Page 1

Understanding proportional valve designs and uses p. 22

Using compressed air hoses safely p. 42

Hydraulics in oil & gas extraction p. 46


June 2022

Sorting out

auxiliary hydraulics PAGE 36

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Solenoid valves are electrically controlled to direct air flow to sequence operations in pneumatic systems. Solenoid valves are used to control cylinders, rotary actuators, grippers and other pneumatic devices. Use a manifold to simplify plumbing for a bank of valves. Modular systems even allow networked control of valve group.

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• Particulate filters with 40 micron filter element (5 micron option), coalescing type and oil vapor removal in sizes from 1/8” to 1” NPT port sizes • Regulators with adjustment from 4-58 PSI, 7-60 PSI, 7-130 PSI and 4-145 PSI • Combination filter/regulators available with same options in one unit • Lubricators in 1/8” to 1” port sizes • Total air prep units that combine all air preparation functions in one compact unit

• Available as stand-alone units or as part of a compact modular valve system • Stand-alone units can be used with optional manifolds to make system configuration simpler • Available in 3-port/3-way, and 5-port/4-way styles • 4-way valves come in 2-position or 3-position styles with center closed or center open

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FLUIDLINES Mary C. Gannon • Editor-in-Chief

Are hydrogen fuel cells the future for mobile machines? Prioritizing decarbonization is, without doubt, one that most countries agree with almost pure unanimity. Here, in the U.S., the Biden administration has a goal to eliminate carbons from the electric grid system by 2035. Globally, most countries are on similar timelines. But, looking ahead to 2050, there doesn’t seem to be a clear path forward to rapidly decrease our emissions of CO2, said Theodore Krause, Chemical Engineer and Theme Leader for Catalysis and Energy Conversion in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory. Krause spoke at this year’s NFPA Annual Meeting in February. “It’s really, really a challenge when you look at what has to be done to get to a zero-carbon economy by 2050. Trying to decarbonize the grid by 2025 is going to be a major challenge, trying to decarbonize the whole economy by 2050 is going to be a major challenge,” Krause said, in this talk about the use of hydrogen fuel cells. Krause shared data on how hydrogen fuel cells are seeing more use in common applications, such as see automotive, heavy truck and bus, rail, marine, and more. And notably, in his application examples of mobile machinery enabled with fuel-cell technology, hydraulics can still play a huge part. Major manufacturers are paying attention. Caterpillar Inc. announced last month that it was partnering with the Minnesotabased District Energy St. Paul on a three-year project to demonstrate a hydrogen-fueled combined heat and power (CHP) system. The project is supported and partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and backed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Scheduled to start early next year, the project builds on Caterpillar’s 35 years of experience with high-hydrogen fuel. The company currently offers a 1250-kW Cat generator set capable of operating on 100% hydrogen, including fully renewable green hydrogen, as well as commercially available power generation solutions from 400 kW to 4.5 MW that can be configured to operate on natural gas blended with up to 25% hydrogen. “Caterpillar is focused on supporting our customers with reliable, sustainable power solutions,” said Joe Creed, Caterpillar group president of Energy and Transportation. “This hydrogen demonstration project will enable us to evaluate additional hydrogen fuel options for an existing energy-efficient engine, providing even more possibilities for helping our customers meet their climate-related goals and objectives.” 2


6 • 2022

And last October, Liebherr Machines Bulle SA announced early trial results using MAHLE Jet Ignition (MJI) in the development of hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines. It proved to be a successful ignition source for hydrogen without the need to reduce compression ratios, unlocking the potential of hydrogen as a carbonneutral fuel for the heavy-duty engine sector. “The use of hydrogen as a combustion fuel has the potential for rapid de-carbonization of many heavy-duty and off-road sectors,” said Mike Bunce, Head of Research for MAHLE Powertrain US. “A wealth of research over the past few decades has confirmed the compatibility of hydrogen with internal combustion engines. The challenge has been to get it to run with stable combustion without resorting to reductions in compression ratios to avoid engine knock and pre-ignition. Our common work with Liebherr suggests we have the answer.” “It’s really the global market that’s driving the hydrogen economy. If you look at the shipment of fuel cells, you can see it’s constantly growing. In 2019 for the first time, it exceeded one gigawatt sales shipments,” Krause said. “Studies show that, if they could come to attain what they’re projecting, that hydrogen could reduce global emissions by 10 to 25% and provide revenues of $2.5 trillion by 2050.” Krause indicated that fuel cells come out ahead of electric batteries in terms of cost and energy storage, and offer higher efficiency in agriculture, construction, and mining machinery — anywhere from 16 to 26% higher efficiency was seen with fuel cell studies than the diesel engine when operating at the power rated over the operational cycle.



Mary C. Gannon • Editor-in -Chief mgannon@wtwhmedia.com On Twitter @FPW_marygannon



Kaman Fluid Power’s ParkerStores are now Mi Fluid Power Solutions.

FROM THE FIELD Paul J. Heney • VP, Editorial Director

Four trends driving the future of manufacturing Jon Hirschtick, the general manager of Onshape at PTC, spoke recently at the Robotics Summit in Boston, and he had a lot to say about the technology that is shaping our future. Hirschtick, who is well known as the fellow who developed Solidworks, was also a member of the famed MIT Blackjack Team, which was the basis for the 2008 feature film, 21. Here are four things he sees greatly affecting our future — in manufacturing and at work. • Robots aren’t quite what we thought they would be — they’re not just humanoid helpers from sci-fi movies. Instead, they’re everywhere, and our definition of them needs to evolve. Our cars have adaptive cruise control and lane keeping, our kids are playing with drones. Aren’t those technically robots? Hirschtick said that when he talks to robotics companies, everything’s about speed; everything must happen faster than it used to. All the external influences on manufacturing are changing, and the marketplace demand is changing even faster than that. And that all means we need newer and better robots to help us make those changes. • Hirschtick sees manufacturing as becoming more agile, augmented, and additive. New design techniques and generative design for engineers, such as additive manufacturing, are game changing. From the ability to do rapid prototyping to making standard parts, 3D printing can greatly speed up the development process — and real-world machines are being built this way today —it’s no longer just parts in the lab or theoretical research projects. What’s more, computing technology can turbocharge what engineers can do, be it for generative design, for simulation, or exploring parametric design spaces. • There will be increased computing power, thanks to the cloud. Hirschtick explained that engineers in the near future will have more computing power than what’s currently in a desktop computer. He sees the world evolving to where an engineer opens his or her laptop computer and the simulation will simply stream to it. Additionally, he predicts that the digital twin concept will mean more IoT usage — and that we’ll be able to connect the physical to the digital twins. • The workplace will continue to evolve, and we must be ready for that and accepting of it. Remember that it’s not just employees who may be working remotely or in different places on different days. Where contractors, vendors, and customers are working is different, and it changes all the time. The idea of the fixed location is changing and will continue to change.


Paul J. Heney

VP, Editorial Director pheney@wtwhmedia.com

On Twitter @wtwh_paulheney



6 • 2022


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vol 9 no 3





F E AT U R E S MOBILE HYDRAULICS Sorting out auxiliary hydraulics Understanding the hydraulic system is critical when choosing work tools and attachment for mobile machines.


Using compressed air hoses safely Compressed air is often disregarded as a common utility in factories, but risks are high with pressurized air running through pneumatic hoses. Learn how to use these tools safely.


Precision and control in hydraulics in oil & gas extraction The extreme pressures and volatile environments in oil & gas require all that hydraulics has to offer — precise control and safety at high pressures.



42 D E PA R T M E N T S



02 FluidLines



From The Field


Korane’s Outlook


Troubleshooting Challenge


Association Watch


Design Notes

22 Fundamentals 26 Distributor Update 30 Maintenance 32



Energy Efficiency

51 Products 55

Component Focus


Ad Index


Understanding the hydraulic system is critical when choosing work tools and attachments for mobile machines.





| Courtesy of Case Construction Equipment

6 • 2022

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6 • 2022

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KORANE’S OUTLOOK Ken Korane • Technology Editor

Loopholes are legal, but are they ethical? Early in my engineering career, the fluid-power company where I was employed received a request from the U.S. Navy for seven hydraulic fittings made of the superalloy Inconel. Fulfilling the order would be a major headache. Purchasing a single bar of the exotic material, much of which would go unused, would be incredibly expensive. Add in the costs associated with pulling a machine tool out of regular production and setting it up for the tough-to-machine material, as well as the specialty tooling, and it wasn’t worth the time and effort. Nonetheless, we wanted to stay on the military’s preferred supplier list. So we did offer a bid, but an outrageously high one – nearly $2,500 per fitting in today’s dollars – and expected that would be the end of it. Unfortunately, all of our competitors had the same thoughts and bid even higher, and we were stuck with the job. We weren’t out to fleece the government and, honestly, we probably broke even at best. That’s why I have mixed feelings about the recent goings on surrounding TransDigm, a Cleveland-based conglomerate that, among other things, makes an array of electrohydraulic actuators, pumps and controls for the aerospace and defense industry. At a recent Congressional hearing, Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform lambasted TransDigm executives for gouging the Pentagon. The allegations are based on a DoD Inspector General report that said the company earned “excess profits” on spare parts contracts totaling $268.2 million over two and a half years. The report claimed TransDigm made up to 3,851% in excess profits on these contracts, as the government considers any profit over 15% as excessive, and said the company should repay the government for nearly $21 million in overcharges. The problem, however, is that when the value of a contract is less than $2 million, 10


6 • 2022

companies aren’t required to provide cost and pricing data that government contracting officers need to determine whether pricing is fair. And 95% of those deals slid below the threshold. It might be impossible to negotiate a fair price if a company won’t divulge its costs or profits, and might contribute to overpayments, but the practice falls in line with current law. TransDigm asserted the report “makes clear that there was no wrongdoing” by the company and questioned the methods used in calculating overcharges. CEO Kevin Stein said the inspector general’s audit relied on arbitrary standards for acceptable profit levels and ignored costs incurred by the company. He added at the hearing that “if we find that TransDigm made a mistake in any of our contracting, then we will pay the money back.” However, it’s not the first time TransDigm has been on the hot seat. In 2019, the company agreed to repay the Pentagon $16 million to compensate for similar alleged overcharges. Government critics point out that many of these TransDigm contracts are low quantity, some with multiple orders for the same part in one year. This is

TransDigm supplies hydraulic components for a number of defense programs, including the F-35. The DoD inspector general says the company overcharges the government. | Photo By: Air Force Senior Airman Alexander Cook


inefficient and leads to higher prices. And military contractors in general face overly burdensome specifications and excessive paperwork that add to costs. To be clear, TransDigm isn’t alone in taking advantage of the system, other top contractors do much the same. “None of these companies broke the law, but the law is broken,” said Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project On Government Oversight, an independent government watchdog. He said to start, Congress should lower the disclosure threshold from $2 million to $500,000, so contracting officers get the data they need to assess whether pricing is fair and reasonable. The inspector general recommended policy changes so that lower-cost contracts can be analyzed with more scrutiny and foster transparent pricing. Otherwise, the Defense Department would continue to pay unfair prices, and profiteering and waste will continue. Government specs probably are more onerous than necessary, while contractors often look not for the most economical and best solutions, but ones that maximize profit. In the end, to put it in fluid power terms, the taxpayer gets hosed. FPW


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5/24/22 7:01 AM

TROUBLESHOOTING CHALLENGE Robert Sheaf • Founder/CEO of CFC Industrial Training

Troubleshooting hydraulic circuit used for training Circuit 4 Gage B Gage E

Gage C

PO check 8:1 ratio


Sol. 2B

Sol. 2A

50 sq.in. Piston

40 sq.in. Rod


x y

Gage D

Sol. 1B

Set at 1500 PSI NV-1 Gage A

65 PSI Check #2

Set at 3000 PSI

5 PSI Check #1



Set at 2500 PSI


I use the attached hydraulic circuit in most of my training classes to see how well the students understand what is going on when the press is in neutral, extending or retracting. The design was used by an OEM who builds several presses. One requirement this particular customer insisted on was using a pilot operated check to hold the ram up when retracted. He had several older presses that drifted down off a limit switch and would consistently “bang” up and drift down on and off the switch. This was caused by the use of slowly leaking counterbalance valves. Here is one of the few cases where a meter-out flow control was used and adjusted to provide enough back pressure to keep the PO check valve open when the press was extended. I always stress in class that if you can read a schematic and find the actual component on the machine AND understand pressure controls well, you will have a higher success at solving hydraulic problems. Using this schematic, I have two questions for you to consider: First, what approximate pressure would gauge “A” read if only the electric motor was running, and all three solenoids were de-energized? Second, what would gauge “E” pressure read if the ram were held retracted with solenoids 1B and 2B are energized and pump pressure output is 2,500 psi?

