DENVER—Gates Industrial Corp. P.L.C. is ready to unveil its new smart crimper technology, which it dubs the GC20 with Gates Cortex Intelligence.
The Denver-based manufacturer and supplier of hose and belting products and related goods said the GC20 Cortex "takes the guesswork out of hose assembly fabrication" as it features touch-screen controls, on-board training, integrated eCrimp settings and remote support, according to a company news release.
Mike Haen, vice president of global product line management said the patent-pending smart crimper represents the continuation of the digital revolution for his company. "Our digital strategy is to develop and launch (Internet of Things) solutions that provide tangible benefit for the next generation of customers and align with Industry 4.0."
The GC20 Cortex is an upgrade to the Gates Power Crimp 707 crimper, with the new offering retaining all of the capabilities of the PC707 but adding technology aimed at making crimper operations safer. It can be used to crimp hydraulic and industrial hose up to 1.25 inches in diameter. The launch also includes a retrofit kit for current PC707 systems.
"One trend we saw is the need for enhanced training," said Cindy Cookson, Gates global product line director for hydraulics. "We can make the best hose and coupling in the world, but if it's not assembled properly, then the results can be pretty catastrophic. So we want to make sure we are giving our customers the right tools they need to properly apply Gates hoses and couplings in the field."
And even if it's a third party fabricating the assembly, it's still the Gates name on the hose and coupling, so the Denver-based firm wanted to make sure the process was done right. To this end, Cookson said there are several ways in which the GC20 Cortex improves safety.
First is the onboard training. The crimper itself has videos, infographics and tools that allow an operator to be properly trained on how to select the right hose and how to crimp it safely, both for themselves and for the end user where the product is used, she said.
In addition, the crimp specifications are hosted onboard, so the operators don't have to look them up in a book, on a printed sheet or in a computer system. Owners of the crimpers also can put logins on the crimpers to ensure the people using the equipment are properly trained.
Another safety aspect, Cookson said, is the ability to put automated calibrations on the crimper.
"We have tools on the crimper itself to support the calibration of that crimper to make sure it's in calibration when the crimp is performed," she said. "This is all about safety. We are highly tuned to providing safe solutions to our customers to have the safe solutions they need in the field."
The GC20 Cortex is touted as a "Gates Enterprise Solution," according to Cookson. The crimper and software are wholly owned and developed by Gates. The Cortex platform is the digital backbone where Gates will build out more functionality. By owning the software, she said the firm can ensure customer data is secure from beginning to end.
Gates has partnered with contracted firms to support the various manufacturing of the crimpers to its specifications.
Cookson added that the GC20 Cortex is designed to crimp Gates hoses with Gates couplings, in line with recommendations by SAE and ISO that matched systems are employed.
"We specifically design our hose and couplings to work together, and we specifically assign crimp specifications based on the crimper and the dies that are used," she said. "To get the safest system that will provide the most robust performance, we are recommending the use of the Gates hose with this Gates coupling on this particular crimper with particular die sets and crimper settings."
The system uses legacy Gates 700 series dies, which Cookson said should make adoption easier because many of its customers already use those in their crimping systems.
In surveying its customer base, Gates used feedback from distributors all over the world, she said, that reinforced the values that Gates built into the crimper. Those included the need for safe hydraulics, the ease of introducing new products, the ease of getting crimp specifications and the need for improved training.
"There were lots of values that we heard about the pain points from customers about existing crimpers or existing assembly operations," Cookson said.