How Has the Advent of Smart Hydraulics Modernized the Hydraulic Power Unit Industry?

21 May


Key Takeaways:

  • Introduction
  • Role of smart hydraulics in the hydraulic power unit industry
  • Acquisitions and product launches in the sector

Hydraulics is a branch of applied sciences that involves the study and use of different kinds of fluids for engineering applications. Hydraulic power units use the principles of hydraulics for production and regulation of power required for running heavy machinery and equipment. Owing to their stability and reliability, almost all end-use industries such as manufacturing, aerospace, construction, and agriculture use machines that are powered using hydraulic power units (HPUs). A typical hydraulic power system includes components such as hydraulic motor pumps, tank storages, coolers and heaters, pressure control valves, hydraulic accumulators, filter units, electric controllers, etc.

The rise of ‘smart’ hydraulics and its impact on hydraulic power units

Over the years, hydraulic power systems have evolved considerably, especially when it comes to their connectivity features, size, energy efficiency parameters, costs, etc. Unlike traditional power systems which act as standalone units, modern hydraulic power packs have the ability to integrate with other machinery and enhance the performance of the entire setup. These systems are centered around the principles of smart hydraulics which involve the use of IoT, sensors, controllers, and data analytics.

Hydraulic power systems embedded with sensors and smart actuators are better at regulating and controlling vital parameters like pressure, flow rate, fluid condition, and temperature. Furthermore, smart technologies allow real-time monitoring of these parameters which helps the machine operators identify the faults that occur in the system and resolve the issues quickly. Also, emerging technologies such as IoT and data analytics aid hydraulic power systems in collecting, storing, and analyzing performance-related data, thus enabling predictive maintenance and optimized performance.

Apart from bettering the performance, smart hydraulics also increase the energy efficiency of hydraulic power systems. Modern power units are now being integrated with optimized control algorithms that bring down the power required for running the machinery. Furthermore, the use of variable speed drivers and energy recovery systems reduces the overall energy consumption of power systems.

Moreover, to support environmental sustainability, the hydraulic power unit industry is witnessing a growing preference for electric power systems instead of diesel-powered units. Electric power systems not only reduce carbon emissions but also offer better controllability and ensure quieter operations. In recent times, leading companies in this industry have launched advanced electric HPUs to cater to the demands of the manufacturing sector. In June 2023, for instance, KTI Hydraulics Inc., a major hydraulic equipment supplier in California, announced the launch of a submerged direct current (DC) hydraulic power unit. Designed specifically for the recycling industry, the DC-powered HPU helps the recycling machinery to efficiently collect and process different materials like paper, glass, metal, and plastic.

Proactive role of the private sector in developing advanced hydraulic power units

The hydraulic power unit industry has become highly dynamic in the past few years as major companies in the sector have launched advanced power systems to gain a competitive advantage. In March 2021, for example, Terzo Power Systems, an electro-hydraulic power systems developer, announced the launch of Hydrapulse, an electrified hydraulic power unit. With an in-built electronically controlled hydraulic pump and motor, the system is considered the world’s first compact and smart hydraulic solution designed to support different manufacturing activities.

Apart from such innovative product launches, certain companies have entered into strategic alliances and signed agreements to increase their presence in the industry. For example, in August 2021, Danfoss, a key manufacturing company based in Denmark, announced the acquisition of Eaton’s hydraulics business. Eaton has been one of the biggest players in the hydraulic equipment manufacturing business and hence, this acquisition by Danfoss is thus considered to be a major development in the hydraulic power unit industry. The acquisition is expected to help Danfoss expand its operations globally substantially in the industry in the years to come.

To conclude, the hydraulic power unit industry is projected to witness huge growth due to the advent of smart hydraulics and the increasing integration of advanced technologies like IoT and data analytics. Furthermore, the launch of electric hydraulic power systems by multinational companies is estimated to augment the growth rate of this sector in the coming period.

To get an in-depth analysis of the growth drivers and investment opportunities in the industry, feel free to contact us.

Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar

Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar

Author's Bio- Akhilesh Prabhugaonkar holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering from the reputed Vishwakarma Institute of Technology. He has a special interest in the fields of forensics, world history, international relations and foreign policy, sports, agriculture, astronomy, security, and oceanography. An ardent bibliophile and melophile, Akhilesh loves to write on topics of his interest and various other societal issues. This love for writing made him enter the professional world of content writing and pursue his career in this direction.


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