiency; the Dana OpenECU platform with control software and functional safety built in. 

Two models are available for medium-duty commercial vehicles with gross weights up to 59,500 lbs.  the eS4700t offers up to 4,700 Nm of output torque and the eS7900t up to 7,900 Nm. 

Daimler Trucks Unveils Medium-Duty Electric Truck

OEM Daimler Trucks unveiled its series production Freightliner eM2 for pick-up and delivery applications at ACT Expo. Daimler plans to begin full production of the eM2 in fall 2023. The truck is based on the production-ready Class 8 Freightliner eCascadia. 

The truck features a fully integrated battery-electric Detroit ePowertrain which includes the batteries and axles which power the truck. Removal of the traditional drivetrain and other mechanical components has helped to create a lighter weight vehicle, beneficial for maximizing battery power for longer run times between charges. The electric motors and 2-speed transmission are packaged directly onto the drive axles to create a lightweight and simplified design.

An electric power takeoff (ePTO) is available for customers requiring refrigeration configurations. Multiple battery size options are also available to meet specific customer application needs. According to Daimler, the eM2 provides the following power outputs and ranges: 

  • Class 6 single motor: provides up to 190 continuous hp, a 194 kWh battery and a typical range of 180 miles on one charge
  • Class 7 dual-motor: provides up to 255 continuous hp, a 291 kWh battery and a typical range of 250 miles on one charge. 

Read more news and insights from our colleagues at Fleet Owner, an Endeavor Business Media Partner site, who were in attendance at ACT Expo

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Technical Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is technical 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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