Category: NewsArticle


Thai-A Responds to the COVID-19 Pandemic



“We Commit Healthy Environment and Workplace Wellness to Make Employees Feel Safe and Protected!”


As the coronavirus pandemic continues and as part of our mission, Thai-A announced to implement an initial set of measures:


1. Employees and visitors to the workplace, including suppliers and delivery persons will need to undergo temperature screening each day with Medical Non-Contact Forehead Digital Infrared Thermometer Gun before entering the office areas.
temperature screening  temperature screening



2. Wear face mask at all times during work hours for hygiene and safety.
face mask  face mask



3. Do not take an elevator with more than 4 people and must stand on designated areas facing away from each other.
designated areas facing away    designated areas facing away



4. Install adequate alcohol-based handwashing stations and provide hand sanitizers throughout the office, especially in shared areas.
Install adequate alcohol-based  Install adequate alcohol-based



5. Reinforce good hygiene practices. No coughing/no sneezing inside the restricted area.

Reinforce good hygiene practices  Reinforce good hygiene practices 



6. Promote strictest hygiene among food preparation (canteen) staff and their close contacts. Set seating arrangement in canteen. Keep 1.5 metres further away from others.
Set seating arrangement in canteen



7. Clean and disinfect shared high-touch surfaces and objects frequently such as door handles, elevator buttons, time scanner, and countertops.

8. Provide disinfectant spraying daily after work cleaning the shared spaces like hallways, stairways, and elevators in buildings and deep cleaning for all spaces in the workplace frequently.

Provide disinfectant spraying daily after work

Provide disinfectant spraying daily after work    Provide disinfectant spraying daily after work


9. Encourage employees with social distancing in mind, to be at least 1M apart from each other at all times.
social distancing
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10. Hold meetings via video conferencing, ZOOM, LINE or phone call. Defer large face-to-face meetings.

11. Implement “Work from Home Strategy” and prepare for a “Work from Anywhere” culture.

 work from home 

  Hold meetings via video conferencing



The coronavirus pandemic has moved so quickly that years of social change have been compressed into a matter of months. Thai-A leads the Administration’s efforts to monitor and mitigate the spread of the virus in our workplace and to enhance and protect the health and well-being of the entire Thai-A employees, customers, suppliers and all visitors in these toughest of times.


Stay safe!   Stay healthy!   Stay strong!   Things Will Get Better!



[เวอร์ชั่น : ไทย ]




World’s first solar road opens in France: It’s ridiculously expensive

Kilometer-long road cost $5.2 million to build.


The world’s first solar highway has been opened in France, in the not-very-sunny village of Tourouvre au Perche in Normandy. The roadway is just one kilometre (0.6mi) long, but that still works out at 2,800 square metres of photovoltaic cells—enough, hopefully, to power the village’s street lights.


The road was built by Colas, a large Anglo-French construction company. Colas has apparently been working on its own solar road tech, called Wattway, for at least five years. Wattway has been tested in car parks, but this is the first time it has been used on an active road. There will now be a two-year test period, to see if Wattway can withstand the rigour of being pounded by thousands of cars and trucks per day, and whether it can actually provide a useful amount of electricity.


Usefulness aside, the main problem with constructing solar roads is their crippling cost. One of the main selling points of Wattway, according to Colas, is that each panel is just a few millimetres thick, and can thus be installed on top of an existing road, which in turn massively reduces construction costs. Having said that, the 1km road in Normandy cost €5 million (£4.3m) to build. And that’s for a single lane of a two-lane highway!

One of the Wattway panels up close.


Expanding that out to €10m per kilometre for a two-lane solar road, you’re looking at a total cost measured in billions or even trillions of pounds to cover a sizeable portion of a country’s roads with solar panels. France has over a million kilometres of roads; the US has over 6 million. And that’s not counting the larger highways with more than two lanes…

Fortunately, Ségolène Royal, France’s ecology minister, has a much more reasonable goal in mind: she would like to see solar roadways replace one kilometre of every 1000 in France. Again, assuming she means two-lane solar roads at around €10 million per kilometre, the total cost would be €10 billion—not bad, assuming the panels (and the accompany electrical system) don’t need regular maintenance, and that they produce enough electricity to be worth the much higher initial outlay.


