Tubing and hoses for construction machines

Paul Boughton

Mario Töpfer outlines the capabilities provided by one company working in the area of installing tubing and hose lines for construction machines.

Regardless of whether construction machines are used to build a roadside ditch or to help out with the harvest in the tropicsthey must be dependable and function at a high paceboth in the work yard and under extreme conditions.

With its Total Line Care conceptContiTech Fluid Technology presents its capabilities as a full service provider in the installation of tubing and hose lines for construction machines.

Be it excavator armscab floors or components for forklifts – the customer can get them fully assembled with the entire hydraulic system.

“This saves machine manufacturers from having to assemble complete units in their plants” explains Markus Murkhead of the industrial lines segment at ContiTech Fluid Technology. At ContiTech Techno-Chemie in Berlina separate production station has been set up just for this purpose. “We can however also assemble the units on site at the manufacturer’s facilitiesdeliver finished hydraulic kits just-in-time to the productionor provide pre-filled hydraulic systems” says Murk.

For construction machinesthere are complex line systems such as hydraulic hose linesfuel and oil lines as well as special tube couplings and suction hose applications. For vacuum applications in the intake areaContiTech Fluid Technology has a suction hose with a tight bending radius.

The current trend is towards alternative energy sources. When building wind energy plantsheavy-duty cranes lift loads weighing many hundred tons to dizzying heights. But despite the considerable forcesprecision work is required when it comes to positioning the huge components right down to the exact centimetre. This is made possible with the help of hydraulic hoses and fittings from ContiTech Fluid Technologywhich meet these special requirements with excellent reliability and resistance to aging.

Wherever pressure is required on a construction sitecompressors are used: SOH hoses from ContiTech Fluid Technology make ideal stable compressor lines with large flow rates. The hoses for oil/air mixtures at high temperatures are more flexible than rigid tubingbut still minimise noise and vibrations.

When modern industrial trucks keep material flowing through production or move goods from one end of the warehouse to the otherthey must be very agile and load or unload very quicklyeven when space is limited. For such applicationsContiTech Fluid Technology offers individual design possibilities for various line systems with hydraulic hoses for hydrostatic propulsion as well as preformed polyurethane and polyamide fuel hosesperfect-fit molded heating and cooling hoses for exceptionally confined installation conditions or plastic lift mast hoses for hydraulic lift mast control and lift mast tubes of various lengths. ContiTech has also developed special hydraulic hoses and tubing for high-pressure tasks such as lifting gear.

“With their stable yet highly flexible steel wire enforcementthey are ideal for ultra-tight spaces” Murk explains.

When fruit or grain is maturethere is not much time to bring in the harvest. Man and machine work at full steam without a breakfor hours on end. ContiTech’s hose line concepts meet the demanding design requirements for agricultural machines by using high-tech materials: low-permeation air-conditioning linesquick-connect couplings as well as hydraulic hose lines as power steering lines are typical applications from this sector.

For these linesContiTech Fluid Technology produces newly developed high-pressure plug connectorswhich ensure speedy and space-saving installation and last for the lifetime of the vehicle.

Globalisationincreasing customer requirementsmore stringent standards and current development trends – these are the challenges also faced by the industrial lines segment at ContiTech Fluid Technology.

As a global OEM partnerthe company goes wherever its customers are. “That’s why we are currently setting up a production facility in China” reports Murk. “Our key customers are already thereand their business activities are going very well. And we are growing with them. To ensure that these customers can use tried-and-tested technologywe go where they doand starting in 2007 we will be supplying them with locally manufactured products.” Once production is up and runninga sales team will also be set up in China.

Technicallythe greatest challenge faced by the ContiTech Fluid segment is the ever more stringent cleanliness requirements.

“We have invested a lot to clean our products of the most minute particles and today can offer high purity lines that already meet future standards" Murk assures.

The company is counting on innovations in all other sectors as well. For instancenew bending machines make it possible to manufacture hydraulic tubes up to six meters long and with diameters of up to 50mmprimarily for construction machines. Development activities in the field of hydraulic couplings are also currently underway for further innovations.

With industrial solutions incorporating advanced materials technology and designother segments are also using the synergies available in the corporationthus opening up nearly unlimited possibilities for machine and apparatus engineering.

In the industry market segmentthe ContiTech Power Transmission Group develops innovative drive belts and realises customised drive solutions for the industrial original equipment businessguaranteeing a maximum of performancetechnical designreliability and comfort. The application-oriented testing technology for V-beltsmultiple V-ribbed belts and timing belts supports product developmentsaves resources and protects the environment.

ContiTech SCHWINGMETALL range from ContiTech Vibration Control has stood for top quality rubber-to-metal bonded products. ContiTech SCHWINGMETALL absorbs vibrations and structure-borne noiseisolates machine vibrationsreduces accelerations and protects against noise.

Friction rings and wheels from ROTAFRIX are the result of many years’ experience in the field of drive technology. With their special elastomer materialsthey offer optimum properties for high-performance rolling-contact drives with high transmission capacities. ContiTech Vibration Control carries more than 10000 sizes and designs for dealers.

ContiTech Air Spring Systems also offers solutions for the vibration-oriented mounting of machines – from technical design and configuration to the fine tuning of the individual system components. In additionContiTech air actuators as complete systems are all-round talents in the field of industrial pneumatics. With a broad product range and customised individual developmentsContiTech masters even difficult pneumatic tasks in machineapparatus and plant engineering.

Mario Töpfer is with ContiTech AGHanoverGermany. www.contitech.de