Professor Gary Krutz: Health monitor for hydraulic hoses (Update: YouTube video)

Typical preventive maintenance practices with hydraulic hose assemblies often involve a scheduled, time-based replacement. Testing, however, shows that the replaced hoses typically would have more than 50% longer life.

The LifeSense Hydraulic Hose Condition Monitoring System, developed by Eaton Corp., Maumee, Ohio, and Purdue University, West Lafaeytte, Ind., intelligently monitors the health of hydraulic hose assemblies in real time. The system detects internal and external fatigue that has been shown to cause failure and notifies users when an assembly approaches the end of its useful life.

The notification provides sufficient time for the hose to be replaced as a normal preventive maintenance function, thereby minimizing both unscheduled downtime and the need for corrective maintenance procedures associated with traditional replacement processes.

The technology uses a two-wire braid hose, fittings, a diagnostic unit, and electrical cables. Each diagnostic unit can monitor up to 11 separate hose assemblies and more than one unit can be used in an application. Standard wire lengths are 10, 25, 50, and 100 ft. The LifeSense hose is similar to standard EN853 2SN hose and is currently available in 8, 12, and 16 (0.5 in, 0.75 in, and 1 in diameter) sizes with abrasion-resistant, elastomeric covers. The system can be used for mobile and stationary applications.

Eaton Corp.,

R&D Magazine, September 2012 p. 6 50th Annual R&D 100 Awards

Eaton Corporation has also posted a YouTube video highlighting the LifeSense technology.