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Our latest blog looks at our in-house Test Rig which is used to test many of our larger power units before they leave our premises for delivery to customers.
We are proud to be able to re-assure our customers that we fully test our units after they are built as to ensure our end users are satisfied with their product. This gives you, the customer, peace of mind that you have bought a reliable unit that, properly maintained, will last long into the future.
Below, we have covered the common test procedures for our Power units and how they are carried out:
This is carried out to remove debris and contamination from all valve, pipework and reservoir internals. Always ensuring that sufficient flow is generated by our test rig ensures a high velocity turbulent flow (above Reynolds number 2000). This action will agitate any debris that is lodged in corners and crevices.
Guaranteeing we supply the correct flow rate is crucial to ensuring the customers application runs at the speeds expected. So Hydraproducts is able to measure the hydraulic pump flow rates using the latest digital flow meter technology up to 150lpm.
Measuring pressures throughout a hydraulic system gives a hydraulic engineer a thorough knowledge of how it is performing and enables the setting of pumps and valves. Using a fully UKAS calibrated pressure test system, we are able to certify our systems with confidence that they will perform as expected.
Measuring the power input to a system is fundamental to confirming that the system has firstly been designed correctly and secondly that the combination of the pressure and flow are being achieved within parameters set by our hydraulic design engineers.
Many of the systems we manufacture are for lifting or clamping applications, where load holding for long periods is critical to the machine performance. Over the years Hydraproducts has developed a very stringent method of checking this that far surpasses those used by component suppliers. This enables us to check a whole system is holding pressures without decay.
This test focuses on the cleanliness of the hydraulic system as any contaminants from particles and foreign bodies entering the system can greatly affect its operating ability, causing wear and even failure in vital system components. The test adheres to strict international cleanliness standards and is carried out on a regular basis.
A vital system test which focuses on the system temperature in varying operating conditions and is carried out to make sure that temperatures are within standard set tolerances and do not exceed them when increased load is added.
The test ensures that system components do not suffer damage and wear from the increased heat levels given off by the system, which could render a system inoperable and could potentially result in large repair bills.
Filtration and Particulate Cleaning
Hydraulic filters work to ensure that particulate matter doesn’t find its way into the hydraulic system. It is essential that they are inspected and cleaned regularly to ensure excess particulate isn’t clogging the filter and affecting system performance.
Environmental conditions such as dusty workshops and foundries can affect the levels of contaminants entering the filter, and in these situations the filters will have to be checked more frequently and cleaned or replaced accordingly.
In this article we want to explain the ins and outs of hydraulic powerpacks. A vital piece of equipment that is used with so many machines we see every day.
In a nutshell, hydraulic powerpacks are self contained units that are used instead of a built in power supply for hydraulic machinery. Hydraulic power uses fluid to transmit power from one location to another in order to run a machine. It really is as simple as that.
So what do they look like?
In order to recognise and better understand hydraulic powerpacks, it is a good idea to get to know the key components. Hydraulic powerpacks come in many different shapes and sizes, some are very large and stationary whereas others are much smaller and more compact. In fact, some hydraulic powerpacks are so compact that they can easily be transported in a small van or even an estate car.
The only real way to identify hydraulic powerpacks is through its main components. No matter the size of the unit, all power packs will have the following; a hydraulic reservoir, regulators, a pump, motor, pressure supply lines and relief lines.
What do these components do?
It may be obvious to some but in this post we wanted to explain every component as simply as possible. So here goes.
First up is the hydraulic reservoir which quite simply holds the fluid. Reservoirs will come in different sizes.
Then we have the regulators. Regulators are vital as they control and maintain the amount of pressure that the hydraulic powerpack delivers.
Thirdly we have the pressure supply lines and relief lines. The supply line simply supplies fluid under pressure to the pump and the relief lines relieve pressure between the pump and the valves. The relief lines also control the direction of flow through the system.
Finally we have the pump and a motor. We will begin with the simpler component of the two, the motor. The motor is simply there to power the pump. Easy as that. Now the pump generally performs two actions. Firstly, it operates as a vacuum at the pump inlet and through atmospheric pressure forces fluid from the reservoir into the inlet line and then to the pump. It then delivers the fluid to the pump outlet and pumps it into the hydraulic system. We did warn you that the second part would be slightly more confusing.
So what is the function of hydraulic powerpacks?
Hydraulic powerpacks deliver power through a control valve which in turn runs the machine it is connected to. Hydraulic powerpacks come with a variety of valve connections. This means that you can power a variety of machines by using the appropriate valves.
Hydraulic powerpacks are relied upon by a range of different machines that use hydraulic power to do its work. If a machine is required to carry out heavy or systematic lifting then its likely it would need help from a hydraulic powerpack.
