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The new design brings comprehensive added value

Hydraulic connection technology

Technological factors such as performance, efficiency and functionality are decisive for the market success of machines and equipment. But those who see innovation as a purely technical matter need to think more broadly. Machines are increasingly becoming „brand ambassadors“ which visually express their „inner values“ through sophisticated industrial design. For this reason, the supplier industry is called upon to demonstrate their innovative power in future in both categories: function and form.

This is exactly the high standard that the connection technology specialist VOSS Fluid is already setting itself. The international provider of tube connections for stationary and mobile hydraulics installations has developed a new design for its 24 pipe couplings – one of the most widely used coupling systems. „This was not only a case of establishing a future-oriented look“ reported Detlef Le, development engineer at VOSS Fluid and project manager for the redesign process. „To a greater degree, our goal was to offer our customers real added value in terms of both form and function.“ The strategic decision was made by VOSS Fluid’s management as early as 2012. Around 4,500 of the 16,000 sales articles were affected by the redesign in varying sizes and designs, this included elbow, T, L and cross couplings.

Development goals
Four basic principles were clearly established for VOSS Fluid at the start of the two-year development phase: firstly, the wrench flats should be made bigger ensuring maximum compatibility with the installation wrenches. This is because modern machines are built with increasingly compact dimensions, with leads to narrow construction spaces and difficult assembly in hydraulics systems. Increasing the wrench surface makes assembly easier, even in difficult conditions. Secondly, in spite of this improvement in functionality, the weight of the screw connection unit should stay the same or even be reduced in order to rule out increases in materials costs and to account for the requirements of compact machine and equipment constructions. „In addition, instead of creating yet another variation on the customary hexagonal design, our ambition was to create an unmistakable new look which would equip our customers for international markets and make them stand out from their competitors. Ultimately, machines and equipment are important brand representatives and the hydraulics systems, including the connection technology, are often an important element of the visual appearance“, explained Detlef Le regarding the ambitious design goals. The fourth focus of the development for the company centered around the compatibility of quality demands and large-scale production. Connection components should not only be produced in a time and cost-efficient way, products should also always be good quality.

From the idea to commercial implementation
„To start with, we carried out a study together with the industrial design devision and tested the commercial and technical suitability of numerous coupling designs“, said development engineer Le. To aid efficient implementation, VOSS Fluid organized the high variability of the 24° tube couplings according to wrench size, length, diameter and coupling type and consolidated these in a logical and constructive way. What started on paper took shape in the 3D CAD model, its resilience was then tested virtually using the finite element method. Through this, the company ensured that the newly designed connection units maintain at least the standard market pressure level. For the final development phase, prototypes made from steel casting were produced. „After we had proved the practical suitability with a vice, selected customers – all large original equipment manufacturers in the commercial vehicle and mobile hydraulics sectors – tested the model of the connection design“, explained Detlef Le. „On the basis of their feedback we carried out the last improvements.“ On the whole, VOSS Fluid was able to enormously increase user friendliness: for example, in contrast to conventional connection components available on the market, the highest rim of the fitting body is lower than the threaded socket. This benefits the technician, particularly in hard to access areas, providing as much space as possible for positioning the installation wrench. At the same time, the company complied with the customers‘ wish for the weight to be as low as possible and, in spite of increased wrench flats, to not overstep the market standard. Overall, VOSS Fluid’s new design for the 24° tube couplings is a reliable and highly resilient solution for use in modern hydraulics systems. With increased wrench flats and a user-oriented shape, it allows optimum installation even in restricted construction spaces. Manufacturers of mobile and stationary hydraulics systems will benefit from efficient installation times as well as durably leak-proof and visually appealing tube connections.

Certified product quality in accordance with IACS
Finally, the company tested the new screw connection design in accordance with ISO 19879 in the plant’s own testing laboratory. The result: the new configuration reliably passed both the burst pressure test and the pressure pulse test. It can hold up to a four times higher interior pressure and at least one million pressure changes from pulsating loads. To have the suitability confirmed officially, VOSS Fluid had it certified by the parent organization of the world’s most prestigious certification authorities (IACS). The organization confirmed the product’s outstanding performance capacity. According to this, the new 24° tube couplings can also stand at least 500,000 load changes under combined loads from burst pressure, pulsating pressure and pressure from bending, in addition to the ISO tests.

About VOSS Fluid GmbH
VOSS Fluid GmbH is an internationally leading supplier of hydraulic connection technology. The company has its registered office at Wipperfürth and, with its approx. 400 employees, it is a part of VOSS Holding. The product portfolio comprises pipe connections for stationary and mobile hydraulics, including cutting ring screw unions, tube and pipe forming systems and flanged connections. VOSS Fluid as a development and system partner of international mechanical engineering focuses on application-specific system solutions. VOSS Fluid offers customers all from a single source: from project planning and engineering via production and assembly to economic logistics services. With its four own sales companies in Europe and Asia as well as further VOSS Group representations and a worldwide network of dealers, VOSS Fluid ensures at all times the reliable distribution of its system solutions.

VOSS Fluid GmbH
Catrin Neukirchen
Lüdenscheider Straße 52-54
51688 Wipperfürth
+49 2267 63-0

additiv pr GmbH & Co. KG
Susanne Unmack
Herzog-Adolf-Straße 3
56410 Montabaur
+49 2602 95099-12

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