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 industiral 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 by Alan Hitchcox
Brennan Adds Pressure Ratings To Mobile App

Brennan Industries ( recently expanded its mobile application, which now includes pressure ratings for more than 6,000 of the firm’s parts spanning 330-plus series. As part of the upgrade, the app includes pressure ratings in psi or bar units for numerous Brennan products, in addition to the ability for users to search for ratings by series or part number.

A pneumatic locomotive?

Pneumatics is often used where the potential dangers of electricity pose too great a risk for electrical power to be used. Equipment used in mines and submerged or standing in water are probably the most prevalent applications.

IFPE paper: how to make lemonade from lemons

Any form of power transmission has its advantages and disadvantages. I don’t have the space to elaborate here, but one of the knocks against hydraulics is pressure ripple. Pressure ripple is a fluctuation of pressure in a hydraulic system. Instead of putting out a constant flow of fluid, hydraulic pumps emit flow in surges. The frequency of surges is a function of the number of pumping chambers (cylinders, gear teeth, vanes, etc.) and the pump’s speed, whereas the severity (peak-to-peak magnitude) of the surges is a function of the pump’s design.

Eaton Hydraulics names Price Engineering as first Certified Cylinder Service Center
Price Engineering, Hartland, Wis., becomes the first Eaton Certified Cylinder Service Center.
Forget what you know about gear pumps

Most of us are well acquainted with gears, especially when it comes to gear pumps. Gear pumps typically use gears with teeth similar in geometry to those used for power transmission: they are symmetrical. Symmetrical teeth are needed because gear sets used in mechanical power transmission often rotate clockwise and counterclockwise.

Proportional valves take a pounding

Motion, force, and positioning accuracy of servovalves has been legendary for decades, and today’s proportional valves provide performance equally as impressive such that the distinction between proportional valves and servovalves cannot be defined by valve construction.

Still, both types of valves must use sensitive feedback systems to achieve their impressive performance. Sensitive usually means fragile, so applications involving impact, heavy shock, and vibration, means valves must be isolated from the hostile environment.

Small asphalt roller packs a big punch

The CASE line of small double-drum asphalt rollers is ideal for parking lots, bike paths, tennis courts, and other small-to medium-size projects. CASE engineers designed each of four sizes (DV23, DV26, DV36, and DV45) to deliver the same level of productivity as its larger models, while helping to boost efficiency on jobs where space is tight, so maneuverability is paramount.

Lubecoach shortens lubrication process

Calculations are central to precise lubrication practices, and to that end, Advanced Machine Reliability Resources Inc., Franklin, Tenn., has developed LubeCoach, an intuitive and low-cost device that can help assign the correct lubrication volume and frequency for grease-lubricated element bearings.

Pump-Controlled Steering System Shows High Efficiency

Modern on-road vehicles have been making steady strides when it comes to employing technological advances featuring active safety systems. However, similar technology for off-highway machines has lagged behind.

Pump-controlled steering system shows high efficiency

Researchers at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., have shown how to reduce fuel consumption while improving the efficiency of hydraulic steering systems in heavy construction equipment. The new approach incorporates several innovations: It eliminates valves now needed to direct the flow of hydraulic fluid in steering systems and uses advanced algorithms and models to precisely control hydraulic pumps. New designs might also incorporate textured "microstructured" surfaces inside pumps to improve performance.

Company Celebrates Quality Improvement
Marmon/Keystone holds company-wide celebration of quality improvement process
Sauer Danfoss is now Danfoss Power Solutions

Sauer-Danfoss has officially changed its name to Danfoss and now operates as a new business segment called Danfoss Power Solutions within the Danfoss Group. Danfoss is globally recognized for its innovative, energy-efficient solutions in a variety of industries, and adopted the Sauer-Danfoss business into its business structure through an acquisition earlier this year.

Fundamentals of Pressure Transducers
Pressure is a key factor in almost every fluid-power circuit. Pressure transducers can interface that factor with the control system.
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