Coupling Made Easy
By Roberta Prandi07 February 2020
Faster, an international specialist in quick-release hydraulic couplings, introduced a new concept that moves away from the traditional mechanical and manual couplings.
A new electric-actuated casting block concept has been introduced by Faster at the Agritechnica show 2019 for agricultural applications, while a new conceptual experience will be presented at ConExpo/CON-AGG 2020 for construction machinery.
The system allows to couple the machine with the implement, even with some residual pressure in the circuit that remains ‘invisible’ to the operator. The electric-actuated coupling simplifies connecting and disconnecting operations with more comfort for the operator, avoids mistakes in connecting port recognition and guarantees a higher safety level, avoiding a manual operation in often dangerous environments.
With the electric-actuated casting block, the manual lever for residual pressure release and disconnection disappears while an electronic system allows to connect with smaller effort and disconnect automatically. The operator pushes an electric button, one for each cartridge, so managing the insertion and expulsion of the male coupler from the casting block with one single hand without the need of reaching the manual lever with the other hand.
The casting block concept has been presented in two versions: besides the one with electric-actuation there is a second one featuring a set of sensors, both on the coupling side and on the coupler on the implement side, so that the system identifies (with a led light for each connecting port) the correct matching position and the operator can complete the connection at the simple touch of a button. The system is prepared for CANbus connectivity to manage functions automatically.
The connecting port recognition device can easily be extended to other Faster QRC devices, such as flat-face couplings typically used in construction equipment applications.
Every fleet of off-highway machines is fragmented by type of machines, different brands, different generation and above all by a sub-fleet of attachments and implements which have their own specific demands for pressure and flow. The technology explored by Faster is able to provide a map of the back-side tractor ports versus the implements in the fleet, or it can be used to communicate to the machine intelligence which type of attachment is going to be connected, in order to pre-set the supply of pressure and flow.
The development of these new experiences for connection goes hand-in-hand with Faster’s Digital Transformation, a process that aims at introducing an internal digitalization in the company, through improved logistics processes, smart manufacturing and innovative IT technologies. At the same time, this process will deliver an external digitalization, by enhancing the experience of the customer with the company, using for example a product configurator accessible through Faster’s website.
Faster exhibits at ConExpo/CON-AGG & IFPE with sister companies Sun Hydraulics and Enovation Controls in S 80917.