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Bosch Rexroth AG Always at the right level Efficient and safe handling of aerial work platforms | MOBILE 2017 27

Chapter 1: Safety

Always at the right levelEfficient and

safe handling of aerial work platforms

Self-propelled aerial work platforms are all-rounders that are used for a variety of
applications. Whether for painting, window cleaning, repairs to buildings or aircraft:
aerial work platforms need to be flexible to efficiently support workers high above
the ground. Bosch Rexroth offers many new solutions for these applications.

When it comes to implementing hydraulics, the new EDG (electro-directional LS)

valve series ensures finer and more efficient movements, while the gravity lowering
valves flanged onto the cylinder increase the energy efficiency.

For drives, the EDC (electro-directional flow sharing valve) concept opens up the
advantages of parallel pressure compensators for significantly increased energy
efficiency and performance.

Assistance systems monitor the surroundings of the aerial work platforms and
increase the safety of the operator by warning against collisions and could also have
access to the electronified hydraulics in the future.

Jochen Reinhard
Sales and Industry Sector Management Aerial Work Platforms

Luca Gaggini
Sales and Product Management Compact Hydraulics

Cdric Godon
Engineering Radar Systems, Bosch Engineering GmbH
28 MOBILE 2017 | Always at the right level Efficient and safe handling of aerial work platforms Bosch Rexroth AG

Implement hydraulics

More sensitive and efficient height adjustment

On aerial work platforms, the operator controls the boom from the work basket. In doing
so, it can travel to heights of up to 20 meters within two minutes. Despite these dynamics,
the movements must not cause any risks for the stability of the vehicle nor overload the
system. Therefore, the electrohydraulic controller must regulate the movements gently and

Bosch Rexroth has been a leading provider of electro-proportional valves for mobile work
machines worldwide for decades. Building on this broad base of experience, the company Fig. 1: EDG valve of the
has now developed the new EDG valve series for the typical flow characteristics of aerial new generation
2407340mm, 2.3kg
work platforms. EDG valves are especially compact and lightweight (Fig.1).

This new load-sensing (LS) directional valve is pressure-compensated in each section. De-
pending on the configuration of the hydraulic input, the EDG valve can be combined with
fixed pumps or with pressure-compensated LS variable displacement pumps. If several
functions are selected, the EDG control block automatically detects the highest operating
pressure at each valve section through the use of shuttle valves. And this highest operating
pressure is reported to the inlet pressure compensator when using fixed pumps or to the
flow controller of the variable displacement pump.
Fig. 2: Control block with
The very compact EDG valve offers the highest possible degree of freedom for flexibility EDG valves

and hydraulic concepts - for the first time in this volumetric flow rate class. The body is
available in two versions: A version with low housing without help valves for compact and
lightweight control blocks as well as a medium-sized case with customer-specific auxiliary
valves. Manufacturers of aerial work platforms can combine both versions in one block
depending on the application (Fig.2).

In addition, the LS pressure for each function can be set on the A and B ports, which are
separated using pressure cut-off valves LSA and LSB. This constrains the maximum force
for lifting or clamping, which in turn provides greater security. Thanks to the modular prin-
ciple, each valve section with counterbalance valves can be fitted onto the A and B ports as
an alternative to complementary anti-shock and anti-cavitation valves.

Features of EDG
Electrical direct control, manual and hydraulic operation optional
Pre-compensated 5/3-way directional proportional valve
For fixed pumps and pressure compensated load-sensing variable displacement pumps
Maximum flow 30 l/min, maximum pressure 350 bar
Can be combined with Rexroth M4 directional valves
Bosch Rexroth AG Always at the right level Efficient and safe handling of aerial work platforms | MOBILE 2017 29

Equipped with a sensor, the EDG valve reliably captures all movements of the control spool
(Fig.3). From this, the electronics detect whether the spool is in the neutral position or is
in an active position indicating direction. In contrast to other measuring techniques, mag-
netic measurement has no repercussions affecting the switching times or the hysteresis
of the valve. This information is important for safety circuits that comply with the current

Fig. 3: EDG valve with Intelligent use of gravity

spool position sensor

Bosch Rexroth has developed a gravity lowering valve, with which the lowering procedure
of the aerial work platform can be done without consuming fuel, and in some cases even
when the diesel engine is switched off. This leads to substantial energy savings in the
realm of implement hydraulics and less diesel engine operating time (Fig.4).

Compared to existing solutions with counterbalance valves which regulate the ground side

of the cylinder, and a main valve for inlet and flow control, the new valve activates a check
valve while lifting. As a result, the main valve continues to control the inlet. In terms of flow
control, it activates an electro-proportional seat valve with pressure compensator function
for a constant flow. Overall, this solution significantly reduces energy consumption and
also simplifies the hydraulic system because it assumes both the relief and the drainage
function (Fig.5). In addition, it reduces complexity during the installation because the
valve can be mounted directly onto the cylinder. The main control valve only needs to adopt
the supply control. For this, a simple 2-way proportional cartridge valve is sufficient. This in
turn saves weight, space, and money.