Every solar panel needs to be wired up. [© Joachim Bertrand / COLAS]

Indeed, their questionable efficiency is one of the main reasons that more solar roads aren’t currently being built. Colas says that Wattway’s photovoltaic efficiency is 15 percent, which is pretty good (commercial panels that you might put on your roof are at about 20 percent). But that doesn’t take into account the fact that the solar panels are flat on the ground, rather than angled towards the sun’s trajectory, significantly reducing efficiency at higher latitudes. Heavy traffic could also block sunlight; as could snow, mud, and perhaps standing water after rain.


Back in 2014, a 70-metre solar bicycle path was built in the suburbs of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, at the utterly insane cost of €3 million. In its first year it produced about 3,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity—enough to power an average home. At the current wholesale price in the UK (about £40 per megawatt-hour), that same €3 million would’ve bought you about 65,000,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, enough to power about 21,000 homes for a year.


Obviously the maths are a bit better on the €5 million road in Normandy, but that’s still an awful lot of money to spend on powering the village’s (population ~3,300) street lights. The Wattway brochure suggests that 2,800 square metres of solar roadway ought to be able to power about 140 homes—about 420MWh per year. Though clearly, if they are just looking to power the village’s street lights, they’re not expecting anywhere near 420MWh in reality—perhaps due to the low amount of direct sunlight in Normandy.


The Solar Roadways intro video. It’s not hard to see why the project raised so much money.


Finally, because it’s Christmas and there’s no one in the office to stop me being mean, let’s talk about Solar Roadways, an Indiegogo project that raised a ridiculous sum of money ($2.2 million) back in 2014. That money, according to Solar Roadways, is being spent “on engineers to help us make a few needed tweaks in our product and streamline our process so that we could go from prototype to production.” Two years later, the first public installation of Solar Roadways is finally being constructed at a Route 66 welcome centre in Missouri.


According to the Missouri department of transport (MoDOT), the small 12ft-by-20ft patch of solar road will cost $100,000 to install. That works out at $416 per square foot—about $4,500 per square metre, or $11.6 billion per square mile. Scott Brusaw, founder of Solar Roadways, says there’s about 29,000 square miles of paved roads in the lower 48 US states, and he’d like to turn most of them into solar roads. He’ll need one hell of a Kickstarter to raise $330 trillion—16 times the US national debt—though.


Personally, I think Brusaw’s efforts would be better focused on just building a Dyson sphere and solving all of humanity’s energy issues in one fell swoop.


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Eaton Delta Series Motor

Eaton’s Delta series motor now available with integrated parking brake, a compact and reliable solution to enhance design flexibility

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. … Power management company Eaton today announced that the Delta series motor is now available with a spring-applied pressure release parking brake. The Delta motor with brake is designed without cables, increasing reliability over competitive cabled brake options. The patent-pending design features Geroler technology, which provides dependable load holding and smooth reliable operation, making it ideal for propel machines under 50 horsepower, including turf mowers, stump grinders, aircraft tugs, trenchers and mini skid steer loaders.    

“This is the most compact brake on the market, giving machine designers more flexibility without sacrificing Eaton’s best-in-class efficiency,” said Mandee Liberty, product manager, Hydraulics, Eaton. “The Delta motor has the speed ratings, high side load capability, seal ratings and superior no-load pressure drop customers have come to expect from Eaton motors. In addition, integrating a hydraulic braking solution allows equipment manufacturers to build machines that are compatible with all-electric or hybrid platforms.”   

This rear-mounted integrated brake features brake pads that rotate at six times the speed of the output shaft, providing a six-to-one brake torque advantage. Additionally, the wet brake is environmentally protected, allowing for long part life with no service intervals, and includes an access port for manual brake release. 

To learn more about Eaton’s Delta series motor with parking brake, visit

Eaton is a power management company with 2018 sales of $21.6 billion. We provide energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton is dedicated to improving the quality of life and the environment through the use of power management technologies and services. Eaton has approximately 100,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit

Eaton Delta Series Motor
Eaton’s Delta series motor

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Dale Vanderlaan is the R&D engineering manager at Parker Hannifin.

