Integrating CANbus and Sensors in Hydraulic Systems Offer Myriad Benefits

Jan. 11, 2024
The use of CANbus in hydraulic systems plays an important role in enabling predictive maintenance as well as customization and adaptability in agricultural machinery.

The use of CANbus and advanced sensors in hydraulic systems is changing maintenance practices and customization capabilities across industries, offering improved efficiency and cost-effective strategies. Collecting and analyzing data from various sensors allows for proactive identification of component wear and tear, which provides insight for maintenance or replacement. 

In hydraulic components equipped with CANbus systems, sensors are often integrated to capture feedback from the components. For example, a sensor for the stroke of the main spool can indicate any deviations from the expected behavior, such as hysteresis or sticking, said Marcus Specks, key market manager at HAWE Hydraulik. This data can then be used to calculate the component’s condition and determine if maintenance or replacement is necessary.

While hydraulic components are often designed for durability, the discussion around predictive maintenance is gaining traction. Specks noted that factors such as oil temperature and contamination can affect the performance of hydraulic components, so it is important to monitor and analyze relevant data provided by integrated sensors for preventive and predictive maintenance.

Sensor-Based Hydraulic Controls Offer Customizable Solutions

The modular system in hydraulic actuators and valve blocks offers distinct benefits such as flexibility in configuration, efficient resource allocation and consistent quality, Specks added, noting that customizability allows for tailored solutions to match the specific requirements of each customer.

In the context of agricultural machinery, hydraulic controls, especially those equipped with advanced sensors, facilitate precise parameterization to adapt to varying working conditions. According to Specks, these sensors, integrated with CAN technology, enable a high degree of customization, allowing the machine to be personalized based on the operator's skill and specific requirements. The calibration integrated into the onboard electronic system adds to precision and adaptability, which can lead to improved performance in agricultural machinery.

In this second of a three-part interview, Specks gives Power & Motion insight into how the use of CANbus, advanced electronic sensors and closed-loop controls in hydraulic systems is changing maintenance practices and operational efficiency in the agricultural sector.

Watch additional parts of this interview series with Marcus Specks of HAWE:

About the Author

Sharon Spielman | Technical Editor, Machine Design and Power & Motion

Sharon Spielman is a technical editor for Power & Motion and its affiliate publication Machine Design. As technical editor, her beat includes 3D printing/CAD; mechanical and motion systems, with an emphasis on pneumatics and linear motion; automation; robotics; and AR/VR.

Sharon has more than three decades of experience as a writer and editor for a range of B2B brands, including those that cover electrical design and manufacturing; interconnection technology; food and beverage manufacturing; process heating and cooling; finishing; and package converting. 

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