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.

Proportional valves take a pounding

Motion, force, and positioning accuracy of servovalves has been legendary for decades, and today’s proportional valves provide performance equally as impressive such that the distinction between proportional valves and servovalves cannot be defined by valve construction.

Still, both types of valves must use sensitive feedback systems to achieve their impressive performance. Sensitive usually means fragile, so applications involving impact, heavy shock, and vibration, means valves must be isolated from the hostile environment.

Small asphalt roller packs a big punch

The CASE line of small double-drum asphalt rollers is ideal for parking lots, bike paths, tennis courts, and other small-to medium-size projects. CASE engineers designed each of four sizes (DV23, DV26, DV36, and DV45) to deliver the same level of productivity as its larger models, while helping to boost efficiency on jobs where space is tight, so maneuverability is paramount.

Lubecoach shortens lubrication process

Calculations are central to precise lubrication practices, and to that end, Advanced Machine Reliability Resources Inc., Franklin, Tenn., has developed LubeCoach, an intuitive and low-cost device that can help assign the correct lubrication volume and frequency for grease-lubricated element bearings.

Pump-Controlled Steering System Shows High Efficiency

Modern on-road vehicles have been making steady strides when it comes to employing technological advances featuring active safety systems. However, similar technology for off-highway machines has lagged behind.

Seal Manufacturer Expands Facilities

A strong growth pattern over the last three years is the catalyst behind the 13,140-sq-ft addition to T-Lon Products Inc., Hartland, Wis., existing 40,000-sq-ft facility. MSI General Corp., Oconomowoc, Wis., will design, engineer, and construct the addition. The additional space will allow T-Lon Products to accommodate the growth and anticipated future contracts.

Pump-controlled steering system shows high efficiency

Researchers at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., have shown how to reduce fuel consumption while improving the efficiency of hydraulic steering systems in heavy construction equipment. The new approach incorporates several innovations: It eliminates valves now needed to direct the flow of hydraulic fluid in steering systems and uses advanced algorithms and models to precisely control hydraulic pumps. New designs might also incorporate textured "microstructured" surfaces inside pumps to improve performance.

Company Celebrates Quality Improvement
Marmon/Keystone holds company-wide celebration of quality improvement process
Sauer Danfoss is now Danfoss Power Solutions

Sauer-Danfoss has officially changed its name to Danfoss and now operates as a new business segment called Danfoss Power Solutions within the Danfoss Group. Danfoss is globally recognized for its innovative, energy-efficient solutions in a variety of industries, and adopted the Sauer-Danfoss business into its business structure through an acquisition earlier this year.

Fundamentals of Pressure Transducers
Pressure is a key factor in almost every fluid-power circuit. Pressure transducers can interface that factor with the control system.
ICUEE 2013: Take tomorrow for a test drive

The 2013 version of International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition, better known as ICUEE, will descend upon Louisville, Ky., October 1 to 3, offering a multifaceted experience for those involved in it’s electric, gas, water, sewer, telecommunications, and construction.

Las Vegas hosts largest Pack Expo ever

More than 1,600 processing and packaging solutions providers are on board to occupy over 700,000 net sq ft, making the 2013 edition the largest Pack Expo Las Vegas since the event first opened in 1995.

Indicators let you “eyeball” airflow

When troubleshooting or monitoring the status of a low-pressure pneumatically powered or controlled machine — such as medical equipment or air-logic circuits — it can be next to impossible to determine if air is flowing through a particular line, even if clear tubing is being used. You could provide a flowmeter for each critical line, but that can get expensive.

Efficient valve targeted for smaller Tier 4 off-highway machines

Bosch Rexroth’s ML-18 pressure-compensated load-sensing control valves may take energy efficiency to the next level. The ML-18 design was developed to reduce power consumption on new Tier 4 applications, such as skid steers, small wheel loaders, and material handlers.

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