ElectroHydrostatic Actuation Offers Opportunities to Improve Hydraulic System Efficiencies

AEM discusses with Parker Hannifin’s Dale Vanderlaan the potential benefits of ElectroHydrostatic Acutation.




Off-road industrial machines require multi-function implement operation with dynamic duty cycles. In many cases, machine implements demand short bursts of full engine power and brake dynamic loads requiring 50% or more of energy consumed. Many next-generation machines reduce energy loss and improve productivity by incorporating hybrid electric approaches with energy storage. An efficient implement solution enabling the hybrid electric approach is essential to achieve maximum improvement potential.


This topic will be discussed during the education session “Fundamentals of Hydraulic Systems” taking place during IFPE 2020. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) recently spoke with the session’s presenter, Dale Vanderlaan, R&D engineering manager at Parker Hannifin, to discuss ElectroHydrostatic Actuation, its benefits, what attendees can expect him to share at IFPE 2020, and what key takeaways they’ll get from participating in his education session.

AEM: You are slated to speak at the upcoming IFPE 2020 show in Las Vegas on the topic of hydraulic system fundamentals and, more specifically, ElectroHydrostatic Actuation. What are some benefits that can be gained by companies who employ ElectroHydrostatic Actuation, especially as it compares to some of the other technologies out there?

Dale Vanderlaan: ElectroHydrostatic Actuation is an extremely flexible solution, focused on improving hydraulic system efficiencies. Next generation off-road mobile machines will be electrically powered. Simply powering an existing pump and hydraulic system with a battery does not address the efficiency of the hydraulic system and will require a large battery which takes up a lot of space and can be costly. Dale Vanderlaan
Dale Vanderlaan is the R&D engineering manager at Parker Hannifin.

Dale Vanderlaan is the R&D engineering manager at Parker Hannifin.
Dale Vanderlaan is the R&D engineering manager at Parker Hannifin.

By taking an ElectroHydrostatic approach to improve system efficiency, existing cylinders and system infrastructure can be used. Electromechanical types of systems are not practical, so we know that hydraulic cylinders will not be replaced anytime soon. Not having to change cylinder technology is a significant benefit.

Addressing valve loss within a system is also key to improving efficiency. Changing the traditional hydraulic distribution method with a power-on-demand approach can be very beneficial with certain functions. ElectroHydrostatic Actuation does not require a control valve to control the actuator, which eliminates the valve loss for a particular function. If applied to more than one function, additional valve loss can be eliminated.

The flexibility of ElectroHydrostatic Actuation should not be minimized. Being able to apply it to the right need within an application is a key benefit. The ability to distribute power though hydraulics is a definite advantage over an electromechanical approach.

And, finally ElectroHydrostatic Actuation enables energy recovery and it can be accomplished fairly easily in applications where it makes sense. Energy can be recovered and used right away or stored in the battery.

AEM: Do you feel the industry – at least in general – widely understands the benefits that can be gained from ElectroHydrostatic Actuation?

Dale Vanderlaan: Yes, in general, I think that the benefits of ElectroHydrostatic Actuation are understood in the industry. However, I don’t think that the flexibility of the approach is well understood. It does not have to be an all or nothing type of decision, there isn’t a need to add complexity and cost to have a dedicated motor pump for every possible function. It is important to take advantage of the system’s flexibility and target ElectroHydrostatic Actuation to a function where it makes sense.

AEM: What are some frequently asked questions you hear from manufacturers at this point in time about the technology?

Dale Vanderlaan: Performance and cost are the two main areas of concern from manufacturers. The benefits of the technology need to be greater than the cost, and that really comes down to targeting a solution and picking the right technology for an application.

First and foremost, manufacturers want to be sure that the performance and response of a traditional approach are not degraded. I believe that you can get similar performance for mobile applications and often better performance. The key is to understand what the requirements are and work to select the right technology to accomplish the goals.

There are usually questions related to noise as well. When vehicles are powered with batteries, they operate with less noise. Manufacturers want to understand the impact on noise reductions.