Solution to April Challenge: Threading machine running slow Several times I have been asked to troubleshoot slow systems only to find the customer did not understand the pump adjustments. Most pressure adjustments are clockwise (CW) to increase and counterclockwise (CCW) to decrease. Most pump volume adjustments are normally opposite, requiring CCW adjustment to “increase the flow” and CW to decrease the flow. Adjusting the volume adjustment CCW solved the slow speed problem. We also reduced the maximum pump pressures to 1,000 psi.





6 • 2022


ASSOCIATION WATCH Edited by Mary Gannon • Editor-in-Chief

IFPS launches mentorship program

IFPS upgrades Industrial Hydraulic Mechanic certification The IFPS released a new and upgraded Industrial Hydraulic Mechanic certification and it is now available to order. The new release includes an enhanced study manual and test. •

The International Fluid Power Society has announced the upcoming 2022 IFPS Mentorship Program. This four-month program will connect emerging professionals with experienced, certified fluid power experts. The IFPS Mentorship program is designed to build a strong network in the fluid power community and facilitate key skills needed to succeed in the fluid power industry. The ideal mentee will be interested in a long-term career in the fluid power industry, looking to expand their network while building a relationship with a certified industry expert. They will learn the ins and outs of the industry while building a relationship based on trust, experience exchange, support, and guidance. They’ll want to be self-disciplined, focused, and willing to learn from their mentor. Once accepted, the mentee registration fee is $99. Mentors should be IFPS-certified, established fluid power experts seeking to leverage their skills to positively impact an upcoming fluid power professional. While there is no cost to mentors, they must be willing to prioritize at least eight meetings with their mentees across four months. If you’re seeking to guide an early-career fluid power professional or looking to connect with certified fluid power experts, apply now by visiting ifpsmentorship.com; there is no fee to apply, though mentees will be expected to pay $99 when accepted. The application deadline is July 3. Only ten spots are available. The program runs August 1 through November 16.

If you are scheduled to take the certification test before September 1, continue using the study manual you already have. If you are taking the certification test after September 1, you will need to download the new study manual. IFPS members may download a free study manual at ifps.org/study-manuals.

Areas of the Study Manual that were added and reworked: • • •

• • • • • • • •


• •

Both the written and job performance portions are included in one study manual Full-color photos and graphics available to download Principles of operation explained for commonly found components within an industrial hydraulic system — pumps, valves, actuators, and accessories Color-coded cutaway illustrations of hydraulic components to aid in understanding operation Symbology updated to conform to ISO 1219 standard Expanded content on troubleshooting to include decision-tree aids Detailed content on pressure, flow, and directional control valves Improved graphics throughout and many reallife photos to assist in visualization Basic hydraulic calculations useful in troubleshooting Safety tips Basic principles of electrohydraulic control — open loop and closed loop Electrohydraulic valves Sensors used in electrohydraulic systems

Visit ifps.org for more details.



6 • 2022



National Fluid Power Association awards 19 fluid power scholarships

NFPA IEOC registration is now open

The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation has awarded $2,000 scholarships to 19 students pursuing fluid power technology fields of study. A minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0, 500-word essay, and a letter of recommendation were required from each applicant. The Foundation’s goal is to help individuals enrolled in technical schools and universities pursue their interests in fluid power. The following students were each selected to receive a $2,000 scholarship: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Paton DeSha, Chattanooga State TCAT Brendan McCluskey, Georgia Institute of Technology (Raymond F. Hanley Memorial Award) Dmitriy Rybalko, Hennepin Technical College Thomas Lahr, Hennepin Technical College Austin Nolley, Iowa State University Ben Quade, Iowa State University Edward Heelan, Moraine Valley Community College Hugo Garcia, Moraine Valley Community College Tatiyana Timmons, Murray State University Jose Solorio, Purdue University Nathan Linke, South Dakota State University Paul Schlotman, South Dakota State University Wyatt Morlan, Spokane Community College Ryan Collins, Spokane Community College Zoe Kulphongpatana, University of Kansas Albert Ly, Triton College Michael Glochowsky, Triton College Nicholas Zambrano, University of Southern California Spencer Burke, University of Texas at Austin (Robert Mackey Memorial Award)

The Industry & Economic Outlook Conference (IEOC) will return to the Chicago area August 16-17, with a new location at the The Westin Chicago Northwest, Itasca, Ill. As usual, the event will offer insights into the industry and market growth as inflation, supply chain, and global disruption continue to cloud the economic future. Registration is open to everyone in the fluid power supply chain — NFPA members and non-members alike. This year’s event will equip attendees with the trends and data they need to move their businesses forward with confidence in an uncertain economic environment. Special networking opportunities include the NFPA Foundation Golf Fundraiser, Future Leaders Network activities, networking receptions and meals, committee meetings, and the Power of Association Networking Reception and Dinner. Popular speakers are returning, with the following: • Alan Beaulieu, of ITR Economics discussing U.S. and Global Macro Trends and Impacts; • Alexandra Hermann and Toby Whittington, of Oxford Economics giving an overview of key customer markets, including automotive, aerospace, oil & gas/energy, semiconductor, and mining. • Jim Meil of ACT Research giving the Fluid Power Industry Forecast • Connor Lokar of ITR providing the Global Markets Overview, and more. Early Bird registration ends July 8. The NFPA hotel room block at the host property closes July 25 or when the block is full. The room block offers a discounted rate of $149 per night plus tax. Visit nfpa.com for a complete agenda and to register.


For further information on the scholarships, contact Mary Pluta, Workforce Program Manager, at mpluta@nfpa.com. NFPA nfpa.com


6 • 2022



DESIGN NOTES Edited by Mary C. Gannon • Editor-in-Chief

Canadian tractor manufacturer Versatile chooses Elevat Machine Connect for IoT solutions All Versatile 2022 tractor models

are deploying Elevāt’s Machine Connect Platform to support remote diagnostics, predictive maintenance, geofencing, overthe-air updates, and telematics.

Elevāt, a global IoT connected machines SaaS innovator, announced that Versatile, a division of Buhler Industries Inc., deployed the Elevāt Machine Connect platform across its entire tractor line for Model Year 2022. Since starting tractor production in 1966, Versatile has remained a leader for articulating four-wheel drive tractors. “We manufacture all our tractors in our factory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As the only Canadian agricultural tractor manufacturer, we pride ourselves on our leadership in manufacturing, assembly, and research and development,” said Erron Leafloor, Versatile. “When we decided to integrate IoT telematics software, sensors, and gateways into our tractors, we wanted to ensure the solution we implemented provided a seamless experience for our entire dealer network and our 16


6 • 2022


customers. We chose to work with Elevāt because of their willingness and ability to tailor their solution and the portal to our unique requirements. We have just begun to deploy the CBX system by Elevāt in our tractors; our dealers and end users are already excited about the benefits,” continued Leafloor. “The team at Versatile came to Elevāt looking for a solution that would support remote diagnostics, predictive maintenance and deliver capabilities like over-the-air (OTA) updates, geofencing and geotracking, and proactive telematics reports. Also, advanced features like virtual technician support and command and control supported Versatile’s dedication to advanced innovation. They also wanted a fully white-labeled portal experience that aligned with the Versatile brand and delivered a customer experience that supported Versatile’s long-held commitment to customer service,” said Adam Livesay, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer, Elevāt. Versatile is offering two new tractors for 2022, the 2022 4WD and 2022 Delta Track, both of which feature advanced hydraulic systems. The company’s four-wheel drives and Delta Track are equipped with a standard 53 gpm (201 lpm) pump or an optional 106 gpm (401 lpm) high-flow pump hydraulic system. The closed-center, load-sensing hydraulic system provides ample capacity for implements that demand high hydraulic flow by providing pressure and flow on demand. When no hydraulic power is required, the system goes into low-pressure standby to conserve energy, providing more power at the drawbar. An optional 106 gpm (401 lpm) high flow pump is available on the Delta Track. Finger-tip controls manage the hydraulic functions and hydraulic flow can be increased and decreased using the monitor. Hydraulic settings can be displayed on the monitor for quick reference. “Hydraulics are a critical power transmission system in our tractors, utilizing a significant percentage of our engine horsepower in some field applications. With the aid of telematics, we are able to

better understand the power needs of our hydraulic system so that we can improve its performance, and the overall efficiency of the tractor, in the future,” Leafloor said. “We use electronically controlled valves and various hydraulic system monitoring sensors throughout our tractors. Current capabilities, along with future functionality, of our telematics system will allow it to track usage trends and fault codes from the entire hydraulic system to better support our customers with maintenance and service needs.” Elevāt Machine Connect provides a scalable mobile machine IoT solution. “One of the biggest challenges for agricultural machines is they are often geographically dispersed and this makes routine checks costly and time consuming. Hydraulic systems are a critical system for the operation of tractors,” said Livesay. “Remotely monitoring these systems helps eliminate manual processes and saves time and money. “Elevāt cloud-based IoT monitoring means sensors can be installed to monitor hydraulic systems from anywhere in the world. Once a data connection is established, minimum and maximum values can be set and condition alerts can be automatically sent. In addition, for manufacturers, the ability to customize the Elevāt Machine Connect portal means they can provide a full customer experience that allows end users to track the data that is most important to their operation.”

Custom login screen for

Versatile’s tractors into the Elevāt portal for telematics and IoT.


Elevāt elevat-iot.com Versatile versatile-ag.com


6 • 2022



DESIGN NOTES Edited by Mary C. Gannon • Editor-in-Chief

A new era of human-robot collaboration: the first pneumatic cobot

The Festo Cobot is the first pneumatic robot on the market. It is easy to operate and it does not require a safety fence.

