Italy-based Aidro Hydraulics has found a new lightweight means of producing their HPUs (Hydraulic Power Units). While HPUs are a staple of many work sites and high-power operations, they also need to be light enough to carry. Companies had, so far, tried multiple options to lighten the manifold but Aidro’s new method allows them to redesign the HPUs using DMLS to only keep precisely those components that are absolutely necessary.
The company is using an efficient mode of building that retains the parts enable the HPUs dimensional, physical, and mechanical properties while cutting out the deadweight. Traditional manufacturing keeps the excess weight due to subtractive methods, thus weighing about four times more. As a result, they even incur more material costs than their metal printed counterparts.
Aside from the weight and the cost, the method also allows for a lot more unique designs. Not merely aesthetic, these choices make the fluid channels more efficient and cut out designs once constrained by traditional modes of production. The is particularly great considering that hydraulic power is based on creating more pressure with a smaller unit. Most of these devices can maximise pressure while being lightweight additions to tools like the jaws of life.
DMLS HPU Units
Aidro has long been using metal printing for various parts such as manifolds and valves. While they are using the technology enthusiastically, they recognise the limitations it has as of now. They want to use it for special cases as opposed to trusting it for standard production volumes.
What the technology lacks in mass production, it makes up for in customisability and design options. As they’ve done with the valve and the HPUs, they can refine the design and remove the burdens of subtractive methods, such as the possibility of leakages caused by auxiliary drilling processes.
It’s crucial for a lot of high power hydraulic systems to be lightweight and transportable. They are often used in high-power tools that require pressure, particularly by firefighters (i.e. the jaws of life). More functional designs like Aidros can make remove a lot of headaches and potentially saves.
Featured image courtesy of Aidro.