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.

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 1

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 ...
External gear pumps
Silence Plus line of external gear pumps features non-involute helical gearing to reduce noise levels by an average of 15 dBA in all pressure and speed ranges. Sizes include 12, 14 and 16 cc/rev (up to 28 cc/rev are in development). ...
Portable package provides power off the grid
The X3-20 Portable Power System uses multiple sources to provide electricity at remote locations. The hydraulic power unit (inset) supplies pressurized fluid to raise and elevate the wind turbine. A prototype version ...
Did Steve Jobs change the world?
The two different systems polarized most users into Mac people or PC people. But even PC people have to acknowledge the contributions of Steve Jobs. If it wasn’t for Apple’s easy-to-use operating system, Windows would be light years behind what it is now.
Dual valve makes safety simpler
Dual valves provide all the required features to make them control reliable devices as an alternative to having to specify two separate valves. Mechanical press safety standards and good practices require at least ...
Who's out there?
Alan Hitchcox Statistics probably would not be a fun class to take, but often it’s fun to go over statistics — especially for baseball, football, and other sports. And sometimes I even go over the stats ...
Sensors keep crop sprayer on the right track
With crop protection in mind, sprayers rely on magnetostrictive position sensors to control innovative electrohydraulic steering system.
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