What if there was a robot that was easy to operate, did not require a safety fence and was also attractively priced? That would introduce a whole new era in human-robot collaboration. This new era is now dawning – with the world’s first pneumatic robot from Festo, which was announced by Festo at Hannover Fair last month. Hardly any industrial market segment will grow as rapidly over the next few years as human-robot collaboration. Cobots relieve 18


6 • 2022

employees of particularly strenuous or monotonous tasks, thus giving them new levels of freedom and making their work easier and healthier. And no other technology has such a sensitive and flexible approach to human-robot collaboration as pneumatics. The Festo Cobot owes many of its advantages, such as its sensitivity, weight and value for money, to the benefits of pneumatics. The direct drives in the articulated joints are very cost-effective and particularly lightweight because, unlike electric solutions, no heavy gear units or expensive force-torque sensors are www.fluidpowerworld.com

required. The world’s first pneumatic cobot is a result of the exceptional expertise in controlled pneumatics from Festo. The Festo Cobot makes using cobots even cost-effective for small and mediumsized companies, as they often rely on manual work processes. This is achieved because of the flexible application options so that small batch sizes or work steps can also now be processed automatically. Thanks to its uniquely intuitive and simple commissioning and programming, it is quick and easy to get to grips with and extensive training is not required. The pneumatic Festo Cobot will be

Precise pressure regulators

in the joints help the robot recognize when it is being touched and it responds with appropriate safety functions.

less expensive than electric cobots in the same class. It will provide excellent value for money in its main application area of small parts handling with payloads of up to 3 kg. “When it goes on sale in 2023, the Festo Cobot will set new standards in human-robot collaboration with its ease of use,” explained Dr. Frank Melzer, Member of the Management Board for Product and Technology Management at Festo. The Festo Cobot consists of the hardware itself, a handheld module and the Robotic Suite – software for intuitive commissioning and programming. This package makes it possible to commission and program the Cobot in less than an hour. Prior knowledge of robotics is not required either because the self-explanatory “Robotic Suite” software contains clearly visualized and standardized function blocks. Pneumatic drives enable the robot arm to be easily guided by hand and without any resistance so that waypoints or paths can be taught quickly and precisely. Especially for small and medium-sized companies, cobots are only attractive if they can practically and quickly take on a new task and are not just intended to be permanently used for the same purpose. The Festo Cobot meets this requirement as it doesn’t require an additional control cabinet that is difficult to connect and cumbersome. The compact controller that is integrated in its own base makes it

particularly flexible. Simple connections also allow it to be used ad hoc without long changeover times. Common bus standards enable fast connection to higher-order controllers. And it also requires less space. Thanks to state-of-the-art, lightweight construction methods, the weight of the Festo Cobot has been reduced to well under 20 kg so that it can be used quickly and flexibly at other locations. With a length of 670 mm, the Festo

Cobot is just like a human arm and has the right reach for it to be perceived as a helping third hand when working with a member of staff. It moves — like a real colleague — within a manageable radius. Thanks to the flexibility of the pneumatic drives, the cobot acts sensitively — at a speed appropriate to the situation and with fluid, harmonious movements. It is as soft to the touch as human contact. The cobot’s pneumatic direct drives and its light weight reduce its contact energy. Christian Tarragona, Head of Robotics at Festo, said, “Thanks to precise pressure regulators in the articulated joints, the robot recognizes when it is being touched and responds with appropriate safety functions.” Employees can work together with their careful technical colleague in complete safety. The Festo pneumatic cobots will not be available in Europe until next year, with the U.S. following thereafter. FPW

Festo Festo.com

Dr. Frank Melzer, Member of the Management Board for Product and Technology Management, left, and Christian Tarragona, Head of Robotics at Festo, right.


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DESIGN NOTES By Mary C. Gannon • Editor-in-Chief

Electrically-driven hose test bench offers higher controllability and efficiency At Lillbacka USA, the maker of FinnPower machines, innovation is always a priority. This innovation comes to play with the company’s latest test benches, the TB PRO, the only test bench in the world that can be equipped with an electric drive mechanism, offering greater efficiency and control than air compressor-driven test benches. “We tend to over-engineer our products, meaning that they can handle whatever job you send their way with ease. Our crimpers, saws, inserters, and other machines have been built with the utmost quality and are designed to outperform the competition,” said Sam Dyke Jr., VP of Sales for Lillbacka. “We are happy to announce that with our new test benches, our drive for design and utility has continued to shine.” While Finn-Power offers air-powered benches as well, the company is now offering a one-of-a-kind test bench using an electric drive. “The TB PRO is the only test bench in the world that can be equipped with an electric drive mechanism. Before mentioning the crucial advantages of the E-Drive in terms of quality and testing, it should be noted that it operates much more efficiently than air compressors,” said Dyke. “What this means is that every unit of energy into the drive will produce more energy out. A common complaint we heard in the industry is that when air-compressed test benches are being run, it can suck so much energy from the circuit that other operations in the facility are negatively impacted during the test. This is not an issue when using the E-Drive.” The electric drive in the TB PRO provides practical benefits such as conducting tests with more control. Gradually climbing to high pressures and holding these pressures is easy 20


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work for the E-Drive due to the intensifier found within. This piece of equipment is what allows this machine to create so much power with less input energy. It is able to test up to 60,000 psi. “Due to these immense pressures, we have equipped TB PRO with dual-layered steel walls for the safety of the operators and the machine. If the inner wall is damaged in a blowout, it can be replaced,” Dyke continued. “Air compressors not only use more energy, but are also very aggressive on the material being tested. For example, going from 0% to 100% pressure in an instant can cause unnecessary stress on a hose, and the immediate release of this pressure can create a vacuum and strip the interior layer of a hose. At that point, you would be sending a damaged hose into production that technically at the time of testing was able

The TB PRO test bench from

Lillbacka is the only test bench in the world that can be equipped with an electric drive mechanism, offering greater efficiency and control than air compressor-driven test benches.



to hold the proper pressure. Our SoftBleed technology slowly releases pressure, preventing such damages from occurring.” All Finn-Power test benches create state-of-the-art test certificates that are a huge plus for producers. They track the entire test from start to finish with an auto-scaling visual graph, allowing producers to make sure the hose performed as expected. Having this test certificate is like insurance on your hoses, giving producers proof that they delivered a perfectly functioning hose and therefore providing peace of mind that they will not be held liable for any future faults in the product. Aside from this, many industries require retesting of hoses. Through Lillbacka’s software, users can track a single hose over and over again through its lifetime by bringing up its previous tests and retesting it, seeing year-by-year how the hose is holding up, and spot any potential defects that arise.

These new test benches also include general safety features such as double-locking steel doors, and a thick polycarbonate glass shield up to 12 mm or 0.472. in. thick. Additionally, ease of use reaches new levels with EasyLogging. Production managers are able to send recipes remotely for a fully automated system, and operators can even use a barcode scanner for inputting pre-made recipes. The test bench will automatically do the rest of the work for the user, aside from flushing the hose after the test. “These test benches are invaluable in industries that require frequent testing, and we are excited to keep innovating and improving them as we move forward,” Dyke concluded. FPW

Lillbacka lillbackausa.com

All Finn-Power test benches create test certificates that track the entire test from start to finish with an auto-scaling visual graph, allowing producers to make sure the hose performed as expected.

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info@ohfab.com • 888.354.0291 www.ohfab.com 12/13/21 12:19 PM

FUNDAMENTALS By Josh Cosford • Contributing Editor

Understanding proportional valve designs and uses The Spartan Scientific Stepper 12 Steppervalve is a self-contained media separated electronic proportional flow control valve designed for highly accurate electronically controlled variable flow control of inert fluids and gases. Using analog or digital signal inputs to produce a linear variable flow output, this combination of a stepper motor and valve body with controller circuit has more than 1,500 positions through its valve stroke which can be dialed down to the step, creating reliable and repeatable flow rates from 0 to 30 gpm (water) at 150 psi.

The lever-operated directional valves used to control the fore and aft movement of cylinders, or motors’ rotation, offer a performance advantage well above electric solenoid valves. Although inexpensive options are typical for either option, lever valves tend to flow more than their solenoid counterparts. In addition, because pressure and flow forces against the spool resist shifting, those forces may hang up solenoid valves and prevent them from shifting entirely or at all. As a result, you’ll find that the industrial stack valve is limited to size D05 by flow forces and requires pilot operation for anything more than 30 gpm (about 120 lpm) or so. 22


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However, the flow forces that sideline electrically shifted valves are easily overcome with good old-fashioned bicep power. A lever valve large enough to handle 80 gpm (300 lpm) requires a giant handle to shift the spool. However, these giant valves with giant handles come at a giant price comparable to pilot-operated valves with similar flow capacity. Even large valves such as the D08 pilot-operated solenoid valve may flow upwards of 160 gpm (600 lpm) or more. They still cannot perform a simple task so easily achieved with a lever valve — a partial opening. Solenoid valves, by their nature, shift between two or three discrete positions where one or two coils pull the spool from its spring-biased position to its fully open position. Indeed, a lever valve under a steady hand may flow anything from droplets to fully open and everywhere in between. But unless you’re prepared to hire many workers to operate many


The valve dead band expresses its tendency to flow only when the spool moves past the valve body lands or its initial excess static friction. The spool may move a short distance before its metered notches result in flow, so the valve controller can be adjusted to jump to that point when provided with a control input. However, any control input moves the spool past the dead band, so metered flow begins immediately. 1

valves, anything more than a single operator working your machine’s lever valves may motivate you to consider the electrical alternative — proportional valves. Proportional valves, in many cases, look exactly like the spool valve they’re based upon; cartridge or CETOP valves, for example, are hard to tell apart from their “bangbang” counterparts. The difference between standard solenoid valves might be the spool and coil in many cases. The spool of a primary solenoid directional valve allows little or no partial flow off-center; once the valve shifts, full flow potential is available. On the other hand, proportional valve spools require metering notches so that even a minute valve shift allows a throttled volume to flow. Proportional valve coils must translate their incoming power signals into a variable magnetic field that tugs the plunger, which in turn shifts the spool to varying degrees. The Pulse Width Modulated signal produced by the electronic valve controller maintains a constant voltage but varies the length of

time the signal is “on” (see Diagram 1). By varying the pulse width, the valve controller essentially varies the current to the valve to control the strength of the magnetic field, thereby the metered flow output from the valve. The performance range from the poorest to the best proportional valves spans a gap nearly as wide as hydraulic pumps. Basic “dumb” prop valves accept only a simple PWM signal from the valve driver with little attention given to accuracy. These basic, direct operated, open circuit valves act much like a machine operator moving the handle of a lever valve without paying attention to how far she’s moving the handle or the effect her operation has on the machine. There is plenty of value in the basic proportional valve because they still offer variability where standard solenoid valves have none. Although the basic valve is not very accurate, you can still call upon it to offer variable flow output anywhere from just past its dead band*1 to open fully. The

speed at which the valve opens may also be programmed to prevent the downstream actuator from starting abruptly. The valve driver also controls the ramp rate and may be set to open quickly like a solenoid or even as slowly as five seconds or more. The adjustable ramp rate alone often justifies the cost of entry, especially for applications where a jarring stop or start would be detrimental, such as a bucket boom. As electronics evolved, becoming smaller and more powerful, engineers developed valves to utilize sophisticated controls. Previous iterations of proportional valves used separate valve driver cards, which were customarily mounted to the rack in electrical cabinets. However, the compact electrical circuits installed into the proportional valve’s wiring box gave the valves a compact and economical solution to separately purchased cards. The valve driver installed directly to the proportional valve has advantages other than cost and simplicity. The number of control options may be reduced because valve performance parameters are known. The dither frequency*2, dither amplitude, dead band and often the input mode come factory programmed to suit the performance of the particular valve. If your application requires a series of proportional valves,

and especially if those valves each perform differently, a separate valve driver suitable for multiple outputs might make sense for your application. However, dedicated valve drivers must accommodate proportional valves from all manufacturers, so parameters must be adjustable to meet the requirements of each valve. The universal valve driver should contain adjustable parameters to meet the dither, dead band, ramp time and other features required by the valve(s) it controls. Additionally, the valve driver must recognize the analog control input as created by the PLC or controller, and the best drivers offer universal inputs. The most popular analog inputs are 0-5 VDC, 0-10 VDC and 4-20 mA, which for the most part, depend on designer preference rather than performance (although many designers use 4-20 mA because of its natural resistance to interference over long distance). This wouldn’t be the 2020’s if all electronic valve controllers were still using rotary potentiometers to dial in all the adjustable valve parameters. Modern valve controllers use wired CAN inputs or wireless Bluetooth inputs to drive valves. Every performance parameter may now be adjusted using a smartphone or desktop app. Once operating, these new controllers utilize Industry 4.0

