In short, hydraulic systems use fluids to generate power. This simple concept has been harnessed for all sorts of uses; you’d be surprised at the huge range of different hydraulic applications there are in day-to-day life. Although the concept may be simple, the machinery that supports it certainly is not and maintaining hydraulic equipment is a complicated operation. However, if you run a business that uses hydraulic power in any form, you’ll know just how important it is to make sure everything is in working order. Repairing and maintaining your own systems is possible, but generally, it requires specialist knowledge.
Professional hydraulic engineers are the answer. They are the people who design and create hydraulic systems in the first place and therefore are the most knowledgeable in troubleshooting and taking care of them. It’s important to remember that no hydraulic system is the same, so whichever way you use hydraulics within your business, choosing the right specialist for you must be considered carefully.
At HP Hydraulics, we’ve seen hydraulics used in a vast range of different businesses and our specialist experience in not only maintaining systems but also designing and building them means that our advice can be relied upon. Below, we detail the many different applications of hydraulic systems across different industries to demonstrate just how important keeping them working is for society. Following this, we’ve got some top tips on how to make sure you’re hiring the right hydraulics company for your business.
Industries that use hydraulic systems
‘Fluid power’ in its most basic form was first discovered in 1648 by the French physicist, Blaise Pascal. However, the function wasn’t properly applied to machinery until 1738 and later patented by Joseph Bramah in Britain in 1795, which in turn paved the way for the British Industrial Revolution.
So, clearly, hydraulic power has played an integral role in British industry for centuries. With 10 times the power of an electric motor, the fluid-based power is ideal for heavy pushing, pulling and lifting and can be precisely controlled, which is why so many industries continue to harness it today. These industries include:
Automotive. Hydraulics have been critical in the engineering of brakes, steering, gears and suspension in cars. On top of this, many car repair services use hydraulic equipment in order to perform remedial work on cars, such as the use of engine cranes or car ramps with hydraulic jacks.
Military. The use of hydraulics features throughout the military industry, from powering military vehicles like mine rollers and precisely operating radar positioning equipment, to powering pressure vessels used to safely neutralise chemical weapons.
Marine. Hydraulic systems are extremely prominent in the maritime and marine industry, as they are used to power vital dockside and onboard equipment like lock gates, boat hoists, boat movers and linkspans.
Construction. Probably one of the most common uses of hydraulics is within the construction industry. Hydraulic power is applied to lots of machinery, from large equipment like bulldozers and excavators which have flexible hydraulic arms for precise movement, to smaller handheld machinery like pneumatic drills.
The agricultural industry. Hydraulic power allows businesses in the agricultural industry to complete a plethora of jobs. Hydraulics initially replaced horsepower in order to plough fields and transport crops. You’ll now find hydraulic systems within lots of agricultural machinery, including tractors and backhoes.
The aviation industry. Aircraft passengers hugely rely on hydraulic systems for their safe departure and arrival. Hydraulics power flight control services such as take-off and landing gear, as well as aircraft brakes.
As well as these major industries, we’re increasingly seeing the application of hydraulic power in some unexpected places too:
Health and fitness. A lot of the exercise equipment at your local gym uses hydraulic cylinders for resistance, like the cross trainer, rowing machine or leg press. The smooth movement means that hydraulic fitness machines are also much safer than using free weights, particularly for less experienced gym-goers.
Art and culture. Hydraulic press machines are sometimes used to create beautiful, quirky metal sculptures or jewellery, as well as more practical products like ornate metal gates and fences.
Leisure. When you go to a theme park, there’s hydraulics working all around you. A vast majority of roller coasters and amusement rides use hydraulics as a launching mechanism.
Beauty. Believe it or not, when you go to the hairdressers for a trim or indulge in a luxury massage at the spa, it’s very likely the salon chair or massage bed’s movement relies upon hydraulics. In fact, your office chair may also have the same operating function!
