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The Top 10 Industries That Use Hydraulic Systems

Hydraulic machines and equipment are all around us.  Hydraulic systems play a role in just about everything we do.  Yet, many people do not even think about why hydraulics are useful, the impact hydraulics have on our lives, and how much harder things would be without hydraulics.

As such, they think that hydraulic machinery is just limited to a few industries like agriculture or construction. They are quite surprised once they learn that there are many other industries that use hydraulic systems too..

Why Are Hydraulics Useful?

Before we take a look at the top industries that rely on hydraulics, let’s do a quick review of understanding hydraulic systems and basic hydraulic principles.  Hydraulics involves applying pressure to a fluid to create force to do some type of work at a point remote from the prime source..

The hydraulic pressure of the system balances the load being moved by the system and applies equally to the entire volume of the fluid.  The velocity of the fluid movement determines that speed at which the load moves..

As an example: hydraulic fluid is pumped through a valve, where it is directed via hoses to a hydraulic cylinder that pushes a metal plate to compact rubbish in a bin lorry, the pressure generated by the system results from the force required by the hydraulic cylinder to compact the rubbish.

It is important to keep in mind that hydraulics extends to a wide range of applications. Some hydraulic systems are considerably basic while others can be extraordinarily complex and can include:

  • Elevators
  • Washing Machines
  • Sprinkler Systems
  • Toilets
  • Printing Presses
  • Stamping Machines
  • Rollercoasters
  • Equipment to assist disabled people
  • Ships Davits
  • Conveyors

As you start to notice hydraulics around you, you will see how it plays a role in our daily lives, from making simple everyday tasks easier to providing entertainment and excitement.

Upside down roller coaster fun ride at amusement park Gardland

1. Construction Industry

Much of today’s modern construction processes and construction machinery would not even be possible without the use of hydraulic systems. These machines and equipment are able to lift, dig, push, pull, and do a wide range of back-breaking tasks that would require 10, 20, or more people to do manually.

Not to mention, building skyscrapers would take decades, compared to a few years, without hydraulics. In the construction industry you will find hydraulics also used in everything from concrete pumping to  moulding bricks.

2. Agriculture

Imagine how laborious it would be to cultivate fields, plant crops, water and harvest them without hydraulics and modern agricultural machinery and equipment.  You would need numerous people working in the fields every single day to meet the growing demand for food around the world.

Yet, with today’s agricultural hydraulic machines, it is possible for a few people to do the work of hundreds or even thousands in a much shorter period.

3. Entertainment

From major motion pictures to theme parks, the entertainment industry relies on hydraulics to make people happy. Aside from rollercoasters, all sorts of attractions use hydraulics, including:

  • Water Rides
  • Drop Rides
  • Ferris Wheels
  • 3D Ride Simulators
  • Theatres

You can also find hydraulics used to help create special effects in movies and TV shows—for example when a car flips on its side during a high-speed car chase.

4. Automotive

The automotive industry uses hydraulics in a variety of different ways.  There are the hydraulic machines that stamp and bend the metal to create the various parts of the car. Then there are the robotic arms that utilize hydraulics to weld and assemble the vehicles.

During the assembly process, all sorts of hydraulic systems are installed into the vehicle, such as:

  • Braking Systems
  • Steering Systems
  • Clutches
  • Advanced Safety Systems
  • Transmissions
  • Cooling Systems

5. Energy

From water treatment plants to power plants, you can find hydraulics used to help treat water and turn turbines to make electricity to power our homes.

Don’t forget about electricity production using water and dams too!  Water is a fluid that can convert the potential energy, it has by virtue of the dam’s height above the turbine plant, into kinetic energy that turns a generator as it flows through the turbine that drives it.

6. Aerospace

Aerospace includes aeroplanes, rockets, and rocket ships. Putting a man on the moon would not have even been possible without hydraulics.

ydraulics are used to adjust the wings on the plane, raise and lower the landing gear, and open and close cargo holds.  On rockets and rocket ships, hydraulics perform a wide range of tasks such as moving a retractable arm or moving the direction a satellite dish is pointed.

The launch of the space shuttle. With fire and smoke.

7. Landscaping

Your landscaper relies on hydraulics to keep your lawn and garden looking great. Lawnmowers, backhoes, dump trucks, skid loaders, and tree chippers—all do their work thanks to various hydraulic systems.

8. Marine

The marine industry uses hydraulic machinery and equipment to do a wide range of tasks. You can find forklifts being used to load and offload cargo on all sorts of ships.

The big steel doors, ramps, davits, cranes, conveyors on vessels of all sizes are opened and closed in most cases using hydraulic cylinders. Even the ship’s anchors is raised and lowered using hydraulic winches and windlasses.

9. Oil, Gas & Mining

Can you imagine having to dig a hole to reach oil and natural gas deposits manually?  What about having to chip away at rocks in a mine to reach coal, iron ore, and precious gemstones? How about pounding pipes by hand into the ground to create a system to pump crude oil out of the earth? Thanks to hydraulics, these manual processes of the past are no longer needed.

There are all sorts of hydraulic machines that can dig holes deep into the earth to reach oil and natural gas deposits. There are mining machines that dig out tunnels and move tons of rocks to reach coal, iron ore, and precious gemstones.

Hydraulic equipment breaks the rock, moves, crushes, screens and assists in the processing of ores in the quarrying and extractive industries..

10. Waste Management

Dealing with rubbish and waste would be a much bigger problem if it weren’t for hydraulics. Rubbish trucks are fitted with hydraulics to compact waste as it is collected from homes and businesses.

Businesses can use special balers to reduce the volume of waste both for disposal and recycling

Even in the home, people can purchase a “trash compactor” that uses hydraulics to compact their rubbish!

worker operating garbage compressor track in residential area

As seen above, hydraulic machines and equipment are everywhere around us. Hopefully, you can see the importance of hydraulics in our daily lives and how hydraulics makes things much easier for everyone.

There are many other industries that we didn’t even cover—like die casting, stamping, printing, manufacturing, food processing, and metal forming.  All you have to do is look around your home or work, and you are sure to discover hydraulics being used in one or more places!

To find hydraulic pumps, motors, parts, components, and accessories for hydraulic systems for hydraulic machinery and equipment, please browse our inventories online or contact White House Products, Ltd. at +44 (0) 1475 742500 today!

We  supply a range of hydraulic components to all sectors in all industries worldwide. We hold large stocks for immediate shipment, including over 6,000 different specifications of oil hydraulic gear pumps. We also offer customization services, where we assist you in designing and building custom hydraulic pumps, motors, and more to your exact specifications!

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