To make it easier for you to understand, we have included a list of trades that regularly rely on our powerpacks. On a building site you will see machines like bulldozers and excavators, which both need hydraulic powerpacks. But, it is not just on building sites that you will find these types of machines. Fishermen and mechanics both need hydraulic powerpacks too. If we did not have them then how would fishermen lift their nets or how would mechanics lift our cars?
When picking a hydraulic powerpack there are a variety of pumps and options to pick from and it is important to pick the right pack to meet your machines needs. It is also important to consider a pack that will help maximise productivity and minimise cost.
Many people will overlook the necessity of hydraulic powerpacks, but they really are vital to ensuring our society runs efficiently.
Do you need to maintain hydraulic powerpacks?
Yes you do and this is hugely important! Hydraulic powerpacks require regular maintenance to ensure they are working properly and safely and to help extend their life. Maintaining hydraulic powerpacks is relatively simple and includes checking the tubing, this can be for any noticeable problems such as dents or cracks. It is also vital to regularly change the hydraulic fluid and look at the reservoir to check for any corrosion or rust.
What hydraulic powerpacks do we provide?
Generally we provide four different types of hydraulic powerpacks. You can pick from a standard powerpack, a mini powerpack, a micro powerpack or a bespoke powerpack.
The standard hydraulic powerpack uses a standard range of modular components and is ideal for the most demanding industrial applications. The mini powerpack is ideal for applications requiring up to 5.5kW. The micro hydraulic powerpacks were originally produced for mobility applications, so are great for when space is limited. Finally, if none of these seem to fit your needs then we offer bespoke hydraulic powerpacks ensuring your application gets the hydraulic powerpack it requires.
Finally, who is the genius behind hydraulic powerpacks?
The man behind hydraulics was Laissez Pascal. A French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher who lived in the mid seventeenth century. Pascal made observations about fluid and pressure which led to Pascal’s law. Pascal's law states that when there is an increase in pressure at any point in a confined fluid, there is an equal increase at every other point in the container. Hydraulic powerpacks have been designed based on Pascal's law of physics, drawing their power from ratios of area and pressure.
So, interested in our Power Packs? Come on over to the main website and see what we can do for your Hydraulic Power Pack Needs .
As designers and manufacturers of the highest quality hydraulic parts we are very proud of our mini hydraulic power packs, which can be driven from 12 or 24-volt direct current (DC) supplies. Our OEM customers rely on our consistency and quality to build functional and reliable equipment, including tail lifts, tipper trucks and trailers. Typically, our 3kW output motor, which relies on a 24v DC supply, is used to raise and lower the ramps of trailers used to transport heavy equipment. The nature of the equipment using the ramp, means that the ramp itself must be sturdy in construction and therefore, quite heavy to lift. The 3kW mini power pack does this with ease, and is fan cooled to guard against overheating.
For more lightweight applications, such as tailgate lifts on commercial passenger vehicles, a smaller output is needed. For these uses a 12v mini hydraulic power pack is used, as the 12v motor can be wired into standard vehicle electrical circuits for tailgate lift functions. The 12v model is available with a 500W or 800W output, so the choice depends on the amount of power that is needed to drive the hydraulic pump in the system.
We manufacture our products to be compatible with all major brands of pumps and valves, so they can be used in any system where a new component is needed, or the system needs to be upgraded to handle a larger capacity. Our valves and other components we manufacture, are also designed to be used in a wide variety of systems, and with a global distribution network we can serve your DC hydraulic motor needs wherever you are.
Our mini hydraulic power packs may be small (around 16 inches long) but they are capable of packing a mighty punch; the model with most capacity is the 3kW, 24v model, but the 12v and 24v models have outputs between 0.5kW and 2kW. This is a wide range of strengths, allowing our customers to use the most efficient and appropriate motor for their needs. This range also means systems can be designed with the lowest possible power consumption across all parts, but with the most efficient hydraulic output of that power. System designers do not have to compromise on power because the ideal output size is not available. We do make bespoke components, so even if we don't have the exact off-the-shelf DC power pack you need, we can still make it happen for you.
Our micro hydraulic power packs are also a great option for when one of our mini power packs are too large for the space available. They are only 89mm square and can be discreetly installed in the moving arm of a security barrier or automatic gate system. The 0.5kW mini motor with 12v DC supply is often used for step lifts and other applications where the load to be moved is not too heavy, so step lifts and passenger lifts on small vans or taxis that will not be taking huge equipment, can be driven by one of these smaller motors. Running on a 12v DC supply means that the tail lift system can be seamlessly integrated into the electrical systems of the vehicle, and operated from the standard dashboard. The driver can raise or lower the lift from the comfort of the driver’s seat and not worry about having to use separate controls for this action.
