Switching to electric steering motors from hydraulic versions is realizing significant energy savings for end users of new PhoeniX multidirectional sideloaders made by Hubtex of Germany.
“The electric steering motors in our patented HX steering system only work when actual steering movements take place,” explains Hans-Joachim Finger, Managing Director Sales at Hubtex. “When the axle is not moving, it means zero energy consumption.” With hydraulic steering systems, on the other hand, the pump must remain in constant operation in order to supply the oil pressure for upcoming driving maneuvers.
By using electric steering, it is possible to reduce energy consumption by up to 85% in comparison with a standard hydraulic steering system. Based on the steering system’s proportion of the vehicle’s total energy consumption, this results in peak savings of up to 33%. In addition, electric steering systems are virtually silent unlike their hydraulic counterparts.
According to Michael Roebig, product manager, the electric steering behaves much more directly compared to the hydraulic steering system as no valves need to be switched, and system is more precise. By using an electric steering motor instead of a hydraulic oil motor, the higher price of the electric motors is approximately balanced out by the higher installation effort of a hydraulic solution.
“We use synchronous motors which differ in power depending on the size of the vehicle,” noted Roebig. “For example, we use in a Phoenix with a load capacity up to 5t four steering motors with a power of 1.2 kW. In comparison to a truck with hydraulic steering motors we have to provide a considerably higher power of 4 kW to achieve the same vehicle performance in the end. “
As a result, its new PhoeniX is the top energy saver among electric multidirectional sideloaders thanks to its electric steering, says the company. Hubtex is the first manufacturer worldwide to offer this energy-saving electric steering system as standard in all multi-directional forklifts from the new PhoeniX modular system with a current load capacity of up to 7 tons.
Depending on the configuration of the vehicle, energy consumption may increase even further. For example, inductive track guidance systems, which are often used to transport long goods in narrow aisles, have a relatively high energy requirement. This can be massively reduced by using electric steering. In in-house tests comparing electric and hydraulic steering systems, Hubtex found that the electric steering system resulted in energy savings of up to 85%.
Based in Fulda in central Germany, Hubtex manufactures both custom and standard materials handling equipment from electric multi-directional sideloaders to heavy duty transport vehicles. See www.hubtex.com.