The INNOVADORES supplement of EL MUNDO newspaper -published on Mondays and well-known for publishing news related to innovation in science, technology and industry- has shown, again, its interest in ISTOBAL’s innovations.
The specialised supplement reports on the advantages of Smartflow and LaserControl, two novelties presented in 2013 at different national and international exhibitions, which earned the company several awards.
Full text of the feature:
Istobal saves 50% car-wash energy with straight turbines
> INDUSTRY / The Valencian company has also improved safety on automatic rollovers with a more accurate and reliable laser sensor
Istobal have just introduced a new dryer system for rollovers that reduces power consumption by 53% and noise levels by 10 decibels. The Valencian company has adapted technology which is very common in applications such as water pumps and cooling systems. Crossflow technology replaces current centrifugal turbines by longitudinal ones. The company also presented a laser distance sensor that measures the exact position of the automatic car-wash machine on the bay “at all times”.
Laser beams and straight turbines, a car-wash saver
Istobal: 53% reduction in electricity use for vehicle dry, and improved machine safety with a more accurate and reliable sensor.
Washing a car is easier than ever. The new rollovers make car-washing extremely easy. Yet, the market demands machines that meet more and more needs. To meet challenges in the industry, Istobal has launched two technologies targeted at saving energy and improving safety and sustainability. How? By implementing laser sensors and applying a dryer turbine design that had never been used in the sector.
Oil companies demand “more and more” efficiency. The company based in L’Alcúdia (Valencia) has just launched its new dryer system for Smartflow rollovers, managing to reduce power consumption by 53% and noise levels by 10 decibels. Istobal has adapted technology that is very common in applications such as water pumps and cooling systems. Crossflow technology replaces current centrifugal turbines by longitudinal ones.
The special design of this drying system offers “many” advantages compared to those of conventional drying in rollovers. In tangential turbines, air intake “occurs all along their length because they are flat”, explains Carlos Valls, product manager for wash tunnels and rollovers. This provides ”a large volume of air with minimal power.” The incoming air flow is then diverted into a 90º angle and accelerated by the vortex, thus obtaining a “uniform air film without losing pressure at the ends”, says Valls.
Centrifuge systems require two motors (one for each turbine), whereas tangential systems only need one. All this translates into an electricity saving of 53% or more, compared to traditional dryer systems. Besides, “the high quality standards required at this stage” are not impaired. Not only that. The new technology reduces the noise level of the machine by 10 decibels during the drying, which is the noisiest car wash step.
This design meant a great technological challenge for Istobal, as tangential turbines had never been used for drying in rollovers. The R&D team had to test different types of coatings in order to find the right air flow and the most cost-effective energy use for a “good dry”.
The second recent development of the company from Valencia has to do with safety. It earned the organisation the Innovation Award of Motortec Automechanika Ibérica 2013, held in March. LaserControl is a new laser sensor that measures “at all times” the exact position on the bay of the automatic car-wash machine. The device “sends a laser beam against a reflective material on a wall or on the last post of the wash bay”, says Valls. The reflective surface returns the signal to the laser at all times, for the “exact” distance between them to be measured.
Most wash systems use inductive sensors that detect the metal on start and end of bay switches and on the encoder of the rollover wheel. “These areas get very dirty, which may result in false readings,” says the project manager. LaserControl replaces these elements by a laser sensor that “considerably” reduces faults, since it works with a 1 mm error margin versus 25 mm with inductive detectors.
Another priority for Istobal is to optimize water consumption in their machines. Their carwash rollovers can run with either clean or recycled water. Another way of saving is to use brushes, which need less water to wash the vehicle surface thoroughly. An example of it is the Link-it brush range, already covered by INNOVADORES last year.