Naimesh Davé is the EVP and President of Oilgear, which is now part of TH Holdings. That company is the umbrella corporation for Oilgear, Texas Hydraulics, Hydromotion, and Precise Hard Chrome. I had the chance to chat with Davé and some of his engineering team last month about the company’s evolution and plans for the future.
“Think about the history of the company from a Texas Hydraulic standpoint. It’s been in the mobile industry a little over 50 years, but really around the cylinder product and actuation. What we’ve been doing since then, over the last three years, that’s been growing as part of the TH Holdings. We’ve been on a roadmap to grow the strategy into the mobile, diversify some of the other markets as well,” Davé said.
The Oilgear acquisition was done as part of that growth strategy, which gave the company additional product lines, including pumps and some valves. Now the next move is an organic move into rotary actuators — in fact, the company had prototypes on display at the March IFPE show in Las Vegas.
“We’ve got a vision now,” said Davé. “We’ve got a roadmap to continue to grow into that mobile segment. And for us, it’s continued to leverage the same customer base that we have and ask how do we provide more solutions to them? How do we get more products and be part of that platform that used to be cylinders only? Now we can offer the pumps, and rotary actuators, and swivel lines as well.”
What I found surprising was the company’s aggressive timeline on the development of the rotary actuator line. Davé said they are using an agile new product development process, and that’s helping them get very close to customers, understand their needs faster, and put solutions together that really meets their needs.
Joshua Stevens, Director of Engineering for Texas Hydraulics, explained that the AM 55 is a 5,500 in.-lb rotary actuator. It’s used on a lot of man basket applications and features an axial mount. There is also a saddle mount, 80- to 200-in.lb unit rotary actuator.
“They both have 180° to 360° rotation capability,” Stevens said. “You’re really limited by the stroke package of the piston. So, we do have two SLA models to demonstrate that fact. Hydraulic fluid comes in one port and out the other, like most actuators, but the piston is what actually rotates … the rotation you get is based on the package size. The more compact you get, the more limited you are on the angle of rotation.”
Stevens noted that a lot of companies are going more towards the saddle mount designs, as they offer a little bit more rugged and robust approach.
A new pump, too
According to Ian Barry, Engineering Manager for Oilgear, the new XD5 Pump is the new mobile pump line that the company has developed.
“It’s going to be a family of pumps. We’re starting out with a 100cc model,” Barry said. The line will have 48cc, 65cc, 75cc, 100cc and 130cc mobile pumps. Throughout the years, we’ve always heard from our customers that our pumps were too bulky. Their current pumps have the control towards the front of them, which causes interference issues on their system.”
“So we took that to heart and decided to come out with a new mobile pump that has control that is mounted parallel to the shaft rather than perpendicular to it. And our main focus was to get the width down. It went from, roughly 9 in. down to 6 in. The weight was reduced 30%, from 115 down to 75, and the overall cubic dimensions of it was reduced more than 50%.”
Barry said that they kept everything Oilgear is known for — the hard-on-hard technology, the hydrodynamic bearings, the ability to run on low-viscosity fluids — and just repackaged it.
“Imagine it as the repackaged PVG 100,” he said. “It has the exact same specs of a PVG 100 from a performance standpoint. The target applications we’re going for are mainly off-highway applications, but we do see some on-highway applications. We’re looking at excavators in about the 10- to 12-ton range, four wheel loaders, on-highway refuse trucks, snowplows. We feel that those are the kind of the key markets that we can penetrate with this pump.”
While the outlook for the rest of the year is fluid and always changing in strange times like these, Davé is optimistic.
“We feel great, given a lot of the new product launches that we have and the engagement that we’re doing from a commercial standpoint and marketing standpoint, just driving the right discussion with the customers. So, we feel good about the [coming] year.”