Alan Hitchcox

Alan
L.
Hitchcox
Editor,
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.

Articles
Slipform paver has all the smarts

The incorporation of electrohydraulics into road construction equipment continues to reduce the time and cost it takes to build streets and highways while also increasing quality of the road itself. Nowhere is this more evident than with the GHP-2800 slipform paver from GOMACO Corp., Ida Grove, Iowa. The GHP-2800’s all electronic-over-hydraulic control system makes for easy, accurate, and fast controlled response. Furthermore, the GHP-2800’s hydraulic system features a full spectrum of configurations to maximize versatility and efficiency.

Offshore operator commits to biodegradable hydraulic fluid

Jackson Offshore Operators, Harvey, La., is a marine services company supporting the offshore oil and gas industry. Officials recently announced that Jackson Offshore will be outfitting its Jet Drive Fast Crew/Supply boats with EnviroLogic 3046 hydraulic fluid from Terresolve Technology, Mentor, Ohio.

A walk through the 2011 Hannover Fair

Here's selection of photos from Hannover Fair in 2011, highlighting some of the key fluid power booths at the Motion, Drive and Automation trade show, as well as a look at the popularity of all the fairs.

Big valves use electrohydraulic control

Mount Thorley Warkworth (MTW) is an integrated operation of two adjacent open cast mines in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales, Australia. It supplies international and domestic markets with semi-soft coking coal and thermal coal.

Linear displacement transducer isn’t limited by stroke

One of the challenges with most linear displacement transducers (LDTs) for measuring hydraulic cylinder position is that the stroke must be known when the sensor is ordered. Furthermore, in-cylinder mounting generally requires gun-drilling the cylinder’s piston rod and mounting a magnet to the piston, both of which add to the final cost of the cylinder.

Steering valves keep speed boats on course
Go-fast boats typically can rip through calm seas at 80 knots or more. Built with a deep V fiberglass hull, these racing boats usually run 30 to 50 ft long and have a narrow beam (width, for you landlubbers) for minimal drag. Oh, and they may be powered by twin engines of 500 hp — that’s each, not in total.
Truck-mounted handlers show their strength

Barko Hydraulics, Superior, Wis., says its 80XL back-of-cab knuckleboom loader delivers the highest payload with the lowest installed weight ratio and provides the lowest cost of operation of any product on the market. It also comes equipped with more standard features and is said to last longer and perform harder than its competitors.

Bet you can’t read just one
Editor Alan Hitchcox talks about the longevity of Hydraulics & Pneumatics' technical content and how readers often look for articles that are decades old because they are still relevant today.
LDT lets RoGator adapt to the task at hand

When it comes to versatility, machines don’t get much better than the RoGator, manufactured by AGCO Corp., Duluth, Ga., at it’s facility in Jackson, Minn. Three sizes of RoGators all come with a 4-wheel hydrostatic drive system and closed-loop electrohydraulic steering that provides 2-wheel steer, all-wheel steer, auto steer (which provides 2-wheel steer until the front wheels pivot 6° or more, at which time 4-wheel steer automatically kicks in), and crab steer.

Hydraulics handles the hassle of hauling helicopters
Because helicopters rise straight up when they take off, they don’t need a long runway to become airborne. And because of this, the majority of helicopters (except for some larger models) are manufactured without wheels. Instead, they are fitted with landing skids.
The future of fluid power?
Don’t look at me; your guess is as good as mine. But I think we all would agree that fluid power is a mature industry that goes through incremental advancements. Digital microprocessors have made huge contributions to automated control, and new component designs and manufacturing techniques have advanced the physical capabilities of both hydraulic and pneumatic systems.
All bets are on for a great experience

Once every three years, the Las Vegas desert plays host to thousands of users and makers of fluid power components, and this time around, the IFPE 2011 International Exposition for Power Transmission promises to be bigger and better than ever. The show and conference, both of which highlight fluid power, power transmission, and motion control, will once again be co-located with CONEXPO-CON/AGG, one of the world’s largest construction equipment trade shows. Both events will be held March 22-26, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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