With such a breadth of uses, it’s clear that hydraulic systems are fundamental to the functioning of our society. From your adjustable office chair to huge cranes on commercial construction sites, hydraulics are always at the heart of the operation. Without hydraulic systems, our society would not run the way it does today. So, if issues do arise within your business’ hydraulic systems you need to know that you can get things fixed quickly.
Choosing the right company for your hydraulic repair
With so many different applications, it’s clear that no hydraulic system is ever the same. However, the most basic components of any hydraulic system consist of a pump, a reservoir, an actuating cylinder, a pressure relief valve and a heat exchanger.
The most advanced systems may have multiple subsystems and potentially incorporate hundreds of different components. Because of this, there is no textbook way to repair a hydraulic system. Techniques vary across industries, which is why employing professional hydraulic engineering services tailored to you is so important. Below we share the three main things you should look out for when choosing your ideal hydraulic specialists.
When choosing the right company for you, consider the industry your business is in. Although all professional hydraulic companies are experts in their field, part of their work may include specialist services for a specific industry. For example, here at HP Hydraulics, along with our standard repair and supply services, we’ve also honed our expertise in marine industry hydraulic systems. This means that we’re experienced in carrying out work within industrial marine environments, such as fitting autopilots and piping up marine steering systems. You can also find specific hydraulic engineers for the military, construction and agricultural industries.
If there isn’t a local hydraulics company who specialises in your field, or you simply want an overall service that offers everything, it’s always worth finding out what experience the engineers you are looking to hire have. In particular, have they worked on similar machinery to yours in previous jobs? As mentioned above, no hydraulic system is the same but a skilled engineer should be able to adapt to different machines that are similar to ones they’ve worked on before.
As well as choosing experienced hydraulic specialists, you want to feel reassured that your engineer can perform a wide range of services. Ideally, you’re looking for a ‘one stop shop’ – a hydraulics company who can perform all of the services required throughout your hydraulic equipment’s lifetime, from design and manufacture to product finishing and maintenance.
Many hydraulic professionals are able to design customised hydraulic cylinders to suit your business’ needs. Following this, they’ll be the most reliable party to then repair and maintain your hydraulic cylinder. Be sure to research the replacement products your local hydraulics specialists supply, from expensive replacement parts like a new hydraulic pump or cylinder to the smallest nuts and bolts that hold your machinery together. You’re looking for a good quality hydraulic fittings supplier who offers a comprehensive range of products.
If you run a busy business, another very important service your hydraulics company should provide is regular maintenance performed by a specialist engineer. Although there are, of course, ways in which you can maintain your system yourself, hiring an engineer to make routine checks on your machinery is the most cost-effective option; you’ll experience less downtime as faults will be recognised and rectified early by a skilled professional. Ask your engineer if they’re able to perform repair and maintenance services on site, or whether you’ll have to transport machinery to them. A mobile hydraulics service is much more convenient for you as a business as you won’t waste time going back and forth for servicing.
Finally, taking the time to read testimonials and reviews of a hydraulic company is extremely valuable. Look for reviews given by clients who are peers in your industry so that you can feel reassured that the company is familiar with your type of machinery. Find out; were they prompt and reliable? Did they finish the work at a high standard? Did they try to work as economically as possible, saving on excess costs?
As a business owner, your top priority when a fault is found in your hydraulic system will simply be to get your business up and running again at minimal cost. An experienced and reliable hydraulics company will always have this in mind and will ensure that you experience as little downtime as possible, whatever your hydraulic system is used for.
Choose HP Hydraulics: Design your hydraulic ram, repair your hydraulic hose or flush your hydraulic oil
At HP Hydraulics, we take pride in our quality range of services and the commitment we make to our customers so that they return time and time again. With over 30 years of experience in designing, finishing and repairing hydraulic systems, we’ve pretty much seen it all – and at an industrial scale. Our adaptable team have worked within a range of industries and along with our specialist marine hydraulics services, we offer comprehensive repair and maintenance across industries. We can visit you on-site for emergency repairs, routine checks or fitting replacement to ensure your downtime stays at a minimum. Browse our full range of services or simply contact our friendly team today for a no-obligation quote.