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
All-stainless-steel Air Cylinders
A line of stainless-steel cylinders is designed for food-processing and pharmaceutical applications. All-threaded construction cylinders are fully repairable, and their crevice-free design simplifies washdowns and clean-ups. Available in 1 1 ...
Russia Constructing World’s Largest Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker

The Russian Federation has begun construction of the world’s largest universal nuclear-powered icebreaker at a reported cost of 36,959 billion rubles ($1.16 billion). Capable of navigating in both the Arctic Ocean and the shallow waters of Siberian rivers, the 173-m (568 ft) vessel is being built by the Baltiysky Zavod shipyard in St Petersburg and scheduled for completion by 2017.

Electronic Hose Monitor Looks for Leaks
Designed to check for ruptures in hoses, the SKF Hose Connection Control (HCC) monitors lubrication and hydraulic lines on construction equipment.
Cylinder Hones Provide Slick Solutions
Damaged, scored cylinders can be repaired in the field using flexible cylinder hones.
Hydraulic Piston Rod Lock
Bear-Loc is a locking device that can be used in systems that require infinite position locking, zero backlash, and high stiffness.
Assumptions and Safety Don’t Mix
Counterbalance valves are among the top subjects viewed week after week on our website. I don’t know why, so your guess is as good as mine.
Hydraulics Powers Off-Road HVAC System
Hydraulics for air conditioning? And heat? Under certain conditions, hydraulics wins out over electric motors and belt drives for powering climate-control systems in large off-highway vehicles.
Ceramic Air Valves Stand Up to Dirt
Multiple daily failures of valves in a smelting operation’s cranes led to a switch to ceramic valves, which have so far delivered 100% reliability and significantly lowered costs.
Low-Energy Wireless Sensors Work with iOS Mobile Apps
Parker Hannifin’s Quick Coupling Div., Minneapolis, now offers wireless sensors that can communicate with iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPad Touch) devices.
The Internet of Uncertainty
The Internet of Things refers to future communication networks of low-power sensors on every “thing” from valve spools, pumps, and cylinders, to home appliances and even people. Billions of these sensors will transmit information to let people better manage factories, hospitals, municipal services, homes, and their everyday lives.
Pumps Power Railcar Mover
When an OEM in the rail industry needed a new pump to replace a discontinued design, they were right on track in finding a simpler and more-compact solution.
Stop High-Pressure Leaks with Flanges
When larger diameter tubing is needed, or space constraints don’t allow swing room for hex wrenches or ratchets, use these reliable end fittings to connect tubing to ports.
Getting Behind the Wheels

Have you ever wanted to drive a garbage truck? I don’t mean as a profession, just because you could. The opportunity arose for me, and I jumped at the chance.

Seal Supplier Partners with MSOE for New Test Method

Hallite Seals Americas, Inc., Wixom, Mich. announced today the successful development of a new test procedure for assessing the amount of dirt and dust that enters a typical hydraulic system through the rod wiper. Developed in cooperation with Milwaukee School of Engineering’s (MSOE) Fluid Power Institute™, the test breaks new ground because it features a novel methodology for measuring dry particles attributed to being a major cause of hydraulic system inefficiency, degradation and failure. It fills a critical need within the cylinder manufacturing industry.

All-Stainless Air Cylinders Are Ideal for Washdown Applications

Applications in food processing palnts can really be tough on machine components — especially air cylinders. That's because government agencies require frequent washdown of equipment that comes in direct or incidental contact with food products. These regulations are enacted not only to protect our food supply, but also to protect workers at the food processing plants.

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