SIKO GmbH received the i-NOVO Tech Award 2015 at SPS IPC Drives in Nuremberg for its SGH10, a system for direct stroke measurement in hydraulic cylinders. It will be used in the mobile machinery market (agricultural machinery, construction equipment and municipal vehicles).
Direct Industry e-magazine met with Mathias Roth, Branch Manager of Mobile Automation at SIKO GmbH.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: What does SGH10 stand for?
Mathias Roth: It is the abbreviation for the German term for hydraulic Bowden cable. The number 10 indicates the maximum stroke length, which is 1.0 meter. It is used for precisely determining the stroke of a cylinder to enable measurement and monitoring of the required movement.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: What makes the SGH10 unique on the market?
Mathias Roth: It is the world’s first cylinder stroke measuring system using Bowden cable sensor technology installed directly inside the cylinder. Previous systems were attached to the outside of the cylinder. This exposes them to environmental hazards like water, dust or ice. Three years ago we started thinking about the development of an innovative system using the built-in protection of a robust hydraulic cylinder. By putting the measuring technology inside the hydraulic cylinder, it is perfectly protected against exterior conditions.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: How exactly does it work?
Mathias Roth: As opposed to magnetostrictive technology, a Bowden cable mechanism measures the stroke directly inside the cylinder. It even can be used in a telescope cylinder. The cable is mounted in the piston head. If the cylinder is extended, the cable, wound on a drum, is pulled out. The rotation of the cable drum is detected without contact by the sensor electronics and used to calculate the linear travel. This makes it possible to detect the position of the cylinder.
DirectIndustry e-magazine: What further advantages does the SGH 10 offer?
Mathias Roth: The biggest advantage is that modifications such as drilling holes into the cylinder are significantly reduced. In previous measuring systems, the sensor rods had to be integrated into the piston over the whole measurement path. The SGH10, however, requires only a small hole. This lowers the cost of integration and does not weaken piston structure as much.