The Parker Water Retract Actuator (WRA250) can help the welding cell become an important contributor to the plant-wide adoption of lean best practices that support the goals of the South African Automotive Masterplan, says motion and control technologies specialist Parker Hannifin Motion Systems Group internal account manager Selina Naidoo.
The actuator can prevent all waste fluid from contributing to lost time and hazardous conditions at local automotive plants. Through the support of its global footprint, Parker Hannifin has started introducing its WRA250 at local automotive plants and has received positive feedback so far, she adds.
The WRA250 was reintroduced to the South African automotive market in March this year, during which time the company also started to install the actuator on the production line of a local automotive manufacturing plant. The production line is not yet operational.
“The actuator is a specialised product used in welding applications in the automotive industry; therefore, local demand is limited to the country’s car manufacturing plants,” notes Naidoo.
The WRA250 reduces the water pressure in the closed-off cooling circuit, preventing water from being expelled under pressure during a tip change.
Typically, the automatic tip-changing process will start with shutting the water inlet and/or outlet using the cooling water control panel.
Once the cooling water supply is blocked, the pneumatic control valve on the WRA250 will be de-energised. The actuator will then make a retract stroke to increase the volume of water in the cooling system.
While water flow monitors work well in shutting off water supply when a leak is detected, they do not prevent the water already under pressure in the line behind the weld tips from being expelled onto operators, equipment and the floor when the tips are removed to be changed.
Pneumatic High Flow Rate Valves
Parker Hannifin’s pneumatic H Series International Organisation for Standardisation-certified valves have been available for some time, but the company is promoting these valves in various markets, including South Africa.
“We received our first order for the H Series valve, owing to this initiative, in March. We await delivery of the units for installation at the end-user’s operation, where the valve will be trialled,” explains Naidoo.
Used in various industrial and mining environments globally, the H Series valves are available in five sizes and offer a flow rate capacity of between 0.55 flow coefficient (Cv) and 6.0 Cv. This allows for applications with different flow-rate requirements to be controlled at a central point, as the valves allow for the modular connection of different valve sizes, resulting in an energy cost saving.
The H Series valves also allow for an extensive network connectivity portfolio, which can help lower the cost of input and/or output in any control architecture. The potential demand for this type of valve can be significant, as it can be used in any industry that uses pneumatic applications, notes Naidoo.
“Post Covid-19 conditions are showing growth potential. The global movement to reduce carbon emissions, increased demand for commodities and the introduction of government initiatives to support these goals are some of the factors that are creating opportunities for Parker’s product range locally.”
She adds that Parker Hannifin has not encountered many challenges regarding the uptake of its WRA250 or H Series valves to date, as most businesses are willing to introduce new technologies to their production lines if their budget allows.
“Parker Hannifin is a well-known brand in the industry and the various features and benefits of our products contribute to their easy adoption by the market.”
The company’s vast product range enables it to offer the complete solution for almost any application, including motion systems comprising hydraulic, pneumatic and electromechanical technologies, and filtration, adds Naidoo.
The company’s filtration solutions include filtration products from Baldwin Filters, instrumentation and fluid connectors, as well as engineered materials consisting of various sealing options.