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.

The Big 5 for Electric Motors
Understanding the basic parameters of electric motors is key when specifying one for a particular HPU application, so one must consider five basic factors: horsepower, rotational speed, voltage/phase, frame size/configuration, and enclosure.
Hydraulic Die-Cushion Drive Can Save Significant Energy on Presses
Voith’s CSH die-cushion drive, which consists of a servopump and a double-acting die cushion mounted underneath the bolster plate. needs no valves and significantly reduces energy consumption of the press.
Hydraulic Traction Circuit Treats Golf-Course Greens Gently
The Toro Co. has designed and patented a hydraulic traction circuit that enables a groundskeeper to easily manicure golf greens with the speed and convenience of a riding mower. The triplex configuration has two drive tires in front and a steering tire in back.
Is hydraulic fluid in your blood?
I’ve met a lot of people through the years who are really passionate about fluid power technology — and, especially, hydraulics. I share this passion, but I don’t get to practice it. So I often feel like a sportswriter who gets to report on all the goings-on and talk to the stars, but I don’t get to play the game.
Sealed Shut
Effective high-pressure sealing requires a material or a combination of materials with sufficient tear strength, hardness, and modulus to prevent extrusion through the gap. At pressures of 5000 to 7000 psi, the strongest elastomeric materials in standard seal configurations resist the extrusion without reinforcement. At higher pressures, the elastomeric sealing element must be backed by a higher modulus and harder material. Various, more-or-less standard, backup configurations have demonstrated their effectiveness over many years.
Bimba's new IntelliSense technology provides predictive intelligence for pneumatics
IntelliSense offers condition-based monitoring to maximize machine productivity and reliability.
Hydraulic Mulcher Puts Land-Clearing Into High Gear
Land-clearing operations frequently process plant clippings, tree branches, and other debris by mulching. Hydraulic drives built into professional-grade mulchers deliver the high torque and dead-on speed control needed to quickly and efficiently turn such debris into a pile of mulch for composting, landscaping, or other form of recycling.
No Break for Rod Bearings in Hostile Conditions
The process of coupling rail cars together to assemble a train is called “humping.” In this process, an individual car is pushed over a small hill, or hump. As the car descends the other side of the hill, it coasts until it contacts another car and automatically couples to it.
Lever Changes Joystick Pattern in Off-Highway Machines
When two of the big guys in the hydraulic excavator business — say, Caterpillar and John Deere — each design a different operating pattern for the two joysticks that control the pilot circuits on their machines, it’s highly likely that both patterns will appear in the field.
Mobile Concrete Pump Breaks 100-m Height Barrier
Nowhere in the world are cities currently growing faster than in China. In fact, skyscrapers seem to be springing up like mushrooms in Shanghai and Beijing. To keep up with this growth, construction ...
Parker Updates HoseFinder App
The HoseFinder 3.5 mobile app allows users to select and locate critical hoses. The updated HoseFinder 3.5’s catalog adds to the original version’s 5,000 products, including more than 350 new products from Parker’s Industrial Hose Products Division
TE Connectivity acquires American Sensor Technologies (AST)

TE Connectivity Ltd., Schaffhausen, Switzerland,  announced that it has completed the acquisition of American Sensor Technologies Inc. (AST), a manufacturer of pressure and position sensing products with 2013 revenues of approximately $20 million. The acquisition further expands TE’s growing portfolio of sensors and sensor systems. 

Mighty Minis of Construction

Construction equipment requires lots of power for digging, breaking, hauling, and any other heavy-duty task at hand. But just because compact construction machines are smaller than their full-size counterparts doesn’t mean they can skimp on power. They still need plenty of force for digging, high torque for drilling, and enough power to work quickly.

A Flak Jacket for Hose

Today’s hydraulic hose is tougher than ever. Manufacturers now offer a wide variety of extra-tough cover materials that resist chemicals, heat, sunlight, and abrasion. But in some of the most demanding applications, providing more protection can extend the hose life even further. That’s where hose sleeves come in.

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