Comprehensive diagnostics check for hydraulic systems

Source: press release, 17 May 2021

Hydraulikwehr in Schwerte/Ruhr was one of the first companies to trial the PPC-Pad-Plus in its tough field operations
Hydraulikwehr in Schwerte/Ruhr was one of the first companies to trial the PPC-Pad-Plus in its tough field operations (photo: Stauff)

Stauff is expanding its “Diagtronics” range with the PPC-Pad-Plus. The robust and compact measuring and diagnostic device can be used for a wide range of tasks, including for preventive maintenance.

The portable, tablet-format hydraulic tester enables all measured variables to be recorded and analysed, providing information on the operating status of the hydraulic system. This applies to hydraulic parameters, such as pressure, temperature and volume flow, as well as to machine-specific parameters, such as switching statuses (e.g. force and travel), voltage, currents, speed etc.

The performance and flexibility of the device in terms of connection and data analysis is not immediately evident with the robust PPC-Pad-Plus device. Up to a hundred channels can be connected, automatically recorded and monitored, and analysed directly on the display of the device. Data collected in an integrated large measured value memory is made available for analysis, possibly on a PC. Different types of recording and evaluation are possible with a sampling rate of up to one millisecond.

These functionalities enable even very complex diagnostic tasks to be performed with correspondingly high levels of knowledge acquisition, for instance on plastic injection moulding machines, forming systems and on larger mobile machines with complex hydraulic systems. In practice, a maintenance technician can easily determine ten to twenty readings simultaneously. Each single measurement provides the maintenance technician with deep insights into the system, e.g., by recording complete machine cycles with sampling rates of different lengths, analysing them and/or comparing the values with previous measurements.

The PPC-Pad-Plus uses an illuminated 7-inch colour touchscreen as the human-machine interface. Its sophisticated menu navigation provides for intuitive operation, even in view of the many data recording and analysis options.

The diagnostic device has been designed from scratch for use in the field, in both stationary and mobile hydraulics. Its IP 65 protection rating also ensures reliable operation in humid conditions and in dusty or contaminated environments. Moulded soft plastic elements absorb shocks and the device is always comfortable to hold.

The diversity of the interfaces is an essential prerequisite for the exceptional versatility of the device. This feature enables users to use the proven Stauff sensors but also, for the first time, to “listen into” existing CAN buses (CANopen, SAE-J 1039…) in a hydraulic system and even connect external CAN sensors.

The versatile analysis options are further enhanced by the modular design of the diagnostic and hydraulic tester. Users can select from various plug-in sensor connection modules, including a CAN module with two separate CAN bus networks and an analogue input module with and without galvanic isolation.

In any case, users benefit from the fact that they can obtain a comprehensive picture of the hydraulic system or the machine with a single measuring process and relate the recorded hydraulic and electrical values to each other.

Also ideal for troubleshooting and fault rectification
These properties make the PPC-Pad-Plus device an ideal tool for the comprehensive condition monitoring of a hydraulic system. The comparison of measured values over a longer period of time, in particular, makes it possible to detect irregularities and, if necessary, counteract them. The PPC-Pad-Plus is also useful if faults arise on the machine caused by the hydraulic system. In this case, the maintenance technician can connect up Stauff sensors for rapid fault analysis in a matter of moments without needing to set them up separately, and immediately obtain detailed information on the operating status of the hydraulic system or the machine.

Whether it is used for a regular “health check of the hydraulic system” in relation to preventive maintenance or for quick fault analysis in the event of problems: in all cases, the PPC-Pad-Plus is a useful addition to the Stauff Diagtronics range – and an easy-to-use and valued diagnostic tool for maintenance.