Alan Hitchcox

Penton Media Inc.

Alan became a technical editor in 1981 and joined Hydraulics & Pneumatics in 1987. After serving in the US Army as a wheeled vehicle mechanic, he graduated with a BS in engineering technology from Franklin University, Columbus, Ohio, while working as an industrial service coordinator and project manager at an industrial distributor. He has taken technical courses in fluid power and electronic and digital control at the Milwaukee School of Engineering and the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and has served on several industry committees.

Air Cylinders Lend Themselves to Processing Machines
Packaging equipment makes extensive use of pneumatics technology because of its many benefits, and pneumatic cylinders prove especially versatile.
Determine the Cost of Compressed Air for Your Plant
These equations can help determine the cost of compressed air, one of the most expensive sources of energy in a plant.
Valve Adds Safety to Pneumatic Circuits
When a fire occurs at a refinery or other industrial plant, process valves need to be shut down—and fast. A pneumatic valve using shape-memory alloy does just that, and without the need for any external signal or power.
Servopump Holds Potential to Slash Energy Consumption by 70%

Today’s industrial hydraulic systems generally require tight control, which translates to fast response and pinpoint repeatability. Electrohydraulic servovalves have served these demanding applications for decades. However, as electric servodrives have become more powerful, hydraulic drives have lost ground in small- to medium-size machines— especially in injection molding and die casting. The reason is simple: poor efficiency of hydraulic servovalve drives.

Hydraulic Multimeter Goes Wireless

Just as electrical technicians use multimeters to analyze electric circuits and diagnose problems, hydraulic technicians have had hydraulic multimeters at their disposal to read pressure, flow, and other important parameters. Webtec, Milwaukee, has offered its Digital Hydraulic Multimeter (DHM) to measure flow, pressure, peak pressure, temperature, power, and even volumetric efficiency. 

Lighter Cylinders Increase Design Possibilities

The demand for more compact, lighter, yet more powerful machines is unrelenting and requires continuous advancements in component designs and higher-strength materials. For in-plant machines, the higher pressures can often be accommodated by thicker-walled steel components. But this “luxury” is usually not an option for mobile equipment because components must be as small and lightweight as possible.

Applied Industrial Technologies' Open House

Applied Industrial Technologies, Cleveland, held an open house on Tuesday, September 22. The event included exhibitor displays, technical seminars, and social events. Dozens of AIT's vendors were on hand, including many fluid power suppliers. Applied Industrial also exhibited some of its own capabilities.
This gallery provides a sampling of what was fluid power and related exhibits.

Fluid Purifier Goes Beyond Filtration
Eaton’s IFPM 72 Fluid Purifier System can extend the life of hydraulic fluid in multiple hydraulic systems within a plant.
Hydraulics Entrepreneur Dies at Age 79
Constantine “Connie” Kosarzecki, founder of both Modular Controls Corp. and Command Controls Corp., passed away August 1, 2015 at the age of 79.
Novel Device Seals Reservoirs from Ambient Environment
Filter-breathers and dessicant breathers are typically used to maintain clean fluid in a reservoir, but are not without shortcomings.
Think You Know Flanges?
Though many SAE 4-bolt hydraulic flanges look quite similar to each other, SAE Code 61, SAE Code 62, and Caterpillar 4-bolt flanges exhibit small dimensional and physical differences.
Manufacturer Invests in Tooling, NSF Certification
After focusing on a steady stream of improvements since 2011, Delavan Pumps Inc., Minneapolis, invested more than $300,000.00 in new tooling, NSF Certification, and marketing to it forward movement.
Monitor Air Quality to Ensure System Efficiency
Any of several tests can be conducted to determine the quality of the compressed air in a system, ranging from occasional tests that examine a collected air sample to using continuous online testing equipment.
Getting Ready for Innovation at ICUEE 2015

As fall approaches, many of us are making plans to travel to conferences and trade shows. As in every other odd-numbered year, 2015 will mark the return of the International Construction & Utility Equipment Expo to Louisville, Ky., Sept. 29 through Oct. 1. Known as ICUEE—IQ for short—this show immediately became one of my favorites when I first attended more than 20 years ago. It’s organized by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the same group that puts on ConExpo/ConAgg and IFPE.

5 Features for Safe Hydraulic Drives
Five factors should be considered in order to design a safe, compact, and efficient hydraulic drive, especially considering today's advanced hydraulic drives that allow machines to reach high speeds in the most arduous conditions,
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