Application: Hughes Company is an OEM of food processing machinery. Most of the equipment they produce is for processing vegetables. In order to maximize efficiency and throughput of product, this equipment requires frequent cleaning. Hughes Company wanted to develop a more reliable cleaning system, to further improve their current product offering.
In the old design, a long cable cylinder moved a high-pressure nozzle along the length of the machine. Flow control valves, located in the ports of the cylinder, controlled the speed of the nozzle. This design caused the cylinder speed to vary greatly, depending on supply pressure and ambient temperature. This caused the nozzle to stop short or to reach the end of stroke and stop. In both cases, the nozzle would spray in an undesirable location, wasting water and reducing overall effectiveness.
Oscillating Valve: In developing a more reliable cleaning system, Hughes Company utilized an oscillating valve. In the new design, a timer activates a solenoid. When energized, the solenoid opens a ball valve for the water supply and also provides an air supply for the oscillating valve. The nozzle then reciprocates continuously, until the timer is shut off. The oscillating valve has proved to be very reliable and offers smooth, consistent cycling, eliminating the problems experienced with the previous design.
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