Tuesday at Hannover: Energy efficiency holds the spotlight

April 22, 2009
Tuesday at Hannover: Energy efficiency holds the spotlight

The sun and the smiles came out Tuesday at Hannover, as the number of attendees was noticeably larger than on day one. Quite a few exhibitors reported more and more-inquiring visitors to their stands today versus even two years ago, perhaps an early sign of better economic times ahead.

 Energy efficiency remained the overriding theme, though a new offering from Wittenstein ( took a slightly different twist. The company’s alpha subsidiary stressed the resource efficiency of its newly redesigned SP+ and TP+ Series of gearheads. Torques are up to 25% higher than previous versions, improving the power density of the compact units. Thus, users can take advantage of this higher torque and install smaller, and less-expensive, gearheads without compromising performance. Maximum radial force ratings are also higher, making the units more robust.

The low-backlash products also run quieter, though they’re fully interchangeable with previous versions of the SP and TP.

Engineers can determine the best gearhead design with the help of Wittenstein alpha’s new cymex 3 sizing tool, which features an integrated calculator for energy consumption. This helps ensure prudent use of energy in a machine, up front.

Engineers can cut electricity use in industrial equipment through intelligent consumption, efficient components, and by harvesting braking energy. Lenze’s ( Drive Solution Designer software shows how to tailor drives from the standpoint of maximizing energy efficiency. DSD sizes a drive based on user-specified process data and speed curves, and determines energy required by individual components and the overall system. It also identifies potential areas of improvement, letting users lower energy consumption and operating costs.

It also calculates the energy that can be exchanged via the dc bus or fed back into the supply system via an energy-recovery module. Overall, it lets users quickly recognize potential improvements regarding mechanical components, kinematic factors, and the drives.

The efficiency message also surfaced in unexpected ways, for instance, regarding hydraulic filters. The new Mahle ( Premium Select filters produce a lower differential pressure between inlet and outlet, compared with conventional filters, and that can significantly reduce energy consumption in hydraulic systems. They also reportedly hold 30% more dirt.

The filters feature a progressive design. The fiberglass material, arranged in graded layers of decreasing fineness from outside to inside, is said to combine the advantages of depth filters with those of filters with a large effective surface area. The result is higher dirt-holding capacity with lower pressure loss, with good dirt-retention characteristics under dynamic conditions. They’re suited for industrial and mobile hydraulic systems.

One way to foster sustainability is simply designing products that last longer. While hydraulic hose is typically rated for 150,000 to 200,000 pressure cycles, new T3K hose from Ryco ( has a rated life of 1 million cycles. According to company officials, one or two braids of high-tensile-steel wire reinforcement, the latest high-grade rubber, and tough cover materials, combined with an exacting manufacturing process, result in superior life. Sizes range from 0.25 to 1.0 in. with a constant working pressure of 210 bar (3,050 psi) in all sizes. The hose also has a tighter bend radius than SAE 100R1 and R2 specs. This, and overall compact dimensions make it suited for installations where space is minimal.

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