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 industiral 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.

Hydraulic hose carried to great lengths

Hydraulics moves the ramps and platforms that allow a single carrier to hold multiple cars. Naturally, heavy loads are involved, and the hose must tolerate brutal over-the-road conditions. Typically, car carriers have relied on SAE 100R1 hydraulic hose for pressures to 2250 psi for 3⁄8-in. hose (to 2000 psi for 1⁄2-in. hose) and SAE 100R2 for pressures to 4000 psi for 3⁄8-in. hose (3500 for 1⁄2-in. hose). However, the pressure rating for one manufacturer’s proprietary hydraulic hose is 2750 psi for the  3⁄8-in.

I’ve been to hose hell and back 1
Alan Hitchcox
Hydraulics keeps track boom on even ground

New Genie S-40 Trax and S-45 Trax telescopic booms, from Terex Aerial Work Platforms, Redmond, Wash., are now available with the company’s four-point Trax track drive system. By using four triangular track drives instead of wheels, the machines are better equipped to tackle uneven terrain, especially under a wide variety of soil conditions. And unlike full-length track drives on skid-steer machines, the triangular track drives cause less damage to sensitive ground surfaces, making the S-40 and S-45 able to take on almost any surface.

Simulation table produces more realistic testing
Exova Group Ltd. provides demanding, laboratory-based testing and related advisory services for a broad range of products and processes. Test results ensure a customer’s compliance with safety and quality standards. Steve Panter, operation manager of global automotive testing at Exova, purchased a hydraulic simulation table last year from Moog Inc., East Aurora, N. Y. Hydraulic cylinders make the simulation table more effective by testing six degrees of motion in a small footprint.
Stuff that sticks in your mind
Editor Alan Hitchcox remembers the life lesson he learned in an engineering economics course about the dangers of multi-tasking instead of finishing a project and then moving to the next one.
Fluid power? Here’s an app for that
The Mechanical Engineer Formulator app, created by veteran Apple developer Marc Schulman, from Multieducator Inc., New Rochelle, N.Y., allows you to make countless calculations, especially those for fluid power, right from your pocket.
Brush cutter is on the right track
To keep vegetation safely off rail lines, Rail Construction Equipment Co. designed a unique brush cutter that uses a hydraulically-powered John Deere 120D excavator to drive the rail car chassis, eliminating chain drives and necessary maintenance. The compact hydrostatic drive is safer and more versatile than other designs.
Self-cushioning air cylinders
Self-adjusting, pneumatic end-position cushioning is available on five ADN compact pneumatic cylinder models. Cushioning ports provide for optimal air venting and adjust automatically to suit speed and load conditions.
Fan drive controls temp in all climates
Scania buses are internationally recognized for their high fuel economy, reliability, and low impact on the environment. However, a standard electrohydraulic fan drive system from Sauer-Danfoss has a central role in keeping up Scania’s reputation for top performance on the road.
Digital music from 100 years ago
Making a discovery of player piano scrolls led Editor Alan Hitchcox to research this type of digital music derived from pneumatic logic. Player pianos work by using vacuum. The user sits in front of the piano and works a pair of pedals that drives a bellows type vacuum pump. A vacuum motor drives a takeup reel to pull the paper from the music roll. Vacuum also works actuators assigned to each piano key.
Hydraulic-powered rail car rides the road to ruins 2

The lost city of Machu Picchu is perhaps the most familiar relic of the Incan civilization. Built around 1450 and situated nearly 8000 ft above sea level on a mountain ridge in Peru, it is so isolated that it was relatively unknown to the outside world until the early 20th century.

RATs add safety to aircraft
Even if a commercial aircraft loses all engine power, a ram air turbine can provide hydraulic and electrical power to keep essential flight functions operational. Even if its engines fail, a modern aircraft can glide for very ...
Cylinder packs a punch for energy savings
Aa new, ready-to-install punching cylinder axis promises maximum performance while lowering energy consumption. When pursuing development work targeted on high-efficiency punching cylinder axes, Bosch Rexroth specialists first analyzed the ...
Aircraft capitalize on a flexible solution
After more than half a century, hydraulics continues to hold an important role in commercial aircraft control functions. Pilots deploy thrust reversers just after a plane touches down. Thrust reversers make up the rear shroud of engines and ...
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