Fig. 4: Gravity lowering valve Bosch Rexroth will fully customize the gravity lowering valve to individual customer require-
ments, for example with specific valve characteristics, additional safety valves or manual
override features.

Fig. 5: Gravity lowering concept

30 MOBILE 2017 | Always at the right level Efficient and safe handling of aerial work platforms Bosch Rexroth AG

Efficient travel drives save drive power and fuel

In addition to the elevate movement, manufacturers also use hydraulics for the travel drive.
The driving functions of aerial work platforms are characterized by low speeds of only up
to 6 km/h at high torque to overcome slopes of up to 45%. In accordance with EN 280,
boom and vehicle must not move simultaneously. Due to the fact that the driving capabili-
ties of the vehicle usually demand significantly more energy than the boom movements,
the efficiency of the transmission determines the necessary diesel engine power. The more
efficiently the travel drive works, the less input power is needed by the motor. This corre-
sponds to the trend towards downsizing diesel engines, with corresponding savings when
it comes to acquisition and operation.

Usually two or four hydraulic motors located on the drive wheels are used in aerial work
platforms with hydrostatic travel drive. To connect the wheel motors there is serial (Fig.6)
or parallel connection (Fig.7), as well as a combination of the two.

With regard to the parallel circuits used in aerial work platforms, it is necessary to pre-
vent a wheel from spinning when it has no traction. The low pressure on the motor of the
spinning wheel causes the entire flow to be directed to this motor. Thus, the worst case
scenario is that the platform no longer moves. To avoid this, a hydraulic flow divider/uniter
is usually inserted.

Fig. 6: Serial connection with a focus on speed Fig. 7: Parallel connection in with a focus on torque
(Bosch Rexroth HET)
Bosch Rexroth AG Always at the right level Efficient and safe handling of aerial work platforms | MOBILE 2017 31

EDC valves: Simple design - full power

An innovative concept based on EDC valves from Rexroth uses the well-known LUDV flow
distribution, which works similar to a flow divider/uniter, but is constructed much simpler
with the EDC valve since only the dividing function is necessary. Through the integrated
4/3-way directional valves there is no need for a change of direction on the pump (closed
loop) or on the main valve (open loop). The EDC concept opens up the advantages of par-
allel pressure compensator for significantly increased energy efficiency and performance.
When it comes to the concept presented at MOBILE 2017, four EDC valve sections are
installed (proportional or black and white). With this approach, a variety of functions can
Fig. 8: Control block with be displayed:
EDC valves

Freewheel function in order to save fuel if no traction control is required.

Correct opening of the metering orifice, depending on the vehicle speed, to determine
the optimal operating points for custom functions and energy efficiency.

Deactivation of two motors in order to switch from four wheel to two-wheel drive, for
example, to travel between two locations.
The possibility to use different large-scale motors/gears with individual division ratios
for each consumer.
Customer-specific inlet elements allow customized functionality for the machine (such
as on/off valves for bleeding the parking brakes).

To avoid cavitation and pressure peaks between the EDC valve and the motors, it is possible
to flange-mount the secondary valves directly to the EDC directional valves. Depending on
the flow rate and pressure settings, the EDC valves can be used in closed and open circuits.

Features of EDC
Maximum pressure at ports P, A and B 310 bar
Maximum pressure at port T 210 bar
Maximum flow per directional valve 50l/min
32 MOBILE 2017 | Always at the right level Efficient and safe handling of aerial work platforms Bosch Rexroth AG

New meter OUT concept A new meter OUT concept developed by Bosch Rexroth only
controls the flow from the engine to the reservoir to avoid
For larger aerial work platforms > 20 meters working the disadvantages of combined meter IN/OUT solutions.
height, closed circuits are preferred for regulating the The challenge involved with pure meter OUT solutions is
speed. For smaller models, open circuits are used. In mod- that there is no common LS signal that can be generated.
ern system solutions for open circuits, an LS or LUDV con- This means that combination with other LS / LUDV sys-
trol valve is placed between the pump and the motor. The tems is not possible. This conversion takes over a pressure
valve regulates the flow to the motor (meter IN). A second compensator, which ensures that the pressure between the
control valve which regulates the drainage from the mo- motor and drain valve remains constant without affecting
tor into the reservoir (meter OUT) is necessary to prevent the speed of the machines. The LS pressure is transmitted
unintended acceleration going down slopes. to the pump with the signal between the pressure compen-
sator and motor.
Pressure-controlled secondary valves (such as counter-
balance valves) generate high pressure losses. In conjunction with the new EDC flow divider concept that
When it comes to flow-controlled secondary valves controls the direction of travel, it is easy to access this LS
(pressure compensator in connection with throttled signal and to send it to the pump or other control blocks.
reservoir cross-section on the main valve), it is difficult The functionality of the meter OUT concept can be integrat-
to define and set the operating point at which the transi- ed into a customer-specific inlet element, thereby saving on
tion from meter IN to meter OUT occurs. piping (Fig.9).

