Electro-Hydraulic Valves Make a Digital Future Possible for Off-Highway Machines

Take a drive in a car built before the year 2000, and you’ll quickly be reminded of the many computer-controlled systems we take for granted in today’s automobiles. Assisted steering, anti-lock brakes, cruise control, backup sensors, and GPS location awareness are now becoming standard features that make driving safer, easier and more efficient. In the coming years, equipment operators and farmers will have the same experience with off-highway vehicles as digital controls and automated functions are introduced.

Historically, hydraulics have been thought of as a limiting factor for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) looking to design high-performance electronically-controlled construction and agriculture equipment. Hydraulics have been perceived as messy, slow to respond and complicated to engineer. HUSCO has taken up the challenge to raise hydraulic performance to match the speeds and accuracy of electronic control systems. We are increasing our portfolio of electro-hydraulic (EH) valves and cartridges, designed to enhance hydraulic accessibility for electronics and removing past communication constraints between hydraulic systems and digital controls. In addition we have a pipeline of technologies to again take big steps in the precision of hydraulic control.

Going Digital

Farms and construction sites are becoming digitalized to improve efficiency and operations. Heavy equipment is catching up to modern cloud-based information systems with electro-hydraulic (EH) valves that allow many functions to be computer-controlled and even fully automated.

Precision is an important factor when moving earth for seed planting, irrigation, and harvesting on a farm; or digging, filling, and grading at a construction site. The more efficiently and accurately these tasks are completed, the more operators can get projects completed quickly and cost-effectively. This requires a responsive hydraulic system that can move at the speed and repeatability offered from digital control.

HUSCO’s electronically controlled hydraulics deliver precise control to the millimeter level, providing more accurate machine automation of the actuation, positioning, and data feedback. Where today’s machines are limited by the skill level and fatigue level of their operator a digitally controlled machine will operate at the full potential of the equipment with more degrees of freedom, than an operator can manage. With a well-executed hydraulic control system that can work at the speed of digital, machines can perform tasks either with minimal interference from the driver or, in some cases, with no operator at all. Self-driving tractors, bulldozers, even material handlers, will be coming soon to a job site near you.

Simplified Operation

The benefits of making these advancements in hydraulic system responsiveness allow for a worker with minimal skill to operate an electro-hydraulic controlled machine at a higher level of precision and productivity to do better work in less time. Since equipment control can now be augmented, it can reduce the need for highly skilled operators. For many operations, the future points to automation where machines can run longer without a break while operators could experience less fatigue. As a result, job sites may need fewer machines to do more work in the same amount of time. Plus, digital safety features such as alerts, corrections, instructions, and machine e-fencing boundaries help employers reduce risk to their operators and others at the work site.

HUSCO is developing the next generation of electro-hydraulic solutions for motor graders, bulldozers and the advanced control of excavators. Our entire portfolio of electro-hydraulic valves are helping OEMs make not just intelligent, but brilliant machines possible.

  • A Next Generation EPRV cartridge valve family is the most critical component in translating digital signals into hydraulic reality. Our best-in-class valve line has the response and accuracy that is foundational to the future of off-highway equipment automation.
  • The EH-first MX valve platform offers the most flexible and compact EH control on the market. Its patented compensator bypass technology improves overall performance and productivity for multi-function capability.
  • Flow Summation™ valve technology has an elegant circuit arrangement that provides positive flow control achieving the performance of more complex systems found in larger off-highway vehicles.

Tomorrow’s Digital Machine Today

HUSCO is focused on bridging the control gap between machine hydraulic systems and digital control possibilities. Our engineers leverage decades of off-highway machine development experience and acumen with the high-precision, high-volume world of automotive EH innovation to provide the next-level performance necessary to realize the potential electronic control can provide.

We have a history of partnering with off-highway OEMs to design advanced hydraulic systems. These solutions address the pressing needs of the market today and can be added to a current production line. They are also “future proofed” – so they can easily adapt equipment to meet the tomorrow’s demands.

As off-highway equipment continues to become more automated, HUSCO electro-hydraulic valves will play a big part in making those breakthrough innovations possible. Contact us to find out how we help increase your hydraulic performance, accuracy and productivity.