If you are reading this as an OEM then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. If we haven't got your ideal component listed on our website, then we will be delighted to create a bespoke product that answers your problems, all manufactured on site in the UK. Call us today on 01452 523352
As recently as a decade ago virtual reality experiences were limited to flight and helicopter simulators, with no chance for the average person to try it out. These simulators still exist and have become more and more technically advanced as graphics improve, but the old and new all have one thing in common – hydraulics.
Hydraulic rams move the simulator, in response to the actions of the person “flying”, which creates a very realistic experience for the trainee pilot. Having this level of virtual reality prepares them for the real world and the feelings of actually piloting an aeroplane or a helicopter. Some simulator manufacturers have trialled electric actuators, but these have their limitations on the amount of weight they can effectively move. Hydraulically operated simulators are more responsive and realistic than those which use electrical actuators.
Virtual reality hardware is now available at a price point where many consumers can afford to buy a virtual reality headset, and experience the amazing visual and acoustic landscapes created by games designers. It is only a matter of time before virtual reality computer games become the norm; and to truly experience the fictional reality created by the game designers a player will need to experience not only realistic sound and images, but movement too. Gaming chairs already exist to make the computer game playing all the more realistic, but these are generally limited to vibrating along with explosions or other effects in the game. The next generation of gaming chair could be a hybrid between the flight simulator and comfortable chair.
The weight of the chair and the average person can be easily moved using micro hydraulic power packs which can affect movement in two directions, allowing the chair to rise and fall with input from the game activity defining what moves, when it moves and how much it moves. Reversible micro power packs could be mounted at each corner of the seat base, allowing for tipping forwards, backwards and side to side, as well as recreating rolling sensations that could mimic the action of the sea. Using these tiny hydraulic power packs means they can be easily installed in the chair without it being bulky and obvious, and they pack quite a punch, capable of operating at pressures of up to 200 bar.
These micro power packs are already used for wheelchair lifts, bath lifts and other mobility products, so the efficiency in moving human weight is already tried and tested. The actual programming of the hydraulic system, to recreate the movement happening in the game accurately, will be a big job – there can only be a few pre-set movements at certain points in the game, as each player will make different choices and may not trigger movement at places where others do. It would be quite a challenge to program one hydraulic motor to act on game input, but when you consider that four must be programmed, and each one will be moving in a different direction, it becomes a very complex task. Flight simulator programmers would be the ideal people to lead the way on designing a new generation of computer gaming chairs, as they have experience of multi-directional movement programming already.
It's quite staggering to think that only 25 years ago computer games came on a floppy disk, with very basic graphics and a theme to match them. Nowadays there is a whole generation of people who never experienced floppy disks, or had to wait for the monitor to warm up before playing virtual tennis, which just makes it all the more staggering to think how far we have come in such a short space of time. How long will it be before the hydraulically operated virtual reality gaming chair becomes the next must-have product?
Hydraulic power packs, such as the ones supplied by Hydraproducts, are a vital part of the construction industry. With a huge push on new home building across the country, it is a daily occurrence to see heavy plant equipment moving earth and preparing groundworks for construction. All of these ‘earth moving’ machines use hydraulic power to effect motion in the moving parts, with hydraulic rams serving as the muscles of the machine to raise and lower a digging arm, or to move large pipes into place for infrastructure development.
Hydraulic power packs allow the machinery to generate more power in the moving parts than if just the engine power alone was directly driving the hydraulics, so they mean a smaller excavator can move as much as a larger one without the need for that extra space. On new build sites, there is a lot of space to start with, so there is no issue with the largest machinery manoeuvring around the site. When houses start to go up and roads are installed, there is less machinery space and it makes sense to use a smaller version of a particular machine that has the same power capabilities.
A hydraulic power pack can also reduce the amount of fuel used to drive the hydraulic components, as most heavy earth moving equipment has a range of modes that can be selected to give the right amount of power while remaining economical. Digging out large amounts of earth will use a lot of power, and this can be increased above the machinery capacity by using a hydraulic power pack. Fine grading of embankments, or excavating over mains power, gas or sewage pipes requires a fine degree of control that is best achieved at a lower power. Hydraulic power packs can help to control this when used in combination with the modes available on the machinery itself. The effect is a reduction in fuel used to generate the hydraulic power and a considerable cost saving over the lifespan of a project.
Because the earth moving equipment uses hydraulics there is no need to employ a separate engineer to maintain and repair the hydraulic power packs as they use the same technology, so there is no extra cost in maintenance terms, just the cost of the power pack. When considering this investment, it is important to understand that the better control leads to improved productivity and workforce morale, as well as a lower outlay on fuel.
