Author: Benjamin Handziak
Using a lever-operated power take-off has its limitations and in some applications, is not practical. In these situations, the best solution is a remotely engaged PTO (watch the conversion from a manual clutch to a remote operated RO PTO). Twin Disc has recently released four new power take-off models, the RO111, 211, 114 and 214. These units are one and two plate 11.5” and 14” PTOs that can be engaged hydraulically or pneumatically. They have accomplished this by replacing the guts of a standard mechanical PTO with a double-acting cylinder that can accept both air or oil.
Space constraint is one of the factors that can make it difficult to use a lever-operated PTO. Space is limited on any piece of equipment but especially machines with tier 4 engines. Flywheel mounted PTOs can get buried under all the additional components that these engines require, making it impractical to use a hand-lever to engage the equipment. Having to reach into a machine to engage a clutch is also dangerous. In the past, the solution to these problems has been to use a hydraulic, pneumatic or electronic actuator to throw the hand-lever. Although these systems do work, they require careful set-up and need to be rigorously maintained in order to function correctly.
Many of them put added stress on the sliding sleeve assembly which causes them to over-heat. If these actuators aren’t monitored regularly they move out of adjustment and quickly burn through friction plates. Premature clutch failure can also be caused by operator abuse. An inexperienced operator that engages a PTO at too high of an engine speed, or doesn’t properly bump-in a heavy load, will drastically limit the life of a clutch. The answer is Twin Disc’s RO PTO. Considering the additional cost of an external actuator, or parts and service cost from burned up clutch packs, the RO unit is also a highly cost effective solution.
In addition to remote engagement from a safe and accessible location, the RO has an option for a controller that is programmed to protect the equipment and provide smooth engagement. This controller communicates with the engine and will not allow for the PTO to be engaged above 1000 rpm. If the controller sees a drop in engine speed due to a heavy load, it will slowly bring the load up to speed by bumping the clutch in. This protects the clutch and keeps the engine from stalling.
Benefits of the RO units include:
1. Remote engagement can be done by either a hydraulic or pneumatic system
Whether engaging the PTO with air or oil, the internal components are the same.
2. Retrofit kits are available to modify SP units to RO units
Because most of the components in an RO unit are the same as a standard Twin Disc PTO, a kit can be used to modify your lever-operated PTO to a remotely engaged PTO.
3. Clutch adjustment monitoring is easier than on standard PTOs
Instead of having to check adjustment at regular intervals, a pressure gauge is installed in the system so that the engagement pressure can be monitored as you use the equipment; eliminating the need to take torque readings.
4. The RO units are cost-competitive
When compared to other remote engagement solutions or the potential savings from less service and down-time, the RO units are a cost-competitive solution
5. Solutions can be as simple or complex as the application requires
Whether all you need is remote engagement or you require the built in protection and automation of a controller, the RO unit can be set up to meet your specific needs
6. The RO clutch does not require constant pressure
Unlike other remotely engaged PTOs, the RO clutch does not require constant pressure in order to maintain engagement. Instead, it uses the same locking linkages found in a standard PTO to lock up the clutch. Pressure only has to be applied during the time the clutch is being engaging or disengaging.
For equipment that requires remote engagement, the RO power take-offs are an ideal and flexible solution. Our application team at Palmer Johnson Power Systems is ready to assist you in selecting the correct configuration to meet your demands. To find out more call 800-341-4334 today!