AEM: What knowledge do you want attendees of your session at IFPE 2020 to walk away with and be able to implement at their own companies?

Dale Vanderlaan: Electrification is happening at all sorts of levels and adoption rates. It’s about getting ready for it, since it’s a matter of when, not if. Smaller machines are already battery powered. As battery technology improves it will be an enabler to move to the ultimate goal of battery-operated large off-road machines.

Because of this, it is important to move into this next-generation hydraulic system approach. We are seeing one motor driving exiting pump and system, but the real benefits are to be gained by making hydraulic systems more efficient. Parker is the leader in motion and control technology, and has demonstrated this in many applications including aerospace. There are significant improvements when Electrohydraulic Actuation are implemented.


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tie-rod and welded cylinders

What is the difference between tie-rod and welded cylinders?


Although both types of cylinders are used in fluid power systems, the end caps used to hold the cylinder together make the difference. Welded cylinders are designed with each end cap welded to the barrel. Mounts and other fittings will also be welded to a cap. Static seals are used to seal the head or gland of a welded cylinder. These designs are permanent.


Tie-rod cylinders. Image courtesy of Yates Industries


Tie-rod cylinders are held together by four or more threaded tie bolts that run the length of the entire cylinder tube. These bolts hold the baseplate and head together. Tie-rod cylinders are more common in the U.S. They usually feature static seals to prevent leakage between the barrel and end-cap interface.

Welded cylinders. Image courtesy of Yates Industries

Welded cylinders tend to be more complex but offer several advantages. They are typically more compact and usually can withstand higher pressures, often greater than 5,000 psi, so are often used on mobile machinery where space is at a premium. They also are more durable, so thus are used in harsh environments where longer lifecycles are required, such as hydraulic presses, steel mills and offshore settings. These designs are also more easily customizable for each application. However, they are generally more difficult to repair.


Tie-rod cylinders are usually a bulkier design but are more often offered as standard series with short delivery times, so are more readily available. High-strength threaded steel rods are used, so most cylinders of this design are rated for no higher than 3,000 psi. These designs are most often used in plastics or machine tools for industrial use.


Tie-rod cylinders are typically built to NFPA standards so can be easily interchanged. They also offer the advantage of being easily disassembled and replaced in the field by using a standard wrench.


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Mobile machinery

Trends in construction machinery hydraulics

Hydraulics define the evolution of construction machinery. Article updated on April 15, 2016 with new text and images.

Dana-Spicer-PowerBoost-Test-Vehicle construction machinery hydraulics
Mobile machinery can use different types of drive technology to increase fuel efficiency, such as the Spicer PowerBoost hydraulic hybrid system. Image courtesy of Dana Holding Corp.

Mobile machinery
Mobile machinery can use different types of drive technology to increase fuel efficiency, such as the Spicer PowerBoost hydraulic hybrid system. Image courtesy of Dana Holding Corp.


If you asked my 20-year-old self to describe the typical day on a construction site, I’d probably have described the stereotypical scene: five guys standing around watching a sixth dig a ditch. Even if there was ever any truth to that statement, I have a hard time believing the mammoth construction industry could survive if it didn’t keep pace with the rest of the exponentially advancing modern world.


A critical piece of the construction puzzle is the machinery used to make the work faster, safer and more efficient. Excavators, loaders, graders and dump trucks are common at every construction site, and some of these machines rely on hydraulics for every part of their operation, including the drive wheels in most cases. Although the case for hydraulics in off-highway machinery is strong even without the influence of technology, construction companies want to do the job faster and more efficiently.


Although my knowledge of fluid power is decent, I’m no construction industry expert. To help me with this specialty, I’ve employed the help of Wouter Leusden. Leusden started his career as an electrical engineer, but soon found himself incapable of solving non-electrical related issues. He took the opportunity to study mechanical engineering, and soon found a job as a service engineer on board vessels equipped with hydraulic driven cargo pumps, where his experience guided his fluid power career.


At Bosch Rexroth, Leusden specialized in safety of machinery and European Guidelines, and part of his extensive training was product driven. Next to designing the safety related control systems, he had the opportunity to present his knowledge at trade fairs, and also trained customers as well as colleagues in machine safety.


