Hydraulic motors are versatile, productivity-improving
Equipment

Hydraulic motors are versatile, productivity-improving

Infrastructure development and power generation are crucial to keep India’s long term growth story intact, thereby stimulating growth prospects of the hydraulic equipment market. Hydraulic motors are used...

Infrastructure development and power generation are crucial to keep India’s long term growth story intact, thereby stimulating growth prospects of the hydraulic equipment market. Hydraulic motors are used in numerous industries for a variety of applications such as lifting a load, processing material, bulk material handling, etc. It is one of the superior options for heavy-duty applications due to its high power density. Hydraulic motor is a major component that brings in the desired productivity in a heavy construction equipment. So it is imperative for the equipment OEMs to source these motors with improved design and features. Hydraulic motors make use of fluid pressure for driving mechanical loads. These are important components of hydraulically powered equipment. Hydraulic motors are commonly seen in earthmoving equipment like excavators, backhoe loaders, skid-steer loaders, forklifts, heavy dump trucks, bulldozers, etc. where hydraulic cylinders extend and retract as vital operational parts while the machine performs various work. Normally, hydraulic motors are used for machines requiring high torque and working in difficult environment. Hydraulic motors are also fitted on other applications where it is required a significant torque. In one machine with hydrostatic transmission, you have typically a diesel engine connected with a hydraulic pump which creates the oil flow that reaches the hydraulic motors that normally are located in the machine's wheels. The global hydraulic motors market was valued at $7,874.29 million in 2018 and is expected to witness a CAGR of 4.50 per cent, during the forecast period, 2019-2025. Some of the major factors driving the growth of the market include the growing construction industry, agricultural sector, and mining industry, primarily owing to an increase in the consumption of base and precious metals. Additionally, consistent technological advancements are expected to offer growth opportunities for manufacturers. However, a shift in the focus toward electrification and adoption of electric motors in applications, such as oil and gas and few construction equipment is expected to hinder the market's growth. All over the world, more and more electro hydraulic machines are under development or already launched. Said a spokesperson from Poclain Hydraulics, “Hydraulic motors are one of the major components of mobile construction equipment. You can find them in compactors, skid steer loaders, excavators or in horizontal drilling machines, and these are only a few examples. Hydraulic motors are today the state-of-the-art technology of drivetrains and for most of the function construction equipment has.” Alberto Gatti, Group R&D Head for Hydraulic Motor Platform, Bonfiglioli, said, “Bonfiglioli has always pioneered the concept of integrated drive solution - the motor and the gearbox integration forming a unique system - with many advantages in terms of high-power density, compact dimensions and application-based solutions. In addition to all these functional needs, the demand from end-user market is also to have lower operating and equipment costs, which is also a challenge for system providers like us to have an highest technology motors with optimum costs.” He added, “The construction equipment are experiencing a giant revolution. Saving weight on some components could be fundamental to add some batteries or hybrid features without affecting the total machine gross weight. Space is equally important because we need to locate additional components, and so on. For all the above mentioned reasons, we are keeping untouched the choice of plug-in hydraulic motors, but we are expanding the range of integrated solutions. We cross-feed ideas used initially only on excavators, to other machines, and we always strive to design new products with something more than its predecessor.” On the types of hydraulic motors, Poclain Hydraulics spokesperson had this to say: “You can find several types of hydraulic motors, depending on the job to perform. For me, the best type is a radial piston motor. We have motors for almost every need in the right size. Our portfolio offers motors from 172 ccm to 30,000 ccm. We produce these motors in several configurations, as multipurpose motor or as specialised motor dedicated for a single function, like a swing drive motor with integrated valves. However, the technology of all these motors is the same; a radial pistons design.” Added Gatti, “Hydraulic motors are among the most versatile systems used in mobile machines; this is true regardless of the final machine type, purpose, and application. We classify them into three big families: Orbit motors, Swash plate motors and Bent axis motors. Each family of motor has unique performances, overall dimensions, cost, allowable pressure, flow range, and efficiency. All these parameters must be evaluated based on the operating conditions, applications and specific machine functional requirements in order to select the appropriate solution, which provides the optimum performances for final equipment usages. A well-designed hydraulic motor will boost speed performances, gradeability, and overall machine fuel consumption.” He added, “Our product portfolio has an extremely wide range of solutions for track and wheel drive gearboxes. We must be able to match the right motor to the right gearbox in any possible case, and this implies that also our hydraulic motor portfolio must be as wide as possible.” He added, “We see a clear trend to a higher number of integrated functions, like integrated valves, more sensors and a higher diversity. This is why we have increased the number of different motor types over the last years: MZ motors for swing drives, steerable MG motors or the CDM range (a clutchable double shaft motor) or the latest launched range, the MI motors. The time of one fits all is gone as the market is demanding a dedicated product without any compromises. Thanks to the modular design we have, we are able to offer these dedicated products with the same quality standard as all our products, by using standardised parts like cylinder blocks and cams.” Speaking on the key features of hydraulic motors that improve equipment productivity, the spokesperson from Poclain Hydraulics said, “If you see our high torque and low speed motor, you can find several benefits to improve the productivity and efficiency. One of the biggest benefits is, you do not need a gearbox and you have saved a component in between, no additional efficiency coefficient, which will reduce the total efficiency in your system. The same will contribute to an increased productivity, one component less to maintain, one component less which could fail, in the end, you will have a reduced downtime. A second big benefit of our hydraulic motors is the pressure we can work with, 450 bar for MS motors and 500 bar with our MHP motors.” Sugumar Kannan, Bonfiglioli India Design Center Manager for Hydraulic Motor Platform, said “I would like to mention some of the products like the 600WT/Th68 Series wheel drives which are the best choice for wheeled agricultural equipment, such as self-propelled agricultural sprayers. This solution is the perfect combination of proven mechanical parts, with a new, integrated 68cc variable displacement hydraulic motor, especially developed for closed loop, highly demanding applications. This motor is available with both hydraulic two-position or electric proportional variable displacement control and it has zero-displacement capability. Another product to mention is 700CT/Th45 Series, extremely compact, lightweight, efficient and smooth to operate track drives.” Added Kannan, “We all know the COVID-19 pandemic has already negatively impacted the global and Indian economy. Understandably, this is a very challenging period for everyone. Our first and foremost priority is employee safety and we have taken all the necessary steps to have the safety of our people at the highest level. We are following new methodologies to keep the projects in R&D running. We have some engineers working from home remotely and some at office. We have provided all the best-in-class tools for design engineers to keep working smartly and safely.” The long term market outlook remains positive with forward looking measures from the government on infrastructure creation offering new opportunities for equipment players. Hydraulic motors will have a great future.

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