Fluid Power Through the Years



Fluid Power Through the Years

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Many aspects of fluid power and design practices have changed dramatically since our first issue was published. But one thing that hasn’t is the need for this durable and reliable form of power transmission that still provides unmatched power density.

It goes without saying that much has changed since February 1948. The transistor was successfully demonstrated at Bell Laboratories only two months earlier. Until then, electronic controls consisted of vacuum tubes, mechanical switches, and similar devices that were large, often delicate, and often unsuitable for industrial applications.

Although larger and heavier, hydraulic logic controls were more rugged and reliable (if fluid was kept clean), so many machines—especially machine tools—relied heavily on hydraulics not only for power, but for control. Both methods, however, required skillful technicians for troubleshooting and repair, both lengthy processes that often resulted in substantial machine downtime.

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