Pressure transmitters have become essential parts of virtually all large equipment. Cranes, dump trucks, bulldozers, earth movers, drilling machines, and agricultural combines all use electronic pressure transmitters as highly reliable sensors for their operating and safety systems.

A high-quality mobile hydraulics pressure sensor used as intended will typically last for years, but the use of a poor-quality pressure transmitter or a transmitter not designed for an application often results in premature failure. Equipment failure is expensive. The main economic consequence of equipment failure is not repairing or replacing the equipment but the downtime related to the equipment failure. Operational downtime in mining or construction industries can mean thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars an hour in some cases.

Why Pressure Transmitters Fail

Not all pressure transmitters are made the same. Pressure transmitters for use in climate-controlled, low-vibration environments do not have to be designed to resist vibration, temperature change, or electrical interference like the specialized pressure transmitters used in mobile hydraulic applications must be.

Misapplication: Using the wrong kind of pressure transmitter for the job is the most common reason for failure. Typical misapplications include using a general industrial pressure transmitter designed for stationary use in an earthmover or agricultural combine, for example, or using a tank level transmitter that is not compatible with the contents of the tank.

Shock and Vibration: Constant vibration and frequent jarring shocks will eventually degrade any device, and pressure transmitters are no exception. WIKA’s electronic pressure transmitters are designed with shock and vibration in mind, and these rugged sensors undergo more than 20 mechanical tests to make sure they are tough enough for the most demanding mobile hydraulics applications.

Pressure Spikes: Pressure spikes are common in many mobile hydraulic applications. Valves have to be opened and closed regularly during the operation of hydraulic equipment such as bulldozers and cranes, and this creates frequent pressure spikes that hammer pressure transmitters.

Temperature: Extreme temperatures also inevitably degrade electronic devices. Given that mobile hydraulic devices are often used in geographical areas with temperature extremes, the pressure transmitters used in mobile hydraulic applications must be designed to be able to withstand these rapid temperature changes. Temperature cycling has a negative impact on gaskets and the body of the transmitter, as well as potentially causing any dissimilar materials to separate and create leak paths.

Water Ingress: Water is the mortal enemy of electronic devices. Pressure transmitters that could possibly be exposed to water or other moisture must be completely sealed. WIKA pressure transmitters have been designed from the beginning to be fully waterproof, and all models are thoroughly tested for water ingress before they are shipped to customers.

Electrical Interference: Electromagnetic interference or radio frequency interference can cause pressure transmitter malfunctions including signal instability or signal inaccuracy. Electrical interference can be produced by nearby industrial equipment or power transformers or by a lightning strike in the vicinity.  All of WIKA’s mobile hydraulic electronic pressure transmitters undergo a battery of 10 different electrical tests including over voltage resistance.

Chemical Incompatibility: Chemical incompatibility is a particular problem with agricultural machinery. Some of the fertilizers and pesticides sprayed from many agricultural machines inevitably end up inside the engine of the sprayer or combine and can eventually degrade the function of the pressure transmitter. The only practical solution to this problem is to make sure that your pressure sensors are constructed from materials resistant to chemicals. WIKA produces a wide range of electronic pressure transmitters specifically designed for use in construction, mining and agricultural industry mobile hydraulics applications. These rugged pressure transmitters are thoughtfully designed and thoroughly tested to be able to instantly provide critical information to operators, ensuring that equipment is always functioning within safe parameters.

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