Deep inside a hydraulics manifold, multiple fluid streams are on the move. The big metal block is distributing fluid power throughout the system so that a mobile lifter can control all of its moving parts. In plain terms, that machined block is the nerve centre, the system backbone. As for the Parker industrial manifold valves that we’re about to describe, they’re the mechanical interfaces that execute those manifold-channelled signals.
Mapping a Fluid Manifold
Like the nerve centre in a bustling office, the manifold mounted valves interact with this heavy-duty fluid distribution hub. On the input side, feedback is picked up, either from a driver’s cabin or a processing hub. For example, if an excavator is about to lift its backhoe, a message is sent from a lever on the control panel inside the operator’s cabin. It’s channelled inside the manifold and directed to a mechanically attached actuator. From here, the desired action is executed, the force is sent to a hose, and the required action takes place. Alternatively, the force stops at one of several manifold mounted valves. It’s the job of these system interfaces to translate the line signal and immediately take action.
Applications for Manifold Mounted Valves
Hydraulics or pneumatics, there are manifold architectures that serve both fluid types. They proportionally regulate pressure, act as system switchboards, and generally act as power convergence gateways. Arranged in banks of adjoining blocks, that energy is consolidated and transferred to a process-controlling actuator. Pressure control valves with limiters fall into this category, as do sandwich valves and directional control valves. They work in conjunction with other compatible Parker valves to regulate complex processing mechanisms, so expect to see this circuitry in use in manually controlled systems, plus the automated equipment that requires little user input. A heavy-duty lifter with a load-limiting feature uses Parker industrial manifold mounted valves, with a second line of valves perhaps managing the outriggers and lift cylinders. Meanwhile, over at a nearby factory, another manifold is regulating the valves in an automated assembly system or conveyor line.
Every complex system has a nerve centre, a backbone along which important signals are transferred. In biological lifeforms, we look to an actual backbone and a nervous system. In an office complex, the hub is ruled by the management team. Lastly, in pneumatic and hydraulic equipment, an industrial manifold hosts the various fluid signals. They, in turn, regulate a range of dedicated manifold mounted valves. Responsible for simultaneously controlling multiple system elements, the valves direct metal limbs, limit pressures, and deliver proportional control to countless industrial applications.
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