Apr 10, 2017 Parveen Gupta | Hydraulics & Pneumatics Download a PDF of this article. The recent expansion of the Panama Canal was an enormous taskone that required the resources of project partners around the world. A monumental feat of engineering and collaboration, the canals expansion included installing valves for the filling and emptying of a lock chamber system and establishing a system of water-saving basins and corresponding valves to control the water flow. Since June 2016, ships up to 366 m (1,200 ft.) long and 49 m (160 ft.) wide can pass through this shortened connection between the Far East and commercial ports along the North American shoreline. Two main players for this project were Bosch Rexroth and South Korean manufacturer Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries. Hyundai equipped and installed culvert, conduit, and equalization valves and appurtenant structures, while Bosch Rexroth supplied and built all operating machinery for the valves. This machinery includes custom-designed hydraulic power units (HPUs) with full redundancy, hydraulic cylinders, and comprehensive electronic control systems with sensors and backups, contributing to 99.9% reliability in all operating circumstances. The project required manufacturing 158 complete systems of hydraulic cylinders, HPUs, and controls in a synchronized effort from Bosch Rexroth workshops in the U.S., China, South Korea, Germany, and the Netherlands. Above are hydraulic power units with stainless steel and flexible lines. The Right Experience Rexroth was chosen as system supplier for the valve drives and related control technology based on a number construction of factors. First, the company has decades of experience in civil and hydraulic engineering, including large engineering projects in Europe, South America, and China.
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