RCH Engineers New Steering System
Rio Controls & Hydraulics (RCH) said it has developed a new steering system by modifying existing inductive sensors used in the oil and gas industry to reach a design that the company said will provide accurate and longer lasting sensor command and feedback signals.
This technology aims to replace conventional devices such as potentiometers, as RCH claims its system offers many advantages over traditional steering.
• Inductive Technology has no moving parts, so the lifecycle when compared to the conventional technology is extended from an estimated 2.5 years to over 120 years.
• These sensors are rated IP67, meaning water ingress issues that cause most of the failures on existing systems are eliminated.
• Using this new technology allows RCH to calibrate the entire steering system to include command sensors, feedback sensors, limit switches and rudder angle indication sensors in under 30 minutes as opposed to conventional methods which could take anywhere from 4-8 hours. In fact, once the limits are set, the total calibration time is under one minute. This advancement also allows from quick on the spot adjustments of zero rudder and dead band changes with the push of a button.
• Rio Controls & Hydraulics has also designed the system to reduce cabling and hookup cost. Quick connect features that utilize plugs for each run from the feedback units and the hydraulic power units eliminates up to 62 hookup points and three junction boxes. The simple system design also provides for up to a 40% reduction in shipyard supplied cable.
Rio Controls & Hydraulics is supported by parent company Rio Marine with eight locations and over 100+ service personnel providing 24 hour service and parts.
Rio Controls currently has a patent pending on the system design and application for steering systems utilizing this new technology on waterborne vessels.