New technologies are changing what’s possible for hydraulic systems with the addition of more precise electric controls and connectivity throughout the system. Hydraulic systems still provide unmatched power density and lower cost than fully electric solutions. The ability to combine both electric and hydraulic technology currently provides the best results.
Shift Towards Connectivity
The hydraulics industry is experiencing a shift away from classic, analogous hydraulics towards connectable digital fluid technology. In Europe specifically, manufacturers are increasingly going digital with their machine design, and most companies expect hydraulic equipment to embed seamlessly. Hydraulics are now on par with electromechanical drives. One of the best features that have come out of these changes is seamless integration between hydraulic valves into different automation topologies.
How to Meet these New Requirements
Single-axis controllers are currently the standard and remotely regulate hydraulic motions within a closed control loop. Powerful motion control is integrated into the valves electronics. The control quality of each system is based on the resolution of its measurement systems. Saw lines, machine tools, and other systems are more frequently using these types of motion controls without control cabinets. Many manufacturers have turned to smart variable speed pump drives and smart pump controls. Now, actions that were once controlled by valves are now embedded within the software.
Sensor Technology & Hydraulic Valves
Mass production of sensors for the automotive and consumer product industry has significantly reduced the cost of hydraulic valves. The use of sensors in hydraulics increases every year. Most experts predict integrating sensor technology into valve housings is the next step. Sensors can compile information on fluid quality, vibrations, temperature and more. These tools can help users detect wear and tear before any serious damage is done.
Within the next decade, a majority of hydraulic pumps, valves and systems will include electrohydraulic and sensor technology to allow for easier project planning, better commissioning, and more efficient operation. System owners can also expect to receive more information before service is necessary.
Want more information on how your application can benefit from electrohydraulic control? Contact Gulf Control to schedule a consultation with a fluid power expert.