Manufacturers of excavators, earth-moving machines, and other heavy-duty industrial equipment are constantly seeking new ways to improve efficiency, reliability, and productivity while continuing to meet safety standards.
INCOVA Technologies, a global leader in the development and manufacture of hydraulic and electrohydraulic controls, met this challenge by developing Intelligent Control Valve (INCOVA) technology. “By electronically controlling the valves, we increase excavator efficiency in terms of earth moved per unit of fuel, increase controllability by taking advantage of independent metering, and enhance productivity by intelligently controlling flow to the functions,” explains Corey Quinnell, systems engineer at INCOVA.
INCOVA created a real-time prototype of a control valve system for a 20-ton excavator using MathWorks tools for Model-Based Design. The system receives input from the operator joystick, valve pressure sensors, and engine speed monitor and then sends control signals to electrohydraulic valves on the excavator’s travel, slew, bucket, arm, boom, and auxiliary functions.
“Simulink, Simulink Coder, and Simulink Real-Time enabled our systems engineers to focus on control algorithm design and cut development time by more than 50%,” Quinnell says.