Electric Over Hydraulic Control said to mark a significant advance in excavator motion control technology
FROM the dusty cabins of traditional excavators where operators juggled mechanical levers, to contemporary cockpits equipped with cutting-edge technology, the world of hydraulic excavators has evolved substantially over the years. A significant leap in this evolution has been the introduction of the Xwatch proportional Electric Over Hydraulic Control (EOHC) by engineers at Xwatch Safety Solutions.
In the initial stages, control systems predominantly relied on mechanical levers directly interfacing with high-pressure valves. Following this period, low-pressure (pilot) hydraulic systems emerged, taking a prominent position and remaining widely in use today.
Fast forward to the present, where technology and innovation intertwine to redefine operational efficiency, the Xwatch proportional EOHC is emerging as a game-changer. This new system embraces the shift from pilot hydraulic systems to a more streamlined electric control of the high-pressure system, marking a significant cost and efficiency improvement for motion controls. In the foreseeable future, Xwatch believe EOHC is poised to become the dominant system.
However, when choosing an Xwatch system, it is important to note that not all customers have the option to choose between the pilot hydraulic systems and the EOHC. The system is principally pre-determined by the machine’s hydraulic design, limiting the availability of options predominantly dictates the available choices. A range of models from Caterpillar, Volvo, LiuGong and Takeuchi are among the brands that currently are compatible with the Xwatch proportional EOHC.
The Xwatch proportional EOHC’s core advantage lies in simplicity. It negates the need for an array of hydraulic valves, hoses, solenoid coils, and their cables, replacing them with compact EOHC units. The installation process of these units is easier, quicker, and cleaner, reflecting a blend of convenience and functionality.
The recently revised EOHC box presents a remarkable enhancement, offering a single unit that can manage four motion controls. It simplifies the hydraulic excavator’s operation by integrating multiple functions into a single box, ensuring that complexities are minimized, and performance is maximized.
A notable distinction lies in the Xwatch EOHC unit’s capacity for proportional control of the electrical circuit. Unlike some competitors who offer a basic On/Off control in their EOHC systems, the Xwatch EOHC brings a subtle, proportionate control, aligning closely with the capabilities of the current pilot valves.
Transitioning to the Xwatch proportional EOHC is a straightforward process. It involves unplugging the OEM wiring to the high-pressure valves and installing a ‘Y splitter’ cable, which directs the electrical circuit through the EOHC box. This setup allows for interruption of the circuit for motion control, and ensures the maintenance of circuit resistance, preventing the machine’s monitoring system from detecting any disruptions.
Commenting on the innovation, Fergus Fieldhouse, Xwatch product support engineer, said: ‘The EOHC was born of necessity to supply sophisticated motion control, aligning with the advent of electric over hydraulic controls on some of the new-generation excavators.
‘It wasn’t about introducing a new innovation to the market as a selectable option. Instead, it was about fulfilling a critical operational need with enhanced precision and efficiency. The bonus part is that our system uniquely stands out by allowing proportional control, a feature that augments the user experience and operational finesse of the excavating machinery.’
According to Xwatch, EOHC is not merely a technological upgrade; it is a model shift, setting new benchmarks in the operational efficiency of hydraulic excavators. Despite its current limited adoption, with only a handful of manufacturers utilizing the electric system, they say the benefits of the EOHC herald a time where it will undoubtedly, in the not-to-distant future, become an industry norm.