MAUMEE, Ohio—Eaton Corp. P.L.C. will start giving training classes to distributors this year to learn how to assemble hoses with its LifeSense-brand hydraulic hose condition monitoring system.
The two-day training classes will be held at Eaton's site in Maumee and are scheduled for January, February, May and August, according to Kelly Floyd, product manager for LifeSense and Synflex Hydraulic within Eaton's Hydraulics Group.
Eaton first announced its LifeSense technology in 2011 and since then has been testing it in a variety of applications. LifeSense—available in either a wired or wireless version—detects “failure-related events within a hose and provides advance notification the product is approaching the end of its useful life,” according to the company.
Each hose fitting is equipped with a sensor that monitors hose conditions via electrical signals that go to a diagnostic unit, which interprets the data. When a hose is deemed to be compromised, the system generates an alert that the hose should be replaced.
Applications that Eaton has identified for LifeSense include oil and gas, alternative energy, manufacturing, agriculture and forestry, construction and mining, material handling, vocational fleets, and commercial vehicles.
The company claims the system can provide better than 50 percent more useful hose life, increase reliability, protect workers, reduce collateral damage, maximize uptime, improve the efficiency of maintenance operations and protect the environment, both from potential spills and from hoses being sent prematurely to landfills.
Floyd said the list of uses where Eaton has been testing LifeSense include refuse trucks, green rollers used at the Greenbrier Golf Course in West Virginia, steel mills in India and Brazil, on a rubber compound mixing machine in Germany, and as part of street security barrier systems in the Washington, D.C., area.
“We've got them in various places to prove it's a viable technology, and it's working well,” she said.
For example, the field test in the ref-use market has been running for two years. There have been 31 alerts, she said, the majority from abrasion, which is the top reason for failure of a hydraulic hose. There also were alerts related to duty cycle fatigue, the second most common reason for failure.
“We gave them pre-aged hose so we wouldn't have to wait so long,” Floyd said. “We've had zero field failure. They've all been detected.”