We recently spoke with Steve Zumbusch, Director of Technology Development for Eaton’s Hydraulics business about current and upcoming trends that he sees in the fluid power motion control market. Here are his thoughts in three key areas.
MHT: How is sizing software (both in-house and offered to design engineers) changing how design engineering is being done?
Zumbusch: Eaton offers a number of software tools to let design engineers make everything from overall plant models and simulations (to help predict overall system performance) to circuit design tools that provide proper component selection to meet the machine functions—as well as place cartridge valves in the proper location on manifold blocks. These tools are cutting down the number of iterations it takes to develop solutions that will meet or exceed the design requirements … and in many cases, we can even stretch designs beyond how they have traditionally been done in the past into innovative power management solutions that improve productivity and efficiencies.
MHT: What are some newer products your company sells with features to impart simplicity or turnkey operation?
Zumbusch: Eaton’s Pro-FX solution sets that deliver advanced functionality to electrohydraulic systems include the HFX controllers loaded with key function blocks that let end users quickly and easily adopt advanced performance into their machines. New function blocks are in continuous development and rolled out for customers to build more capabilities into their machines.
MHT: What value-added or complete systems do OEM and other design engineers request these days?
Zumbusch: A number of products are now available from Eaton that take advantage of pre-loaded, plug-and-play solutions that can provide propel and work circuits that are easily adopted into machines. HFX controllers with key function blocks already loaded for the designer is one example that allows customers the ability to quickly and easily adapt advanced performance into their machines. In order to make advanced solutions as easy to use as possible, we’ve continued to expand application and technical support to answer questions from folks that may be novices in some of these new technologies. There are a lot of mechanical engineers that appreciate guidance and support around some of these more advanced electronic function capabilities.