BY DYNAMICALLY CONTROLLING the pump speed to match the duty cycle, the Sytronix system from Bosch reduces the energy required to supply hydraulic power to the press, thereby reducing energy consumption. The system also reduces noise and waste heat generated by the hydraulic system.
ways, green fluid power technology is just starting to hit its stride. Twenty years ago, a green, efficiency-minded design was little more than a feather in the cap of a fluid power system. If the fluid power industry wasn’t actively fueling its dirty technology reputation, it wasn’t working too hard to fix it either. That’s no longer the case as of the last few years. Those considering fluid power design solutions won’t have it any other way. For a technology that treads with such a heavy industrial and environmental footprint, it’s easy to assume high-level oversight would be the norm. But it isn’t. The choice to design smaller, more efficient fluid power systems has largely been left to the will of manufacturers. For the moment at least, even Tier IV and Tier V emissions standards are having little impact on design concerns. The legislative push that nudged other industries to design green has not been nearly as strong in fluid power. It’s as if industry outsiders view fluid power as so technologically crude already, improvements would not make much of a difference. Fluid power professionals know that’s not true, but the idea is fairly common. Kevin Gingerich, manager, Communications and eBusiness at Bosch Rexroth, said that hydraulic power is far from the power source relic that it’s often viewed as. “People seem to think of hydraulic technology as a technology from the past: Not intelligent, not precise, capable of brute force only, but today’s hydraulic drive systems are precise, compact and intelligent,” he said. Gingerich also explained that hydraulic drive systems can position axes to a few micrometers. They can also be situated in smaller spaces because they introduce less heat into a system. “Really, the more you know about modern hydraulics, the more you realize just how modern, capable and relevant this amazing technology is,” he said. While regulatory bodies may be silent on the need to increase fluid power’s friendliness to the environment, fluid power end users are not. Frank Langro, director of marketing and product management for Festo, said consumers began sending consistent feedback for smaller, more efficient designs about five years ago. “The bigger, well-known companies were in the lead on this; dollars and cents drove the demand,” Langro said. “All companies want to be consumer friendly. They want to take steps to create more sustainability and protect the environment as well.” Langro added an example, stating that if you save three cents on every widget you produce, and you’re producing millions of widgets, well, that’s quite a bit of money.
6 • 2016
FLUID POWER WORLD
6/16/16 2:55 PM
Fluid Power World Handbook 2016