Static friction, or “stiction,” is a tendency for two moving surfaces to become stuck against one another despite a force’s effort to move them. With proportional valves, that initial stiction may result in the valve over-shooting its desired position when the shifting force finally overcomes that friction. A valve may not even move at all if the command signal is small enough. Dither is a programming feature that essentially vibrates the spool to prevent any static position inside the valve body. The distance moved under vibration is minute and imperceptible to the output flow, but enough to prevent the valve from hanging up. 2


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Proportional valve

Proportional valve symbol and working principle

concepts such as diagnostics and data logging, which help improve productivity or troubleshooting. Imagine knowing immediately that the analog X-axis input coming from a joystick is mysteriously attenuated compared to the Y-axis input, resulting in erratic operation of your excavator. The previous method of diagnostics might have started with hours of hydraulic troubleshooting before the technician even began to test the electronics. How long before an accurate measurement of each analog input would yield the same result? Further to high-performance valve controllers are the options within highperformance valves themselves. For example, an intelligent controller operating a dumb prop valve will not offer the accurate flow resolution or response time as higher performance valves. To increase performance, manufacturers added a spool position feedback to the hardware package, which measures the spool position and compares the actuator position to the target position. The most basic form of spool position feedback uses an inductive sensor that measures the position of a magnetic plunger to relay to the controller the actual spool position. Any flow forces, contamination or inherent imprecision that prevents the valve spool from accurately positioning (and therefore accurately flowing) results in the controller compensating with a modified output signal in either direction until the spool is measured in the correct position, once again. 24


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In actuality, the spool position may be measured and corrected hundreds of times per second, especially when the method of spool position feedback is an LVDT. Standing for Linear Variable Differential Transformer, these devices are the gold standard for position sensing technology. Because of their accuracy, the valve can respond more quickly to and accurately to its target position. Although larger proportional valves are inherently less accurate because it’s more challenging to control the inertia of the larger spool, you’d be surprised at just how well large valves can perform. The cream of the crop D08 valves uses a pilot valve with the aforementioned LVDT to accurately control pilot flow while also employing an LVDT on the main-stage spool. A PID control circuit compares the target input value to the actual position of the main-stage spool and then corrects its output as needed. High precision proportional valves are used on anything from flight simulators (smaller valves) to injection molding (larger valves). Although high-end valves are many times more expensive than even the largest lever valves, in this Industry 4.0 world of automation, flexible manufacturing and big data, proportional valves will continue to cement hydraulics as the primary control method for powerful machinery. FPW


NG4-Mini directly controlled spool valve, actuated by a Wandfluh proportional solenoid (VDE standard 0580), in five chamber design features spools with precision machined oil passages that control the oil volume which is proportional to the solenoid current.

Hydraulic Cylinders Hydraulic Valves Hydraulic Power Units Motors & Pumps Joysticks & Handles Control Electronics Hydraulic Components

THE BAILEY ADVANTAGE At Bailey, we build high-quality hydraulic systems. From off-the-shelf components to custom products manufactured to your specifications, we deliver a full range of mobile and industrial hydraulic solutions. We have thousands of in-stock products, strategically located nationwide for quick delivery. We provide dedicated engineering support, flexible inventory management options and more than 45 years of hands-on hydraulics expertise to help you succeed.


DISTRIBUTOR UPDATE By Mary C. Gannon • Editor-in-Chief

NAHAD hosts nearly 900, establishes new committee structure at Annual Meeting Last month, nearly 900 attendees gathered

for NAHAD’s 38th Annual Meeting and Convention at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach to reconnect with existing clients, engage with new customers, and take part in multiple educational sessions. The convention ran from May 15-18, and was kicked off with the “State of NAHAD” report by 2021-2022 by President Jeff Scheininger. In his remarks, he outlined the numerous changes implemented by the board, including a revamp of the association bylaws and the introduction of a streamlined committee structure. Leadership unveiled a completely redesigned committee structure for NAHAD to accomplish four key elements: 26


6 • 2022

create value, engage membership, offer opportunities for future leadership, and address industry needs. As a result, five new committees have been formed: Hose Safety Institute, Education, Membership, Industry Insights, and Technology. NAHAD is encouraging all members to get involved on a committee, which will encompass the following:

Membership committee’s strategic objectives:

The NAHAD Membership Committee processes applications for membership in the association to add members that commit to compliance with the NAHAD Code of Business Conduct, promoting high professional business and product standards and ethical conduct in dealing with customers, suppliers, and competitors. www.fluidpowerworld.com

Committee responsibilities and deliverables: • Develop and refine qualified membership prospects; monitor annual retention rates and implement strategies to increase retention and engagement • Develop and conduct membership recruitment campaigns to grow membership • Review and act upon all applications within the specified schedule • Recommend and implement necessary changes to membership standards, dues, criteria, and practices • Review member benefits and services in conjunction with the Programs Committee through direct contacts, surveys, and engagement tactics • Monitor NAHAD’s inbound/outbound membership marketing strategy

Education committee’s strategic objectives: •

• • • •

Review content associated with NAHAD Academy ensuring relevancy to the industry and member companies; create a list of highlighted courses to promote the use of this NAHAD benefit Review and recommend a licensing proposal for NAHAD online content to members who have a Learning Management System In conjunction with the HSI Committee, offer insights related to industry-specific content development for NAHAD Academy Identify content for NAHAD podcasts, webinars, and other educational opportunities Review and recommend NAHAD Value Partners and services to support member needs

Committee responsibilities:

• • •

Oversee NAHAD Academy • Vet and review general education content • Help promote the adoption of NAHAD Academy Plan annual Technical Webinar series (min of 4) Provide topics and identify subject matter experts for the NAHAD podcast series Define tools and content to highlight (publications, one-sheets, short videos) that will promote hose safety/application, covering each hose type Primary responsibility for site selection and program planning for Regional Training

Hose Safety Institute Committee’s strategic objectives • • •

Industry Insights Committee’s strategic objectives • •

• • •

Provides a forum for discussion between distribution, manufacturing, and end-users. Determines Industry Best Practices and Guidelines offering members a roadmap for consistent, reliable, and safe hose fabrication. Develops educational content and programs to promote success within the industry which includes the adoption and integration of NAHAD best practices and guidelines into practice.

Oversee the HSI Membership program • Vet new HSI member applications • Develop resources for HSI members use • Develop end-user content Periodic review (every 3 years) of HSI Handbook and Fabrication course content

Facilitate the development and dissemination of knowledge-based solutions for the hose industry Collect, curate, and share information about the industry, business practices, and economic and political conditions that will directly impact our businesses. Provide a forum for the dissemination of information that enhances the management of enterprises in the hose industry Share insights about the future of the hose industry Create discussion boards, start discussion chains, monitor conversations

Committee responsibilities:

Committee responsibilities:

Develop concept and content for courses/programs related to fabrication and/or hose safety Initiate the development of White Papers covering topics relevant to the industry Provide subject matter experts to serve on the Hose Assembly Group

Provide an Industry Insights update for each edition of NAHAD News and/or additional publications specific to developments affecting the industry Suggest topics and/or speakers for webinars, podcasts, or presentations on • Best in class business practices • EPA and European Union updates Extend the reach of NAHAD to other associations representing industries such as • Oil and Gas • Food and Health Industry • Transportation (air, sea, ground) Recommend a structure for NAHAD member discussion boards • Actively participate in this program through the initiation of new topics • Review discussion chains

Technology committee’s strategic objectives •

Monitors and informs membership on • Technological tools and services • The digital landscape and cloud-based solutions Review and provide reports on products and services designed to streamline business processes and ensure greater profitability


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Committee responsibilities

Sponsor at least one breakout session at each NAHAD convention with technology thought leaders associated with industrial distribution. Contribute to NAHAD News with an article or update highlighting new technology-related products, industry trends, and resource sites Promote dialogue between distributors and manufacturers around tech and driving value through tech. What do they need distribution to do to continue to add value and vice versa in the new distribution paradigm Bring the B2B technology space to our industry by researching and vetting tech companies to become members of NAHAD

The rest of the conference was filled with many other learning opportunities. In addition to the networking opportunities, workshops and keynote sessions, the 2022 George W. Carver Award was presented as a posthumous award to Dixon LeGros of Westflex Inc. “Dixon was an industry professional in every sense of the word. He was a friend, a colleague, a success, a leader, and a consensus builder. His dedication to his family, business, community, and industry was unsurpassed,” Scheininger said. Dixon’s son Elliot LeGros, accompanied by his mother Paula, accepted the award on his father’s behalf and shared thoughtful sentiments about his father. The final day of the convention started with the organization’s annual

business meeting, called to order by President Scheininger. After the financial and programs reports, provided by NAHAD Treasurer Dave Heckler and Executive VP Molly Alton Mullins, Scheininger thanked four outgoing board members for their dedication and service: Brent Lilly of PT, Christopher Hart of Hart Industries, Susanna Vandenberg of Flexaust, and Brian Pellegrin with Singer Equities. NAHAD Immediate Past President Sam Petillo presented the nominating committee’s report. He thanked Mike Mortensen of Alaska Rubber Group for joining the board to step in after the retirement of Janeece Higgins, and Mark Balcom of Pooley Inc., who filled the term of John Tattersall, who passed away suddenly last year. Petillo welcomed three newly elected board members: Tripp Batey of Hose of South Texas, Scott Nelson of Hydraquip, and Mike Braucher of Continental. He also recognized Standards Committee Chair Andy Christmas, who will serve as a liaison to the Executive Committee. Petillo finished his report with the

presentation of the slate of officers for the 2022-2023 NAHAD Executive Committee: • • • •

President: Jason Westad of FORCE America First Vice President: Dave Heckler of Alliance Hose and Rubber Second Vice President and Treasurer: Brian Pellegrin of Singer Equities Immediate Past President: Jeff Scheininger of Flexline

Westad presented Scheininger with the NAHAD 2022 Eagle Award for excellent service to the industry and association and gave his first address as NAHAD president. “Our membership is strong, our events are world class, our participation is high, and our financial position is healthy,” Westad said. “This organization is like no other I’ve been a part of, and it will be my mission, with the board, to continue nurturing, enhancing, and augmenting all of the exceptional benefits NAHAD brings us as members.” The event wrapped up with the popular Showcase of Hose Solutions, followed in the evening by the closing party. More than 130 exhibitors set up in the hotel’s Sparkle Ballroom with displays highlighting the latest innovations in products and technologies, with several key fluid power companies highlighting brand new technologies. NAHAD also announced dates for its 2023 Annual Meeting and Convention, which will be held in the Bahamas April 29 to May 3. FPW

Visit NAHAD.org for more information.



6 • 2022


Since 1986, GRH has manufactured hydraulic components such as gear pumps, orbital motors, power packs, sectional valves, and mono-blocks.

ALA Industries Limited

3410 Delta Dr • Portage, IN 46368 Tel: 877-419-8536 Fax: 219-762-2066 Web: www.alaindustrieslimited.com

MAINTENANCE By John Joyce, Marketing Director • Brennan Industries, Inc.