Joysticks THE Controller RC

lowering valve

Travel drive
Customer-specific inlet Implement hydraulics
element with EDG directional
EDC directional valves valves

Axial piston
variable pump Gravity
A1VO lowering valve

Fig. 9: Circuit diagram with the new EDC flow divider and integrated meter OUT concept
Bosch Rexroth AG Always at the right level Efficient and safe handling of aerial work platforms | MOBILE 2017 33

Bosch operators basket surround detection

assistance system

In addition to components and system solutions for implement and travel drive hydraulics,
the Bosch Group offers digital assistance systems for environment recognition. Operators
of aerial work platforms must not only perform their work correctly, but they also need to
bring the work platform into exactly the right position. This requires a high degree of con-
centration and consistent switching between tasks to avoid accidents. To help the operator
and to avoid security risks, Bosch has developed a radar-based environment recognition
system for aerial work platforms. It helps the people working on the platform to safely per-
form their various tasks (Fig.10).

The operator's basket surround detection system alerts the operator in the first stage of
expansion, when the platform moves towards objects with which it could collide. The de-

tection of these objects works even under difficult circumstances, such as fog, rain or other
visual obstacles. In the future, the system will also be able to directly access the electrified
implement hydraulics if so desired. Then it will slow down or stop the movements of the
boom when risks to operator or the environment are present (Fig.11).

15 84 84

Fig. 10: Radar system positioning and coverage

Radar left Radar right
12 V power supply

CAN gateway


Rexroth DI4
Embedded PC
display CAN/Video stream

Fig. 11: Electric/electronic architecture

34 MOBILE 2017 | Always at the right level Efficient and safe handling of aerial work platforms Bosch Rexroth AG

The implemented radar sensors from Bosch are used in large quantities in automobiles
(Fig.12). The 77GHz frequency produces a high resolution. The radar sensors detect both
static and dynamic objects within the detection zone. Each sensor has a horizontal range
of 84 and a vertical range of 15. They capture the distance, speed and the approximate
angle of the objects. This information is sent to an interface or directly to the system con-
trol unit. Once there, algorithms analyze the data and calculate if the objects pose a hazard
and where that hazard could be. Based on this information, the system can issue a warning
signal or, in the future, trigger an intervention in the elevate hydraulics or the travel drive.

Since the sensors do not depend on clear vision or good lighting conditions, they recog-
nize more objects and obstacles than the eyes of the human operator. The radar sensors
Fig. 12: Radar sensorwith cover an area, that is not in the operators field of view. With radar-based environment
compact dimensions recognition people on the aerial platform can concentrate on the work at hand because the
sensors monitor the other directions. The sensors meet the requirements for protection
class IP67k. They are resilient against EMV, shock and temperature fluctuations. In special
conditions, such as while painting, it can be protected with a plastic covering. They also
work reliably where optical sensors, cameras and ultra sound sensors are not suitable.

Two radar sensors are used to protect the work basket in the demonstrator. The detection
range can be increased by means of additional sensors. The system is also suitable for
protecting the vehicle chassis.

EasyFit camera system

Security risks can also arise when driving the platform through ditches or on uneven ter-
rain because the operator does not have sufficient visibility while working in the basket.
A typical situation with increased risk occurs when the operator drives the platform onto
the transport truck at the end of a shift. To improve visibility in such vehicles, Bosch has
developed the EasyFit camera system. The intelligent technology helps the driver to assess
the complete environment at a glance. To accomplish this, EasyFit uses ultra-wide angle
Fig. 13: EasyFit camera cameras which create a 360 view (Fig.14). The robust and compact cameras are also eas-
ily customizable to fit on mobile machines built according to batch size 1 and they support
the PAL/NTSC screen standards.

Fig. 14: Surround view of machine

Bosch Rexroth AG Always at the right level Efficient and safe handling of aerial work platforms | MOBILE 2017 35

As a system partner, Bosch Rexroth and Bosch offer innova-
tive solutions for more productive and safer aerial work
platforms. When it comes to working hydraulics, the new
EDG valve ensures sensitive and efficient movements. The
gravity lowering valve increases energy efficiency because it
lowers the aerial work platform without consuming fuel.

In travel hydraulics, EDC valves simplify the hydraulic

system layout and also tap into the benefits of using
parallel pressure compensators for significantly reduced
fuel consumption by aerial work platforms.

Bosch assistance systems monitor the environment and

identify obstacles before collisions can occur. In the future,
these systems will be able to directly access the features of
electronified hydraulics and prevent such critical situations.