Many different businesses in the world rely on custom hydraulic cylinders. These deceptively simple components can be expensive and difficult to manufacture as they need to be built to a very strict specification, but doing so properly can result in a highly efficient machine or process that will greatly improve a business’s productivity.
So, let’s dive into the art and science of custom hydraulic cylinders and explain a little more about them.
A custom hydraulic cylinder is a bespoke hydraulic component that has been designed and manufactured for specific reasons. In most cases, the reason is to make a machine or system function correctly or more efficiently.
But where exactly are these components used?
A great example is in heavy construction equipment. Whenever there’s a need for mechanical movements, hydraulics are used. For example, cranes typically need hydraulics to lift or extend the crane’s boom. Hydraulics are also used in conveyor systems, such as large sorting machines. You might also see them in vehicles like forklifts or sometimes in aircraft landing gear.
But there’s rarely a one-size-fits-all solution for all these different uses for hydraulic cylinders. The hydraulic cylinders used in an aircraft will likely be different from those used in farming equipment. As a result, custom hydraulic cylinders need to be designed and produced for their exact purpose, which sets them apart from regular components.
Typical hydraulic cylinders are mass-produced, but this means they must be made in various preset sizes. So, a company could develop various size standards and produce items around those specifications. When other companies buy those hydraulic cylinders, they need to fit their machines and systems around the hydraulic cylinders because they’ve been bought in a specific size.
However, custom hydraulic cylinders are much more special and require much more work.
For starters, a company must work closely with a manufacturer of custom hydraulic cylinders. They’re designed to meet an exact specification from the ground up, so there must be constant communication between the manufacturer and the client. Measurements must be taken, load capacity must be considered, and mounting configurations must be discussed. In other words, there are many different things that the manufacturer must consider when making custom hydraulic cylinders.
And that’s where the art and science of custom hydraulic cylinders come in.
There’s a lot of math and science involved in designing and manufacturing custom hydraulic cylinders. First, a client’s specifications must be taken into consideration. If the client knows exactly what they want, they’ve probably given a list of specifications such as the dimensions, load capacity, stroke lengths, and so on. From here, a specialist will take those calculations into consideration and start to design a custom hydraulic cylinder that fits the bill.
However, if the client doesn’t know exactly what they want, then it’s often necessary for someone to visit the site where the custom hydraulic cylinders will be used and then take measurements and ask more questions. For example, they might ask where exactly they’ll be used, what they will be used for, and various tolerances regarding load capacity. With these considerations in mind, they can start to create a conceptual design.
Engineers will often create preliminary designs in CAD (computer-aided design) software. This software can not only help an engineer design a custom hydraulic cylinder, but it can also be used to simulate potential use cases. They’ll then move on to material selection to ensure the appropriate materials are used. For instance, they may need to pick materials that are more resistant to corrosion due to the environment in which they’ll be used.
Once the CAD modelling has concluded and blueprints are made, the job can be passed on to manufacturers who will use a combination of techniques like precision machining, welding, and heat treatment to form the perfect custom hydraulic cylinders.
So whether for a completely new machine or hydraulic system repair, engineers must work closely with clients to produce the best custom hydraulic cylinders. There are many factors to consider, and specialists must use their skills and experience to the fullest extent to meet client demands.
Fluid Kraft is a reliable and experienced hydraulic cylinder repair and overhaul service provider in Australia that can help you with all your hydraulic system repair needs.
Contact us today to arrange a full consultation.