Why you should create a preventative maintenance plan for your hydraulics system The best way to avoid potential problems with your

Creating a preventative maintenance plan

hydraulics system is to take proper measures to prevent them. The easiest way to do that is by looking at the manufacturer’s recommendations, along with the working environment. But it may not be that easy, which is why you need to put together a strong preventative maintenance plan. For instance, the most important thing to consider is stored hydraulic energy. If the pressure is not properly released from the pressurized hydraulic reservoir before replacing any hydraulic fittings, you could get a violent release of hydraulic energy. This can cause serious equipment damage or even bodily harm. When using a hydraulic system, it’s also important to avoid leaks. Leaking pressurized hydraulic fluids may develop a mist that can explode upon contact with an object that causes ignition. So, a set list of precautions should be taken very seriously.

A hydraulics preventative maintenance plan will put you on a regular schedule. When putting one together, make sure you at least have the following in place: • • • • •

Step-by-step instructions A list of potential hazards and safety precautions Any environmental concerns Required tools and equipment A list of traceable parts

Making sure you have proper hydraulic fittings

Never reuse old fittings and hoses, even if they’re in good shape. An O-ring that has been through various cycles of pressure can get cracks or become dry and brittle when exposed to the atmosphere during maintenance. A leak-free system is ideal, and that starts with the selection of your hydraulic fittings and hoses. The type of media and working atmosphere determine the material. Mismatched fittings can cause serious damage to the hose, tube or even the entire system. That’s why you must look at specific areas when replacing hydraulic components within your system, such as the application, media, pressure, reliability, size and temperature.

Checking for signs of hydraulic pump failure

Contamination can happen not only from leaks within the hydraulic hose, but it can also be caused by a faulty pump. Since a hydraulic pump is the heart of the machine, it can have a significant impact on downtime and repairs when one fails. That’s why identifying this issue sooner than later can save you the expense and lots of hassle. Here are some potential symptoms of hydraulic pump failure: • • • • • • •



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Hydraulic fluid leaks A weak hydraulic motor Inconsistent cylinder operation Loud noises, such as vibrating, knocks and bangs Any sudden drops in pressure Seals that frequently fail An unusually high temperature during pump operation


Keeping safety top of mind

Before maintenance of the system, make sure to properly depressurize it. This can be found by looking at the manufacturer’s recommendations. It will help you to minimize the risk of fluid bursts. It’s also recommended to include lockout and tagout (LOTO) procedures within your preventative maintenance plan. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) refers to LOTO as the most relied upon safety procedure. It “refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. This requires, in part, that a designated individual turns off and disconnects the machinery or equipment from its energy source(s) before performing service or maintenance and that the authorized employee(s) either lock or tag the energy-isolating device(s) to prevent the release of hazardous energy and take steps to verify that the energy has been isolated effectively.” These procedures are here to help since it can be hazardous to crack or loosen a connection without having proper instructions. A system must be properly depressurized according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. It can reduce the risk of bursts since turning off a system or machine will not lower the pressure in a cylinder or accumulator. Following proper procedures during maintenance is crucial. By proactively having a strong preventative maintenance plan, you’ll be able to repair leaks, maintain the correct fluid levels and use proper filtration. During the design of a hydraulic system, manufacturers integrate lockout devices to verify, control and isolate energy. Legislation and regulatory standards have ensured that manufacturers are conforming to safety precautions. FPW

Brennan Industries brennaninc.com/brennan-university WHAT DO YOU THINK? Connect with thousands of engineering design professionals online.

Kawasaki Precision Machinery (U.S.A.) Inc. Grand Rapids, MI www.kpm-usa.com 616.975.3100

6 • 2022





TRAINING By Mary C. Gannon • Editor-in-Chief

FPTC returns with basics and advanced hydraulics pre-conference workshops The Fluid Power Technology Conference will be held at Detroit’s Macomb Community College October 11-13, and in addition to two full days of technical presentations, industry trends and networking, the event will once again offer a full day of preconference workshops on Tuesday, October 11. Two workshops will be offered, running approximately 7 hours including lunch. MSOE’s Tom Wanke will once again be offering his “Fluid Power Basics Workshop.” This introductory level workshop will cover the benefits and challenges of using fluid power systems for power transmission and motion control. Physical laws that govern how and why fluid power systems function will be discussed. Individual components that comprise a fluid power system; including design, construction, operational performance and efficiency characteristics will be presented. ISO symbology used for representing individual components will be covered. The workshop will conclude with a brief overview of circuit architectures. Thomas Wanke, CFPHS, CFPE is the Director of the Fluid Power Industrial Consortium and Industry Relations at Milwaukee School of Engineering. He has more the 50 years of experience in the fluid power industry, 47 of which have been at MSOE. He was

recently inducted into the International Fluid Power Society’s (IFPS) Hall of Fame. Prior to his current position, Wanke was the Director of MSOE’s Fluid Power Institute for 37 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology and a master’s degree in Engineering, both with the Fluid Power Specialty Option from MSOE. Wanke is an IFPS Certified Fluid Power Hydraulic Specialist and Certified Fluid Power Engineer. Wanke has authored numerous technical articles and papers and has developed and presented numerous fluid power courses, workshops and seminars covering a wide variety of topics in fluid power. Thomas Blansett, CFPAI, CFPS, Technical Director for the IFPS, will offer a new course, "Advanced Hydraulics Workshop," which will cover IFPS Hydraulic Specialist certification topics. This course is designed for those individuals who have attempted the Hydraulic Specialist certification exam and have been unsuccessful or felt that some of the material was too difficult to understand, preventing them from actually attempting the test. New content was added a few years ago and those content areas may not be as familiar or as well-understood as the previous content. This advanced hydraulic training workshop will address topics found within the Hydraulic Specialist Study Manual that have been indicated by students as being more difficult than others.

Tom Wanke conducts his Basic Hydraulics workshop in 2019 at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.



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Specifically, it will address: • • • • • • • • • • •

Hydrostatic transmissions — theory of operation Hydrostatic steering principles Sizing prime mover using RMS method Unloading valves and unloading relief valves Pressure reducing valves and pressure reducing relieving valves PO check valve calculations DIN-style or slip-in cartridge valves principles of operation Regenerative circuits Sizing accumulators — isothermal and adiabatic Operation of proportional valves along with basic sizing principles Troubleshooting basics

All the content covered will be based on the most current version of the Hydraulic Specialist Study Manual. Blansett is Technical Director of the International Fluid Power Society. He has been working in the fluid power and motion control industry for almost 40 years. His career in fluid power started while serving in the U.S. Navy as a Machinist’s Mate Chief Petty Officer. In this position, he was involved with the maintenance and operation of shipboard propulsion and auxiliary support systems; however, it was while he was on a nuclear submarine that he first gained experience in hydraulic and pneumatic systems. He later served as a Naval Instructor for engineering systems. Blansett’s extensive civilian experience in engineering, sales, application support, and training provides the IFPS with technical expertise for the many new initiatives the IFPS has planned. He served on the IFPS Board of Directors in various offices for several years and is an IFPS past president (2014.) In addition, he has contributed as a subject matter expert on numerous IFPS technical subcommittees and has been a technical consultant for the IFPS. He holds the Fluid Power Specialist (hydraulics and pneumatics), Industrial Hydraulics Technician, and Connector & Conductor Certifications; he is also certified by the IFPS as an Accredited Instructor and Authorized Job Performance Proctor. Registration for FPTC Detroit opens June 27. Pre-Conference workshops require separate registration. Visit www.fluidpowertechconference. com for more details. FPW

6 • 2022



ENERGY EFFICIENCY Ron Marshall • Contributing Editor

Compressed air fail: The mystery filter A building products company had a compressed air system that featured one large 1,500-cfm compressor and three smaller ones. The compressed air flow had grown to a point where the large compressor could only be turned off during shutdown periods; when it was turned off, the plant pressure would collapse.

This forgotten and redundant coalescing filter has been in service for six years without change. Not surprisingly, its pressure differential is excessive — and costs $7,000 per year in extra electricity.

The large compressor was installed with its own air dryer and filters, with the other compressors having a set of parallel filters and dryers. A compressed air auditor noticed during a plant assessment that while the smaller compressors ran at normal pressure of around 95 psi, the large compressor ran at elevated pressure above 105 psi. Because the compressor was only rated at 100 psi at full load, this was a concern. More investigation revealed that an extra filter had been installed at the discharge of the large air dryer. The inlet filter was a very efficient mist eliminator design (1/2-psi rated), and the dryer was properly sized for the flow (3-psi rated), yet the pressure loss across the dryer/filter combination was 13 psi. It should be noted the filter differential gauge was showing no pressure drop (it was later found to be defective). For some reason, this extra coalescing filter had been installed and then simply forgotten about. It was arranged where there was no bypass to enable changing the element, so it had never been maintained in its six-year existence! Nobody knew the reason for its existence because the other compressors had no such filtering. The auditor calculated that the excessive pressure loss across this filter was costing about $7,000 per year in extra electricity costs. And making matters worse, it was contributing to accelerating aging of the associated air compressor, due to the overheating. FPW



6 • 2022





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sorting out

auxiliary hydraulics

george macintyre and ted polzer, product managers, case construction equipment, racine, wisconsin

understanding the hydraulic system is critical when choosing work tools and attachments for mobile machines. 36


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skid steers and compact track loaders (CT Ls) are two of the most useful pieces of mobile equipment, and adding attachments makes them all that much more versatile when tackling jobs from construction and landscaping to brush cutting and snow removal. Rarely does a skid steer or CTL user rely on a bucket alone. The auxiliary hydraulic systems on these machines are designed to power a wide range of attachments. Having a good understanding of both equipment capabilities and worksite demands helps ensure safe and efficient operation. Auxiliary basics

CASE CE, like a number of OEMs, offers three core systems. Most-common is the standard-flow auxiliary hydraulics package. Although flow rates differ by model and manufacturer, standard-flow systems typically range from 17 to 24 gpm. They are included in all machines from the factory and operate on the same pressure as the machine’s main hydraulics, approximately 3,000 to 3,500 psi. A standard-flow system powers many of the most common hydraulic attachments on the market, such as 4-in-1 buckets, hydraulic hammers, augers, trenchers and grapples. Beyond that standard functionality is

the recently introduced case tv620b ctl comes with a standard high-flow auxiliary hydraulic system.


