The recent push to make everything smart or connected has led to some interesting evolutions in manufacturing. Application and infrastructure divided the use of electromechanical and fluid power. However, with the development of high-speed controls, quick-response motors, and improved software, variable-speed electric drives are finding their way into power hydraulic pumps.

Previously these technologies were difficult to combine. Over the last few years there have been more motor-pump combinations able to provide power and responsiveness to match systems controlled by electrohydraulic valves or a variable-displacement pump. The result is not only new features and control, but also a reduction in energy consumption.

While smart fluid systems sound new, they have been around for years. What is changing is how smarter they are becoming. It was inevitable with advancing technology, or perhaps the skills gap in the fluid power community, but an intelligent innovation has been triggered by blending electromechanical with hydraulic and/or pneumatic. These new solutions tend to be easy to program and control in a turnkey product. Moving forward, these variable-drive, electromechanical hydraulic, smart, all-in-one solutions might become the new norm.

The Kyntronics Smart Hydraulic Actuator is a variable-speed electric motor driving the hydraulic pump, servo-valve, cylinder, and support components all in one assembly. All you need to provide is electrical power and I/O signals. This solution controls position, force, and speed in applications requiring 500 lb (2,225N) to more than 100,000 lb (445 kN) of force with strokes up to 120 in. (3,048 mm).

Read more: Industrial Motors: How to Get More Bang for Your Buck