Developments in the Off Highway market show an increasing focus on aspects such as precision, fine control, configurable operator support, and workflow automation. In response, Thomas developed the PPCD05, a highly effective pilot control component for excavators and wheel loaders.
The PPCD05 is the result of over three years of development work, more than 35 sample stages and extensive test phases covering specific applications.
Breaking new ground
Its development reflects the innovative strength demonstrated over the years by Thomas as a leading provider of electromagnetic actuators. „Mechanically controlled hydraulics are on the way out,“ explains Daniel Ferres, Director Market & Product Management Customer Unit Off Highway Solutions. „If you want to be up there with the leading manufacturers and development partners, you have to embrace new methods.“
The PPCD05 is the smallest and most compact proportional pressure control valve made by Thomas. Its technology makes parts of the hydraulic hose system redundant and thus creates new design opportunities in the field of machine development.
Individuality as standard
Customized solutions are one of Thomas‘ core competencies. „It is our commitment to understanding every aspect of our customers’ systems that distinguishes our products from those of our competitors,“ explains Daniel Ferres Director Market & Product Management Customer Unit Off Highway Solutions. „Open communication with the customer is indispensable, especially in the preparatory phase of a project.” And that’s exactly how we went about developing the PPCD05.
Working closely with our costumers
In 2015, together with our customer, an in-house development team started putting together the technical requirements for such a valve. „One of the key issues we discussed was contamination resistance,“ continues Ferres. „Robustness and safety were important requirements. After all, pilot valves are constantly exposed to very demanding conditions.“
The overall concept for the PPCD05 was optimized using digital development tools such as Amesim, PumpLinx, and Maxwell and was then put through its paces in real-life conditions. For Daniel Ferres, the results are impressive: „The PPCD05 is the product of a technology that meets tough market requirements – partly because it can be integrated flexibly into different systems and can be modified for individual applications. Of course, it also meets the strict standards of the automotive industry throughout. The PPCD05 is a genuinely „smart“ product that combines all three of the core „Sense. Think. Act.“ functionalities.
Electrohydraulic systems offer considerable advantages over conventional hydraulic control methods. Thanks to electronic pilot valves, they allow for much more responsive, more precise, and finer regulation – regardless of the current load. With appropriate control algorithms, all these advantages remain even in the case of dynamic load changes.