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enhanced high flow systems are designed for more-extreme applications, such as in this large mulcher. the package is only available on larger skid steers with the horsepower available to ensure proper operation of the attachment.

the high-flow auxiliary hydraulic system, which further increases a machine’s versatility and productivity. As with standard-flow, it operates on the same pressure as the main hydraulic circuit. The flow rate, however, ranges from 30 to 42 gpm. A high-flow system can be a factory-installed option or added later in the field. It powers production-type attachments that require a higher flow rate. Examples include cold planers, many snow blowers, small mulchers and chipper-shredders. Enhanced high-flow auxiliary hydraulics have flow rates similar to that of a highflow package, but they operate at a higher pressure. Attachments that use enhanced high-flow systems include large cold planers, rock saws and large mulchers. Some newer machines offer all three possibilities in one package. For example, the recently introduced CASE TV620B CTL has implements and attachments powered by an axial-piston pump. The base TV620B comes with a high-flow circuit delivering 41.6 gpm at 3,450 psi (at rated engine speed of 2,500 rpm). An in-cab switch lets the operator reduce output to standard flow as needed, delivering 24.2 gpm at 3,450 psi. And an optional enhanced high-flow version boosts pressure to 4,100 psi at 41.6 gpm. All three take advantage of the same pump and hydraulic system. The CUP (connect-under-pressure) manifold has 0.75-in. couplings in place of typical 0.5- in. couplings to handle the extra flow. Standard default is 41.6 gpm. All hoses and connectors are the same for each version. In addition, secondary auxiliary hydraulic systems can be added for applications that require multiple hydraulic movements 38


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simultaneously. This would include, for example, the side shift function on a cold planer or stump grinder, direction change on a snow blower chute or a tree spade with down riggers. Relating pressure and flow

When it comes to matching attachments with a machine’s auxiliary hydraulic capacity, understanding the difference between pressure and flow is critical. Let’s start with the fundamentals. Flow equates to the speed of an attachment under no restriction. When an attachment’s specs say it is rated for maximum 30 gpm, that’s usually with no pressure or resistance to flow. But as soon as the device starts to engage and resist flow, pressure begins to build. Pressure gives an idea of how much work can be done. High-flow and enhanced high-flow attachments might use the

a good rule-of-thumb is to keep the attachment at 5 to 10% below maximum pressure to ensure optimum cooling and performance.


same flow, but the added pressure in the latter case is important for demanding attachments like mulching heads. Running at 4,000 psi versus 3,000 psi means overcoming more resistance to the drum turning the mulcher, letting users clear brush and small trees much more efficiently. So it’s important to understand the maximum constraints on flow and pressure for a given attachment. A common misconception is that it’s best to run an attachment “wide open” and use all of the flow and pressure available. This is incorrect, and many attachments come labeled with recommended parameters for best operation. Most large attachments are equipped with a pressure gauge to help operators stay well within recommended pressure ratings. Otherwise, maintenance personnel can mount a gauge that’s visible to the operator. In lieu of specific guidelines, a good suggestion is to keep the attachment at 5 to 10% below its maximum pressure to ensure optimum cooling and performance. Exceeding these limits can lead to unnecessary stress and damage to the machine. Understanding hydraulic horsepower

Hydraulic horsepower (hhp) is important because it is essentially an indication of a machine’s hydraulic capabilities, and what kind of productivity and effectiveness to expect from attachments. Many OEMs and



attachment manufacturers publish the rated hydraulic horsepower of their products, and users can quickly calculate it themselves:

a few practical tips here’s a bit more advice for equipment users, technicians and engineers faced with matching and troubleshooting auxiliary systems and hydraulic attachments.

Hydraulic hp = P × Q/1714

What if a new attachment underperforms on a seemingly suitable machine?

where P is pressure in psi and Q is flow in gpm. Because many attachments are rated by their hydraulic horsepower, this is typically a way to assess the fit between attachment and machine. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to go with an attachment that can only accept 40 hhp on a 90 hhp machine, or vice versa. Or users can lay out the maximum pressure and flow that an attachment will handle. Attachment manufacturers do publish the range of acceptable flow rates for their products. Compare those to the maximum outputs of your machine. That’s a quick and easy way to determine if they match. And then, of course, make sure that the coupler itself is compatible with the machine and that the type and size of quick disconnects for hydraulic hoses also match. A common misconception is that a standard-flow system can adequately run high-flow attachments. Powering high-flow attachments with a standardflow skid steer will lead to inefficient operation. In addition to realizing lowerthan-expected results, it can also damage the attachment or skid steer. Many users also make the mistake of buying a larger-than-necessary attachment with the hopes that they’ll “grow into it.” Well, it will function. However, an attachment built for higher pressures such as enhanced high-flow typically has a different type of internal drive motor, such as an axial-piston motor versus a gerotor motor on a low flow, low pressure type of attachment. While a specific attachment may be able to couple up to other machines, it

If a new attachment matches up on paper with an existing machine — but in reality doesn’t offer the predicted performance — check that the machine is running as intended. On a unit with a lot of operating hours, components can fall out of spec. For example, a main relief valve just a couple hundred psi low can make a big difference. A service technician can run some quick tests to determine if hydraulic output is up to par, or if adjustments are in order. It can result in considerable savings in higher productivity alone.

Fluid viscosity is important in both machine and attachment. Using the wrong oil in a cold climate, for example, could lead to sluggish performance and equipment damage.

may not be particularly productive. Always delve into the details and make sure exactly what the attachment can do on your specific machine. Likewise, be aware that an enhanced high-flow auxiliary hydraulics package is designed for more-extreme situations where operators are truly pushing the limits. The enhanced high-flow package is only available on larger skid steers with the horsepower available to ensure proper operation of the attachment. Although a number of newer machines let operators adjust flow from inside the cab, there can be some confusion when setting the flow best suited for a specific attachment. Equipment owners, fleet managers and rental companies need to provide specific instructions — even a simple laminated card kept in the cab is fine — to designate flow for a given attachment. This ensures better productivity and reduces the risk of having the wrong attachment, or incorrect flow and pressure, which could lead to failure.

Are there any concerns with sharing attachments from machine to machine?

Yes, there are some unique considerations. If you share one attachment across multiple machines, and one machine has experienced a hydraulic cleanliness issue, let your dealer know. The specific attachment probably needs to undergo a cleanup process or at least an inspection. Avoid the case where there’s contamination in a system, and then that “dirty” attachment is installed on a known good machine, introducing same problem. Always document and understand exactly which machines have been run with which attachments if at all possible. What’s the preferred way to store attachments?

When not being used, attachments are typically out in the elements with hoses exposed. Make sure that when storing attachments, you prevent hydraulic couplers for the hose ends from lying on the ground. Keep them covered and protected as much as possible. Some operators prefer to snap them together, which is another option. And prior to coupling up to any machine, make sure that the connection points on the manifold, and the hose connections on the attachment, are extremely clean. Can I use attachments from various manufacturers?

Absolutely. However, make sure that you are using an OEMapproved attachment. CaseCE engineers work with many different attachment suppliers. But when we do see issues, invariably it’s because a customer bought an attachment from an unknown supplier that didn’t necessarily understand the specs on the machines. Also, take into consideration the type and size of the quick disconnects and electrical connections. The 14-pin electrical connections are standard equipment on almost all CASE skid steers and CTLs. Other manufacturers offer seven- or eight-pin connectors. Companies like Skid Steer Genius sell adapters for mating attachments and machines when the connectors differ. 6 • 2022



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Maintenance considerations

Business observations

The maintenance requirements for auxiliary hydraulic systems are essentially in line with those of most any hydraulically operated machine. First, it’s important to maintain the proper hydraulic fluid level as specified in the owner’s manual. To ensure safety and accuracy, check the level with loader arms in the down position. Loader arms in the up position will draw fluid from the hydraulic tank, giving the false impression that fluid is low. Always follow equipment manufacturer’s recommendations regarding hydraulic oil and filter change intervals. Equally critical is the need to minimize the potential for contamination, whether it’s dirt, particulates or water. Check connection points to ensure they’re tight and keep them clean. Contaminated hydraulic fluid decreases the life of the hydraulic pump and system and can lead to more serious issues. Viscosity is the most important factor when selecting a hydraulic fluid for use in a skid steer. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations so the viscosity grade meets the machine’s operating requirements and surrounding climate. Doing otherwise will result in poor performance or worse. The wrong oil in a cold climate could lead to sluggish performance and damage hydraulic components, while the wrong oil in a warmer climate may not provide the needed lubricity and lead to heat buildup and excessive wear. If the climate suggests that the machine needs a specialty oil, such as a cold-weather synthetic oil, as soon as the operator hooks up and engages that attachment, the oil will flow through and mix together. The attachment will see the same benefits as the machine.

While there’s no need to invest in moreexpensive high- or enhanced-flow systems if your attachments only call for standard hydraulic flow, one of the most common mistakes that contractors make is buying a skid steer without enough hydraulic power. Having high flow and not needing it is better than not having high flow and being forced to live with underwhelming performance. Over the last 10 years a lot more customers are looking for machines that have high-flow and enhanced high-flow systems. It is often prudent to spend a bit more up front and be prepared for more-demanding requirements in the future. That avoids the time and expense necessary to install an upgrade kit on a machine after the fact. And for owners who mainly rent attachments, having a machine equipped with high-flow auxiliaries from the factory makes it easier to get attachments, rather than having to sort through exactly which ones fit. It provides more flexibility. With literally hundreds of attachments available and more introduced each year, it’s a given that the versatility of skid steers and CTLs will continue to grow. By outfitting them with the right auxiliary hydraulic systems, operators can capitalize on all the machines have to offer, achieve a favorable return on investment and, ultimately, add to the bottom line. FPW

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equipment users are increasingly turning to machines that offer high-flow or enhanced high-flow systems, to handle more-demanding attachments.

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HydraForce 6-22_FPW.indd 41

6/17/22 6:49 PM


Using compressed

air hoses safely Compressed air is often disregarded as a common utility in factories, but risks are high with pressurized air running through pneumatic hoses. Learn how to use these tools safely. Mindy Schoeff, Marketing Communications Manager and Ron Hibbler, Applications Manager, Proportion-Air



Pneumatics compressed air safety FPW_vs4.indd 42

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6/17/22 6:50 PM

Compressed air

is nearly ubiquitous

in factories. It’s part of the power behind everything from CNC machines to cylinders to hand-held tools. The inescapable nature of compressed air can provide a false sense of security around its safety. A review of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s accident search website shows only a small portion of major accidents involved compressed air. However, in 2021, all six of the compressed air accidents reported were fatalities. Many compressed air injuries may be going unreported or unrecognized. Using compressed air hoses properly is one area that offers easy ways for improved safety. Whether for cleaning or providing compressed air to a device or system, these hoses can simultaneously be a powerful tool and a hazard. What not to clean



Pneumatics compressed air safety FPW_vs4.indd 43

Cleaning is one of the most common uses for compressed air, whether workers are blowing debris from machines, products or even themselves. Compressed air is safe and effective at the right pressure for some of these tasks, but not all.

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6/17/22 6:50 PM


An obvious one: While it may be a common practice, using compressed air to blow debris from a person’s body or their clothing is more dangerous than many suspect. The potential for injury or damage dictates that this method of cleaning should never be undertaken. Compressed air can be forceful enough to cause skin lacerations. Pushing air inside those cuts or an existing laceration can lead to swelling and pain. That air can also carry contaminants that can lead to infection. In the most extreme cases, air entering the bloodstream can result in an embolism. Embolisms from compressed air are rare but can result in a coma, paralysis or even death. Pointing a hose toward someone’s head can injure eyes

or ears, and travel to internal organs. Regularly using compressed air close to the ear is likely to cause permanent hearing damage without proper protection. Pressurized air that is 40 psi or greater can cause an eardrum to rupture if it is 4 in. or closer to the head. A mere 12 psi can blow an eyeball from its socket. Compressed air that enters through the mouth can get to the lungs. The head isn’t the only access for compressed air to enter the body. Air blown at the navel can even enter the intestines. Cleaning workspaces and products

Workspaces and physical

products can be cleaned with compressed air as long as proper precautions are taken. Compressed air must be limited to less than 30 psi to execute these types of cleaning. This is the guideline OSHA publishes for using hand and portable power tools (see OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910.242(b) for additional details). The pressure can be limited at the source or by using a regulator. Compressed air does not have to come into direct contact with skin to cause injury. When cleaning manufactured components or products, debris like dirt, wood dust or paint can become airborne, hurling at exposed skin and causing significant pain. Cleaning floors with compressed air can kick up debris that when inhaled can cause respiratory issues. To alleviate these risks, compressed air cleaning should be performed with personal protective equipment, air regulation, and chip guards. Effective chip guarding methods or equipment will reduce the chance that a chip or particle of any size is blown into the eyes or skin of the operator or other workers in the area. Safety with tools



Pneumatics compressed air safety FPW_vs4.indd 44

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When compressed air is powering a tool or system, the pressure in the hose isn’t the only threat. Hoses can present a tripping hazard.


