The recent release of the Kawasaki Ninja HR2 not only introduced the world’s most powerful production motorcycle, but also demonstrated what the combined engineering resources of the various Kawasaki divisions could achieve. Drawing on the expertise of the Kawasaki technology centre, the Ninja HR2 project was able to utilise technologies developed for aerospace and gas turbine applications to achieve outstanding results. In a similar way the new K3VLS series hydraulic pump from Kawasaki's precision machinery division is also a result of the combined efforts of Kawasaki group engineers.
Kawasaki has a long experience of developing hydraulic pumps and systems for very demanding applications, most notably in the field of construction machinery, and has used this experience to develop the K3VLS series variable displacement axial piston pumps to meet the needs of agricultural machinery.
When the K3VLS development project began it was clear that Kawasaki needed to address the requirement for hydraulic systems and components to deliver real improvements in efficiency, and make a significant contribution to overall machine fuel efficiency. This meant that Kawasaki needed to not only provide the most efficient pump possible, but also to make it as light and compact as possible.
The other key consideration in developing the pump was cost. Kawasaki never compromises on quality, so it was important to design a pump that could be manufactured in the most cost effective way.
Kawasaki's innovations in the fields of marine technology, aerospace, gas turbines and hydraulics have resulted in world leading expertise in fluid modelling and computational fluid dynamics, which was invaluable in developing the K3VLS series. Using these methods Kawasaki engineers were able to calculate the optimum geometry for the rotating parts of the pump to achieve best in class efficiency. Most variable displacement axial piston pumps see a dramatic drop in efficiency at lower pressures and displacements below maximum. The K3VLS, by comparison, demonstrates improved efficiency across the full operating range.
The design of the rotating parts of the K3VLS have an added benefit in that the pump requires much reduced input torque to maintain self-lubrication in the unloaded or standby condition. This gives a fuel efficiency benefit for machines with intermittent use of the working hydraulics.
The K3VLS range of pumps will be launched this November at Agritechnica, and will initially be available in frame sizes 65, 85 and 105cc/rev. A further 3 frame sizes, 50, 125 and 150cc/rev will be launched in early 2016.
The maximum operating pressure of the K3VLS series is 280 bar for all sizes, and the peak pressure rating is 350 bar. The pumps have SAE mounting flanges and splined shafts and are available with various through-drive options.
In addition to the standard load sensing and pressure cut-off controls, the K3VLS will be available with electronic displacement control, torque limiting control and variable torque limiting control in which the maximum torque setting can be varied by means of electric or hydraulic signal.
The K3VLS is one of a number of new products being launched by Kawasaki in 2015, all of which can bring significant improvements in efficiency and controllability to agricultural and construction machinery.
At Agritechnica Kawasaki will also be showing the K8V closed circuit hydraulic pump and M7V high speed axial piston motor which together provide hydrostatic transmission solutions. Combining K3VLS with K8V, M7V the new KLSV load sensing valve and ERU electronic joysticks enables Kawasaki to provide complete systems for machines such as telehandlers.