Fluid Power Talk

Eaton develops electrohydraulic training simulator

Anyone who has read my blog over the years or some of the more general trend/news stories I've written for Hydraulics & Pneumatics magazine knows that industry education is kind of my thing. So I was excited to learn about the latest efforts of Eaton's Hydraulics Training Services, this being a second-generation Portable Electrohydraulic Training Simulator designated as the PETS-II. It is designed to provide a hands-on method of reinforcement of the electrohydraulic principles taught within the classroom.

This is the newest model from Eaton, as the older model is simply for basic hydraulics training, incorporating valves, cylinders, hose, fittings, but not electronic controls. On the last evening of the Eaton Distributor Meeting, the older trainer was used in a special tournament, with competitors vying to see who could build the circuit correctly in the fastest time.

The trainer is available for purchase by anyone who is involved in training — universities, distributors, OEMs, technical schools, and more. Eaton's trainers will start up the trainers and provide a full curriculum for instructors, says Eaton's David Riggenbach. The curriculum includes a instructor's manual with labs and step-by-step instructions, quizzes and test answers, and more.

Riggenbach says that the curriculum can be consolidated to easily fit into different types of classroom settings, from an week-long course to a full semester program. Since May, Eaton has already built and sold nine of the trainers.

A release from Eaton lists the following specs:

  • Hydraulic power unit with 1 liter tank, 0.25 gpm pump at 200 psi

    that operates on a standard 120VAC 15 amp lighting circuit

  • Painted metal enclosure with carrying handles
  • Non-feedback proportional directional control valve,
  • 7 in. hydraulic cylinder
  • 5k ohm linear potentiometer (cylinder position feedback)
  • 5k ohm 10 turn command potentiometer on the front panel
  • 3 push button switches on the front panel for enableand step command signals.
  • Din-rail mounted Eaton ELC programmable controller with digital and analog inputs and outputs
  • DIN-rail mounted Proportional, Integral, and Derivative (PID) control module
  • Patch cord set to connect proportional lab experiments

The PETS-II unit gives up to 3 students simultaneous hands-on experience with the principles of electrohydraulic position and velocity control including electrical wiring, tuning and troubleshooting of proportional amplifier cards. Laboratory experiments included in the instructional package cover both open and closed loop control of the cylinder position or velocity.

Students will learn how to adjust the gain and deadband compensation of the proportional valve, and acceleration and deceleration of the cylinder using on-board adjustments. The PID amplifier is used to demonstrate adjustment of proportional, integral, and derivative gains for proper closed loop control of the cylinder.

Visit Eaton for more information.