FluidTech customer in the agriculture industry manufactures the world's fastest self-propelled bale wagon, cube-line square bale wrappers, and baled biomass transport equipment. One of these is a bale mover that quickly collects, transports, and stacks large square bales.
FluidTech played in their customer's success in the past by creating the human machine interface (HMI) controllers and manifold solutions. The HMI displays engine and hydraulic functions on the bale movers so the operator can manage the machine’s performance and make necessary adjustments from a single control point.
Key Business Challenge
Recently, the EPA announced the new Tier 4 emission standards, which was designed to significantly reduce emissions from non-road diesel engines by integrating engine and fuel controls into one system. Tier 4 compliant engines significantly reduce emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides to near zero levels.
The current control system used on the customer's bale wagon did not fall within the new standards and had to be upgraded. The cost to completely overhaul the control system was high and due to low production volumes of the machine, around 50-60 a year, the customer sought out less expensive alternatives.
The machine had to be upgraded with a new HMI that could meet the new Tier 4 emissions standards while keeping the cost of the project within scope.
The eventual solution to add to the system instead of replacing it. The existing HMI, which acted as a monitor and interface for the hydraulic system, would remain in place and perform the same function. The second HMI focused on monitoring the engine and brought it up to emission standards.
Once the design for the second HMI was complete, FluidTech got to work and assembled the platform complete with the software, touchscreen display, controllers, sensors, cables and transducers. To complete the system, they designed and manufactured a screw-in cartridge valve hydraulic integrated circuit.
With FluidTech’s help, the bale mover is now manufactured up to current government emissions code, with all required information displayed for the operator to monitor.
Because of their partnership on the bale mover, the customer chose to enlist the help of FluidTech over other fluid power competitors. They was happy with the work FluidTech had done with the hydraulic components of the machine, which created the foundation of the relationship. FluidTech was also able to provide a more economical solution, which made the customer's choice to work with them a simple one. Other suppliers would have replaced the entire HMI at a much greater cost.