Hydraulic Control

An OEM needs to add hydraulics to a newly designed module in its machine line, to move heavy loads relatively quickly and with precision. Can the OEM control hydraulic pumps and actuators with the same standard PLC that it uses for other machine control functions, or does this machine builder need to look into more specialized hydraulic controllers?
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  • <p>The question presumes conventional slam-bam hydraulics. As this is a new design, the time is right to consider a pump modeling hydraulic drive. Sort of a marriage between electric servo control and hydraulic power these systems have excellent control capability. They can also be smaller than conventional hydraulics. Since peak power is only required to accelerate and decelerate the load, but since steady motion requires less power and idle time requires no power, these systems can take advantage of peak and RMS ratings of smaller sized equipment. Conventional systems typically operate at peak levels all the time, wasting energy and heating oil during much of the machine cycle.</p>

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  • <p>Some standard PLC manufacturers have control modules specifically designed for hydraulic cylinder control. Using analog I/O modules with appropriate feedback devices and proportional or servo valves can provide good results as well.</p>

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