According to Enerpac (A Division of Actuant Corp) , one of the important factors to be considered while selecting portable hydraulic tools is the power source.
Powerful and portable hydraulic tools are increasingly replacing backbreaking and often hazardous manual labour in specific jobs.
Many plant maintenance tasks such as tightening or loosening bolts, cutting rusted nuts, spreading flanges or positioning equipment can be made easier by using these powerful hydraulic tools.
Hydraulic tools are available in varying operating ranges and capabilities, and the suitability of tools for specific applications depends upon several factors including how they are powered.
Power options for portable hydraulic tools:
Hydraulic tools have traditionally been available in three main pump power methods: hand pumps, air pumps and electric pumps with each power source offering distinct advantages.
While electric and air-powered pumps offer plenty of power, they must be connected to an available power supply by cords or hoses.
Alternatively, hand and battery-operated pumps offer flexibility and portability, but operator fatigue and battery life can restrict the size of job they can handle.
Key features of hand pumps:
- Offer simplicity in operation and affordability
- Suitable for hazardous locations since there is no reliance on a power source that could produce a spark
- Available in a wide range of sizes from small, single-speed models weighing less than 5kg to large, metal two-speed units weighing close to 45kg
- Units are available with valving for both single and double-acting tools and with oil capacities up to eight litres
- Large hand pumps can power 100-tonne cylinders for short periods of time as long as speed of operation is not a critical factor
- Typically used for short, non-repetitive applications where duty cycle is not a primary concern
Limitations of hand-operated pumps:
- Operator fatigue may occur because of manual effort
- Reduces efficiency and convenience since one hand is needed to operate the pump
- Unsuitable for use in confined areas such as catwalks or on ladders where users may not be physically able to generate the full amount of power needed
- Pumps must be placed on a relatively flat surface during operation, restricting their application
Key features of air pumps:
- Simple to specify and available in a wide range of sizes
- Better performance compared to hand pumps
- Lightweight and portable design
- Available in three types: reciprocating air pumps, rotary air pumps and intensifier air pumps
- Ideal for facilities with an extensive air distribution system
Key features of electric pumps:
- Second most common type of high-pressure pumps after hand pumps
- Versatile in operation with options such as motor type, valves and actuators, heat exchangers as well as operating voltage
- Available in two electric motor options, induction and universal with choice based on application
Electric pumps with induction motors:
- Ideal for high duty cycle applications because they are designed to run for long periods of time at low noise levels
- Pumps using induction motors are heavy and less portable, but offer a long service life
- Suitable for confined area operation
Electric pumps with universal motors:
- Ideal for applications where the power source is less-than-ideal
- Lightweight motor design increases the portability of the pump
- High power-to-weight ratio with the ability to run on less-than-ideal electrical power
- Motor can produce full torque on as little as 50% of rated line voltage
Enerpac’s ZU4 series portable hydraulic pumps feature a powerful 1.25kW universal motor coupled with a totally new pump element design that reduces oil flow turbulence, producing an industrial workhorse with fewer moving parts and less friction.
Special models can be configured for particular applications including bolting.
Enerpac’s ZE series of 700 bar electric pumps is engineered to save power and increase reliability with lesser moving parts, enhancing flow characteristics and reducing friction.
The high-efficiency design of the ZU and ZE series electric pumps offers higher oil flow and by-pass pressure, runs cooler and requires 18 per cent less current draw than comparable pumps.