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
Smart Fluid Power on the Internet
Have you jumped on the Internet of Things bandwagon yet? It’s the wave of the future, so you’d better get hopping before it blows right past you.
Catalog Features High-Pressure Cylinders, Components

BVA Hydraulic’s Built-to-Last catalog contains more than 70 pages of information describing hydraulic cylinders, power units, pumps, tools, and other components with working pressures up to 10,000 psi.

Fluid-Power Authority Russ Henke Dies After 60-Year Career
Russell W Henke, P. E., a true driving force in establishing the Fluid Power Institute at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), died November 2, 2015 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Servopneumatics Helps Spruce Up Subway Tunnels
Servopneumatics plays a key role in a new tunnel maintenance train built to improve the cleanliness of subways and make the job faster, easier, more effective, and at lower cost.
A Great Match: Packaging and Pneumatics
Automation Direct's Nitra brand pneumatic cylinders now include 145-psi G-Series double-acting cylinders, lending themselves for use in packaging, food processing, and other high-speed machinery.
No Tee for Two
Electricians can have it pretty easy when they need to add a simple circuit to an existing one. It isn’t this simple with hydraulics.
Integrated Manifolds Make a Big Change
Changing the enormous tires on massive earthmoving vehicles is no easy trick. Tires on rims may weigh as much as 33,000 lb., which requires heavy lifting capacity combined with precise control. Servicing one machine with conventional tire-handling equipment can take up three maintenance bays, owing to its bulk.
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.
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