Hoses shouldn’t be put in high traffic areas where they can be stepped on or driven over. Ideally, hoses should be on retractable reels and stored overhead as close to the workspace as possible. This keeps them off the ground and easily accessible for workers. Hoses should be retracted when not in use. Workers should always check connections before turning on air, ensuring they’re secure. Qualified personnel should choose appropriate couplings for the work at hand. If a hose is cut, or if it bursts or otherwise gets out of control, workers should be instructed to get out of the way and shut off the air supply at the source. Protecting against compressed air hose risks

To properly protect from these risks, creating a culture that values safety is a priority. Employees should use goggles or face shields to protect their eyes and ear protection like earmuffs or ear plugs. This lowers the likelihood of a facial or ear injury. Hose maintenance and preventive care can make a big difference. Compressed air hoses should be checked


6/17/22 6:34 PM



regularly for leaks, frayed covers or damage. Damaged or deteriorating hoses should be replaced immediately. In addition to those broad guidelines, several options exist for protecting personnel and equipment from compressed air hose accidents. Hose whip can happen when a hose is damaged or bursts. One way to prevent hoses from whipping is to use an air fuse like the HoseGuard. An air fuse prevents hose whiplash by stopping compressed air when it exceeds a pre-set flow. Another way to protect personnel and compressed air systems or tools is to install a regulator between the hose and the tool. Small, in-line regulators like the CartReg can be put in the supply line before the tool receiving air. The regulator limits the pressure going to the device, reducing the risk of over-pressurization. The CartReg is also available in a 29 psi option, making it a suitable regulator to limit the pressure on hoses used for cleaning. Not only do air fuses and regulators create a safer environment, but using them can also create a more cost-effective one. Compressed air is an expense that many manufacturers accept without much thought, but it can be alleviated. For some tools or systems, pressure and flow at the withdrawal point is higher than those specified by the manufacturer to achieve the desired function. By limiting the pressure www.fluidpowerworld.com

Pneumatics compressed air safety FPW_vs4.indd 45

to only the required outlet pressure with a product like the SaveAir miniature regulator, this dynamic pressure waste can be avoided. By employing safety protocols while properly maintaining and regulating compressed air hoses, manufacturers can create a safetyfirst environment that limits accidents and reduces costs. Learn more about compressed air safety and products to protect compressed air tools and systems at ProtectAirUSA.com. FPW

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6 • 2022


I LOVE THE TOWN OF ITHACA IN UPSTATE NEW YORK . We discovered it years ago in a casual drive in and around the Finger Lakes. We stayed in a recently renovated boutique hotel called Argos Inn and explored the town the following day. After the requisite coffee shop waylays, our walk led serendipitously to a large, flowing stream descending a gorge. Curiosity led us up what seemed like a never-ending, yet breathtaking, climb up what we later discovered was Cascadilla Gorge Trail. After reaching the trail’s summit, we recognized while catching our breath that we stood at the entrance to Cornell University. I’m generally not geographically challenged, but it came as a complete surprise that Cornell was in Ithaca. Regardless, the exploration continued (partially for the caffeine refill). Our walk led through the legal library and saw us exit across from the Hollister Hall School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. A large circular sign outside a basement window caught my attention — “DeFrees Hydraulics Lab.”



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My interest was piqued; we crossed the street and entered the building to scope out what was clearly my undiscovered fluid power mecca. There hung various student projects and displays in the hallways, and after digesting their content, my enthusiasm faded. Indeed, I discovered the other hydraulics — sure, kind of cool, but akin to telling your teenager their sweet sixteen gift is a car only to unwrap a Ferrari Lego set. As we fluid power professionals define it, hydraulics is the controlled transfer of work. A hydraulic pump converts incoming mechanical energy from a prime mover (usually a gas engine or electric motor) into hydraulic energy manifesting as both pressure and flow. That hydraulic energy will flow through various control and distribution components on their way to downstream actuators such as cylinders and motors. Anything from log splitters to injection molding machines employ hydrostatic energy to perform high-power functions.




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On the other hand, the other hydraulics describes the control and conveyance of groundwater, such as in or through rivers, streams, oceans and lakes. Hydraulic engineers also design stormwater systems to prevent local flooding while sometimes intercepting and directing such waters for purposes such as irrigation. Hydraulic fracturing — extreme pressures and flows

Furthermore, there exists a form of hydraulics splitting the two above concepts — hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracking, as it’s more colloquially known, is a process where oil and gas are extracted using specialized, pressurized fluids pumped deep underground. Fracking itself is indeed a hydrostatic effort since pressurized fluid works to crack and create fissures deep underground where oil and/or gas may break free from its longtime prison. Just as with traditional hydraulics, the source of high-pressure fluid begins at the pump, where incoming mechanical energy is converted from the mechanical energy of the prime mover — in this case, almost exclusively from a diesel engine. Indeed, the input of power used for fracturing exceeds even the most potent hydraulic power units — think upwards of 5,000 hp or more. The very large volume positivedisplacement piston pumps work at around 15,000 psi or more and must be capable of withstanding acidic and abrasive fluids. In fact, the pumps are required to resist sand contained within the slick water. If you know anything about hydraulic fluid conditioning, you know how www.fluidpowerworld.com

damaging particulate is to hydraulic pumps. Color me impressed with a frack pump’s contamination resistance. You’d guess correctly that fracking operations require barrels of flow. No kidding, many oilfield engineers literally describe the flow requirements for the various fracking stages in barrels per minute. In perspective, 42 US gallons constitute a single barrel of oil, so imagine when the process describes 90 barrels per minute. Such a combination of high pressure and flow easily elucidates the requirement for thousands of horsepower. The frack sites combine a dozen or more pumps to achieve such flow (especially because few pumps are as large as my first example). So without getting into too much detail, because this is a fluid power publication, after all, I’ll explain how fracturing works. A rig drills down thousands of feet into ancient shale before the wellbore drills sideways from its kickoff point for thousands of feet longer. The team inserts a tube before pumping in concrete to seal the bore. Then, explosive charges are inserted deep down the wellbore, where their explosions rupture not only the steel and concrete tube but also the surrounding shale. The frack pumps send slick water down the wellbore where the ultra-high pressure further fractures the shale to open up channels of flow where oil and/or gas may leach out. The fracturing process occurs many more times to create thousands of fissures hundreds of feet deep in all directions into the shale. After all fracturing is complete, the decades-long process of pumping oil and/or gas from the well may begin. Traditional hydraulics at play

Our hydraulics serve the oil & gas industry in various capacities, of course. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that the oil & gas industry employs one of the most sophisticated hydraulic machines on the market — the seismic vibrator. These impressive machines are a piece of the reflection seismology puzzle, which uses low-frequency vibrations much like sonar to reflect off geological formations deep underground. Geophone sensors strategically positioned a distance away from the vibrator

the higher it flows and the more accurately it performs. However, pressure drop anywhere in a hydraulic system results in pure heat equal to the product of flow and pressure differential. Running closed-loop hydraulics also leaves little room for excess heat, so seismic vibrators come equipped with massive liquid-to-air coolers (likely run from a thermostatically controlled hydraulic fan). Hydraulics — the power behind oil & gas development


will pick up the sonic reflections, and software interprets the information to essentially map the geophysical nature of the Earth below. The intense vibrations emit from a large oscillating plate whose mass may exceed five tons. Combined with the truck’s weight and force of the cylinders, high inertia is imparted by sophisticated closed-loop hydraulics. Pilotoperated servo valves transmit precisely administered pump and accumulator flow to vibrate any frequency up to 250 Hz or more. Closed-circuit feedback compares the LDT signal in the cylinders to the desired position and velocity of the electronic control system to offer a precise and repeatable frequency response of the vibrator. With high-powered servovalves comes all the gratuitous accoutrement required to support them — high-pressure pumps, ultra-fine filtration, accumulators and machine controllers. Servo-controlled highpressure, closed-loop piston

pumps are standard for these applications. In addition, the closed-loop pump design offers flow to the wheel drive motors for vehicle traverse to relocate to new work locations. Servovalves operate best with high yet stable pressure drop, so a servocontrolled pump with its own closed-loop pressure and flow control offers the most precise pump option available. As you may or may not know, servovalves are the most sensitive hydraulic component to contamination’s damaging effects. Moreover, a system running at higher pressure may experience more wear or damage because particles are forced through clearances or orifices with more force. Expect to see only highly efficient 3-micron filters every step of the way on seismic vibrators. Servovalves offer greater precision when they run with higher pressure drop. In other words, when there is difference between the pump port and work port pressure in a servovalve,

Hydraulics in oil & gas extraction is not limited to the exploration side of the coin. Once the well location is finalized, the site must be cleared and prepped to provide an appropriate area for the well pad, drill rig, centrifuge and generous storage. All that construction work requires construction equipment, and construction equipment requires hydraulics. There isn’t enough room to explain the operation of excavators, graders, dump trucks and dozers, but they are nearly exclusively fluid powered. A drill rig, for example, may also equip one of various hydraulically operated components. The snubbing rig offers a method of adding or removing pipe sections while the well remains under pressure, a process that improves efficiency. For example, to remove pipes, the sections are first clamped firmly by slips, which are essentially powerful hydraulic collets. Snubber cylinders then jack the pipe to remove sections before they are set aside, and the process is repeated. As the pipe sections are jacked up, well pressure must be controlled. Blow-out preventers installed below the snubbing rig employ large-bore hydraulic cylinders to block off the well pressure below after a joint has passed. Blow-out preventers

must work quickly and with intent and operate with the aid of many large accumulators. The hydraulic power and control systems for both snubbing rigs and BOP’s must also avoid contributing to dangerous operation. Fire-resistant hydraulic fluids, such as water-based options, prevent contributing to the already dangerous potential for fire. Also, all hydraulic power unit solenoid valves and electrical components must be designated “explosion-proof,” meaning they must not create electrical sparks or arcing during regular operation. Any crude oil blow-out in the presence of a spark makes for very dangerous and difficult to extinguish flames. In writing this article and knowing how prolific oil & gas wells are across our continent, I researched the presence of oil and gas wells in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York, where Ithaca sits at the bottom of Cayuga Lake. Although some previously active wells nearby have since been closed, there exists a veritable mosaic of gas wells scattered on the map on either side of Northern Cayuga Lake. It seems the two worlds of hydraulics are more closely situated than I previously thought.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK? Connect with thousands of engineering design professionals online.



This product has been manufactured under the controls established by a Bureau Veritas Certification approved management system that conforms with ISO 9001 : 2015. Bureau Veritas Certification Number TH011837.





