Saltwater can be a challenge for farms as it limits the amount of land used to grow crops and cannot be used for any kind of irrigation. For some farms in Vietnam, this is a serious issue, especially for those between the Cái Bé and Cái Lớn rivers. Rice farms in this area have been struggling with the ingress of seawater for a long time, so the Vietnamese government decided to build a barrier system to control flows. They chose Bosch Rexroth to provide the many hydraulic cylinders required.
Once complete, the two barriers will open and close based on tidal patterns, and the idea is that they will help local farms ensure more consistent access to freshwater while limiting their exposure to saltwater.
“If you irrigate land with saltwater, not much will grow,” said Khoa Nguyen Bach, Senior Sales Manager in Vietnam. “With the new barriers, they will be able to expand the area where they can farm. This is better for the local community and better for the economy in general as it allows for bigger crops and better yields. The barriers are big and open and close using hydraulic technology. For this project, we provided the hydraulic cylinders which move the barriers.”
Bosch Rexroth was chosen as the supplier for the hydraulic cylinders as it had already worked with the Vietnamese government on another barrier on the Mekong Delta, which is meeting the performance levels required.
The project required a total of 68 hydraulic cylinders of varying sizes to move both of the barriers — the largest cylinder’s stroke length being 17.2m. As these cylinders will be exposed to the elements, and used regularly, Bosch Rexroth needed to ensure that each one was engineered to last.
“With cylinders like this, the rod coating is important,” explained Frank Maas, Sales Manager for Large Hydraulic Cylinders at Bosch Rexroth in the Netherlands. “We use the latest Enduroq 2200 technology, which is designed for the best possible performance and durability. We also used this on the cylinders used in the Ho Chi Minh City Flood protection project, and this is one of the reasons they came back to us.”
Bosch Rexroth is one of the few businesses capable of a delivery like this, but it was made even more demanding with a strict time frame. The request came near the end of 2019, and over a year later, all cylinders had been delivered to the site. This is a quick turnaround, especially when considering the size of the cylinders combined with the logistical challenges.
“I’m happy with the way we handled this project,” Maas said. “It’s not often that we’re asked for cylinders of this size, and to be able to deliver them in such a short time frame was impressive. The rest of the infrastructure was already in place and that shows how efficient the customer has been in building these barriers, as everything has happened so quickly. There were hundreds of people working on the project in shifts — things were happening 24 hours a day.”
Although Bosch Rexroth provided some consultancy on the hydraulic systems for this project, the main part of the delivery was the 68 cylinders, and each one of these is built to perform over many years. Reliability is essential for technology used in these projects, as it impacts local communities and businesses, so having proven expertise and solutions, alongside confidence in the final product, was essential.
In addition to this project, there are many opportunities for Bosch and Bosch Rexroth in the future.
“It’s great to work with projects like this,” Khoa Nguyen Bach concluded. “It’s something that really will contribute to the local environment and will help people on a local level as well. It’s something that will make a big difference, and it was special to be a part of this.”
Filed Under: Cylinders & Actuators