At a Glance:

Mitch Eichler, business development manager at Parker Hannifin, is a mechanical engineer with a passion for commercializing hydraulic valve applications designs. He shares insights from his field.
With the advantages of a high power density, large force output and easiness to actualize linear motions, hydraulic transmission systems are widely used in industrial hydraulics and for mobile hydraulic machinery.
Along with the trade up from purely mechanical to electrohydraulic components comes the expectation of higher levels of performance, accuracy and scalability.

The current surge and expected growth in the integration of electronics with hydraulics reveals a shift in focus. It compels industrial manufacturers to review their competitive stance so they can identify the simplest, safest, most economical systems that are both scalable and easy to maintain. But does it also mean that traditional hydraulics are on a steady path to being permanently displaced?

With the investments shifting toward renewable energy and as time goes on, newer technologies related to high-pressure hydraulic systems become more applicable. Electrohydraulic pumps, for instance, are touted for being up to 80% more efficient than their traditional counterparts.

Mitch Eicher, a business development manager at Parker Hannifin, contends that traditional hydraulic components will remain critical to systems where the flow rate, pressure or actuators need to be controlled. Based solely on the force, speed required and the energy consumed, he argued, it would be size- and cost-burdensome to drive all components directly using electromechanical solutions.

“Those really high-force, high-demand applications still are largely done by hydraulic valves,” said Eicher. “You can get a lot of bang for your buck—it’s a very dense solution.”

Across the board, hydraulic experts tend to agree that the combination of high power density, large force output and the ease with which one can actualize motion makes hydraulic transmission stand head above shoulders in industrial and mobile hydraulic machinery.

“The way that fluid power works, you can get a lot of bang for your buck—it’s a very dense solution in a small space,” emphasized Eichler, a mechanical engineer who specializes in hydraulic valve applications.

Read more: Are Hydraulic Components on a Steady Path to Being Displaced?