Hydraulic power packs are not confined to use in the preparatory stages of a large building project, however, they are also used to work cranes, that lift roof struts into place; in forklifts, that move materials around the site and even in concrete pumping machines, that are used to lay floors and external hard standing surfaces. Hydraproducts are very happy to work with equipment manufacturers to find or design the perfect hydraulic power pack for the construction industry.
Our latest blog looks at renewable energy and how hydraulic power packs are used to power a range of applications in this field.
These applications include wind turbines, commercial biomass boiler systems, solar panels and many more. Below we go into detail about the most commonly used applications and how hydraulic power systems are implemented to power them:
Frequently described as the power of the future, wind power harnesses the forces of nature to create a renewable source of energy and wind turbines have been appearing more often around the countryside in recent years.
Powering large areas of population, it is essential that turbines have a reliable power source. The hydraulic power pack is situated high in the turbine body behind the rotors and its main functions are to control the braking system, the pitch adjustment of the rotors and the rotor locking mechanism.
Wind turbines also have to put up with a range of adverse environmental conditions due to their size and placement with elements such as seawater salt affecting offshore systems and high winds and storms potentially affecting the majority of turbines.
Industry standards suggest that turbines should have a successful operating life of approximately 25 years, so quality and reliability are paramount to a long operational life.
Solar power is one of the most popular types of renewable energy as is it a cost effecting method that can yield substantial savings in the long term.
It is also a simple process, as it harnesses the suns energy to generate heat and electricity and many businesses are jumping on the bandwagon and implementing solar power to make savings on annual running costs.
So, where do hydraulic power packs fit into the equation?
As solar panels need to be able to track the suns position for optimal efficiency, hydraulic power packs are required to power the panel’s movements and provide a precise and reliable power source for this function. The power packs are typically situated in an enclosed control system which helps prevent damage from the elements including flooding and storm damage.
The units are commonly designed to customer bespoke specification and are tailored for easy maintenance and accessibility.
Hydropower is another essential and widely used form of renewable energy which is used widely across the globe.
Hydraulics play a big role in the running of these applications and help control vital control systems including gate operations, brake systems and shut off controls. They are used in both hydroelectric plants and in flood defence barriers where they power hydraulically actuated penstocks, which ensure correct water levels are maintained at all times.
The power pack in penstock applications is situated above ground along with any electrical systems, as to avoid possible flooding and to ensure telemetry is constantly communicated without the risk of malfunctions due to water ingress and other environmental factors.
Biomass Boiler Systems
Widely used in both commercial and industrial applications including homes, schools and industry, biomass boilers are an extremely popular renewable energy source which comes in various sizes and specifications.
The boiler itself contains a ‘Walking floor’ which is basically two metal plates which move forwards and backwards to gradually push waste material into the boiler. Wood chippings and pellets are the common type of products that you see fed through this system. The hydraulic power pack is responsible for powering the Walking Floor and ensuring it operates reliably and effectively.
Hydraulics for Road Blockers and Rising Bollards
Road blockers and bollards provide active obstructions to control vehicular access. Commonly divided into two main groups either for Access control or Security.
Access control products are generally light weight and will be found at entrances and exits of car parks, roads and driveways. As traffic levels can often be high in places like an Office block car park or town centre bus lane these products must be designed for 100% duty rates, often clocking up 1000000 of operations in thier life.
Hydraproducts has developed a range of hydraulic power packs that have been tested to drive road blockers and automatic rising bollards. Commonly requested the ability to control functions if the power fails or the emergency services require access.
Mini hydraulic power packs fit neatly inside roadside control cabinets. Tried and tested on the busiest UK airports these units are giving years of trouble free operation.
High Security or Anti-Terrorist products are designed to provide Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (anti terror PAS 68) solutions. Providing physical security for Embassies, Police stations, Airports and Military bases.
For larger crash tested blockers these hydraulic power units offer 100% duty cycling, with the back-up of a hand pump. Power-fail functions, emergency fast operation and battery back up operations are specifically designed for anti-terrorist devices.
Rising bollards are often used in multiples to protect an entrance or carriageway. Synchronizing these with hydraulics maintains protection and aesthetic operation.
All hydraulic systems are designed to withstand the high impact testing of the PAS 68 standards, and devices tested often remain operational after an impact.
All road blocker, barrier and bollard devices require high quality and reliable hydraulics, Hydraproducts has been producing powerpacks for this industry for over 10 years with a strong reputation for providing innovative design solutions.
Hydraulic Power Pack
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