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.

Pneumatic valve
Prospector poppet valve has been expanded to operate in extremely low temperatures, from –40°C (–40°F) to 60°C (140°F). Its high flow and short stroke result in fast response times. It is available in air pilot or solenoid pilot design in a wide range of voltages.
Keeping Hydraulic Oil Clean Helps Ensure Reliable Machine Operation
Nephron filtration helps Linkbelt's hydraulic systems stay clean and operational.
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.

Retract clamping protects piston rod

When the high force potential of hydraulics is not required — such as clamps for spot welding — pneumatics is a natural. Pneumatics is fast, reliable, fire-proof, and unaffected by the immense electrical noise generated by spot welding guns.

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.
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