Critical Role of Hydraulic Manifolds in Robotics and Automation
Hydraulic Manifolds – Making Things Work Better
From small mobile machines to heavy industrial plants, manifolds are mission critical to fluid power systems. Fluid power engineers and OEMs alike understand the benefits of properly engineered hydraulic manifolds. These benefits include:
- Improved overall layout with less cumbersome hoses and fluid connections
- Small and compact sizes with cartridge valve design to suit confined spaces
- Increased energy efficiency with shorter flow paths that minimize pressure drop and heat
- Reduced installation costs and fluid connections due to simpler compact design
- Reduced fluid leaks and upkeep with fewer connections that can wear and loosen.
The extent of these benefits, however, relies heavily on the circuit integrity, design expertise and manufacturing quality that have been built into each manifold. The quality and performance of any fluid power system is only as good as the level of expertise that has produced it. The fluid power system relies on the quality of the manifold controlling the system. Our design team and full-time engineers will help you navigate the most difficult projects from design through production. The professionals at Hydraulic Manifolds USA will recommend design changes for both function and price optimization. Here are some design considerations that we’ll help you navigate to manufacture the right hydraulic manifold for your project:
- Fluid type
- Seal materials
- Material and finish
- Environmental conditions and temperatures
- Pressure (maximum and working)
- Duty cycle
- Flow conditions (pump, accumulator and return)
- Port sizes, types, and locations
- Number of and type of valves
- Electrical voltage and connection
Whether you choose a standard or custom hydraulic manifold will largely depend on these design considerations. The engineering and design experts at Hydraulic Manifolds USA will help successfully navigate your project from design to completion. Contact us today to learn more.
Why Use A Custom Hydraulic Manifold
Custom hydraulic manifolds are usually created when there is a performance requirement that can’t be met with an off the shelf product. A custom hydraulic manifold will integrate multiple functions into a single assembly. They simplify the system and reduce the required number of connections. Minimal connections means decreased risk of potential leak points in the system. A custom hydraulic manifold offers flexibility in design and are incredibly reliable. Custom single-piece manifolds have the advantage of withstanding greater pressures and being less expensive than modular manifolds.
To navigate the complexities of efficient and cost effective custom manifolds, you need an experienced team of expert hydraulic engineers. Hydraulic Manifolds USA has been providing custom hydraulic integrated circuits to multiple industries since 1971. We have the ability to take your freehand schematic and create a reliable and cost effective solution.
If you’re using a standard product because you think a custom solution is too expensive, think again. Through a combination of the right people, process and tools, Hydraulic Manifolds USA delivers quality custom manifolds at competitive prices. With flexible minimums and fast delivery, Hydraulic Manifolds USA is your one stop service provider for custom hydraulic integrated circuits. Request a quote to learn more about the Hydraulic Manifolds USA advantage.
Hydraulic Integrated Circuits And The Military Of The Future
Each year the National Fluid Power Association publishes an Annual Report on the U.S. Fluid Power Industry. The report is always full of the latest industry stats. For example the 2015 report included:
- Fluid power (hydraulics and pneumatics) is a workhorse of the U.S. economy. It is a cross-cutting technology of choice for dozens of industries and hundreds of applications.
- In 2015, the manufacture of fluid power components was a $19.3 billion industry.
- The U.S. fluid power industry is strongly competitive around the world, with 2015 exports valued at $5.7 billion.
- It is estimated that 846 companies in the United States employ more than 72,500 people in the manufacture of fluid power components, representing an annual payroll of more than $4.7 billion.
- Fluid power has a significant downstream economic impact. Ten key industries that depend on fluid power are estimated to represent more than 23,700 companies in the United States, employing more than 884,200 people with an annual payroll of more than $56.1 billion.
While all of these facts are interesting and informative, the most intriguing part of the report was the look at where the industry is heading; Specifically R&D in the arena of human scale systems and collaborative robots for U.S. Military use.
In an era of increased terrorist actively, it becomes increasingly important to protect our nation’s infrastructure. Successfully accomplishing this function requires more than simple manpower. It requires overcoming human limitations including energy decline, boredom and physical inability. The Department of Defense has developed a Mobile Detection and Response System to provide automated intrusion detection for DoD warehouses and storage sites.
Intrusion detection isn’t the only military application that will require hydraulic integrated circuits. According to Henrik Christensen, director of the Institute for Contextual Robotics at UC San Diego, “Robots will continue to replace the dirty, dull and dangerous jobs. Logistics tasks will not be solved by people driving around in trucks. Instead, you will have fewer drivers. The lead driver in a convoy might be human, but every truck following behind will not be.”
The Department of Defense has pursued a large variety of unmanned undersea vehicles, (UUVs) during the past decade, mostly for mine clearing and ocean surveillance and launched from surface ships or shore. In many of these military applications, ways to decrease the size of fluid power components, or to combine them into compact and integrated systems, will be critical. Continued research is required to develop compact and lightweight fluid power sources.
What is clear is that there are multiple applications and need for HICs in both infrastructure and military applications. The development of compact systems will likely change the way the U.S. Military operates in the future. What is exciting is the roll that companies like Hydraulic Manifolds USA will play in the future. We’re proud to be part of an industry that plays such a vital role in both our economy and the defense of our nation. Contact the engineering experts at Hydraulic Manifolds USA for all of your custom hydraulic integrated circuit needs.