Landscape & Irrigation

October 2017

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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Page 36 of 50 Landscape and Irrigation October 2017 37 More isn't always better If a little is good, more is better. This is true for money, bacon and a lot of other things, but it's not always the case with horsepower. Matching equipment with the ideal power source is a critical part of the testing process. Everyone knows too little horsepower is bad, but having too much power can negatively impact more than just fuel efficiency. Extra power can cause equipment to v ibr ate excessively, leading to unnecessary wear and more frequent parts replacements, costing contractors time and money. Extra horsepower can also result in less efficient power delivery. In these situations, l e s s p ow e r t r a n s f e r s to t h e m a c h i n e's operation. A major consideration during the engine installation testing process is selecting the ideal level of horsepower for the specific piece of equipment. When OEMs and engine manufacturers work closely together during the engine integration process, valuable information and data is shared that can result in design adjustments to enhance equipment performance or ergonomics. For example, in a recent application review, an OEM worked with the engine manufacturer to design an engine that could mount at a 35-degree angle, providing for a more optimal and efficient design for the equipment. Once performance is optimized, additional steps are still required before the equipment is ready for the jobsite. Cut through the noise Beyond power, noise and vibration can make or break the performance and lifecycle of equipment. Although both are associated with user comfort, they can also indicate that the engine hasn't been properly integrated for the application. Vibration can lead to extra maintenance, as well as increased fatigue and decreased performance. Thorough testing allows for proactive solutions. To achieve the best results, some engine manufacturers employ specialty engineers with backgrounds, including mechanical, computers, and even acoustics. These engineers adjust how the engine is mounted or make minor design changes to lessen noise and vibration. Slightly adjusting the position of the engine, reinforcing the frame near the mounting location, or adding weights to counter natural engine vibration can go a long way toward producing more efficient and user-friendly equipment. Equipment operators who were once willing to tolerate unpleasant conditions are no longer willing to accept hearing loss or chronic pain as an occupational hazard. Faced with a shortage of workers and an aging workforce, employers are motivated to provide equipment that meets the demands of the changing work environment. Reducing noise and vibration also helps to reduce fatigue, which increases productivity and drives down worker's compensation expenses. Heat? No sweat When temperatures rise, so does the need for engines that can take the heat. Heat testing is another important aspect of engine installations. Typical testing introduces equipment to temperatures in excess of 120 degrees Fahrenheit while monitoring engine temperature, air/fuel ratios and fuel evaporating pressure. This helps engineers diagnose any factors that may compromise engine performance in high heat or enclosed engine compartment applications. When an engine is destined for equipment with a full or partial enclosure, testing should be done to fully mimic real-world settings. To counter any flaws, engineers may recommend modifying the enclosure to improve cooling of the engine chamber and reduce the likelihood of engine failure due to overheating. Simplified maintenance Easy maintenance — and less of it — leads to less downtime and reduced labor and parts expenses. Consequently, every engine integration process should include a thorough analysis of service accessibility and required maintenance. One consideration should be extended service intervals or features that eliminate the risk for service issues. For example, a team of engineers from Briggs and Stratton addressed OEM challenges by developing a single ignition/fuel shutoff for single-cylinder commercial engines. This shutoff switch reduces downtime by preventing fuel from entering the engine during transport. It's easy for an operator to forget to shut off the fuel when hauling equipment. In only 30 minutes, the starting, stopping and jostling of equipment in a truck can result in as much as 5 ounces of fuel entering the engine and diluting the oil. Along with oil dilution, fuel leakage can foul plugs, erode parts and saturate filters, ultimately increasing engine wear, maintenance and repairs. The single ignition/fuel shutoff solution Engineers assist in selecting ideal power sources for OEM equipment and support OEM product development through Power Application Centers.

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