At present, he works for Wärtsilä as product warranty manager, which requires that he supports all departments involved in product sales, development and so on, with market information gained in the warranty period. Also, he has been closely involved in development of supplier related equipment for Wärtsilä during his previous employment at Denison Hydraulics and Parker Hannifin.


Dana Corp. has tested its Spicer PowerBoost hydraulic hybrid technology on a variety of machines, including a Manitou MLT960 Eco-Booster 6-ton telehandler machine. Results showed a reduced fuel consumption averaging 15% across a range of duty cycles when compared with the standard MTL960 configuration.


I asked Leusden what he feels are the current popular trends in hydraulic technology for construction equipment. “Currently, there is a very strong development of control by wire instead of the conservative direct control,” he said. “The reason for this is electronics are easier to implement, and manufacturing costs are decreasing with the amount of products becoming available.

Dana Corp. has tested its Spicer PowerBoost hydraulic hybrid technology on a variety of machines, including a Manitou MLT960 Eco-Booster 6-ton telehandler machine. Results showed a reduced fuel consumption averaging 15% across a range of duty cycles when compared with the standard MTL960 configuration.


“Manufacturers of construction equipment are also focusing on cutting costs during manufacturing of their machinery, and a great part in which costs can be reduced is the assembly of machinery components. In addition, manufacturers of construction equipment components have realized being able to offer plug-and-play solutions greatly enhances selling opportunities. Nowadays, suppliers offer electronic solutions for issues that could not have been dealt with hydraulically, such as with hitch control (EHR electrohydraulic hitch control),” Leusden continued. EHR provides benefits to tractors, such as improved highway performance when the tractor is hitched to an implement, and reduces soil compaction on sensitive fields.


The advantage of power density
The mobile hydraulic industry prides itself in using high-pressure systems to take advantage of the power density of hydraulics, which is the primary reason construction machinery relies exclusively on hydraulic actuators. I asked Leusden what the current standard for construction machinery hydraulic pressure is, and where he sees it going in the future.


“Power density is directly related to effort of equipment manufacturers to minimize space and weight and at the same time be able to increase the power capacity,” he said. “Component suppliers are able to offer pumps that can handle higher pressures while being able to save on weight and dimensions. The current standard rises up to 450 bar nominal pressure for closed circuit pumps.


“In addition, component suppliers are developing products based on the market requirements instead of equipment suppliers designing according to what suppliers can offer,” Leusden continued. “Power density is not the only positive development, as electrohydraulic dynamics are becoming more important. The realization of stable, dynamically efficient electrohydraulic control systems will provide users more precise cultivation and smoother operation, increasing safety while providing less wear and tear of auxiliary equipment.”


Electronic controls
The industrial hydraulic machine market has long been integrated with advanced electronics in the control of fluid power, which was a natural evolution since industrial hydraulics have long been electrically operated. I asked him if construction machinery has adopted electronic control in the same way industrial hydraulics has, and if there is any potential for electric pump control, such as with a servomotor and fixed pump combination.

Electronic controls
Electronic controls, including joysticks, controllers and displays, help encourage safe and reliable operation of mobile machinery. These JS1-H joysticks from Danfoss are designed for heavy-duty mobile machinery.


“In fact, due to the low cost of electronic controls on pumps in particular, manufacturers of pumps are able to offer pump controls that normally are taken care of by separate valves, thus eliminating the need of extra equipment, and also saving on customer costs,” Leusden said. “This knowledge is directly derived from the experience component manufacturers have gained from the industrial solutions.


“An important part of these developments is the implementation of safety-related control systems, which are already commonly used in industrial (hydraulic) controls. Equipment on mobile platforms is regarded as ‘machines’ according to the definition of the European Machinery Directive 2006/42 EC. To reduce risks (and liability of manufacturers), safety-related control systems are becoming part of mobile machinery as well. The European Directive on Machinery forces manufactures to look at the state of the art. With electrical/hydraulic safety related components available on the market specifically designed to protect personnel and also bystanders from risks, mobile machinery equipment manufacturers are able to combine electronic controls with a certain level of reliability.


