Hydraulic controller performs safety and standard control functions

Paul Boughton
Parker Hannifin has developed an innovative programmable hydraulics controller for use by OEMs and system integrators in mobile and off-highway equipment applications. Designated the IQAN-MC3, and forming part of Parker's IQAN family of motion and control products, the new device enables both safety and operational functions to be controlled from a single module; this enables system design and build times and costs to be reduced, while improving machine performance, safety and productivity.
 
The launch of the new controller coincides with growing demand from manufacturers of mobile and off-highway equipment for components and software, used in the production and development of safety systems, to offer improved performance and be certified to accepted functional safety standards such as EN ISO 13849-1 or IEC 61508.
 
Parker's new IQAN-MC3 module, used in conjunction with the company's dedicated IQAN Studio Software Tools, enables both operational and safety functions to be programmed, controlled and monitored through a single controller. This helps machine builders minimise the number of components required and, therefore, reduce overall system complexity and cost.
 
To make this possible, the IQAN-MC3 is designed to IEC 61508 (certification pending) and effectively enables the operation and performance level of all safety functions to be proven as part of a SIL2 (Safety Integrity Level 2) methodology, or to be used as part of a PLd (Performance Level d) subsystem within EN ISO 138489-1.
 
Although the IQAN-MC3 can be used to manage both safety and operational functions, it is always the former that takes priority. The new module can be used as a standalone controller, with local I/O, or be integrated into larger systems using four Can fieldbuses. Each module has 16 digital inputs and 16 analogue inputs, all of which can be set for safety-related signals. Additionally, there are four proportional current outputs that are designed to drive proportional hydraulic valves, with each output controlling one bi-directional valve section, as well as five digital outputs for driving solenoids.
 
Each MC3 unit is constructed to meet the rigours of mobile and off-highway applications, with a robust enclosure that withstands high levels of vibration and humidity, is sealed to IP66 and operates at temperatures from -40 to +85 degrees C.
 
The IQAN-MC3 is designed to be used with Parker's suite of IQAN Studio Software Tools, which enable electronic systems to be developed, programmed, configured and managed remotely. In particular, tools such as IQANdesign and IQANrun give design and production engineers a versatile, powerful and intuitive set of modular tools that can reduce significantly the development, construction and subsequent maintenance times.
 
For more information, visit www.parker.com

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