Fluid Power Journal

Webtec Launches Hydraulic Flow Monitor

Webtec recently launched a series of flow monitors for on- and off-road vehicles.

The compact, rugged, and resilient design of the new Webtec CTA series flow monitor makes it ideal for permanent installation on both on- and off-highway vehicles, where it can monitor, record, and transmit data about oil flow rates and temperature via a J1939 CAN-bus interface. This innovative device is perfect for use in predictive maintenance/IoT systems. By communicating directly to the vehicle’s control and monitoring network, it is possible to transmit performance data to the cloud or IOT system with subsequent download and analysis in real time. Further uses include the enablement of autonomous vehicle operation, closed loop control, real-time diagnostics, and safety interlocks. The units are fully EMC-compliant, resistant to water spray and steam cleaning (IP69K protection rating), and unaffected by heavy vibration, making them an extremely useful addition to many vehicle applications.

As part of a vehicle’s control or predictive maintenance system, one or more Webtec CTA flow monitors can achieve next-level productivity improvements. This is largely because predictive maintenance ensures engineers can make arrangements to replace a component before it reaches the end of its useful life without enduring an extremely costly, disruptive and potentially dangerous catastrophic failure. 

The CTA flow meter’s principle of operation is a proven design that uses a turbine wheel mounted in the flow stream and a sensor that senses the passing of each turbine blade. The onboard electronics then convert the sensor pulses into a flow-rate signal ready for transmission via an SAE J1939 CAN-bus signal to the vehicle’s control system. Indeed, the vehicle’s control system could also serve as a link to centralized monitoring and diagnostic station. As a point of note, the CAN-bus connection is facilitated by a Deutsch automotive connector in-line with inlet port to reduce height. 

There are many possible applications for a permanently installed flow monitor capable of linking to a vehicle’s cloud-based communication system. For instance, such an investment can provide an accurate prediction of when system or component maintenance is required on earthmoving, mining and municipal vehicles, as well as cranes and especially autonomous vehicles. In these cases, the flow monitor can continuously assess pump performance. When using variable displacement pumps, it is possible to incorporate regular test routines into the vehicle’s operation so that monitoring takes place under consistent and known operating conditions. 

For more information, visit www.webtec.com/.

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