What’s New in Fully Automatic Quick
Here’s the latest news in terms of fully automatic quick coupling systems for hydraulic excavator attachments. Efficiency, safety and the environment continue to be the major focus when it comes to handling demolition materials. Since the first quick coupling systems for hydraulic tools were launched in the early 1990s, the working day has been revolutionized for the machine contractor, with demolition contractors being fast to adopt quick connect systems. It’s hard these days to find a demolition contractor that does not use hydraulic quick couplings to efficiently change their tools on the jobsite without having to leave the cab. PDa presents the latest news in this sector in its first issue of the year.
For a few years now, Arden Equipment has been very active in developing and manufacturing different types of quick couplers for a range of different applications. Arden has released the QA H Series 3, designed specifically to increase the safety of the operator and others in the workplace. The Arden QA quick hitch system enables and simplifies the quick change of different attachments on a hydraulic excavator. These self-locking quick couplers fit all excavators from 0. 8t to 12t and meet all current safety standards, with the QA05H and QA Series 3 being equipped with a safety pad on the front axle.
Arden says that advantages of its system are the dimensions and its compactness. It is compatible with reversible buckets and is equipped with lifting eyes. In terms of safety on the hydraulic QA coupler, the safety paddle serves as a locking indicator. QA Series 3 are also available with different options including integrated tongue hooks. The QA 05 H has a single effect hydraulic line and QA 13 H to QA 23 H has a double acting hydraulic line.
The manufacturer that the industry historically associates with hydraulic quick coupling systems is, of course, OilQuick. The company continues to impress and holds the market in an iron grip continuing to launch innovations. Here are some of the recent developments designed for contractors working in demolition, recycling and scrap handling.
New OQTR-E09 tilt rotator
Last year, the company debuted the OQTR-E09, the smallest model in its range. Designed for a OilQuick OQ45 quick coupler system, the OQTR-309 is perfect for smaller excavation and planning work with smaller machines. Equipped with OilQuick sandwich solution, the OQTR-E09 allows the operator to tilt, rotate, and change the tiltrotator to a bucket or other hydraulic, electrical, or mechanical attachments under the tilt. This means maximum digging capacity, breaking force and function, and that the right attachment is used at every moment. Safe, quick and easy from inside the comfort of the cab. With the release of the smallest OQTR-E09, OilQuick now covers excavators from 6t to 33t
New 17-pin electrical connector
The increased demands on electrical cable glands in connection with proportionally controlled control systems for tilt rotators, machine control systems and other electrical functions have meant that, in many cases, two 10 pole electrical connections must be used. OilQuick’s new V90/17 with a total of 17 poles can handle all this with just one electrical connector. The electrical connector can be retrofitted to older OQ couplers and attachment sections. V90/17 is a robust 17 pole vertically connected electrical connector especially developed for use with OilQuick’s fully automatic quick couplers and attachment sections. This replaces the previous 10-pole V90 connector.
The connection is stable and secure due to the homogeneous pins in the female coupling providing safe contact and function, being particularly suitable for CANbus traffic with weaker control currents. The pins have a larger contact surface and stronger springs provide increased contact. There are also two CANbus channels through the electrical connection that ensure that the control traffic to the tilt rotator can be kept separate from external CANbus traffic with machine control systems.
Other advantages are that V90/17 can withstand higher current strengths - 5A per pole and a total of 30A across the entire connector. The electrical connection is sealed against humidity and moisture when connected, and there are also fixed coupling holders on the attachment side which means there is no more need for the addition of shims in the male connector. The male part is available with connectors suitable for all machine control systems such as Leica, Trimble, and Topcon
OilQuick Americas starts
US production during 2022
Last year, OilQuick and Exodus Global formed a new US-based joint venture called OilQuick Americas to manufacture OilQuick’s automatic quick coupler systems for the North and South American markets. OQ Americas is currently investing in a new headquarters and state-of-the-art manufacturing in connection with the existing facility in Superior, Wisc. Full production is expected to begin in 2023.
“The team at Exodus Global is a perfect match for us, having the very same view of business, quality, and support for our customers,” says OilQuick CEO Henrik Sonerud. “We are very happy to start this new journey with them. This is also a necessary step for us in our global expansion, by doing this we release capacity for our growth in Europe and Asia, but more importantly we improve support for our customers in North America by shortening delivery times and increasing flexibility.”
More news to come in 2023
During 2023 OilQuick will release its largest suspended quick coupler, OQC90. There will be more on this at a later date. In addition, an updated touch display and interface for ‘OQLS’ will be released in 2023. This is an advanced, user friendly electronical driver support for safe and secure attachment switching on excavators.
