Mobile Hydraulics Vs. Industrial Hydraulics

mobile hydraulicsThe main purpose of hydraulic fluid power is to transmit force. One might think that with the same purpose, all hydraulic machinery and equipment would be similar in design and scope. Wouldn’t the same valves, actuators and pumps achieve the same hydraulic force? Machinery and equipment is designed for the task at hand, thus mobile machinery may require similar hydraulic force as industrial machinery, although the design and engineering considerations are vastly different.

Challenges with Mobile Hydraulic Equipment

Mobile hydraulic equipment manufacturers faces design considerations to meet the needs of end users that are not factors for industrial equipment design, such as:

  • Environmental factors
  • Weight and size imitations
  • Cost constraints
  • Controls

The need to meet these considerations, or constraints, with mobile hydraulics, leads to improvements in power density. The relationship with power density and hydraulic machines is the differentiating factor with mobile vs. industrial hydraulics.

Environmental Considerations

Mobile equipment obviously operates within broad environmental conditions which are not considerations for industrial equipment. Whether we are talking about tractors, log-splitters, forestry equipment, mulching machines, snow removal equipment or other outdoor mobile hydraulic applications, exposure to the elements must always be a design factor. Mobile equipment must be compact and powerful, with performance not affected by things like rain, snow, ice, dirt, uneven terrain, extreme heat, or moisture. These factors typically never affect the design or performance of industrial equipment.

Weight and Size Limitations and Power Density of Mobile Hydraulics

Weight and size are paramount considerations for mobile machinery, often considered equally as important as cost. Reducing mass while producing equal hydraulic force is typically more expensive, rather than providing a cost savings. Mobile equipment requires weight and strength to tackle tough jobs, although there is a better solution than adding thick plates of steel to machine design for added weight and strength.

Lighter weight mobile machines are in demand for many reasons, agility, and load capacity as well as environmental emissions. Reducing machine mass can free up available weight for load carrying capacity, which is important when maximum vehicle weight is part of the equation. Reducing weight on mobile machinery with things like unique, lightweight materials, advanced computer design and replacing mechanical components with electrification can all contribute to increasing maximum load capacity.

Power density is the amount of power output per unit volume, or the power output capacity as a ratio of the actuator size. For example, a modern bulldozer will operate with more than 6,000 psi, typically double that of standard industrial hydraulic equipment. When you compare a 300-hp drive motor that weighs only 300 lbs. to a 300-hp industrial electrical motor that weighs 3,000 lbs., you realize the importance of power density.

Improvements in power density on mobile hydraulics free up mass on mobile machinery, whether that is offset with load capacity or not. When you can make do with a 175-hp machine vs. a 200-hp machine, freeing up mass also provides environmental benefits with lower emissions.

Mobile Machinery Demands Lower Costs

Industrial hydraulic machinery design and engineering enjoy liberties that are not accessible to the mobile equipment camp, specifically with size, weight and budget. Industrial machinery and equipment design does not face the dimensional limitations of mobile equipment with floor space and typically mass is not an issue for installation (as is evident in massive automotive stamping presses).

Mobile hydraulic equipment, however, is a market that faces shallow margins with strict cost control. Even so, some mobile equipment may cost more than a fleet of industrial presses due to advanced design and power density requirements. While the budget for industrial hydraulics is not limitless, industrial customers place value on different considerations than users of mobile hydraulics. Industrial applications may place a higher value on things like quieter operation and efficiency, whereas purchasing decisions for equipment like a log-splitter for example, would place more value on cost and reliable operation.

Industrial Hydraulic Controls vs. Mobile Controls

One area where mobile hydraulics and industrial hydraulics differ nearly without exception is the entire control system which uses very different components, logic and circuits. Industrial hydraulic applications are most often designed with custom manifolds or stacked valves, whereas mobile hydraulics often feature advanced valves with custom designed functionality to meet the needs of heavy-duty equipment.

One of the biggest differences in hydraulic controls is that mobile hydraulics commonly feature load sensing tactics, a control concept that measures the downstream pressure close to the actuator, comparing flow-induced pressure drop and load pressure. The load sensing signal is interpreted by the pump to provide the right flow and pressure to meet the demands of the operating valve. Load sensing pressure drop within a few hundred psi significantly improves efficient operations.

Stucchi Offers Solutions for Both Mobile and Industrial Hydraulics

industrial hydraulics

Stucchi offers hydraulic solutions for both mobile hydraulics and industrial hydraulics, with quick couplers and hydraulic adapters designed with highly engineered, specific characteristics.

Our quick coupling solutions for mobile applications include a wide selection of flat-face and threaded flat-face couplers, ISO 16028 and ISO A couplings in various port options, sizes and materials including stainless steel. Technologies like zinc plating and QPQ plating provide additional durability and corrosion resistance. Our hydraulic solutions keep your mobile equipment on the road with leak-free operations for improved safety and zero environmental impact from hydraulic fluid leaks.

Multi-coupling plates improve efficiency in mobile and industrial applications, with easy quick connect and quick release of multiple lines at once. Our industrial quick coupling solutions include flat face and threaded flat-face couplings, high-pressure couplers, multi-plates and more. We provide the hydraulic solutions that keep your equipment up and running to meet 24/7 production requirements with minimal downtime.

Stucchi differs from other hydraulic quick coupler suppliers with our staff of skilled and experienced hydraulic specialists dedicated to your overall process improvement. We ask the right questions to provide the most reliable and safe quick connect solution for your application. Contact us to learn how to improve your mobile or industrial hydraulic processes with improved quick connect safety, efficiency, and reliability.