Hydraulic systems use fluids to drive tools—particularly those that perform continuous, repetitive tasks—as well as to move, position, and lift heavy objects, such as machine assemblies and raw materials. Hydraulic systems are essential elements in manufacturing, construction equipment, building infrastructure and vehicles, to name a few.
Hydraulic systems are composed of complex, precision-machined components. Control valves, for example, distribute hydraulic fluid either directly or automatically through hoses and tubes. Control valves in and of themselves are comprised of valves, valve bodies and sleeves, which are all precision-machined to exacting specifications and tolerances.
In this blog, we will talk about what the precision machining process looks like and why it’s a perfect fit for hydraulic system needs.
About the Precision Machining Process
Technologically advanced, cutting-edge finished products are the perfect match for precision machining. Precision machining accommodates a wealth of raw materials – including aluminum, steel, stainless steel, copper and bronze – to create the finely detailed parts a hydraulic system is composed of. This process includes using Computer Assisted Design (CAD) and Computer Assisted Manufacturing (CAM) programs and process programs like ProE and UG to create micro-detailed blueprints, following which the parts are created.
Some examples of precision machining process include:
- Precision honing
- Hard turning
- High precision I.D. and O.D. grinding
- High precision O.D. centerless grinding
- Heat treating
More information about all of these processes, can be found here.
Advantages of Precision-Machining
1. Operational Efficiency
With the ability to operate automatically at high speeds and without the need for supervision, CNC machines allow manufacturers to reduce production costs and optimize efficiency. Precision machining equipment follows CAD-generated drawings to interpret and execute upon exact specifications.
2. Less Material Waste
Because machining is, by definition, a process of material subtraction, any errors result in costly material waste. CNC machines eliminate waste by requiring less raw materials for precise cutting.
3. Easier Prototype Testing
The more precise the process, the more flexible and accommodating the product development phase will be. This also creates opportunities to explore niche markets that have growth potential.
Compatible Hydraulic Systems Components
Precision machining capabilities are ideally suited to deliver high-quality metal components needed for sophisticated hydraulic systems. Some examples:
- Control valves: Control valves dictate, via opening or closing, the flow of fluids through hydraulic systems. Automatic control valves rely on electrical, pneumatic or hydraulic actuators to open and close according to predetermined speeds and volumes.
- Spool valves: Either rotary or sliding, spool valves direct the flow of fluids to or from other valves within a hydraulic system. They can consist of rotating x-shaped cores within a plastic sleeve or a grooved spool that slides in and out of position within the sleeve to block or permit the flow of liquid.
- Piston pumps: Piston pumps move and pressurize hydraulic fluids by utilizing one or more reciprocating piston within a cylinder. Typically driven by an electric motor through a crankshaft and connecting rod, piston pumps also contain at least one peripheral O-ring, which seals against the cylinder as the piston moves.
- Hose sleeves: Encased rubber and synthetic fluid-transporting tubing, hose sleeves extend the life of the machinery by guarding against kinking and binding as well as external damage and wear. They come in three main varieties: spring, flat, or nylon.
- Valve bodies: Essentially the structure (or “housing”) within which all the constituent components of valves (including transmission valves) operate, valve bodies may be made from any number of materials including brass, bronze, cast iron, steel, stainless steel, and alloys.
Precision-Machined Hydraulic Components at Impro
Precision machining is the most efficient and reliable method for long-term hydraulic system durability and reliability. It ensures the parts within the system are made consistently, exactingly and with the least amount of waste and inefficiency possible.
Impro is a worldwide leader in manufacturing high-precision, high-complexity machined components. Our integrated business model and manufacturing processes include honing, turning, grinding, drilling, deburring and heat-treating, providing one-stop solutions for myriad industries, including mission-critical applications.
Unparalleled precision machining capabilities for the production of components of control valves, spool valves, piston pumps, hose sleeves and valve bodies make Impro an industry leader in proven, dependable, and cost-effective hydraulic systems and components. Reach out to us today and put the Impro advantage to work for your business.