A subsidiary of the German industrial company Linde AG, Linde Hydraulics develops and produces modular hydraulic power systems for agricultural and construction equipment and for other industries.
Mining equipment is in a multi-year slump, and other off-highway markets grew slowly in 2016, but managers at Linde Hydraulics say they’re optimistic following a positive IFPE/ConExpo-ConAgg 2017 trade show in March (see show coverage, pg. 30).
“Linde had a global contingent at the show this year. In addition to the North American team, we had representatives from Germany, China, South America, and Australia. From our standpoint, it was a very successful show,” says Allen Burdette, sales manager for Linde Hydraulics. “Our customers are cautiously optimistic, and there was a very upbeat vibe. Our feeling is that 2017 may be a little better than current NFPA expectations.”
Part of the optimism comes from continued interest in advanced equipment. Linde Hydraulics has been incorporated communications equipment and sensors into pumps, motors, and valves that the company produces – enabling connected machinery for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)/Industry 4.0 connectivity.
“This is going to move forward rapidly in our industry, driven by the big OEMs competing for market share,” Burdette says. “There is huge potential here for increasing productivity by decreasing down time. Real-time monitoring of hydraulic equipment conditions – temperature, working pressure, charge pressure, filtration effectiveness, fluid cleanliness – will have a positive impact throughout the industry. It’s no longer a question of if or when, it’s now a question of how fast.”
The hydraulics producer markets its drive system technology as LinDrive, a moniker that stresses precision, dynamics, and reliability. Burdette says that it’s important to consider how customers use their equipment and to design hydraulic units that match real-world conditions.
“It is more than just the application of technology to improve machine operation. It is the optimization of the man-machine interaction,” Burdette says. “The LinDrive philosophy is to optimize engine power, apply that power through the most reliable hydraulic components available, and then place that blend of power and reliability in the hands of the machine operator in the most simple and intuitive manner.”