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Components for burst test stand hydraulics are single-sourced

Eaton Industries GmbH : 18 September, 2013  (Application Story)
Poppe + Potthoff is a company that specialises in high pressure lines, pipe components and precision parts, through to machines and services for testing technology in the automotive and utility vehicle sectors, shipbuilding and general industry. Historically, the company has had the hydraulic power units manufactured externally; however, with one burat test stand, it pursued a different approach: an in-house hydraulic power unit was developed which is controlled by Eaton automation and switchgear.
Components for burst test stand hydraulics are single-sourced

At its Nordhausen site, Poppe + Potthoff concentrates on test systems for burst tests, autofrettage, pulse tests and rotating bending fatigue and for supporting series production and prototype development. The latest machines include a burst pressure test stand that is suitable for both testing tube fittings and also hydraulic hose lines, and which also fully supports the new and further development of these components. Test sequences can be programmed flexibly, not only allowing testing with linear pressure increases and decreases, as well as holding times at a constant pressure and volume, but also burst pressure tests with a linear volume flow. In a massive test chamber with a 10mm stainless steel safety cage, test objects can be burst tested in a controlled manner at pressures of up to 4000bar, for which data can be recorded in real-time with an accuracy of 100,000 measured values per second.

The development of the test stand described placed particular requirements on the design of the system, particularly because of the different properties of the test objects, fittings and hoses. “In order to create the pressure in our plant, the hydraulic power unit first of all generates a pressure of up to 350bar,” explains Johannes Montag, responsible for Design Construction at Poppe + Potthoff Maschinenbau GmbH. “For the first time we have used two pressure amplifiers to create the high pressure. These have different piston diameters so that we can pre-fill quickly with the large pressure amplifier and then, particularly for position-controlled burst pressure testing, very finely regulate the pressure at high resolution using the small pressure amplifier.”

The key components for the precise control of the pressure amplifiers and thus the pressures in the test chamber are the proportional valves. Besides the proportional valves for the two pressure amplifiers, other important hydraulic components for the drive, control and connection are supplied by Eaton and integrate together seamlessly. The following components are used: Axial piston pumps and vane pumps; valves from the Vickers product series; Aeroquip hoses, tube fittings from the Walterscheid product series; screw-in cartridge valves from the Integrated Hydraulics brand; and Internormen pressure filters and ventilation filters for the tank system.

The Düsseldorf company Hyflexar Schlauch- und Armaturen GmbH was the Eaton service partner for Poppe + Potthoff, that not only kept all tubes, pumps and fittings in stock, but also configured and installed them on site and provided a 24/7 spare parts service. Furthermore, the Eaton Store in the Rastatt Service Center provides a point of contact for components and finishing services.

The proportional valves of this burst pressure stand are connected to the controller via CANopen. Poppe + Potthoff chose Eaton's modular XC200 for the PLC. “For us, the XC200 offers two major benefits for this test stand,” explains René Karwoth, who is responsible for software development at Poppe + Potthoff in Nordhausen. “Firstly, the integrated Ethernet interface allows us to connect the PLC directly to National Instruments LabView and the network, without having to use MPI or PPI converters as was necessary before. Secondly, the CoDeSys-based software (SW-XSoft-CoDeSys-2) and the extensive range of functions of the closed-loop control toolbox enable us to complete programming and commissioning faster and more conveniently than before.”

Eaton's closed-loop control toolbox contains around 120 ready-to-use function blocks that provide ready implemented closed-loop control, so that individual applications can be created simply and quickly by combining and cascading standard function blocks. A commissioning screen created with the XSoft-CoDeSys Target visualization shows all important parameters at a glance.   For this burst pressure test stand, Poppe + Potthoff  also sourced key switchgear components from Eaton. These include contactors, motor-protective circuit-breakers, soft starters, power supply units, miniature circuit-breakers and residual current circuit-breakers. The burst pressure test stand is also provided with a two-hand control, an emergency-stop circuit and interlocking doors that are switched using Eaton safety relays.

Top, centre: The burst pressure test stand consists of test chamber module, machine cabinet, control panel and separate PC station. The operator can only start the module via the two-hand control. The solid 10mm stainless steel safety cage is ideal for the burst testing of hydraulic fittings and hoses up to 4000 bar. A safety plate covering the test chamber is protected by a safety contact strip. Above right: The XC200 controller consists of a CPU module and up to 15 XI/OC expansion modules and is connected directly to National Instruments LabVIEW via Ethernet. Left and lower right: Important hydraulic components for the drive, control and connection are supplied by Eaton (brands: Vickers, Aeroquip, Walterscheid, Integrated Hydraulics, Internormen)

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