A view of fluid power’s next generation

The Institute for Fluid Power Drives and Systems (IFAS), located at the RWTH Aachen University in Germany, has long been considered one of the world’s preeminent research centers for investigating and advancing hydraulic and pneumatic technology. The Institute had been led for 24 years by Prof. Hubertus Murrenhoff, but just a few weeks ago he

Researchers push the boundaries of mobile machine performance

One of the major themes at the IFK 2018 fluid power conference in Aachen, Germany, is machine efficiency. In a presentation by researchers from the Technical University Darmstadt, “Integrated Fluid Dynamic Vibration Absorber for Mobile Applications,” researchers discussed how the setup of a suspension always leads to a compromise between comfort and safety. To counteract […]

IFK and IFAS: World-class fluid power research

Hundreds of key fluid-power researchers and engineers will convene March 19-21 at the biennial IFK conference in Aachen, Germany, as we recently detailed in our story, “Fluid power’s eyes will be on Germany this Spring.” Fittingly, hosting the conference will be the Institute for Fluid Power Drives and Systems (IFAS) of RWTH Aachen University, one

Bucher offers mini power pack

Engineers at Bucher Hydraulics, Klettgau, Germany, have developed the UP40 mini power pack with the aim of bringing hydraulic control closer to the drive while providing a more-compact envelope. Compared to other products on the market, the UP40’s dimensions have been reduced to a minimum, said company officials. The external dimensions of 80 × 80 […]

Hydraulic tiltrotators add to excavator versatility

A tiltrotator is a hydraulic attachment between the arm and bucket of an excavator or backhoe loader. As the name implies, it permits the operator to tilt the bucket side-to-side and rotate on its axis, much like a human wrist. The device provides an excavator with more versatility and lets the operator perform more tasks […]

O-ring selection made easy

Parker Hannifin’s O-Ring Selector is an engineering tool which offers O-ring material and size selection combined in one software package. Both are interlinked, thus helping ensure the best possible combination of the calculated O-ring size and material choice. The O-Ring Selector covers both imperial and metric standards. The program lets users find the most suitable […]

How automated air control valves can replace VFDs

Air knife systems controlled by automated valves offer significant benefits over complex and costly VFD motor controls. By Dan VanderPyl, President, Sonic Air Systems Variable frequency drives for electric motors have become a welcome addition to a wide variety of machinery for a long list of 21st century applications, but they are no longer the […]

Track contamination, not people

Nobody likes a micromanager. A boss constantly looking over your shoulder is at best annoying and more often counterproductive, demotivating and the root cause of high turnover. Yet in recent head-scratching news, Amazon has patented a tracking wristband that monitors a worker’s every move and vibrates when they do something wrong. Ostensibly, Amazon warehouse personnel […]

Fluid power, research, and manufacturing

R&D is essential for advancing fluid-power technology, and for hydraulics and pneumatics manufacturers to grow and prosper. The Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power is a major proponent of academic research and government support for fluid power in the U.S., and among its goals is attracting government funding for research involving off-highway vehicles, human-scale

Microtrenching lets utilities keep pace with internet demand

Effective and efficient technology, including powerful hydraulics, is crucial with the rapid increase in fiber-optic installations. It’s not exactly news that the demand for instantaneous, high-speed internet connections is growing by leaps and bounds with no sign of easing up anytime soon. As a result, the number of fiber-optic installations is rapidly increasing as carriers […]

Automation will spur fluid-power job growth

A new report making headlines says that as many as 800 million workers, worldwide, will lose their jobs by 2030 as a consequence of rapid advances in automation. One envisions food lines, homelessness, rioting and government upheaval. But a closer read shows while many low-skill jobs might disappear, around the same number of desirable, higher-paying

The hazards of seat-of-the-pants engineering

In a couple of recent posts, “Troubleshooting tales from the trenches” and “The baffling, ballooning cylinder,” Fluid Power World contributing editor Carl Dyke enlightened us about some problems that cropped up in the field. Here’s another interesting narrative of things that can go wrong, from Carl’s presentation at the 2017 Fluid Power Technical Conference in […]

Government funding for fluid power advancements

The Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power is among the top academic research and government advocacy leaders for fluid power in the United States, and its mission is to change the way fluid power is researched, applied, and taught. According to a recent presentation by CCEFP Director Kim Stelson, its vision is to ensure

