HydraForce is a US owned business, which was first established near Chicago, USA in 1985. The company remains a privately-owned company, with manufacturing facilities across the world, including the Headquarters in North America, European Headquarters in Birmingham UK, their recently acquired factory in Brazil – South America, and a manifold assembly plant in Asia.

HydraForce designs and manufactures high-performance hydraulics fluid power cartridge valves, customer manifolds and electro-hydraulic controls. They have created thousands of customer control solutions for the variety of off-highway industries, encompassing farming, construction, marine, material handling, mining and forestry.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

HydraForce: HydraForce primarily focuses on the creation of engineered to order, electro-hydraulic control solutions.

We design custom solutions for our range of customers, providing cost effective and space saving cartridge valve and hydraulic integrated circuits for their machines and applications.

We enhance the performance, value and durability of mobile equipment, serving a variety of markets ranging from Powertrain and Transmission to Forestry and Agriculture.

E.E: What the news for 2020 about new products?

HydraForce: HydraForce recently unveiled a new Internet of Things (IoT) platform for Mobile Hydraulic Equipment, which allows customers to remotely program and monitor their fleet, connect to their network, and analyze machine data, all in real time.

In addition, we’ve launched a number of energy efficient solutions for hydro-pneumatic suspensions, and load-sense boosting for trailed Agricultural equipment.

We’ve also introduced our Boom Lock Valves, which use electro-hydraulic which increases equipment safety by locking the boom in place in the situation of a hose rupture. And a more efficient line of Solenoid Products, which meet present day demands for efficiency and system performance, providing a modern-day approach for efficient solenoid products.

E.E: What are the ranges of traded products?

HydraForce: HydraForce offers the broadest range of electro-hydraulic controls in the industry, and our range and depth of product offerings allow engineers to optimize the control and efficiency of their equipment.

Our Valve portfolio includes a range of Solenoid, Directional, Flow-Control, Pressure and Electro-Proportional valves, along with a collection of accessories such as coils and hand pumps which complement our product catalogue.

We specialize in customized manifold solutions, which are made specifically to meet our customer’s individual requirements; alongside our growing portfolio of Electronic Vehicle Controls that add the power of electro-hydraulics to any application.

Every cartridge valve, manifold and electro-hydraulic control is rigorously tested and inspected to perform beyond industry standards. And all our products meet global quality standards including ISO 9001, QS 9000 and CE.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

HydraForce: We are fairly mature in terms of hydraulic controls, however there is a lot of development going on in the telemetric and electro-hydraulic control stage of the industry.

Over the next 5 – 10 years, we expect the maturity of electro-hydraulics, hybrid systems, hybrid powertrains and onsite network availability, to expand and enhance the ability for OEMs to maximize productivity of their equipment.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

HydraForce: A current market trend is the definition of the ‘best in breed’ approach to equipment electrification, that allows a manufacturer to benefit from horsepower density of hydraulic control, whilst also benefiting from the efficiencies that electrification can offer.

There is a lack of availability in Lithium Battery technology and infrastructure, as well as cost-effective hybrid powertrains which have prevented full scale adoption, however most OEMs are chiefly focused on adopting the technology.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

HydraForce: We presently offer the Best in Class Telemetry device (IoT), which allows customers to monitor equipment status up to every second, reduce field service costs by remotely changing machine programming parameter, as well as logging equipment failures for diagnoses and correction.

Thanks to the development of our IoT solutions, machines are effectively connected to the cloud (IoT) and to each other (M2M), using our ERAU-6200 Remote Access Unit. Our ERAU-6200 processes data between the Remote Access Software, Cloud Service and the machine; whilst our ECUs Electronic Control Units allows for programming of the machine’s control functions.

This package makes it possible to have remote operation, machine performance telemetry, and analysis – all in real time, whilst improving uptime through reductions in warranty and service claims, and reducing service costs and travel time through remote servicing.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021?

HydraForce: We expect the market to have a partial rebound in 2021. Leading indicators such as Purchasing Manager Index, Industrial Production, and Construction starts, coupled with the expected increases in crop prices, bode well for our industry.

In 2020, our industry saw a reduction in demand by approximately 20%. We believe the current economic conditions that we witnessed over the 2020 year, are strongly correlated with the Global Covid-19 outbreaks and a partial return to normal is expected next year.