VALVE 4HWE, RB, MCD and MB Series

Various Displacement / up to 320 bar / wide range of options (shafts, threads, pilots)

Control Valve, Relief Valve, Solenoid Valve and Check Valve


POWER STEERING HVTM42 and HV Series Single / Double Flow Control / Priority Valve Manifold / Separate Tank


MANUFACTURER IN SOUTHEAST ASIA! HOF Hydraulic Solutions, Bangkok, Thailand. Manufacturer of high quality vane pumps, motors, directional control valves and other system accessories, delivers to clients across the globe including the world’s renowned brands in the USA, Europe and Asia. Collaborating with various manufacturers in all kinds of industry from Industrial, Marine, Agriculture and Mobile. Please contact us at contact@hofhydraulic.com

26/48 Moo 4, Suksavadh Rd. Jomthong, Bangkok, Thailand 10150 Tel: (66) 2877 3223 Fax: (66) 2877 3373 contact@hofhydraulic.com


Electrohydraulic pump system

Pneumatic valve solves interoperability challenges

Terzo terzopower.com

Emerson emerson.com

Designed to handle the largest electrification applications in the commercial trucking, mining, and off-highway markets, the Hydrapulse Frame Size 3 (F3) offers next level power density with all the proven features and options of the Hydrapulse line. With power levels up to 100 kw and up to 800 V of direct current, the power dense F3 is the largest Hydrapulse model to date. For even more power, you can run multiple F3 units in tandem to handle the largest electrification applications. The inverter and liquid cooling are integrated, which makes plug and play much simpler for OEMs. These factors, combined with the power-on-demand capabilities of the F3, solve many of the problems encountered in off-highway electrification. The F3 offers versatile drive and mounting options with power to spare and will be available with: • • • • •

Emerson has announced that its Aventics Series Advanced Valve (AV) valve system with Advanced Electronic System (AES) Profinet and Ethernet/IP is now available with preinstalled Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA) functionality, making it the first and only valve system to offer this directly integrated capability. The AES helps users solve interoperability challenges and access data more easily while the integration of the digital twin can improve productivity and efficiency. A valve system with integrated OPC UA functionality simplifies communication with upper systems because data and analytics are received via the valve system and communicated directly to upper systems; no gateway necessary unless deeper analysis or local dashboards are required. This can result in costs savings for users since it is more complex and expensive to receive analytics from a valve system without OPC UA. OPC UA functionality also expands the connected capabilities of the valve system itself, making it easier for users in industries such as automotive, food and beverage, packaging, and pulp and paper industries to digitally transform.

Direct drive Planetary drive SAE “B” or “C” mount Fixed-displacement pump Hydrostatic drive

Electrohydraulic pump combination Omni Powertrain Technologies omnipowertrain.com Omni Powertrain Technologies has a new electrohydraulic pump combination. The unit was developed for low voltage mobile applications and is ideally suited for the needs of hybrid equipment builders facing spatial constraints. The system includes a Flo-Torq gear pump packaged with an axial flux motor and controller from Omni’s Magelec subsidiary. The overall package length of 299.7 mm (11.8 in.) offers equipment designers a compact form to power electrohydraulic traction and auxiliary functions. Featuring a Magelec M17 air-cooled motor with a SAE B mount connection, the complete package weighs 17.6 kilo (38.8 lb). The 48-V system is rated for 46 lpm of continuous flow with a peak pressure rating of 250 bar. Other pump and motor combinations are available upon request.


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Smart test bench technology Continental continental.com/safelythere Continental recently introduced a new Smart Test Bench technology to enhance hosebuild solutions. The technology integrates with Continental’s CrimpIQ crimpers to ensure fabricators can build a quality hose assembly in every application. The Smart Test Bench uses cloud technology that allows the CrimpCloud and Smart Bench to communicate with each other. This ensures seamless data transfer and safe document storage. Continental’s Test Benches also have a new controller, which is created to provide ease of use and accuracy. The user-friendly system features an intuitive touch-screen panel that greatly improves control over testing parameters. In addition, the Smart Test Bench technology offers state-of-the-art reporting in different formats, back up testing data for easy retrieval, and the ability to adapt to a customer’s hydraulic or industrial hose testing needs.



6 • 2022


High vacuum safety

NFPA-compliant DSNB Actuator

Piab piab.com

Festo festo.com/us

Whether you want a centralized or decentralized vacuum gripping system, interfaces towards common (industrial standard) EOAT systems or stand-alone mounting, the piSAFE program provides a high vacuum safety and high performing configuration specified for you. piSAFE program key benefits: • • • • • • • •

Vacuum safety non-return valve (check valve) which holds vacuum in sealed applications in case of a system or power failure Available configurations suitable for both centralized and decentralized vacuum systems Can replace more expensive mechanical or vacuumtank safety arrangements in robotic tools and ergonomic equipment Suitable in robotic applications where high demand of safety is required Suitable for ergonomic lifting devices/manipulators and cranes which must comply with lifting norms such as (DIN/SS) – EN 13155 and ASME Standard B30.20 Through the energy saving features, the noise level is reduced as well as the carbon footprint Air consumption is reduced up to 98% per cycle Light-weight materials lower the weight for EOAT and ensure less wear on robotic motors and drive with a possibility for increased speed/acceleration or a smaller, cheaper robot

Festo introduces the rugged, versatile, and economical DSNB actuator for NFPA mounting applications. The DSNB is suitable for sorting, stacking, insertion, loading, lifting, dispensing, clamping, and gate applications on converting machines. Customers can order the DSNB in seven bore sizes, 11 variations, and 15 different NFPA mounting configurations, offering maximum flexibility and the advantage of standardizing on a single actuator for many applications. Average ship time for this USA manufactured actuator is less than 10 days. Such features as polyurethane rod-wiper seal, hard anodized aluminum cylinder, and synthetic grease ensure high performance. For long service life, Festo utilized anodized aluminum end caps, a high strength steel piston rod with chrome plating, and composite rod bushing and PTFE wear band. For easy maintenance, the rod bearing cartridge can be replaced without disassembling the cylinder. Customers have the option of air cushioning and customizing these units.

Linear position transducers AutomationDirect automationdirect.com Stainless steel linear variable inductance transducers (LVITs) from Alliance Sensors Group convert the linear displacement of an object into a proportional analog output of 0 to 10 VDC or 4 to 20mA (depending on model). Compact LZ13 series has a ½ in. diameter stainless steel body, stainless steel threaded rod, and is available in stroke lengths from 2.5 to 200 mm. The larger LZ19 series features a ¾ in. diameter stainless steel body, stainless steel threaded rod, and stroke lengths from 2.5 to 375 mm. Rugged LV series, designed for heavy-duty industrial applications, comes with a 45-mm diameter stainless steel body, ½ in. stainless steel rod, and rod eye mounting system that provides freedom of motion while tracking linear movement along a single axis. The Alliance LVIT proprietary SenSet process provides the ability to match the endpoints of the sensor’s analog output with the ends of the range of motion of a workpiece (such as a hydraulic cylinder ram) in which the sensor is installed. The SenSet feature permits the user to optimize the position measuring system resolution over the full range of motion.


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ALA Industries Limited is a leader in engineering. Leadership in engineering can be seen through teamwork not only within ALA Industries but with our manufacturing companies that we represent. We aim to create a seamless flow from our manufacturers to our distributors. The combined effort of all affiliated companies help ALA to better ourselves and provide excellent service and products. We focus on delivering outstanding communication, accountability, and transparency with all companies that we work along. ALA Industries is a leader in engineering due to the goal and ability to create and maintain long-term relationships with our distributors and the manufacturers that we represent. ALA provides a prestigious product line throughout the Americas that aids the maximization of the end users hydraulic systems. The overall goal of ALA Industries Limited is to focus our time and energy not only

ALA INDUSTRIES LIMITED 3410 Delta Dr, Portage, IN 46368 (219) 762-2059 • alaindustrieslimited.com

on the success of our products, but also to be able to acknowledge areas of improvement and fix them within a timely manner. ALA Industries also seeks to expand their product market to help sustainability efforts, such as pitch control valves for wind turbines. Within ALA Industries, our employees are dedicated, dependable, and respectful to their fellow employees and clients. They have a focus on servant leadership. Overall, ALA Industries Limited has positioned themself as a leader in engineering due to their ability to have open communication with clients alongside providing premier products.

COMPONENT FOCUS By Josh Cosford • Contributing Editor

Is synthetic media better than paper?

Cellulose, or paper materials used in filters | Courtesy of Stauff

For most hydraulic filter mediums, you can have it one of two ways — paper or plastic. Paper filter elements are made from cellulose pulp, and they may come composed of differing materials, especially those for water absorption. But as far as this conversation goes, they’re the same thing. I’m also generalizing when I call synthetic media plastic because it’s typically manufactured from glass fibers. I’m leaving mesh media out of this — those are for strainers, not filters. Paper elements are a venerable choice, having protected hydraulic systems for decades before synthetic glass media came along. They’re essentially smashed-up trees with binding agents and are more effective when thicker or more heavily pleated. Unfortunately, the accuracy of the media is much less than that of glass, and they can only be nominally rated. The nominal rating means manufacturers express the average percentage of a given particle trapped by the filter, which could be 50-90%. Because it’s nearly impossible to manufacture a paper filter media with consistent pore sizes, the capacity to trap finer particles comes from just layering a more densely packed fiber. The hope is that particles find themselves trapped in the upper layers of the media and are unable to pass. Unfortunately, it may often

trap many particles, but in doing so sheds light on another weakness of paper — its surface media construction. As a result, particles gather on the surface, an effect that actually improves filtration while clogging the element. Synthetic glass media is manufactured precisely as tiny filaments of accurately stretched glass are layered into a fabric. The nature of the manufacturing process provides the media with precise pore sizes consistently through every layer. The result is a consistent material offering absolute filtration ratings. An absolute rating provides the filter with high-efficiency trapping particles above the rated size — expect even the worst synthetic elements to trap over 97% of the particles in just one pass. And when manufacturers express ratings as absolute, they’re saying the filter

will trap the majority of the particles of the rated size (say, 5 micron). In fact, most high-quality elements are rated at least 99.5% efficiency (Beta Ratio of 200), which is performance paper media just cannot match. Manufacturers may layer paper media quite thick, which does improve filtration quality, but will also increase pressure drop (resistance to flow). As well, a thick paper media does little to aid in dirt holding capacity (the maximum weight of particle the filter can trap before it’s clogged). On the other hand, synthetic media may be layered in such a way to filter even extra-fine particles while resulting in a fraction of the pressure drop compared to paper elements. The layers of synthetic media (of which it blends materials other than the primary glass fibers) have the depth to trap more particles throughout the media. This depth media traps particles in the gaps between tiny filaments of glass, where cellulose elements offer fewer “catch points” due to the size of the fibers. Imagine trapping coarse sand in a mesh screen compared to a pile of sticks, and you get the idea. In summary, synthetic media offers many advantages over paper elements, and only under the most extreme budgetary restriction should you use paper media. The only exception is when water absorbing elements must remove free water from the hydraulic fluid. That being said, one should use the water-absorbing element in conjunction with a synthetic media element. FPW

Inorganic glass fibers for filter media | Courtesy of Stauff


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ALA Industries.........................54 AutomationDirect.....................1 Bailey Hydraulics.....................25 CFC Industrial Training............45 Clippard.................................. BC DMIC.......................................11 FluiDyne Fluid Power..............13 GRH Power..............................29 HOF Hydraulics........................50 HydraForce..............................41 Hydraulex Global.......................9 Kawasaki Precision Machinery.. 31

Main Mfg...................................8 Motion......................................3 MP Filtri USA...........................35 OFCO (Ohio Fabricators).........21 Permco.................................. IBC Spartan Scientific....................33 SPIR STAR.................................52 Super Swivels..........................40 Tompkins Industries...........IFC, 8 Ultra Clean Technologies..........5 Veljan Hydrair............................7

LEADERSHIP TEAM Co-Founder, VP Sales Mike Emich 508.446.1823 memich@wtwhmedia.com @wtwh_memic Co-Founder, Managing Partner Scott McCafferty 310.279.3844 smccafferty@wtwhmedia.com @SMMcCafferty EVP Marshall Matheson 805.895.3609 mmatheson@wtwhmedia.com @mmatheson


Follow the whole team on twitter @FluidPowerWorld


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