The baffling, ballooning cylinder

Fluid Power World contributing editor, Carl Dyke, founder of CD Industrial Group, has related a number of field-service issues he’s come across over the years. One was discussed in the recent post, “Troubleshooting tales from the trenches.” Here’s another real-world application, from Carl’s presentation at the 2017 Fluid Power Technical Conference in Milwaukee. This one […]

Hard cash for soft robotics

The recent announcement of $26 million in funding from the National Science Foundation for soft robotics research is welcome news for the fluid-power community. NSF’s Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) program plays a critical role in helping interdisciplinary teams push the frontiers of engineering research, and one area of key interest is compliant

Upbeat future for fluid-power research

In a recent webinar, Kim Stelson, Director of the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power, reviewed the operations, accomplishments and vision of the CCEFP. Here are some of his comments about current activities and an upbeat assessment of future prospects. “The state of our Center is strong and, in fact, we’ve moved from a

Microtrenching lets utilities keep pace with internet demand

It’s not exactly news that the demand for instantaneous, high-speed internet connections is growing by leaps and bounds with no sign of easing up anytime soon. As a result, the number of fiber-optic installations is rapidly increasing as carriers scramble to bring fiber cable directly to homes, businesses, schools and government facilities. In North America […]

Trampoline generates compressed air for dental use

A group of engineering students at Seoul National University has developed a trampoline designed to produce compressed air and power high-speed dental tools. According to university officials, the set-up would help dentists in developing countries, where reliable power sources may be lacking. A team led by Kim Jae-in, a student in the Mechanical Aviation Engineering […]

Troubleshooting tales from the trenches

One of Fluid Power World’s resident technical experts, Carl Dyke, has related a number of field-service issues he’s come across over the years. In a presentation at the 2017 Fluid Power Technical Conference in Milwaukee, he enlightened us on one mobile application that had the machine owners scratching their heads. This one cropped up last […]

Gates offers tips on hydraulic safety

A free Quick Reference Safety Guide is now available from Denver-based Gates Corp. The handy reference outlines preventive maintenance practices and offers safety tips for anyone working with and around hydraulic hoses and couplings—including machine operators, service technicians and even equipment designers. According to the company, Gates experts created the Guide to help improve hydraulic […]

IMI agrees to acquire Bimba Manufacturing

IMI announced that it has agreed to acquire Bimba, a market leading manufacturer of pneumatic, hydraulic and electric motion systems with an extensive distributor network principally servicing the North American Industrial Automation market. Bimba will become an integral part of IMI Precision Engineering and the acquisition represents a significant strategic step for the division. According […]

Trelleborg finalizes acquisition of advanced composites manufacturer

Trelleborg, a worldwide provider of engineered polymer components and systems, has through its business area Trelleborg Sealing Solutions fully acquired U.S.-based privately-owned Automated Dynamics, an advanced composite components manufacturer. According to Trelleborg officials, the “bolt-on” acquisition provides new, strategic technology to develop next-generation composites to solve a myriad of challenging applications in industries such as […]

In-line contamination monitor offers user flexibility

The ICM – 2.0 in-line contamination monitor, developed by MP Filtri in Milan, Italy, automatically measures and displays particulate contamination, moisture and temperature levels in various hydraulic fluids. It is designed specifically to be mounted directly to systems, where ongoing measurement or analysis is required, and where space and costs are limited. Sensing technology is […]

Servo-electric pump drive optimizes hydraulic presses

A hydraulic pump directly coupled with a servomotor delivers highly dynamic performance, often with sizeable energy savings. Machine-tool manufacturer Lasco Umformtechnik, based in Coburg, Germany, is taking advantage of such servo-electric pump drives in its latest solid and sheet-metal forming presses. Lasco recently delivered a deep-drawing press supplying 800 tons of force at up to

Delta enhances support for test system applications

Motion controller manufacturer Delta Computer Systems, Battle Ground, Wash., announced that its RMCTools motion control software now features XY plotting, in addition to plotting variables over time. Engineers value XY plots in a number of ways in manufacturing and testing applications, according to Delta officials. The tool can now produce stress-strain curves. It can be […]