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“Outstanding component

“Outstanding component quality and ongoing development are both expected by the market. ” NEWS AND MARKETS Even today this is still one of the greatest challenges when it comes to international competition: we need to make sure that universities produce qualified trainees. HYDAC therefore actively supports appropriate institutions, whether it’s endowed professorships in Karlsruhe or traditional institutions such as in Aachen and Dresden for example, or foreign institutions, e.g. in Scandinavia. Have there been any failures in the German hydraulics industry within the past 60 years? What could have been done better? You can always look back and regret things, but I don’t think we can criticise ourselves for much. If you look at the markets you can see that the German hydraulics industry technically holds a leading position globally, both in industry and in mobile hydraulics. Technically we are the benchmark in many sectors. German hydraulics progressed quickly – the competition within Europe helped this - and competently established a global market position. In the foreword of O+P’s first issue in June 1957, Ludwig Erhard, Minister of Economics at the time, wrote: “When used appropriately, hydraulics and pneumatics can lead to considerable material savings and simplifications in the construction of machines and units”. Do you think this is still true today? That is true, even today. Over the last ten to twenty years the industry has taken a leap forward – mainly due to the development of proportional technology and its connection with electronic control systems and sensor technology. An enormous field of development for hydraulics opened up in this sector and we knew Information This interview was conducted in celebration of the 60 th anniversay of our German newspaper O+P Fluidtechnik. You can read the anniversary issue here: we had to use it. Linking electronics and hydraulics will provide further potential. The old mantra still applies: electronics is the brain, hydraulics is the brawn. The search for system solutions also leads to ever greater advances. Leading companies are combining their hydraulic and electronic expertise and developing further: from component suppliers to solution providers with engineering expertise in the respective application. I believe that is the future. Obviously there will be further improvements when it comes to components, but these products have already reached a certain level of maturity. The great advances are to be found in systems and solutions. For example, at HYDAC we have a test facility where we can regularly welcome leading OEMs who provide us with their machines, requesting that we search for optimisation potential with our entire portfolio. The progression of hydraulics lies in complete solutions for machines. Outstanding component quality and ongoing development are both expected by the market. Systematic thinking, knowledge in electronics and software as well as knowledge about the application, is the challenge of tomorrow. What else will change in the coming years? It’s all linked to the change in requirements we’ve just spoken about. The job description will change. Hydraulic experts will also be responsible for electronics in many areas. The frequently expressed concern “What’s next for hydraulics?” applies to every sector. We’ve had to compete with electrics in some areas of application, but at the same time we opened up new fields to a greater degree. It is crucial to identify developments in good time and, with the help of hydraulics, provide solutions which benefit the operator. That way you gain access to new business areas. Having said that, there are applications which simply can only be solved using hydraulics, for example heave compensation at sea. However, people remain the basis for this: without driven and motivated employees, no industry will progress. Interview conducted by Michael Pfister and Peter Becker from the Wolrd-of-Industries editorial team WORLD OF INDUSTRIESMOTION, DRIVE & AUTOMATION 4/2017

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