Also in 2023, OilQuick will release a new slim touchscreen and a new digital interface. This simplifies managing attachment swaps when using a tilt rotator, which enables the operator to control both machine and tilt couplings from the same display. OQLS has been designed to be user friendly and offers a clear coupling process via the intuitive touch display. There is a sensor detection of attachment pins and locking plungers. It provides an automatic activation of the machine’s hydraulics and fulfils all safety requirements on the market. OilQuick promises additional announcements later in the year.
Rototilt’s Open-S standard
Today there are quite a number of manufacturers of quick coupling systems, but Sweden should still be considered the Mecca for such equipment, with OilQuick, Rototilt, Steelwrist and Engcon, all being from Sweden. Steelwrist and Rototilt have a close working relationship and this resulted in the Open-S alliance, which received the Innovation Award at the Swedish Demolition Awards Ceremony in November last year.
The idea with the Open-S alliance is to strive to give machine operators and contractors around the world the freedom to combine quick couplers, tilt rotators and work tools from different manufacturers that follow the standard. With a common standard it is easier for industry manufacturers to continue competing with performance and functionality, and still offer customers’ compatibility. The standard also means that dealers can provide clearer information about which products fit together. Steelwrist’s fully automatic SQ quick coupler and Rototilt’s “QuickChange” systems are designed to be able to connect to other brands following the Open-S standard.
In May last year Steelwrist launched the new range of SQ50 quick couplers and tilt rotators. The new range is targeted toward 7t to 13t excavators. Steelwrist SQ is used in quick couplers and tilt rotators on excavators to connect hydraulic work tools. The company says that it provides outstanding flow characteristics and meets the specifications of the Open-S standard for fully automatic quick couplers. The SQ50 will be phased in on X12 and X14 tilt rotators which means that future S-type quick couplers and tilt rotators will be upgradeable to SQ type.
S50 and SQ50 quick couplers are steel cast and have the Steel wrist Front Pin Lock safety solution. This is a mechanical lock of the front shaft that significantly limits the risk of an unintended drop of work tools. The X12 and X14 tilt rotators are redesigned with a new top and attachment coupler in order to make it possible to upgrade from S50 to SQ50 at a later stage, even if the customer did not include SQ in the initial order.
An SQ on the top side/upper coupler of the tilt rotator for rapid change between tilt rotator and other work tools, and SQ on the bottom side (attachment coupler) of the tilt rotator will allow for rapid change between hydraulic work tools. By using SQ, tilt rotator work tools can be made less expensive as the rotation function is included in the tilt rotator.
“With the introduction of SQ50 fully automatic quick couplers and tilt rotators, we will change the game in the growing 10t excavator segment with low back pressure,” says Stefan Stockhaus, CEO of Steelwrist AB. “This allows for efficient use of high flow work tools also for mid-size excavators.”
High flow hydraulics and rotation sensor
With the introduction of SQ50, Qplus technology has been updated to allow for even higher flows, reportedly adding another 20% to flow capacity which allows users to run the high flow for work tools on mid-size excavators. With the introduction of SQ50, Steelwrist during 2022 also introduced a new Absolute Rotation Sensor in order to give higher accuracy to machine control systems. In October 2021 Steelwrist added SQ90 to the range of automatic quick couplers.
Rototilt did not launch any new quick coupler models during 2022, but there is other news. Rototilt has launched the new Rototilt Control product concept, promising better operability, improved energy efficiency and new technology in a cohesive system. The company has kept one of its new products under the radar to date, but the details of the new RC joysticks have now been revealed.
“RC Joysticks have been designed to meet our high standards as regards function and quality,” says Caroline Jonsson, product manager. “We consider it only natural to be able to deliver a complete system of tilt rotators and control systems from the same manufacturer, to satisfy the industry’s high demands in respect of safety and CE marking.”
Through field tests involving both male and female machine operators, as well as close collaboration with leading product designers in this area, Rototilt’s objective has been to develop handles that are suitable for a wide range of hand sizes without compromising on fit. Thanks to a digital keypad, they also provide scope for future adaptations in relation to the machine. Rototilt has also now inaugurated its newly built distribution center north of Stockholm. The investment means shorter lead times, greater flexibility and availability. Orders placed at 4pm can be delivered the next day in the Nordics.
“This is a long-term investment in our aftermarket that is about offering the best possible service to our customers,” says Jan Karlsson, aftermarket manager. “We know how important it is to be able to keep our machines running.”