BROADENING HYDRAULIC FLUID POWER KNOWLEDGE
Welcome to the eighth edition of the Fluid Power Handbook. Every year, our editorial staff works hard to add to the detailed information we’ve already accumulated on hydraulic and pneumatic components and systems. Once again this year, we’ve incorporated some new frequently asked questions into many of the Handbook sections. We have had positive feedback to this concept, and I hope you’ll find the new topics useful in your daily work. As always, we have updated the graphical look of the issue, too. You will find updated sections on many components and other areas of fluid power interest, some all-new concepts, and a trends piece on how additive manufacturing is changing the way fluid power components — valves and manifolds in particular — are designed and made.
Fluid power systems are comprised of components that include pumps, cylinders, valves, hose, fittings, gauges, sensors, filters, seals, and reservoirs. Some components are considered absolute necessities, while others are optional and used to refine the system for more precise operation or to increase the lifespan of the system or its individual parts. Throughout this handbook, we detail many of the more common and widely used components, explaining their operation, their place in the system, and how an engineer should correctly specify them.
While fluid power can be used in almost any industry or application, it is commonly seen in markets that include packaging, off-highway, mining, offshore/marine, medical, material handling, construction, aerospace, automation, robotics, and entertainment.
One recurring concern we hear as we attend trade shows and conferences with fluid power professionals is the lack of knowledge of so many about this industry and how its components work. That is why we continue to publish the basics in this Handbook and in all our publications. It is also why we try to find new avenues to help current and future users of fluid power systems understand these technologies.
In addition to the new sidebars and FAQs you see in this publication, we are constantly updating our five websites with FAQs, technical briefs and in-depth articles on system design. And this year, we announced that we are expanding our Fluid Power Technology Conference to Cleveland in the Fall and will move to two new locations in 2020, as we try to bring expert programming to our users everywhere. And finally, because we know our readers consume content in many ways — stay tuned for new podcasts and technical videos coming from the Fluid Power World team later this summer and fall.
While some say that fluid power is a static, mature technology, there’s still much in store for the technology. We continue to see hydraulic and pneumatic components become more Internet-friendly, wireless and capable of being monitored and controlled from distant locations, taking preventative maintenance to new levels. And we will continue to bring you the latest technology updates with every issue, with every online post, with every video and with every in-person event each year.
Mary C. Gannon