Is this the world's quietest forklift? Hiab Moffett & Bosch Rexroth
Hiab Moffett has been at the forefront of the materials handling industry for more than 45 years. After observing increasing demand among its customer base of manufacturers, warehouse operators and supermarket chains for quieter materials handling equipment, the company set to work creating the world’s quietest Truck Mounted Forklift.
In order to ensure the machine’s operation could be as silent as possible a key area of focus was the gear pump (pictured, right). With Bosch Rexroth already supplying hydrostatic drives and gear pumps across the vast majority of Hiab Moffett’s Truck Mounted Forklifts, Kevin Turnbull, Engineering Director, approached Craig Grant, Mobile Applications Manager at Bosch Rexroth, to see if the company could provide a solution.
Speaking about Hiab Moffett’s decision to develop a near silent Truck Mounted Forklift, Turnbull said: “There has been a trend in recent years, where deliveries are not just to typical building sites or industrial estates, but also to residential areas. With this increased move towards more residential areas, operators need to be aware of lower noise emission thresholds, particularly at night or in the early morning when most supermarket deliveries take place.
“Because of this we were seeing increasing demand for quieter fork lift trucks, and took it upon ourselves to develop a near silent version for those customers where keeping noise pollution to a minimum is a top priority.”
Speaking about the project, Grant said: “Having worked with Hiab Moffett for a number of years, we knew that noise pollution was becoming an increasing concern for the company’s customer base. While there was a product on the market that professed to reduce noise emissions, it hadn’t been specifically developed for mobile applications.
“Fortunately, when Hiab Moffett approached us we had just brought a product to market that, as well as meeting its demands for an electrically powered pump, operated with near silent hydraulic functions.”
Developed specifically for mobile applications, and forklift trucks in particular, the Rexroth Silence Plus Gear Pump was highly commended in the Noise Abatement Society awards 2011, and provides a more robust bespoke design for use on moving vehicles.
To demonstrate noise reduction potential of the new pump, Craig provided sound files of a traditional gear pump running at 1500 rpm across different pressures alongside the company’s silence pump and the latest silence plus pump.
Describing how the new Silence Plus Gear Pump is able to reduce operational noise Craig says: “In a traditional external gear pump there is a single point non-continuous contact between the tooth and the groove, which results in pulsation of the fluid and it is this pulsation that causes much of the vibration that results in high operating noise.
“The reason we are able to reduce operation noise by an average of 15 dBA is that the Silence Plus Gear Pump features a round tooth profile, which allows fluid to flow continuously, as a result of permanent tooth contact. The reduction in pump vibration, which is typically as much as 75 percent, also reduces vibration in other components in the hydraulic system, which means it can make a significant impact on the noise of the machine as a whole.”
In order to ensure the new gear pump was up to the challenge of a mobile application, Bosch Rexroth added its own patented wear free axial force compensation technology to improve longevity.
Google and NIST Address Supply Chain Cybersecurity
As high-level supply chain attacks hit the news, Google and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have both developed proposals for how to address software supply chain security. This isn’t a new field, unfortunately. Since supply chains are a critical part of business resilience, criminals have no qualms about targeting its software. That’s why identifying, assessing, and mitigating cyber supply chain risks (C-SCRM) is at the top of Google and NIST’s respective agendas.
High-Profile Supply Chain Attacks
According to Google, no comprehensive end-to-end framework exists to mitigate threats across the software supply chain. [Yet] ‘there is an urgent need for a solution in the face of the eye-opening, multi-billion-dollar attacks in recent months...some of which could have been prevented or made more difficult’.
Here are several of the largest cybersecurity failures in recent months:
- SolarWinds. Alleged Russian hackers slipped malicious code into a routine software update, which they then used as a Trojan horse for a massive cyberattack.
- Codecov. Attackers used automation to collect credentials and raid ‘additional resources’, such as data from other software development vendors.
- Malicious attacks on open-source repositories. Out of 1,000 GitHub accounts, more than one in five contained at least one dependency confusion-related misconfiguration.
As a result of these attacks and Biden’s recent cybersecurity mandate, NIST and Google took action. NIST held a 1,400-person workshop and published 150 papers worth of recommendations from Microsoft, Synopsys, The Linux Foundation, and other software experts; Google will work with popular source, build, and packaging platforms to help companies implement and excel at their SLSA framework.
What Are Their Recommendations?
Here’s a quick recap: NIST has grouped together recommendations to create federal standards; Google has developed an end-to-end framework called Supply Chain Levels for Software Artifacts (SLSA)—pronounced “Salsa”. Both address software procurement and security.
Now, here’s the slightly more in-depth version:
- NIST. The organisation wants more ‘rigorous and predictable’ ways to secure critical software. They suggest that firms use vulnerability disclosure programmes (VDP) and software bills of materials (SBOM), consider simplifying their software and give at least one developer per project security training.
- Google. The company thinks that SLSA will encompass the source-build-publish software workflow. Essentially, the four-level framework helps businesses make informed choices about the security of the software they use, with SLSA 4 representing an ideal end state.
If this all sounds very abstract, consider the recent SolarWinds attack. The attacker compromised the build platform, installed an implant, and injected malicious behaviour during each build. According to Google, higher SLSA levels would have required stronger security controls for the build platform, making it more difficult for the attacker to succeed.
How Do The Proposals Differ?
As Brian Fox, the co-founder and CTO at Sonatype, sees it, NIST and Google have created proposals that complement each other. ‘The NIST [version] is focused on defining minimum requirements for software sold to the government’, he explained, while Google ‘goes [further] and proposes a specific model for scoring the supply chain. NIST is currently focused on the “what”. Google, along with other industry leaders, is grappling with the “how”’.