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.

Miniature quick-acting couplings

QD3L line of fluid couplings has M8 threads, 99/16-in. hexagonal OD, and 0.180-in. flow orifice. Made of 303 stainless steel with pressure rating of 250 psi and Viton or EPDM seals. Double shutoff design minimizes space between the internal and external ends when connected to essentially eliminate any leakage when disconnecting.

Beswick Engineering, (603) 433-1188,

Position sensor

Positape linear displacement transducers are said to have twice the life of cable-and-spool types. WB100M has stainless steel extension tape and IP 67/69K rating to withstand seawater and other harsh environments.  Available for measuring maximum strokes from 2000 mm to 10,000 mm. Comes with range of analog or digital outputs FSO error of ±0.05%.

ASM Sensors Inc., (630) 832-3202,

Proportional directional valves

PSL (for fixed-displacement hydraulic systems) and PSV (for variable displacement) proportional directional spool valves accommodate flows to 63 gpm and pressures to 6090 psi. Manual, hydraulic piloted, or electro-hydraulic actuation provides a high degree of proportional control for precise positioning and high maneuverability of mobile equipment. Load-sensing feature provides optimal utilization of the installed power.

AC and DC joysticks

NS2/NSB2-KB series of compact joystick controllers are intended for use in mills, process lines, foundries, mining shovels, etc. under continuous duty cycles. Small footprint and mounting hole pattern allows for direct replacement of master switches. Their cast construction is sealed to IP65.

High flow mini relief valve

Hi-Q pressure relief valve accommodates high relief pressure and high flow rate in a compact package. It is capable of relief pressures to 5400 psid and flow rates more than 19 gpm. Side inlet flow reduces installation boss size and weight. The valve comes with cracking pressures from 1000 to 5400 psid.  It is designed for nominal system pressures to 5000 psi and system peak pressures up to 6750 psi.  Each is 100% inspected and tested.

The Lee Co., (860) 399-6281,

Air brake tubing

Endure air brake tubing retains flexibility longer than traditional nylon tubing in harsh heat, cold, and oily environments. Resists cracking from impact at extreme temperatures. Small bend radius aids installation. Endure 251 Series is non-reinforced and available in sizes from 0.125 to 0.312 in. OD. Endure 151 Series is reinforced and available sized from 0.375 to 0.750 in. OD. Both come in multiple colors.

Kuriyama of America Inc., (847) 755-0360,

Medium pressure check valves

CP/CPA series check valves have max working pressure of 3000 psi in ¼- or ½-in. sizes. CP series has factory-set fixed cracking pressure; CPA series is adjustable. Both are and made of 316 stainless. Color-coded deflector caps provide easy identification of line pressure, system cracking pressure, or system media. The caps are machined from durable aluminum and anodized with colors to comply with EN 1089-3. Available in 18 cracking pressures to 100 psi.

SSP, (330) 425-4250,

Piston accumulators

Full line of standard piston-type accumulators are selected based on physical dimensions, maximum allowable working pressure, and fluid volumes to best suit application. Available in wide variety of materials, seal configurations and materials, and fluid and gas port configurations.

Speed sensor for hydraulic motors

EMD magnetic speed sensor for orbital motors provides feedback for electronic control systems. The sensor delivers up to 180 pulses/rev or can range scaled back to 20 to 120 pulses/rev. Complies with CANbus communication and with company’s PLUS+1 electronic control platform. A microcontroller inside the sensor measures both the speed and direction. Available with easy click-on mounting to motor’s end cover.

Sauer Danfoss,
(515) 557-2031,

Fire-resistant hydraulic fluid

Cosmolubric B-230 vegetable oil-based hydraulic fluid has additives to enhance corrosion resistance, metal passivation, and oxidative inhibition. It is a Factory Mutual Approved fire resistant hydraulic fluid that protects personnel and property from accidental fire and may lower insurance premiums.

Hydraulic fluid de-aerator
Quicktron de-aerator uses cyclone movement principle to remove air bubbles from hydraulic fluid, thereby boosting filter performance, extending fluid life, and, ultimately, improving machine reliability.
Stainless steel air cylinders

Stainless steel air cylinders now come in 9⁄16-in. bore. With strokes to 4 in. Available in stud or universal mount, double, single, or reverse acting, and with rotating or non-rotating rod. As with other sizes in line, they have polished bore, rolled construction with machined aluminum heads, sintered bronze bushing, ground, polished and roller burnished 303 stainless rod, and Buna-N U-cup piston and rod seals.

Clippard Instrument Laboratory,
(877) 245-6247,

Position sensor tolerates pressure environments

Balluff Inc., Florence, Ky., introduced what it says is the first high-pressure inductive analog position sensor. Rated for pressure to 500 bar (7250 psi), the sensor is intended for hydraulic valve control and hydraulic cylinder cushioning applications, especially in mobile hydraulic equipment.

Aerial work platform has all-hydraulic control

Forget about expensive fiber optics and temperamental digital controls. Elliott Equipment Co., Omaha, recently developed a full-hydraulic upper platform control package for its HiReach aerial work platform product line. Hydraulic valves and actuators are typically used for moving and positioning aerial booms and platforms, but electronic controls usually command solenoid-operated electrohydraulic valves.

Position transducers report in real time

Output lag times are inherent in some position transducers because signal-processing take time. In high-speed applications, this can mean that the controls only know where components have been recently, not where they are right now. If absolute linear-positioning data is important to an application, the TDP family of transducers — from Transducers Direct — incorporates a hybrid technology that offers a reliable approach to position sensing data.

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