“This reliability is established by the manufacturer of the components by means of test and/or simulation of faults,” he continued. “In addition, performance history of components is used to determine the reliability as well. Often, these components perform the tasks (process and safety) without the use of additional equipment. A simple example is an electronic joystick connected to a controller that activates a hydraulic valve. When an operator lets go of the joystick due to a safety breech in the surrounding area of the construction machine, the controller will de-energize the power to the hydraulic valve safely and the valve will return to a safe, de-energized position creating a safe stop of the machine.


“The reliability of the complete loop—joystick, controller and valve—can be evaluated with the safety standard ISO 13849. The reliability of the components in the loop is then calculated and a so-called Performance Level (PL) is derived. The height of the Performance Level (a to e) is to match the required Performance Level (PLr) set during the obligatory risk assessment. If all is done well, the manufacturer of the construction equipment has done everything in his power to manufacture a safe machine corresponding to the environment in which it is to be used. Included in the manufacturer’s evaluation is also the reasonably foreseen misuse of the machinery. The risk assessment can be done also with the use of a standard, ISO 12100. Needless to say, these two standards make a strong duo.


“The cherry on the cake is that these two standards are also harmonized under the European Machinery Directive, which actually means that the use of these standards gives the manufacturer of the equipment a presumption of conformity according to the Machinery Directive requirements,” Leusden concluded.

Bosch Rexroth uses its advanced hydraulics solutions, including its EHR electrohydraulic hitch control to assist with space and energy consumption of modern continuously variable transmissions (CVT).


Hybrid technology on the rise
Because construction machinery are mostly wheeled vehicles, I posit that some form of hybrid technology would be beneficial to the construction industry, especially because of the rapid stop/start cycles of equipment such as front-end loaders. I asked Leusden if he agrees with my assumption that there is a future in hybridization in the construction industry, either with hydro-pneumatic accumulators, or perhaps electric hybridization, to which he responded:


“The future is here already! Bosch Rexroth, for example, can deliver hydraulic drive solutions with CVT (continuously variable transmissions) specifically developed for energy savings. Another type of energy saving principle is the use of the flywheel with which suppliers are not only able to save on fuel consumption, but also able to meet the regulatory requirements such as TIER 4 final and Euro Stage IV.”


In this application, the flywheel is spun up to speed by absorbing inertial energy from the machine, such as has been used on F1 cars.


Hydraulic hybrid technology, like Dana Corp.’s Spicer PowerBoost system, encourages machine energy efficiency, particularly in machines like front loaders. In turn, this advanced solution provides lower costs by reducing fuel consumption considerably. This is done by capturing otherwise wasted energy and putting it to work in the vehicle.


Other examples of hybridization have already been developed in garbage trucks. They use a combination of a central pump/motor and hydro-pneumatic accumulators. The accumulator(s) will provide extra energy to the pump/motor—which is attached to the transmission—during acceleration. During braking, the fluid then pumps back into the accumulator(s), storing energy that would typically just be lost as heat from the vehicles brakes. This type of hybrid system can be seen on front-end loaders as well.

Hydraulic hybrid technology, like Dana Corp.’s Spicer PowerBoost system, encourages machine energy efficiency, particularly in machines like front loaders. In turn, this advanced solution provides lower costs by reducing fuel consumption considerably. This is done by capturing otherwise wasted energy and putting it to work in the vehicle.

Finally, I gave Leusden the chance to peer into his crystal ball, and tell me what he sees coming in the next 20 years of construction equipment technology.


“Hydraulics in the construction industry will continue to be more safe, more reliable and especially more fuel efficient,” he predicted. “Main drivers for this are the regulatory requirements on safety, fuel consumption and total cost of ownership. The latter point will trigger (if not already present) suppliers of parts and equipment to develop components that last longer, need less service and are more robust. With technology evolving, suppliers also will develop tools to troubleshoot the equipment from distance through the Internet. With being able to monitor or even control equipment remotely, security of data and control will follow suit.”


So it’s clear hydraulically driven construction machinery will not only stay current, but also lead some other industries in the use of electronics and other technologies. So much depends economically and environmentally, that obsolescence is just not an option.


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