A second generation of Engcon’s popular SS9 tiltrotator control system is being introduced. Called SS9-2, the system nearly doubles the number of program modes that are available as well as providing safer locking methodology.
Tiltrotator control systems remain something of a mystery to many people – even those with the more sophisticated variants. In the end, it is the functionality of the overall installation that is the important thing – does the tiltrotator allow the operator to work in the manner that they expect? However, control system selection is often a function of the original machine setup, type of application and budget. At one end of the scale, Control System ‘0’, or SS0 has no inbuilt controls and relies on the hydraulics and machine controls for its (on/off) functionality. This requires a single hydraulic circuit per function (tilt, rotate and tiltrotator hitch) so against any perceived saving in the purchase price of the tiltrotator, the extra cost of the pipework – and lack of tiltrotator sophistication – must be deducted.
Engcon’s SS5 control systems offer a mid-range option, providing basic on/off (i.e. non-proportional) controls together with the advantage that only a single hydraulic circuit is required to the end of the dipper. The tiltrotator controls and valves do the rest. This type of system is most often used in hire fleet applications, where multiple operators with sometimes limited tiltrotator experience constitute the majority of users.
At the top end of the scale, Engcon’s DC2 uses a single hydraulic circuit with fully proportional controls where all tiltrotator functions can be operated simultaneously.
As tiltrotators continue to grow in popularity, more and more excavator manufacturers are offering so-called ‘tiltrotator-ready’ machines with two proportional hydraulic circuits. The new version of Engcon’s SS9-2 is designed to accommodate these changes and includes some important safety enhancements. With SS9-2, one of the machine’s (proportional) hydraulic circuits is dedicated to the rotate function of the tiltrotator and the other switches between the tilt, hitch and extra functions. The new variant of SS9 allows more options for this switching function. As with previous models, SS9-2 is available as standard as SS9-2 IQ (to include the tiltrotator quick hitch operation) or SS9-2 SQ, where a separate quick hitch circuit, or ‘6 hose solution’ is available on the excavator. “Both variants meet the latest European standard SS EN ISO 13849-1:2008," explains Roberth Jonsson, Product Manager at Microprop, the Engcon subsidiary which builds the company’s control systems, and continues,
"The locking function has become even safer, and the methodology meets the requirements in EN 13031, and is strongly reminiscent of the DC2 proportional control system. We have also increased the number of program modes to seven, compared to the SS9s four. They are also easy to change.
The SS9-2 is also able to handle machines with voltage supply dips, a common problem with 12 volt machines at start up.
Additional functions in the SS9-2 include earlier fault indications and alarm codes, which were developed to meet demand. They are now simply shown in the display."
"For us, it is important to listen to requests from users and to include them in our innovation and development work. This is one of the main reasons that we continue to be the leading maker of tiltrotators in the world," says Fredrik Jonsson, Development Manager at Engcon.
The SS9-2 was field tested in the autumn and winter of 2015 and Engcon's production delivery of SS9-2 started at the beginning of 2016.
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